May 5, 2020
Spend Now or Spend Later: A False Choice?

I participated this week in an important discussion facilitated by Tides Canada and Future of Good on the need for foundation philanthropy in Canada to step up its giving in response to the COVID emergency. The spark for this discussion was a call to action by Give5, a new movement dedicated to encouraging foundations to give […]

April 24, 2020
Past, Present and Future

I am the granddaughter of a historian and I grew up in a family that valued history for what it can tell us about our present and possibly our future. So, I am intrigued by what history might have to say about our responses to the current pandemic. More specifically, I am interested in what […]

April 10, 2020
Philanthropy’s Lessons from the Pandemic

I am learning some unexpected things as I look for news about the effects of the pandemic and lockdown. The bad news is all too easily found through print and other media. Watching CNN is a frightening experience right now.  But I am also finding much good news, especially through social media. Imagine this lockdown five or […]

March 29, 2020
Crisis and Opportunity for Canadian Funders (part 2)

The COVID-19 emergency has faced private funders with an enormous opportunity for change. A week ago,  I wrote about how groups of private funders are coming together to create and commit to pledges for a more responsive relationship with their grantees and communities. Four funder associations in Canada have now come up with a strong collective […]

March 22, 2020
Crisis and Opportunity for Canadian Funders (part 1)

Does the COVID 19 pandemic offer an opportunity for change in Canadian philanthropy? And if so, what and how? It’s much too soon to tell, probably. But it’s interesting to note the observations made in the last week by U.S foundations  that this is the time for radical response.  It’s not too soon to say that the […]

March 17, 2020
Philanthropy In the Pandemic: What Must Be Done?

“The path forward is to realize that we do have power, even in the face of something that makes us feel incredibly small, and that it lies where it always has—in remembering that we are in this thing together and in finding ways to embrace our collective responsibility and accountability to each other.” – Grant […]

February 25, 2020
Can Philanthropy Get REAL?

I was intrigued by a recent Twitter thread from Rhodri Davies, Head of Policy at Charities Aid Foundation(CAF) in the United Kingdom and leader of CAF’s think tank, Giving Thought.  Rhodri is a thoughtful and experienced observer of philanthropy and the big questions that foundations face as social actors. In his thread, @Rhodri_H_Davies notes that […]

February 10, 2020
Reflections on Moving from Generosity to Justice

Philanthropy is always about generosity. But should it and must it also be about justice? This is the question asked by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, in his book From Generosity To Justice (2019). Walker was inspired to write this thoughtful book (and create an online forum) by his reflections on Andrew Carnegie’s […]

January 22, 2020
Does Philanthropy Work?

This month the BBC hosted a thoughtful panel conversation on the topic Does Philanthropy Work? The question posed to the panel was “Should the rich give more of their money to the state instead of to charitable foundations?” This is a perennial question. Is it more effective, more democratic, more equitable, to tax the wealthy and redistribute […]