Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

Discussion Papers

Charities, Sustainable Funding and Smart Growth

Released: October 2016

Through a series of scenarios that project the state of the charitable and nonprofit sector in 2026, chief economist Brian Emmett identifies a looming social deficit.


  • The nature and evolution of the charitable and nonprofit sector
  • Why the charitable and nonprofit sector has grown so rapidly
  • Performance of the economy and how it has supported revenue growth of benefit to the sector
  • State of the sector in 2026 based on eight scenarios considering:
    • the status quo
    • demographic and social changes increase demand on sector services
    • slower economic growth
    • potential government policies to stimulate growth
    • negative consequences of economic growth
    • decline in individual household donations
    • effects of increased regulations on charity revenue sources
    • increasing demands on the sector and lower economic growth
  • How smart growth initiatives can mitigate a social deficit

Download the discussion paper (PDF)

Charities in Canada as an Economic Sector

Released: June 2015

The discussion paper, by Chief Economist Brian Emmett and co-author Geoffrey Emmett, invites Canadians, governments, businesses and communities to not only think of charities as purpose driven but also as an essential component driving Canada’s economy.


  • Role and scope of the charitable sector in the Canadian economy
  • The charitable sector as a small business sector
  • Productivity and innovation in the charitable sector
  • The charitable sector as a place to work
  • Revenue and funding sources for charitable organizations
  • Policy implications

Download the discussion paper (PDF)

Tax Incentives for Charitable Donations in Canada with a Focus on the Stretch Tax Credit for Charitable Giving

Released: March 2015

Brian Emmett, our Chief Economist, and Harvey Sims, the former Chief Economist, Privy Council Office for the Government of Canada and Ottawa-based consultant, co-authored a discussion paper about the tax incentives for charitable giving in Canada paying particular attention to the proposed Stretch Tax Credit.  

This paper gathers and interprets existing evidence about the impact of tax changes on donations and taxes using a simple economic approach. It also summarizes some of the other economic and policy-related implications of changes in tax-treatment of donations that are important for charities to consider.

Download the discussion paper (PDF)

Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

Learn more about our National Partners and other supporters.

Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001