How the CRA is Unleashing the Power of Big Money into the Charity Sector as it Plows Ahead on Deregulation

The Department of Finance Canada is about to lift regulations that allowed charities to spend only 10% of their revenue on political activities. “Some charities have argued that the rules on political activities are confusing, overly restrictive and hard to apply in practice while denying charities the ability to participate fully in public policy development,” a […]

Violence against women: A charity case?

My entry point into the charity sector came by way of working at a shelter for assaulted women and children—Interval House, the first shelter for abused women in North America— where I spent eight years at a counsellor. We didn’t call it charity work at the time. To tell the truth, the last thing we […]

Your 12-Step Guide to Addressing Charity Challenges

The Canadian Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector heard presentations this week. A lot was put forward, a significant amount of that having to do with fundraising, less so on how charities can have a more lasting impact. I don’t mind admitting that I wasn’t invited to appear and I confess to not knowing […]

The Role of Ultra-Wealthy Charities in the Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor

“To him that hath, more shall be given; and from him that hath not, the little that he hath shall be taken away.” (Percy Bysshe Shelley) I come bearing poetry. I come bearing facts. In this case the breaking news does require some imagination. The rich are getting richer. By a lot. In July the […]

The 5 Myths of Charities and Political Activities

The July 16, 2018 decision of the Ontario Superior Court in the case of Canada Without Poverty vs. the Attorney General of Canada ruled that charitable donations were a free speech issue and that limiting the amount of money a charity can spend on political activity curtails freedom of speech. Unfortunately, opening the door to unlimited […]

How an Ontario Superior Court Decision Has Remade the Charity Sector, Failed Vulnerable Canadians and Why Some People Are Cheering?

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a controversial 5 – 4 decision on the case of Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission. The decision stated that “political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from […]

Child Development Charities Urge U.S. Administration to Halt Child Separation at the Southern Border (Or Not)

The world is becoming horrified by the news and pictures coming out of the U.S. on the administration’s policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents at the U.S. southern border. Lines of tired people, children in tow, are stressed after a migration through two or three countries. Their hopes for a better life, a […]

Charities’ fading moral high ground

I On April 15th, I was part of a panel at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) international conference in New Orleans. Thirty-five hundred delegates—mostly fundraisers— attended the conference from around the world. The question to our panel was Are charities losing the moral high ground? On April 23rd, the Globe and Mail filled in […]

Ninety Thousand Words To Go

In the past four years I’ve fashioned scores of pieces for a regular blog, produced a daily churn of work-related writing, and written and had published two books, a novel and a work of non-fiction. I am a card-carrying writer. Now, I’ve just returned from St. John’s where I spent a week doing research for […]

Will Charities Face a Day of Reckoning?

I A story about widespread sexual misconduct broke in the U.K. last week. This time it involved Oxfam, one of the world’s most respected international aid charities. According to The Guardian, the Charities Commission, the U.K. government’s charity watch dog, has asked for “an urgent clarification from Oxfam after allegations that the charity covered up […]