Increase Charitable Credit as part of Stimulus Package

    HAMILTON, ON, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Cardus, a think tank dedicated to the
renewal of Canada's social architecture, is recommending that the federal
government increase charitable tax credits from 29% to 42% as part of its
stimulus package. "Adopting this proposal will be a sound investment in
Canada's social architecture," said Ray Pennings, Cardus' Director of
Research. "The charitable sector is critical to the rich fabric of Canadian
society, and provides taxpayers exceptional return on investment."
    Canada's 161,000 charities and not-for-profits (NFP) employ over 2.1
million Canadians and provide 8.6% of Canada's GDP. The services they provide
- many of them essential - impact the physical, social, and spiritual lives of
virtually every Canadian. Although approximately one third of the $112 billion
in the NFP sector is spent by hospitals, universities, and colleges, more than
half of the total funding in this sector comes from non-taxpayer sources. In
2006, more than 25% of Canadian taxpayers claimed charitable contributions
totalling $8.5 billion.
    "The not-for-profit sector is struggling in these difficult economic
times, even as their services are needed even more," said Pennings. The
proposal by Cardus argues that given charities' success in providing social
services, there are compelling arguments to be made for increasing the
charitable tax credit as an effective economic stimulus. Every dollar forgone
by the taxpayer is leveraged with more dollars spent in the economy by
charitable organizations. Though publicly available data is insufficient to
accurately project the cost of the proposal, Pennings estimates - based on
current donation levels - between $400 and $600 million.
    "This proposal provides incentive to ordinary taxpayers to support causes
which reflect their passions and priorities, and produces a diversity of
social institutions enriching the lives of Canadians," said Pennings. "This is
good economic policy, and this is good social policy. It provides short-term
economic stimulus and long-term benefits."

    Cardus is a North American public policy think tank, equipping change
agents with best theories and practices of public life to renew North American
social architecture. Cardus launched in October 2008 to expand on the work of
its precursor, the Work Research Foundation. It has an annual operating budget
of approximately $1 million and is a registered charity.

    The proposal and background paper are available at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Ray Pennings, (403) 479-4590,

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