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Caring Companies FAQ

Caring Company FAQs

+ - What is the Caring Company Program?

The Imagine Canada Caring Company program recognizes outstanding leadership in community investment and encourages Canadian businesses to make giving back a strategic priority.

Caring Companies contribute at least 1% of their pre-tax profit in support of the communities where their employees and customers live and work.

+ - Which companies are Caring Companies?

The network is always growing, and we currently work with over 60 Caring Companies, representing industries and regions across Canada and many top brand such as Loblaws, Canada Life, TD Bank, and MEC. The Caring Company network is made up of publicly traded companies, co-operatives, and private businesses.

Click here to see a full list of Caring Companies.

+ - Why does Imagine Canada set their eligibility criteria at 1%?

Although levels of giving do differ by industry, research by Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) and Corporate Citizenship has shown that globally, successful companies contribute 1% of their pre-tax profit. As leaders in community investment, Caring Companies are recognized for going above and beyond this benchmark.


+ - How do I calculate my company’s community investment percentage?

The percentage must be calculated by summing the total community investment costs and summing the pre-tax profit over the chosen time period. These sums form the numerator and denominator respectively of the community investment percentage.

+ - What costs count towards the 1%?

The total community investment for each Caring Company is the aggregate domestic cost to the company in three areas: cash and in-kind contributions, volunteerism during work hours, and management costs.

The eligibility of investments for inclusion as a part of the 1% calculation is in accordance with the LBG International framework, as represented by LBG Canada.

+ - Can Imagine Canada help us qualify to be a Caring Company?

Many companies find that even if their donations are less than 1% of pre-tax profit, when including their management expenses and the cost of staff volunteer time (during working hours) during the Caring Company application process, they far exceed the 1% threshold. 

If your giving or profit margin fluctuates from year to year, we can work with you to apply a multi-year average which recognizes your commitment, and qualifies your company.

+ - Do employee donations or customer giving count towards the 1%?

External stakeholder contributions do not count towards the 1% total. However, we encourage Caring Companies to undertake these activities and report this information because it further illustrates the important role they play in building strong Canadian communities.

Stakeholder contributions include, but are not limited to: employee payroll giving, customer contributions, franchisee contributions, associate contributions, and supplier or government matched investment.

+ - What if our company has no profit? Do we still qualify?

Caring Companies that continue to invest in the community, despite net losses over multiple years, can calculate their community investment percentage using total revenue as a proxy for pre-tax profit. A company with a negative net pre-tax profit is contributing at least 0.1% of total revenues (i.e. one tenth (1/10) of 1%) they are eligible to be a Caring Company.

+ - How can my company qualify to be a Caring Company?

A business is eligible to be a Caring Company if their in-Canada community investment is at least 1% of their pre-tax domestic profit.

Companies can choose whether to calculate their eligibility using their most recently completed fiscal year, or a rolling average of up to 5 consecutive years.


+ - How do I apply for the program?

To become a Caring Company, businesses must contact Imagine Canada to complete an online application process that details their community investment activities. 

After joining, all Caring Companies are required to pay an annual license fee and update their information in order to maintain their program status. Connect with Imagine Canada to find out if your business qualifies to be a Caring Company.

Click here to start your application.

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