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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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