Three Important Questions for YOU to Ask Candidates This Election Season
As summer melts into fall, it won’t be long before the temperatures cool and the rhetoric heats up on the upcoming Federal Election scheduled for October 21.
Our fundraising sector, which includes registered charities and nonprofits, contributes over $169 billion dollars annually to the Canadian economy and employs over two million Canadians at more than 160,000 organizations coast to coast, according to AFP’s Asking Matters Report. Imagine Canada estimates that our charitable sector represents 8.1 percent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so when candidates knock on your door this fall (and I assure you—they will!), you may want to share these figures to remind them that our little sector is not so little anymore!
Now, to arm yourself further for the upcoming calls, door knocks and town hall sessions that will be surely coming your way, here are three important fundraising questions that you can have at the ready:
1. Will your party designate a federal department to have economic policy responsibility for the nonprofit sector?
Ideally, the charitable sector should fall under a designated nonprofit secretariat within a Ministry such as the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. The mandate of the secretariat should be to support initiatives intended to encourage charitable giving and to develop data-driven policies that will foster a stronger nonprofit sector. The charitable sector clearly has a significant impact on Canada’s economy and GDP. As a key employer, it is our belief that the sector will benefit from the leadership of a federal department whose mandate it is to foster its growth, innovation and impact on the Canadian economy.
2. Can we count on your party to allocate $1 million to Statistics Canada ANNUALLY for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and disseminating comprehensive data about charities and nonprofits?
The Government and the charitable sector cannot make solid, evidence-based decisions, or even engage in healthy debate, without up-to-date information from accurate sources about the sector’s current status and operations. Fundraisers believe strongly that the Government must provide Statistics Canada with $1 million annually to gather important data about the nonprofit sector for the benefit of all Canadians.
3. Will your party commit to permanently eliminate the capital gains tax on charitable gifts of private company shares and real estate?
Eliminating the capital gains tax would remove the barriers for charities to more easily receive gifts such as private company shares, land and real estate, by making gifts such as these easier and more appealing for donors to give. This recommendation could exponentially leverage the programs and services provided by Canada's charities at a time when demand for our services is reaching new heights.
Poverty, hunger, health care gaps and a worsening climate crisis are just a short list of the social needs our nonprofit sector tackles everyday. Our society depends on the vital work of the sector, and there is no better time than during an election to voice your opinions, share your thoughts, ask important questions and be heard loudly by the candidates that will shape the next four years of our lives.
So, don’t be shy—ask a few tough questions before you cast your vote this fall! For more information on AFP’s government relations programs and recommendations, please visit our Impact & Advocacy Website.