Governments have been slow to act on the disproportionate weight of climate crises on women and gender-diverse people, writes Paulette Senior, and Canada is no exception. But philanthropists are well positioned to invest in underfunded solutions that leave no one behind, she argues.
ONN’s Cathy Taylor and consultant Kris Cummings tackle the question of whether the network model is a good approach during times of crisis. The stories of three networks offer some practical experiences and yield some consistent, yet nuanced, lessons.
Volunteering is tied to increased rates of belonging and inclusion, and our social services rely on volunteers to deliver their programs, but volunteering rates in Canada are dropping. Volunteer Canada is strategizing to address the challenges and calls for a National Action Strategy for Volunteerism.
Are you hiring a new executive director, or are you a new ED yourself? These three new-ish executive directors talk candidly about their experiences and share some practical advice for supporting a new person in this role.
What should organizations with underused office spaces do? Is the pre-pandemic hum necessary, and if yes, how can this vibrancy happen when workers are not in shared workspaces? What will happen if staff do not feel engaged? Contributor Yvonne Rodney talked to leaders from one collective that has tackled the empty-office problem about what they have learned.
The sector and The Philanthropist Journal have travelled more than 50 years together. Contributor Tim Harper talks to five sector “elders” about The Journal’s past and what its role, as a publication that belongs to the sector, should be going forward.
The WES Mariam Assefa Fund’s Marina Nuri reflects on launching a participatory grantmaking pilot project and shares five recommended actions for funders that are seeking to experiment with participatory approaches.
With the largest intergenerational wealth transfer ever underway, philanthropy would be wise to take heed. A recent study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute offers a snapshot of wealthy young donors, from motivations to challenges to giving behaviours. “We’re at the tipping point,” says one sector leader, of where to go next in engaging young donors to “become partners in systems change” and the “shifting of money and power.”
As Whitehorse celebrates 10 years of Pride, organizer Queer Yukon looks back at its history, from volunteer-run grassroots group to non-profit in 2018. Now the group is weighing whether to become a charity.
While access to abortion is protected in Canada, not everyone who needs an abortion can get one, and public opinion has been affected by ideological shifts in Canada and abroad. Frédérique Chabot, director of domestic health promotion at Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights, talks about policy goals, framing the case for increasing access, and the need to dispel harmful narratives.
Contributors Inda Intiar and Njoki Mbũrũ offer tangible examples of how storytelling is enabling and catalyzing systems transformation within the philanthropic ecosystem – and some important lessons about the importance of relationships, slowing down, and self-awareness learned along the way.
Dori Tunstall’s Decolonizing Design is a powerful exploration of the colonial, white-supremacist thrust of modern Western design and technology. Contributor Andrea Gunraj recently spoke to Tunstall, dean at the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, about her book, the work of reconciliation and making amends, and dismantling colonial systems by breaking the addiction to privilege.
Series on Narrative Change
Changing the way people think about an issue is a precondition to mobilizing action on it. But which organizations have institutionalized narrative change practices as a strategic priority, and how is that playing out day-to-day? How many non-profits are doing the deep listening necessary to understand how audiences perceive their issues, and developing strategic messaging that can shift the conversation?
Contributor Christina Palassio talked to renowned communications strategist Anat Shenker-Osorio recently about the power and promise of positive messaging and how non-profits and charities – from leaders and funders to fundraisers and communicators – can navigate increasingly polarized and polarizing political and cultural environments and move donors and supporters to take action for lasting positive, unifying change.
In an exclusive interview with Christina Palassio, Anand Giridharadas, whose latest book is The Persuaders, talks about building progressive fronts, crafting popular narratives that unite instead of divide, and crossing political lines to connect with people on a values level.
In the midst of Canada’s housing crisis, there’s a strong narrative that housing is a commodity rather than our right. Bonnie Mah, strategic narrative lead at Maytree, considers the opportunities and challenges of rights-based framing and talks about how she and her colleagues are trying to shift the conversation on housing in Canada.
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Could a sector that has been plagued by infighting and polarization come together and build new muscle, make its voice heard in the capital, and move beyond being a budget afterthought by government?
With Mother’s Day approaching, it is important to talk about the health and well-being of mothers and their children who have experienced or been exposed to intimate partner violence. The release of the Mass Casualty Commission’s final report and the passing of Keira’s Law have put a spotlight on the issue, but we are still falling short of meeting the needs of survivors and their children. The non-profit and justice sectors have much to learn from each other.
Children’s mental health services have long been described as the “orphan of the orphan” of Canada’s healthcare system. But an integrated system of wellness hubs – a youth-driven “revolution in creating easy access” – is aiming to change that. One funder says it’s a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.
The Haliburton County Youth Wellness Hub was one of six pilot-project youth hubs in Ontario, a funding partnership between Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, the provincial government, and the Graham Boeckh Foundation that’s grown into a 30-hub network. The hubs are part of an integrated youth services movement that is spreading across Canada with ‘catalytic leadership from philanthropy.’
The original version of this story, published in 2007, is one of The Philanthropist Journal’s most popular pieces of all time. In this updated version, Peter Elson and Peyton Carmichael expand on that detailed (and not so short) history.
Charitable status is a legally privileged status. The law in numerous ways, ranging from the trivial to the noteworthy, confers legal advantages upon charities. These legal advantages are often misunderstood.
What do Indigenous Peoples mean when they talk about Indigenous philanthropy? Miles Morrisseau put this question and others to Indigenous people who are leaders in the philanthropic sector.
This article was developed from a paper presented at Investigating in the Whole Community: Strategies for a Caring Society, a conference organized by the Trillium
Yvonne Rodney is a Toronto author, career consultant, speaker, and non-profit worker with extensive experience in career development. She is the author of Moving On: A Quick Guide for Non-Profit Workers and Military to Civilian Employment: A Career Practitioner’s Guide.
Christina Palassio is a non-profit communications professional and freelance writer. When she tweets, she does so at @mcpalassio.
Angela Long is a freelance writer currently working on a book about rural journalism in Canada.
Miles Morrisseau is a Métis writer, journalist, and multimedia producer from the Métis homeland in Manitoba.
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