2022 marked a historic policy milestone with our mobilization to amend the Income Tax Act and create an unprecedented framework for directly funding non-qualified donees. Further, to ensure effective implementation, we engaged in a cross-sector mobilization in Ottawa and successfully lobbied the government to amend the first 2022 Budget Implementation Bill – a significant victory in steering policy in a better direction to meet the needs of our sector and the public benefiting from it.

One of the key findings from our historic member-wide consultation on the disbursement quota was that increasing funding to charities is an inadequate measure to equalizing community access to funding, as it does nothing to remedy the existing funding inequities in the sector. The confluence of the pandemic, effects of the climate crisis, and a renewed racial reckoning spurred by George Floyd’s murder, all highlighted the unmet needs of Indigenous, Black, and other equity-seeking communities. It also highlighted the chronic underfunding of the organizations serving them, often led by leaders from those communities themselves. In addition to an increase in funding, we also advocated for more equitable distribution through several enabling conditions, including funding to non-qualified donees – grassroots and community groups working on the ground, with lived experience and often best positioned to identify and advance solutions for their own communities.

To push our recommendation and its implementation forward, we liaised regularly with Senator Ratna Omidvar, culminating in a Hill Day in May 2022 with a coalition of partners including organizer Imagine Canada, as well as Cooperation Canada, Ontario Nonprofit Network, Canadian Centre for Christian Charities, and other sector leaders. We also received grants from members and non-members to support this work. Amplifying our policy budget has elevated our capacity as leading experts and advocates in the sector. Our coalition worked tirelessly with Senator Omidvar to move the recommendations forward and ensure it stuck to its original intent. Directly as a result of our collective efforts, the historic amendments passed and were enshrined with Bill C-19, the Budget Implementation Act.

These changes create the potential to redistribute billions in charitable funding towards non-qualified donees, helping to level the playing field and open up greater access to charitable funds for innumerable grassroots and community initiatives typically underserved by philanthropy. This has the potential to increase and improve services for millions of Canadians, especially the most vulnerable. We will be tracking responses to these changes.

  • 2022’s first Budget Implementation Act, passed and included the essence of my Senate bill – S-216, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act. It included measures that changed ‘direction and control’ requirements that regulate charities who work with non-charities to provide a path to get rid of the deeply imbedded systemic racism that was contained in the Income Tax Act. In its place will be strong, accountable and effective partnerships based on mutual respect. Many thanks to the charitable sector who played an integral role in working together advocating for the changes, including groups such as Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Imagine Canada, Cooperation Canada, the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities, and the United Way of Canada. Good ideas, lots of hard work, persistence and above all, the voice and leadership of civil society was instrumental in creating change in the legislation.

    Senator Ratna Omidvar
  • From the disbursement quota, to granting to non-qualified donees, to home in government, PFC is a leading national advocate for our sector. We deeply value their expertise, dedication and unique perspectives on philanthropy in our mutual work to advance federal public policy so that organizations are supported in achieving their missions.

    Bruce Macdonald
    President and CEO - Imagine Canada