The past year — a pandemic, a resulting economic recession, a global racial reckoning, and multiple climate disasters — has changed not only how social impact organizations do their work, but, perhaps just as importantly, how they fund it.
We believe this is only the beginning of a massive transformation in the world of funding and business models in community services and philanthropy. Building a resilient future for all will bring major shifts.
That’s why Future of Good is excited to announce, in partnership with United Way Centraide Canada and Community Foundations of Canada, a one-year editorial fellowship on transforming funding models.
Bronwyn Oatley (they/them) is joining Future of Good as our inaugural editorial fellow. They are a freelance journalist and Master of Journalism candidate at Ryerson University. Their work focuses on power relations, inequality and justice. They’ve published stories with The Star, The Nation and the National Observer. Prior to work in journalism, Bronwyn held roles with United Way Greater Toronto, the MaRS Discovery District and the Province of Ontario, supporting the growth of social enterprise and social finance ecosystems.
Outside of work, Bronwyn has volunteered with Resource Movement, an organization that mobilizes young people with class privilege to support social justice movements. And when they’re not writing, you can usually find them on a hiking trail, making mediocre bread or tucked into the corner of a bookstore reading about taxation.
Through research and reporting for this fellowship, Bronwyn will dive into questions like: What does the growing wealth gap mean for the future of philanthropy and funding? What problems does the mindset of donor primacy present for community services? How can philanthropic organizations shift the power imbalance between their boards and their communities? How (and why) might they make their boards more meaningfully representative of the communities they work with? Will there be a pendulum swing post-pandemic toward even more restricted funding, or has the pandemic loosened the reins for good?
These are only the questions we have now. Bronwyn will work each month to uncover the stories, trends, and elephant-in-the-room questions we haven’t even considered, which are shaping and reshaping funding and business models in Canada.
“In this moment of crisis and societal transition, we have an opportunity now to reshape philanthropy,” says Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, “by shifting power and placing equity at the centre of our business model. We look forward to working alongside Future of Good through this fellowship to help create the conditions for this conversation and the tangible action we need to take to transform the funding landscape as we work toward a more inclusive economy.”
United Way Centraide Canada’s president and CEO, Dan Clement agrees: “The pandemic did not create the inequities we see today, it simply brought them into unignorable focus. An equitable recovery requires us to question how existing funding models contribute to inequitable access to financial capital, and limit the capacity of communities to build resilient and sustainable futures. We are pleased to support this important fellowship and much needed discussion.”
In addition to the editorial fellowship, Future of Good will host our inaugural Transforming Funding Models summit on June 22 and 23 where about 500 social impact professionals will dive into business model adaptations, new funding approaches, and more.
And — you can reach Bronwyn Oatley with any ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.