Political activities basic requirements

The Act only allows a registered charity to conduct political activities if it continues to devote substantially all of its resources to charitable purposes and charitable activities. The term resources is not defined in the Act, but is considered to include the total of a charity’s financial resources, capital assets, staff and volunteer time, and donated resources.

  • A charity’s political activities must always be:
    • non-partisan (never oppose or support any political party or candidate in any way)

    • connected (also called ancillary—helps further a charity’s charitable purposes)

    • subordinate (also called incidental—secondary to a charity’s charitable purposes)

  • An activity is presumed to be political if a charity:
    • explicitly communicates a call to political action (that is, encourages the public to contact an elected representative or public official and urges them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country)

    • explicitly communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained (if the retention of the law, policy, or decision is being reconsidered by a government), opposed, or changed

    • explicitly indicates in its materials (whether internal or external) that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure on, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country

    • makes a gift to another qualified donee to support political activities

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