Helping Charities Speak Out: What Funders Can Do

Richard Bridge, Nathan Gilbert


In September 2003, the Canada Revenue Agency released a new policy statement on "political activities" by charities. This policy gives lengthy and detailed guidance on what charities can and can't do in public awareness campaigns, meetings with policymakers, issuing public calls to action, and many other activities that generally fall under the heading of advocacy, social action, or public policy work. The new CRA policy is an improvement over the previous one in several ways, but it is very detailed and some grey areas remain. This brief article explains the key points of the CRA policy on political activities, suggests some practical measures that funders can take, and offers a funder's perspective on this issue.

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