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Policy priority: charities to partner with non-charities

collage of charities
Policy priority: It should be easier for charities to partner with non-charities

Rules aimed at protecting public and charitable funds make it difficult for charities to partner with non-charities, resulting in equity-seeking communities having less access to these funds. 

Why it matters
Current legislation prevents charities from providing funds to non-charities unless they enter into an agreement whereby they exercise “direction and control” over the activities of their non-charity partner. This requirement significantly hinders equitable partnerships between charities and non-charities. Partnerships are key to ensuring that charities are able to respond to complex and ever-changing issues, and to ensuring that communities served by charities are placed on equal footing and are able to co-create solutions. 
Did you know?
  • Charities are able to gift their resources to ‘qualified donees’, a term which includes registered charities, municipalities, and other entities that are able to issue donation receipts. If a charity wants to partner with and provide resources to any entity that isn’t a qualified donee, direction and control rules apply.
  • Having charitable or “qualified donee” status is less common for groups in some equity-seeking communities. This results in many equity-seeking groups having less access to charitable funds.
  • Direction and control requirements exist in tension with Canadian international development policy and contemporary international development values (e.g., local ownership and participative and inclusive decision-making.
Our ask
  • That Bill S-216, The Effective and Accountable Charities Act, be passed into law. Introduced by Senator Ratna Omidvar in November 2021, the Bill would amend the Income Tax Act to enable charities to establish equal partnerships with non-charities while still ensuring accountability and transparency.
Learn more

Imagine Canada and Philanthropic Foundations Canada, 2022

Imagine Canada, 2022

Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, 2019 - recommendation 30

The Pemsel Case Foundation, 2015 - 2019

Cooperation Canada, 2019)

Ontario Nonprofit Network, 2021

Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector, 2021) - recommendation #1

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