Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

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Charities and nonprofits are an important part of the economy. The Chief Economist for Canada’s Charitable and Nonprofit Sector is responsible for measuring the impact of the sector and bringing its economic issues forward to public policy decision?makers.

The sector is important in terms of its contribution to economic activity and jobs. In Canada, more than 170,000 organizations work in areas ranging from healthcare to sports, the arts, social services, education, international development and the environment. The charitable and nonprofit sector represents 8.1% of Canada’s GDP and 10.5% of the labour force.

Discussion Paper

Beyond Synergy: Charities Building the Future Canadians Want

Released: February 2018

As a follow up to his Charities, Sustainable Funding and Smart Growth discussion paper , Chief Economist Brian Emmett presents a strategic architecture for government and the charitable and nonprofit sector to address the looming social deficit in Canada. The missions of charities align with building the future Canadians want – one that is equitable, inclusive, and environmentally responsible – but without attention to the economic contributions of charities and regulatory reform of out-dated rules and regulations, the innovation necessary to fulfill this promise will be greatly impeded.


  • The “need driven” growth of charities by demographic, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors
  • Economic growth that has not been equitable, inclusive, or environmentally responsible
  • The measurement of GDP and the broader Index of Economic Well-being in relation to quality of life
  • Policy implications and the relationship between the economy and charities
    • Moving from a synergistic to intentional relationship
    • A balanced approach to economic progress
  • A strategic architecture outlining goals, activities, and the resolution of specific issues
    • A new operating environment for charities and government
    • Enabling policies
    • Financial sustainability

ทดลองเล่นเกมยิงปลาDownload the discussion paper (PDF)

In February 2013, Brian Emmett joined Imagine Canada in the unique role of the Chief Economist for Canada’s Charitable and Nonprofit Sector. Read more.

The office of the Chief Economist for Canada’s Charitable and Nonprofit Sector is made possible through funding received by the Bank of Montreal, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, The Muttart Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

Learn more about our National Partners and other?supporters.

Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001