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COVID-19 Advocacy Hub

Budget 2021: Important investments but more to be done

The new federal budget made important strides for charities and nonprofits but remained mute on some sector priorities. 


Pre-Budget 2022 Toolkit
Featured Resource

Pre-budget consultation toolkit 2022

What does your organization and your community want to see in Budget 2022?

The Ongoing COVID-19 Experience of Canadian Charities

Nearly a year into the pandemic, how is the sector faring? This new resource, informed by our most recent COVID-19 Sector Monitor research, analyses the continued impact of the crisis on charities. While organizations are adapting and demonstrating resilience, they are facing a myriad of significant challenges. We’re urging the government, philanthropy, sector leaders and corporations to take action.

Relief measures for the sector

The sector has been advocating for relief measures to help charities and nonprofits weather COVID-19, and we're starting to see results. We've created a summary of Federal Government COVID-19 programs that apply to the sector, and will regularly update it as more programs are announced.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. It is intended to help employers keep employees on the payroll and encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off by providing eligible employers with a wage subsidy.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) is a new program that will provide businesses, charities, and nonprofits with a subsidy that could cover up to 90% of eligible fixed property expenses, including rent and interest on commercial mortgages. 


Federal charity regulations
Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector

The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector is a consultative forum for promoting meaningful dialogue between the charitable sector and the Government of Canada. In their first two reports, the 14 sector members of the committee recommend key changes to the sector's regulatory environment.

Nonprofit sector recovery collective
An agenda for an equitable recovery

In response to the major challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, a group of organizations have come together to put forward recommendations to strengthen the nonprofit sector through the recovery. With a focus on ensuring an equitable recovery, the agenda aims to raise the profile of nonprofit policy issues among Parliamentarians and remind them that our organizations are doing critical work on the issues they care about in their ridings. 

Federal charity regulations
Our position on an increase to the disbursement quota

This winter, calls have mounted for the Minister of Finance to increase the ‘disbursement quota’, the federally mandated amount that a registered charity must disburse annually. In this statement, we discuss our position on this issue and provide a few other policy updates.

Budget 2021
Pre-budget consultations brief

As part of the latest pre-budget consultations launched by Federal Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, we submitted a brief to highlight our recommendations for the charitable and nonprofit sector. 

Key insights from charities and nonprofits convening on federal COVID-19 support measures

In the last few months, Imagine Canada hosted 2 convenings with 30+ charitable and nonprofit organizations to discuss how federal COVID-19 supports – mainly the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) – could be improved, and what resources and initiatives would help more organizations access much-needed relief. Here is what attendees told us. 

Our vision for a People-Centered Economy

Imagine Canada is proud to have collaborated with others to recommend federal policy measures we feel can accelerate the recovery towards a more inclusive, green and prosperous future.

Resetting Normal: Report 1: Funding A Thriving Women’s Sector

Resetting Normal is a series of reports on gender equality and the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. The series explores risks to human rights exposed by the pandemic and proposes new ways to build a gender-equal Canada in pandemic recovery efforts. The first in the series focuses on how long-term underfunding has left the women’s sector without adequate resources to carry out its important work. The Report was co-authored by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Ontario Nonprofit Network, The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Kathleen Lahey, with contributions from Imagine Canada.

Policy Priorities

Charities and nonprofits have no federal entity responsible for the sector’s wellbeing or addressing systemic issues that impact it, despite being one of the three pillars of the Canadian economy.

Government partners with community organizations to deliver crucial programs, but the way it funds these initiatives is burdensome, inefficient, and fails to cover the full cost of service delivery.

Rules aimed at protecting public and charitable funds make it difficult for charities to partner with non-charities, resulting in equity-seeking communities having less access to these funds. 

A lack of economic, organizational and employment data on the nonprofit sector means that public policy, funding and organizational decision making is done without basic information.

Your story is powerful

Stories of how COVID-19 is affecting your organization help demonstrate, to the public and government, the breadth and diversity of the challenges our sector faces. Together, we can make advocacy efforts more powerful to get the help that our sector is in dire need of. 

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