The Charitable Sector’s Advisory Committee


The word “entrepreneur” is often associated with small businesses, but entrepreneurs also create, run, and maintain charitable organizations. These charities, also known as non-profit organizations, help meet vital needs locally and abroad. Running a charity is every bit as demanding as a small business – and can be even more so since these organizations are dedicated to service, not profits.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recognizes the impact of charities, and it has recently formed the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) so that these non-profit organizations have easier access to the regulatory supports they need.

Image credit: Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay 

“Our Government committed to allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, while modernizing the rules governing the sector,” explained The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, in a recent press release. “This permanent Advisory Committee is a direct response to this commitment. By engaging in an ongoing dialogue with experts from the charitable sector, we can shape the regulatory environment so it supports and helps sustain the important work charities do in the world of today.”

Who is on the ACSS?

Fourteen members with experience in the charitable sector, professional associations, research and academia, and legal matter are on the ACSS committee. Members are appointed by the CRA Commissioner or by the Minister of National Revenue. Currently, the members are:

  • Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada (sector co-chair)
  • Hilary Pearson, former President, Philanthropic Foundations Canada  (sector co-chair) 
  • Denise Byrnes, Executive Director, OXFAM-Québec 
  • Terrance S. Carter, Partner, Carters Professional Corporation
  • Peter Dinsdale, President & CEO, YMCA Canada 
  • Peter Elson, Co-lead, Canadian network of partnership-oriented research on philanthropy (PhiLab), and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Victoria
  • Bruce Lawson, President & CEO, The Counselling Foundation of Canada
  • Arlene MacDonald, Executive Director, Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia
  • Susan Manwaring, Partner, Miller Thomson, and Chair, Canadian Bar Association Charities and non-for-profit section 
  • Kevin McCort, President & CEO, Vancouver Foundation 
  • Andrea McManus, Chair and Founding Partner of ViTreo Group, former Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Board
  • Peter Robinson, former CEO, David Suzuki Foundation 
  • Paulette Senior, CEO & President, Canadian Women’s Foundation 
  • Paula Speevak, President & CEO, Volunteer Canada

How to Communicate with the ACCS

Anyone that works, volunteers, donates, runs, or has an interest in charity work can contact the ACCS with input, questions, or comments. The best way is to email the ACSS Secretariat at

CRA Compliance and Charities: AF Accounting Can Help

Whether you run a small business or a charity, one thing is constant – the need to remain compliant with CRA. However, this takes a lot of time and a good understanding of Canadian Tax Law.

AF Accounting is the trusted name in Canada for entrepreneurs that delegate their accounting and bookkeeping needs. Unlike large agencies that are geared towards big corporations, we have structured our services to appeal to smaller operations and startups. We can provide one-time services to help with bookkeeping or year end, full-time services to manage all of your accounting needs, specialized services for e-commerce sellers, and we can even show you how to simplify your bookkeeping online with Xero.

As an entrepreneur, you do a lot for your community. Partner with AF Accounting so you have more time to devote to the work you love. 

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