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Canada First Country to Permanently Recognize November 15th as National Philanthropy Day

New Bill Underscores Canada's Vibrant Tradition of Giving and Volunteering

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- Parliament has approved a new bill that will make Canada the first country in the world to honour the work of charities, donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations by permanently recognizing November 15th as National Philanthropy Day.

National Philanthropy Day ("NPD") is celebrated around the world on November 15th as a day to recognize the work of charities and remember the extraordinary achievements that philanthropy-giving, volunteering and social engagement-has made in all aspects of life. Communities across Canada celebrate NPD with events honouring outstanding individuals and organizations that have made an impact in their communities, their country and the world.

Bill S-201, sponsored by Senator Terry Mercer, received its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Monday, November 5th. Royal assent is expected in the coming weeks.

"With the passage of this bill, Canada has taken a leadership role in global philanthropy," says Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which is the primary sponsor of NPD. "This recognition of NPD underscores just how important giving, volunteering and engagement are to Canada, and we hope this moment will encourage more Canadians to get involved. We are grateful for the work of Senator Mercer, who has led the charge on NPD recognition for several years-this is only happening because of his dedication and leadership."

Canada is the first country to permanently recognize National Philanthropy Day since its creation in 1986. In 2009, the Minister of Canadian Heritage declared November 15th as National Philanthropy Day. Bill S-201 makes that proclamation permanent.

"I'm humbled that so many members of Parliament rallied around this bill and the cause of philanthropy and charity," said Senator Mercer. "I'd like to thank my good colleague, Geoff Regan, for championing the bill on the House side. His work in pushing the issue was invaluable. I also want to thank members of the Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage and Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I hope this bill will spur more Canadians to see how easy and important it is to give and volunteer, and how fulfilling and inspiring it can be to help our neighbours."

This year, Canadians can obtain more information about NPD, get wise giving tips, read about outstanding philanthropists from across the country, and learn how to get involved through the official NPD website: www.npdcanada.org. On November 15th, people can tweet what they're doing to change the world in an online contest presented by AFP with support from TELUS. The five most inspiring, innovative and creative tweets sent to #npdTELUS will earn the senders a $500 contribution to the charity of their choice.

About AFP

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change-helping nonprofits and charities and supporting fundraising efforts that have generated more than $1 trillion. AFP advances effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world's largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP's nearly 30,000 members raise more than $100 billion annually, equivalent to more than one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world. AFP represents more than 3,000 members in 16 chapters across Canada. For more information, go to www.afpnet.org.

Contacts:
Primary Contact:
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
Michael Nilsen
Vice President, Public Affairs
(425) 241-4675
www.afpnet.org

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