Public Policy

Charities have a long tradition of public policy engagement that benefits citizens and communities, both in Canada and around the world. PFC encourages its members to maintain and enhance their public policy involvement (be it as funders or operating charities) if it furthers their charitable purpose. The more engaged we all are in public policy, the greater the collective contributions we can make to our communities and our country.

Some activities of foundations related to advocacy for public policy changes may be characterized as political activities. In this section you will find information about how political activities of charities and funders are regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Political activities carried out by charities are defined in the Canada Revenue Agency policy statement on political activities CPS 022.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers a self-assessment tool for charities. This tool will help you determine if:

  • your charity is carrying on political activities.
  • any political activities are being carried out within the limits set out in the Income Tax Act.
  • your charity is accounting properly for the resources it is using on political activities.

PFC Questions and Answers on political activities for funders to inform charitable funders of what is allowed as political activity expenditure, and what is required in terms of reporting to CRA.