OTF is responsible for managing public funds by distributing these funds in the form of grants to charities and not-for-profit organizations for initiatives that benefit the communities these organizations serve. Organizations or activities that promote a biased viewpoint or advocate a political position on issues of public concern are beyond the funding mandate of OTF.
This policy identifies the advocacy and political activity restrictions for OTF grantees.
Consistent with its mandate of providing grants to charitable and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario, OTF will not fund:
- Any organization whose major activities and/or major resources are used to directly influence the position of political parties or to bring about change in law or government policy, through lobbying of government or political activity
- Any program or project with an established political purpose including:
- support of, or opposition to, a particular party or candidate for office
- promotion of a political or socio-economic ideology
- intending to bring about or oppose a change in law or governmental policy through court action, lobby of government, or political activity unless it furthers the non-political aims of the organizations and is ancillary to its usual non-political activities.
- Any program that unreasonably advocates for one side of a public or political debate between one or more organizations, and federal, provincial or municipal governments.
- OTF relies on the definitions set by the Canada Revenue Agency when applying this policy.
Advocacy: Advocacy is demonstrated support for a cause or particular point of view. Advocacy is not necessarily a political activity, but it sometimes can be.
Political Activities: An activity is considered political if a grantee:
- explicitly communicates a call to political action (that is, encourages the public to contact an elected representative or public official and urges them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country);
- explicitly communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained (if the retention of the law, policy or decision is being reconsidered by a government), opposed, or changed; or
- explicitly indicates in its materials (whether internal or external) that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure on, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.
5.0 KEY WORDS
Advocacy; Government; Grantee; Lobby; Political
6.0 TARGET AUDIENCE(S)
Staff, Volunteers, Applicant Organizations, Grantees