After the Election, the Real Work Begins

It’s important for nonprofits to recognize that advocacy efforts need to start well before the advent of an election campaign – and continue afterwards as well. After all, policy advocacy is a journey, not a destination. If a specific policy proposal finds its way into a political party’s election platform, it’s often the result of a lot of hard work in the months, and even years, prior to an election. Here are five critically important ways for nonprofits to follow up after the election.

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Top Ten Nonprofit Policy Stories of 2018

Happy New Year! With 2019 upon us, we are happy to share CCVO’s top ten list of policy stories for the nonprofit sector. 2018 was a year that saw many policy developments at the federal level with wide-ranging implications for the nonprofit sector. This list, in no particular order, briefly highlights those developments as well as stories from the provincial and municipal levels.

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Tips for Engaging with the Media

If your nonprofit is looking to increase its reach and awareness for your policy asks, you’ll want to consider engaging with media as part of your overall strategy. To help you effectively engage, we asked our trusted contacts in media for their best tips and now we are sharing them with you to help you get started and feel more confident in reaching out to media.  

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Advocacy is a Journey, Not a Destination

Consider this: advocacy is a journey, not a destination. An election period may be a great time to reinforce policy advocacy for nonprofits, but advocacy is a long-term commitment that requires persistence and dedication to work towards your desired outcome throughout election cycles. Here are some tips to keep you on track and motivated throughout your advocacy journey. 

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Developing an Engagement Strategy

If your nonprofit has spent time determining a policy agenda, it’s time to develop an action plan. The development and implementation of an engagement strategy is often when the work becomes publicly visible. Choosing to make your policy priorities visible is a significant step for your nonprofit and should be approached in a coordinated and strategic manner.

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Premier's Roundtable for Nonprofits

Last week, Alexa Briggs, CCVO Manager, Policy & Research, was among 25 leaders in the nonprofit sector in Calgary who had the opportunity to meet with Premier Rachel Notley, the Clerk of the Executive Council, Marcia Nelsom, and senior staff from the Government of Alberta. Attendees were asked to reflect on trends in the sector, as well as the relationship with the government.

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Setting a Policy Agenda

There are no step-by-step rules or established set of parameters that nonprofits can follow to ensure success when seeking public policy change. What we can do, though, is develop a policy agenda - a set of issues or problems aimed at gaining the attention of policymakers and decision-makers - sometimes known as the “policy ask”.

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The Common Good Retirement Plan

Last month, CCVO co-hosted a roundtable for nonprofits to learn about the proposed Common Good Retirement Plan for Canada’s nonprofit and charitable sector. The roundtable brought together an engaged group of nonprofit representatives who provided feedback and posed pertinent questions regarding the proposed retirement plan. The plan is meant to address the retirement saving needs of nonprofits of any size and sub-sector interested in enhancing retirement security for their employees.

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The Newtonian Shift: Takeaways and Reflections

The Newtonian Shift from Energy Futures Lab is a simulation that lets players experience decades of energy transition in one day; from fossil fuel-dependent to renewable energy-driven. Participants from various organizations and sectors gathered together for an intensive day of roleplaying to challenge the public narrative about energy. Through this simulation, they developed a broader understanding of emerging energy sources and the need to transition to a low-carbon energy system.

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Rules of Engagement for Nonprofit Advocacy

Before engaging in public policy advocacy, nonprofits should make sure they understand the rules and regulations around what they can and cannot do, so that they can engage with clarity and confidence. Knowing the rules can empower your nonprofit to lead and provoke important discussions about issues, raising much-needed awareness for these issues with politicians, decision-makers, and the public.

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CCVO Responds to CRA’s Proposed Guidance Documents on Charities and Public Policy Advocacy

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has shared proposed guidance documents that will help charities interpret the legislation related to public policy advocacy. This follows the recent proposed Income Tax Act (ITA) amendments by the Department of Finance. CCVO sees the proposed ITA amendments and accompanying guidance documents as good overall progress towards better supporting charities.

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Why Advocacy Matters: The Crucial Role that Nonprofits Play

The nonprofit sector contributes significantly to society, the economy, and democratic participation – as such, the potential political influence of the sector should not be underestimated. Engaging in advocacy is an opportunity for nonprofits to share their priorities with the public, represent communities, advance policies, and promote funding of meaningful objectives.

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