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April 23, 2021
Evidence, Policy and Practice: Charities and Disbursements

The 2021 federal Budget made disappointingly few regulatory announcements affecting charities, although it did commit to important new spending that will support many of the charities and beneficiaries who have been hard hit in the pandemic. There is no shortage of policy ideas and suggested law and regulation changes for the charitable sector. We have […]

April 12, 2021
Today’s Crisis, Tomorrow’s Challenges

This has been an extraordinarily hard year for communities; the urgency of present needs has intensified the pressure on philanthropy to provide more resources, more flexibly, to more diversified recipients. It is certainly true that endowed foundations can act as counter-cyclical sources of funds to ease the strain on struggling organizations and charities. And a very […]

March 24, 2021
Reimagining the Post Pandemic World

A year ago, towards the end of April 2020, Philanthropic Foundations Canada hosted a conversation about Canadian philanthropy and its commitment to a world in the throes of a growing pandemic. In that conversation, the participants were forward-looking. Even though we were being pressed by fear to hunker down, to think locally, we wanted to look […]

March 14, 2021
Philanthropy and the Pandemic Year: Past and Future

This past week was the first anniversary of the global pandemic and the end of a remarkable twelve months that we have experienced together. As with other anniversaries, this one prompts a reflection on what happened, how we reacted and what is to come. This is my contribution, reflecting in particular on how Canadian philanthropy […]

February 28, 2021
Next Philanthropy: Taking the Long View

Many years ago, I read a mind-expanding book called The Art of the Long View, by Peter Schwartz, an American futurist. It’s a book about telling stories – about the future, or as many futures as you can imagine. Written as a tool for strategic planners using the techniques of scenario planning, it also makes a […]

February 15, 2021
Learning, Plumbing and Imagination

What do learning, plumbing and imagination have to do with each other? They’re all connected to philanthropy’s response to the pandemic and after. As we wait through this seemingly interminable time to the end of the pandemic, we can reflect on what we have learned (and are still learning). What are foundations and funders of various […]

January 25, 2021
The New Agenda Part Three: A Home in Government

Twenty years ago, in 2001, the federal government and the social good (then known as the voluntary) sector together negotiated and signed an Accord that set out the values, principles and commitments necessary for a stronger relationship. The objective of formalizing the relationship was to facilitate greater mutual understanding. To quote, the Accord “focuses on what unites […]

January 6, 2021
The New Agenda – Part Two

The nonprofit sector in Canada went through a difficult year in 2020, as noted in Part One of this blog. What about 2021? We don’t want to recreate the past, just in a better version. If that’s true, if we want to innovate for a very challenging next decade, what’s our new agenda?   The answer […]

January 2, 2021
The “Old” Normal and the “New” Agenda

At the turn of this pandemic year 2020, we are once again in a place of semi-lockdown, asked to stay home and away from others, unable to meet in person, wary of human contact. Being in this place forces us to stand back, to reflect and to try to understand both what has happened yesterday […]

November 30, 2020
Capability and Responsibility: Philanthropy as Relationship

I’m still thinking about some of the deep conversations that are going on in philanthropy today around “shifting” power. To me the word “shift” assumes a transfer of something from A to B. As I wrote in my last blog on this topic, I don’t see power as fixed, to be had only by one […]

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