Cardus exists as an independent think tank located in the heart of Canada.
Initially founded in 1974 as the “Work Research Foundation,” Cardus emerged from a desire to translate the richness of the Christian faith tradition into the public square for the common good.
In the midst of COVID-19, Cardus has been pursuing ways in which the Canadian public and Government can together support the common good for the charitable/philanthropic sector.
They launched Canada Cares, “a grassroots initiative that is mobilizing Canadian charities and citizens from coast to coast to raise their voices on behalf of the Canadian charitable sector.”
We asked Cardus to tell us more, in their own words, below.
We don’t want Canada’s charities to simply survive COVID-19; we want them to thrive. The Canada Cares coalition believes the best way to ensure this thriving is to leverage the resources of government, business, and citizens with a donation matching fund. So, we're bringing together a vibrant group of charities from coast to coast along with Canadian citizens passionate about the charitable sector. Together, we’ll imagine how we might get through the challenge in front of us and build habits on the path to meeting our potential as a generous nation.
Times of crisis are when charities shine, responding nimbly to the unique needs of their immediate communities. From the homeless to refugees and from the environment to the provision of international aid, charitable organizations are the invisible safety net that is standing between many Canadians and unrecoverable economic precarity. The Canada Cares campaign is calling on the federal government to implement a 1:1 donation matching program to sustain the charitable sector across the country. A matching fund is a simple, easy to administer, and effective way to deliver targeted support to Canada’s charitable organizations by leveraging private, charitable giving. This will allow Canada’s charities to continue to deliver essential services and programs to those in need and help the most vulnerable Canadians continue to access the services and support they rely on.
The benefits of a matching fund would be both social and economic. From a social perspective, the fund would deliver much-needed support to struggling charities and the people they help. From an economic standpoint, the costs from charities shutting down are substantial. Ensuring that charitable organizations are able to provide services directly to Canadians will save the government far more than the cost of this initiative. Ultimately, ensuring the continued capacity and vitality of the sector limits the government’s future fiscal exposure, and leverages the strength of communities across the country. Finally, a matching fund will act as a catalyst to encourage private donations to return to pre-COVID levels and get local charities and Canadians to work together to restart and rebuild.
So how does it work? If you are a charity or not-for-profit organization, we invite you to add your voice to our campaign. Together, let's remind the government of Canada that one of the most extraordinary realities of what it means to be Canadian is our vibrant charitable sector that models what it means to care for and belong to one another.
If you are an ordinary Canadian, we also encourage you to add your voice to the campaign. Learn more at: https://www.canadacarescampaign.ca/. Together, let’s remind the Canadian government and one another that one of the most extraordinary realities of what it means to be Canadian is our commitment to accompany each other in times of prosperity and in times of difficulty as well.