Editorial Fellowship: Transforming Funding Models
About This Collection
Future of Good Editorial Fellow Gabe Oatley explores the ways social impact organizations are funded to do the work they do — and how those funding models are changing rapidly post-pandemic. From shifting philanthropy's power dynamics to the next generation of donors, we dive in. Supported by United Way Centraide Canada and Community Foundations of Canada.
Record 14.3 million volunteer hours recorded by Benevity clients in 2022
Non-profits, charities and social purpose organizations across Canada are grappling with volunteer shortages. Engaging new volunteers in the workplace could help reinforce a sector grappling with a shortage of human resources.
1 in 5 charities received a grant from a donor advised fund in 2021, and 7 other major findings from a new landscape report
Gifts from affluent donors comprise a growing share of the total donations flowing to Canadian charities; and an increasing share of these wealthy donors are choosing to give through donor advised funds. This sea change has implications for fundraisers.
Federal government taps Foundation for Black Communities to manage $200M Black-led philanthropic endowment fund
The Foundation for Black Communities will be responsible for managing a $200 million philanthropic endowment in support of Black communities in Canada over the next decade and beyond. How they choose to invest, steward, and distribute the fund will have significant impacts for Black-led philanthropy and Black communities in Canada.
Does an ‘extraordinary’ half-billion dollar donation offer new potential for affordable housing in Winnipeg?
The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, just announced they have been gifted one of Winnipeg’s largest apartment rental companies. How they choose to steward this asset could impact Winnipeg’s housing market in the coming years.
The shadow side of the rise of big hospital foundation gifts: donation disparities, roller-coaster giving and donor influence
If COVID taught us anything it’s this: we need our healthcare system. And yet, Ontario’s current funding policy for capital projects — rebuilding old ambulance bays, purchasing MRI machines, and building new wings — relies, in part, on philanthropy. Some experts say that this leaves the system vulnerable to health disparities.
Tentative ‘celebration’ after key amendments passed on non-qualified donees
For three weeks, charity and non-profit advocates have pushed MPs to pass amendments to legislation they say would make it harder for charities to fund non-qualified donees. Monday’s finance committee meeting was the moment to see whether their advocacy had paid off.
Inside the rapidly organized ‘Hill Day’ for a legislative amendment on non-qualified donees
As soon as this week, the government could pass legislation that, sector advocates say, would make it harder for charities and foundations to fund non-profits, grassroots groups and international charities — directly contravening a promise made in the federal budget.
Government of Canada proposes a ‘shocking and incomprehensible’ change on funding non-qualified donees
For years, charities, non-profits, foundations and grassroots groups have called for an easier way for charities to work with “non-qualified donees” — organizations without charitable status. That seemed on the horizon with the steady progress on a senate bill, until now.
A flipped power dynamic: Philanthropists must apply to a council of aunties to fund these Indigenous groups
Funders and grantmakers often wield considerable power over their fundees, determining what gets funded, when and how. The Right Relations Collaborative flips this power dynamic by putting Indigenous aunties in the driver’s seat. The model is firmly rooted in a local territory, but offers a new approach to grantmaking that could inspire a shift in funding relationships across the country.
$800,000 student-led impact investing fund adds new chapters in Ottawa and Victoria
Business degrees are the most sought-after post-secondary education in Canada. But if students graduate without learning about how business can be a force for good, Canada risks having a corporate class that only orients toward profit.
Canada is cracking down on the Freedom Convoy’s finances. Here’s why that may hurt social justice movements, too.
Indigenous land defenders and other social justice movements have been labeled "extremist" in the past for their work. Subjecting their fundraising methods to additional anti-terror restrictions could make it harder for them to raise funds publicly.
Federal advisory committee on the charitable sector lacks transparency and diversity, say some, leading to more “conservative” finding on DQ debate
The federal Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) has the ear of Diane Lebouthillier, the federal minister responsible for Canada’s charitable policy. Their findings on key policy decisions, like the disbursement quota, have the potential to shape federal policy for years to come.
A DQ hike isn’t enough — here are 7 other things that need to change for more money to flow to Black and Indigenous groups
Funding to groups led by and serving Black, Indigenous and people of colour receive miniscule amounts of Canadian philanthropic dollars. A disbursement quota hike would not automatically mean more funding for these organizations — who are serving some of the most pressing needs.
An under-the-hood look at Inspirit Foundation’s portfolio makeover: fired two investment managers, prioritized DEI
For most foundations, arguably their biggest lever for impact is their invested capital. Yet, few have moved beyond tinkering at the edges with ESG screens.
Pushed by students, universities lead on fossil fuel divestment. Who will push foundations?
Climate change is an existential threat and it’s powered by the burning of fossil fuels. Experts say that a wave of fossil fuel divestment proclamations amongst Canadian foundations could send a powerful signal to other investors, government and media, that fossil fuels are on the way out — and could also better align foundation’s investment dollars with their social missions.
Tired of “siloed” conversations, Justice Fund protest brings disbursement quota advocacy to the street
Grassroots groups and community-led organizations receive miniscule percentages of Canadian philanthropic dollars. Many in the philanthropic and charitable sectors want to change that — but the question of how remains.
Could there be a wave of charity mergers post-COVID?
Many charities are facing a COVID-19 drop in donations and an increase in service needs from their communities. While many feel able to survive the next six months, their long-term future is more uncertain, posing a risk for communities who rely on their services.
Thinking about using AI to fundraise? Here’s what you need to know — including the ethical questions.
40 percent of charities are still seeing decreased revenue since the start of the pandemic. In this context, fundraisers need all the help they can get. Artificial intelligence tools can help fundraisers to work smarter.
They won’t take your money: Why these charities are newly restricting donations from controversial corporations
Charities need money. But they also have strong values and a reputation to protect. In light of domestic and international charity scandals; and increasingly powerful movements for racial and social justice; some charities are turning away from donations from controversial corporations — whose money, the charities see, as not worth the moral sacrifice or the public relations risk.
Who stewards 10 of Canada’s biggest community foundations’ investments? Mostly white men in finance
Canadian foundations invest far more money each year than they grant out to charities. This means that their volunteer ‘investment committees’ — the group that oversees the foundation’s investment decisions — play a considerable role in the overall impact the foundation has. Some social impact leaders say that the “monocultural” nature of these committees is limiting their capacity to create systemic impact.
A short history of philanthropic perpetuity: tax havens, Catholic corruption and corporate control
The Canadian philanthropic sector is embroiled in a debate about the disbursement quota — the rate at which foundations have to give to charity. Some argue it’s fine where it is — at 3.5 percent. Others argue that this rate is “starving” non-profits across the country. To understand the context for this debate, you need to understand the history.
Are Canadian foundations afraid of death?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate inequality, several non-profit and grassroots leaders are calling on Canadian donors to spend down — distributing all of their foundation assets within a defined term — in order to free up capital for community impact. Some are responding, but analysis shows that systemic orientation toward perpetuity in the philanthropic sector in Canada may be preventing other philanthropists from following suit.