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Federal budget makes strides to support charities and nonprofits

Imagine Canada
·3 min read

Budget provides essential aid, but additional efforts are still needed to help Canada’s social good sector strengthen communities

Toronto, April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today’s federal budget provides a series of measures to support the nation’s charities, nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. The continuation of emergency funding including the wage and rent subsidies as well as a number of targeted measures intended to support charities and nonprofits provide much needed investment to support communities.

While charitable and nonprofit organizations were cited as partners in recovery, there were notable areas omitted from the budget, such as the creation of a federal department or ministry for the social good sector. Programs to incentivize donations were also excluded.

The pandemic has dealt a catastrophic blow to the capacity of tens of thousands of organizations essential to the functioning of communities across the country. Over half of charities are reporting a decline in revenues with the average shortfall for those organizations being 43 per cent. An equitable and inclusive recovery will require the government and the nonprofit sector to work together strategically.

The announcement of a Community Services Recovery Fund in the form of $400 million is a welcome acknowledgement of the core operating support needs of charities and nonprofits. Work will continue to ensure that areas of the sector hardest hit by the pandemic are able to access this program.

The extension of wage and rent supports will play a critical role in protecting jobs in 2021. Canada’s 170,000 charities and nonprofits directly employ more than 2.5 million people of which nearly 80 per cent are women.

Imagine Canada welcomes the creation of the $200 million Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund and the new $100 million investment in the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative. These initiatives are important steps toward creating a more equitable nonprofit sector and reflect the important findings of the recent report Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy.

The Government made steps toward advancing Canada’s emerging social finance market by extending the Investment Readiness program by another two years with a commitment of $50 million. This program will help develop the viability of social enterprises.

The social good sector is pleased with the Government’s commitment to study the regulations governing annual disbursements to charities and nonprofits by private and community foundations.

“The supports provided in today’s budget will contribute to sustaining the nonprofit and charitable sector until event-based fundraising and sales of goods and services can fully restart,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada. “Revenue streams for the charitable and nonprofit sector will take longer to ramp up once the economy recovers so these supports are essential to meet the rising demand for services.”

MacDonald added: “With this budget, the Government has directly linked the wellbeing of communities with the health of nonprofits and charities at a time when the crisis has left so many vulnerable.”

Support for the sector offers tremendous returns in social and economic value. Canada’s charities and nonprofits, for example, are among a select few organizations with the capacity to help fashion a truly equitable economic rebuild in every community and region when the pandemic recedes.

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Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities. Our three broad goals are to amplify the sector’s collective voice, create opportunities to connect and learn from each other, and build the sector’s capacity to succeed.

CONTACT: Leslie Booth Xposure PR (416) 427-1588 leslie@xposurepr.com Émilie Pontbriand Imagine Canada (416) 597-2293 x 319 epontbriand@imaginecanada.ca