• The Connections Between Us: Learning to Leverage the Power of a Network Approach

    The network structure provides flexibility, responsiveness, transparency, openness, and inclusiveness. A network approach also helps identify common cause, while distributing power and resources to involve many people in building solutions. It allows people to find one another through trusted connections so they can work together in reciprocal ways… Thus, networks have become useful in developing public policy approaches.

  • It’s past time to improve our charity laws

    Government policy‑making is heavily influenced by for‑profit corporate interests. Companies are free to do anything, as long as their political activities are aimed at increasing profit, and they get to deduct their political advertising and lobbying expenses from their taxable income. Charities, on the other hand, are restricted to using less than 10 per cent of their resources on political activities. This constrains the ability of charities to advocate publicly for policy and legal reform that benefit the public interest.

  • Charities must innovate to attract a new generation of donors

    Canadians annually give more than $14-billion to charities and non-profit organizations. But our strong culture of giving, so essential to our quality of life, is increasingly at risk… Donations are dropping across all age categories and donors aged 50 and over account for 74 per cent of donations… the annual average donation by new citizens is $672, compared to $509 for native-born Canadians… Over the past 30 years, women have steadily gained ground as a percentage of donors. The only factor holding women back is income disparity.

  • New CAMH centre focuses on treating adults with ‘childhood conditions’

    Indeed, some 45 per cent of adults with developmental disorders — which also include such things as Asperger’s and Fragile X syndromes — suffer from concurrent mental health problems like anxiety, depression and addiction, Lunsky says. Yet there’s been sparse research and even less training into how these associated conditions can best be diagnosed and treated in developmentally disabled adults

  • A donor is giving a record $100 million to CAMH — and doesn’t want to be named

    The donation… will support the recruitment and retention of top scientists and encourage them to take chances with their research. “In order to enable quantum leaps forward, this gift will also support high-risk, high-reward research,” the donor said. The donation is by far the largest ever given to a mental health centre in Canada and one of only a handful of that magnitude bestowed on any health organization in the country.

  • How social service agencies can help build a collaborative and caring economy

    … trusting and supportive community relationships are the unique assets that social service agencies have to build upon… [to] put people back at the centre of creating and directing their economy. Through our local efforts, we can re-empower community members as protagonists of their own destiny, and build people’s expectations and democratic capacities to actively construct more and more of their economic landscape in ways that enable them to flourish.

  • 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.