Abridged Version: Imagine Canada Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code

Donor policies and public representations

  • The charity will issue receipts per Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations and will, in writing, acknowledge non-receiptable gifts per Board policy.
  • All fundraising solicitations (printed or online) shall disclose the charity’s name and purpose for which funds are requested.
  • Upon request, the charity shall provide:
    • Annual Report and financial statements
    • CRA registration number
    • Public portion of the CRA T3010A information return
    • Investment policy
    • Names of members of governing board of directors
    • A copy of this Ethical Code.
  • The charity or those fundraising on its behalf will disclose, upon request, whether an individual or entity soliciting contributions is a volunteer, an employee or a contracted third party.
  • Donors will be encouraged to seek independent advice if the gift is a Planned Gift or might significantly affect the donor’s financial position, taxable income, or relationship with family members.
  • The charity will honour donors' requests to remain anonymous
  • The privacy of donors will be respected and records will be kept confidential. Donors have the right to see their own donor record.
  • A donor’s request to be excluded from a fundraising list will be honoured.
  • Charities will treat donors with respect. Requests to limit or discontinue solicitations will be honoured.
  • Recognition mechanisms created due to a gift will not be arbitrarily changed or withdrawn.
  • The charity will respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor about any matter that is addressed in this Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.

Fundraising Practices

  • Fundraising solicitations will be truthful and accurately describe intended use of funds.
  • The charity will not make claims that cannot be upheld, make misleading representations, nor exploit or be insensitive to beneficiaries.
  • Charities will comply with the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce.
  • When making face-to-face solicitations, the solicitor will provide verification of their affiliation with the charity and will secure and safeguard any confidential information.
  • Volunteers, employees and third party consultants/solicitors who solicit or receive funds on behalf of the charity shall:
    • adhere to the provisions of this Code
    • act with fairness and integrity
    • adhere to the provisions of applicable professional codes of ethics and standards of practice
    • cease solicitation of a donor at the donor’s request
    • disclose any conflicts of interest or loyalty to the charity
    • not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the charity’s objects or mission
  • The charity will provide, upon request, its best available information on revenues, costs and proceeds of any fundraising activity.
  • Paid staff or consultants will not be paid commissions based on the value of funds raised.
  • When undertaking cause-related marketing, charities should disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services.
  • The charity shall not sell its donor list. If lists are rented, exchanged or shared, the lists will exclude the names of donors who have so requested.
  • The charity’s board of directors will be informed at least annually of key data summarizing complaints received about matters addressed in this Code.

Financial practice and transparency

  • The charity's financial affairs will be conducted in a responsible manner.
  • All donations will be used to support the charity's objects, as registered with CRA.
  • All restricted or designated donations will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  • Charities should produce annual financial reports that are factual and accurate and disclose information that is useful to the donor.
  • The cost-effectiveness of fundraising programs will be reviewed regularly and no more than necessary will be spent on administration and fundraising.
  • The charity will, upon request, disclose the revenue and expense assumptions for its fundraising activity as approved by its Board in its annual budget.
  • Financial statements will be audited by an independent public accountant.
  • The charity shall have an investment policy.
  • The charity shall have a Gift Acceptance Policy for the receipt of gifts-in-kind.


If you have any questions about our adherence to the Ethical Code, please feel free to email Kate Chidester, VP, Health and Research. Click on the following for more information:

For further information regarding the Imagine Canada Ethical Code or for a full version of the Code please visit www.imaginecanada.ca