If your charity is considering conducting political activities here are some basic questions you might want to ask:

  1. What are the charity’s legal “objects” – not mission or vision etc. – charities are only supposed to deal with political activities that are related to their objects.  If necessary, you should consider changing your objects.
  2. Does your charity do political activities?
  3. Do your stakeholders support political activities?
  4. Do you need to bring onto your board people who understand political activities? Do you need to conduct board education on the rules for political activities?  Do you need to spend more time understanding the political process, issues, and advocacy skills?
  5. As a charity’s greatest asset is often reputation, does the charity have a policy which defines when it will be involved in political activities and what process will be used to decide?
  6. Are sufficient resources allocated for political activities?  Your registered charity can generally spend up to 10% of resources on non-partisan political activities that are connected with your objects in Canada or outside of Canada.  Some smaller charities can even spend up to 20% on political activities.  You can also average the resources over 3 years.
  7. What % of expenses is political?  Is it even close to 10%?
  8. Does the charity want to do more political activities?  Have you considered various structures that could allow you to do more political activities?
  9. Are political activities reported on T3010 correctly?
  10. If required, have you complied with Federal, provincial or municipal lobbying requirement?
  11. Have you reviewed previous T3010 filings, especially relating to political activities?
  12. Are you in control of your social media? It is the quickest way to make mistakes.