• Ottawa should finish the job on advocacy work by charities

    … giving charities a wider scope to speak out on public issues would bring with it a host of benefits. It would encourage experts associated with those groups to add their expertise to public debates. It would enlarge the pool of people participating in those debates, since charities often serve as a way for those without a strong voice to speak up. It would provide more opportunities for people interested in policy debates, but leery of traditional political parties, to get involved. Finally, it would help to tip the balance in debates in favour of those with the public interest in mind.

  • I’m begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks

    … if you feel your coworkers or students need something spherical and tactile in order to fire their benevolent instincts, then by all means hold a food drive, and remind people to stick to the always-needed staples like peanut butter and canned fish. But if you’re a pragmatist just looking to vanquish as much poverty as possible with your disposable income… key in your credit card number and enter the glorious world of anonymous, non-glamourous philanthropy.

  • Unpacking the Social Innovation Strategies of Canadian Foundations

    the social innovation behaviours of foundations can offer insight into what actors that seek to do social innovation need, and what actors that seek to fund social innovation consider. We interviewed 38 staff and board members from 18 Canadian philanthropic foundations operating in all regions of Canada… to understand what foundations mean when they use the term social innovation and how, if at all, they are acting to promote it.

  • Historic $100-million gift will help to treat heart disease

    The Munks, who are helping to make Toronto a global centre of innovative heart health care, are to be thanked. Their donation will help to fund work that could prevent the deaths of the 30,000 Canadians killed by heart disease each year, not to mention prevent attacks in the 90 per cent of Canadians with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

  • The Personal Philanthropy Project: Research… (Part 1)

    … many affluent Canadians do not plan or budget for their giving, and most do not have a sense of appropriate giving amounts. With that in mind, and armed with these research findings, there seems to be a tremendous opportunity to establish some type of guideline or informational framework rooted in a new social norm for giving, at least for this cohort of higher-earning Canadians.

  • Once Upon A City: Poor house helped Toronto’s destitute

    The House of Industry provided both temporary and permanent accommodations. Residents were often required to do chores in return for help… Abandoned children and orphans were often placed as indentured servants in homes and farms around Toronto, where they were given room and board (and perhaps wages) in return for their work. A farm’s survival relied heavily on the work of children back then… By 1947, the House of Industry’s clients were primarily the elderly poor

  • Resistance to Innovation in the Social Sector, from 1992 to 2017

    … the sector is not so much facing crisis as it is emerging from hiding. Taking risks, innovating, and affecting systems change, are as elusive as ever… It is thus understandably difficult and rare to sustain a long-term campaign of change amidst shifting sands, political priorities, and turnover… The commitment to scaling and sustaining innovative programs requires boldness, vision, and a willingness to take risks based on short pilots.

  • Province must bridge gap between affluent and needy schools

    One of the biggest barriers to equity, the group found, is fundraising. As the study points out, schools from richer neighbourhoods have a huge advantage with some able to raise up to $200,000 a year while others in poorer neighbourhoods couldn’t raise anything… Forty-eight per cent of elementary schools reported fundraising for learning resources such as computers, art supplies or other products or upgrades that clearly tilt the educational playing field.

  • Canada’s charitable sector is more diverse than (some) rating agencies think

    While rigorous accreditation processes… and charity rating agencies… are not exactly the same, the sentiment is similar – people looking for some form of assessment about the impact of organizations. The challenge is that some of the criteria and metrics used by charity rating agencies in Canada are not effective, and are in fact misleading.

  • A welcome end to charity audits

    The announcement came last week in response to a panel report that recommended the audits, initiated by the Harper government, be suspended immediately. That will give the government time to make recommended administrative and legislative changes aimed at giving charities more freedom to speak out on public policy.