The involvement of charities in political activities has been a major story since 2012. The 2012 Federal Budget introduced new reporting requirements for charities for 2013 but does not fundamentally affect the ability of charities to engage in political activities. Significant resources have been provided to the Charities Directorate to audit charities who conduct political activities. On Tuesday September 22, 2015 we will conduct a 1/2 day program from 9AM-12PM entitled Fundamentals of Political Activities by Canadian Registered Charities.  

Some argue that this has created a “chill” in the charity sector.  It is important that the voluntary sector is engaged in the political process. Fundraising for political activities is particularly difficult for charities but can be done successfully. 

Any registered charity considering conducting any political activities should be familiar with the rules under the Income Tax Act.  Registered charities can engage in allowable political activities as long as they are non-partisan, related to their legal objects, and limited resources are used, which generally means less than 10% of resources. 

Participants will learn more about what charities can and cannot do in the political realm and:                              

  • Importance of Political Activities for Canadian Charities
  • How many charities conduct political activities and who are they
  • Impediments to conducting political activities
  • Income Tax Act Rules for Political Activities and Registered Charities (CRA’s Guidance CPS-022) including:
  • Political purposes versus political activities
  • What are allowable “political activities”?
  • What are prohibited political activities?
  • What are seemingly political activities but viewed by CRA as charitable activities?
  • Why is allocation of political expenditures important?
  • How much can charities spend on political activities?
  • How do political activities affect the disbursement quota?
  • CRA’s important Guidance ”Upholding Human Rights and Charitable Registration”
  • Mistakes with transparency and political activities
  • How to deal with grantmaking and political activities?
  • When is it advantageous to have a separate non-profit do political activities?
  • How is fundraising for a non-profit that conducts political activities different from regular fundraising?
  • Some ethical considerations
  • When lobbyist registration is necessary at a Federal and Provincial level?
  • How have recent Federal budgets affected charities and political activities?
  • Other recent developments affecting political activities and its impact on charities
  • How to position your charity for political activities

Cost: $125.00 (includes snacks and coffee, materials, and registration fees).  REGISTER HERE

The program will be led by charity lawyer Mark Blumberg.  

Blumbergs’ Fundamentals of Political Activities by Canadian Registered Charities will be of interest to staff at non-profits and charities responsible for compliance issues especially program, finance and advocacy staff, professional advisors such as lawyers and accountants who advise charities and non-profits, and board members of Canadian charities. If you have questions please call Yana Yanovski at 416-361-1982 x238 or e-mail

Timing and content is subject to change.  There are a limited number of spaces available for this course. 

Tickets are fully refundable until September 1, 2015 but not thereafter. If you register and are unable to attend, you are welcome to substitute someone else from your organization at any time. Dates and locations may be subject to change should circumstances arise.  All efforts will be made to notify you as soon as possible in this event.