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Public Policy

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Public policy and advocacy

A strong nonprofit sector helps communities thrive. Together with the sector, we advance federal public policy so that organizations are supported in achieving their missions. 


Participate in the 2025 pre-budget consultation process with the help of our new toolkit

Each year, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Department of Finance invite Canadians to participate in their pre-budget consultation processes. Our team has created a toolkit to help you understand the federal budget cycle, the pre-budget consultation process, and how to participate.

Federal Nonprofit Data Coalition celebrates first large-scale survey of sector by Statistics Canada in 20 years but warns that more is needed to address sector’s data deficit

On March 20, 2024, Statistics Canada released data on the nonprofit sector collected through a special module of the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions. This is the first time since the 2003 National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations (NSNVO) that Statistics Canada has conducted such a large-scale survey of the sector.

Policy priorities

Front burner

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.

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.

The nonprofit sector employs 2.5 million individuals and benefits from the contributions of 13 million volunteers. However, we're facing volunteer and employment challenges that jeopardize the sector's work. 


The federal government frequently relies on the sector to deliver crucial programs and services but its funding practices create inequities, inefficiencies and challenges for organizations as they work to deliver quality services to communities.

A more digitally enabled nonprofit and charitable sector will result in greater efficiency, communication and collaboration. To adequately serve the needs of society, the digital capacity of the sector must be enhanced.


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. 

Registered charities are required to spend a certain percentage of their assets on charitable programs or on grants to other charities annually. This quota mainly impacts foundations.


Many charities and nonprofits engage in business activities in support of their missions, also known as social enterprise activity. However, they face barriers in pursuing these activities that for-profits do not.

Previous priorities

Nonprofits played a crucial role during the COVID-19 crisis, but faced financial losses and increased demand. We advocated for support so they could continue to provide key programs and services.


Our networks

Collaboration, partnerships and networks

The charitable and nonprofit sector is incredibly vast and diverse, with a huge policy agenda to match. In order to represent the interests of the entire sector and advance solutions, we work in collaboration with a wide variety of partners and networks. This helps us create a bigger impact and to ensure that a wide range of diverse perspectives inform our public policy priorities and approaches. Below is a sample of some of the groups that collaborate with us: 

  • The Canadian Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks is a group of regional sector networks that comes together on a regular basis to discuss issues of shared interest.
  • The Equitable Recovery Collective formed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the nonprofit sector and the communities it serves. The Collective aims to advance an equitable recovery and a strong nonprofit sector. 
  • The Federal Nonprofit Data Coalition is a group with members from more than 40 organizations working together to improve federally collected and held data about the nonprofit sector.
  • The Canadian Centre for Nonprofit Digital Resilience is working towards a digitally-enabled nonprofit sector, where Canada’s nonprofits use data and tech to advance their mission and multiply their impact. 
  • The People-Centred Economy Group brings together community economic development, co-operative, social economy, and nonprofit representative bodies to advance inclusive economies and strong communities.
  • The Solidarity in the Social Economy Working Group works in solidarity to confront and mitigate apathy towards inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the social finance, social economy, co-operative and community economic development movements.
  • Report: Working Better Together. In 2021/22, Imagine Canada commissioned consultant Yves Savoie to investigate the potential of building a national policy network. 


Parliamentary committee studies and government consultations are a great way for nonprofits to get involved in policy and legislation, raise awareness about issues, and connect with MPs. 

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What happens in Ottawa impacts your organization, but it can be hard to keep up with it all. The free Early Alert newsletter makes it simple by delivering clear, timely updates on federal political news, tailored for nonprofit professionals.