Edited by Allan Arlett and Norah McClintock
Published by The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, Toronto, Ontario, 1988, pp. XXXV, 689.
Foundations arc a vital component of philanthropy in Canada. In 1986, the last year for which accurate statistics are available, the foundations listed in this Directory held assets worth at least $2.2 billion and made grants of $190 million.
In the past, The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy has published the Canadian Directory to Foundations and the Canadian Index to Foundation Grants as separate volumes; this edition is the first to combine the two publications. This new, consolidated Directory is an indispensable guide for those seeking funds from foundations. In conjunction with a supplement to be published later this year, it constitutes the most comprehensive survey available of the nature and activities of Canadian foundations.
The main feature of the Directory is a detailed description of over600
Canadian foundations. Most entries include. a description of the foundation’s purpose and areas of interest, geographic limits on its funding (if any), specific limitations on types of supp011, financial data (e.g., total assets, total grants, number of grants, etc.), names of directors and officers, instructions on how to apply for funds, and a listing of all grants of $500 or more. Most information relates to the 1986 fiscal year, although some foundations provided 1983, 1984, 1985 or 1987 data.
The Directory’s primary source of information is the Public Information Return which all foundations file with Revenue Canada. The return includes detailed financial data, the names of directors and officers, a purpose statement, an activity statement and a listing of all grants made during the fiscal year. Almost one-half of all Canadian foundations responded to the Directory’s request for additional information on matters such as geographic focus and specific fields of interest. The comprehensive indices provide access to this information and direct the fund raiser to those foundations offering the greatest opportunities.
The field-of-interest index identifies those activities that a particular foundation is interested in funding. The major topic headings are: arts and culture, education, health, international activities, religious organizations, science and technology, social services and issues, and sports and recreation. This index is a useful access route to the foundation entries which list each grant under one of these headings and further describe each grant with a specific subheading. For example, arts and culture is a heading while music, art galleries, and museums arc some of its subheadings.
The geographic indices help to locate communities in which foundations and their grant recipients operate. The index of individuals identifies directors and officers of foundations, and the index of recipient organizations provides a comprehensive alphabetical list of all recipients of listed grants.
The editors also include a detailed statistical profile of Canadian foundations. The tables list, among other things, the geographical distribution of foundation grants; the distribution of grants received by sector; the 50 largest foundations by assets and grants; and the largest foundations within each category of foundation (i.e., family, community, corporate, and special-interest foundations). It is not surprising, for example, that most foundation grants arc made by central Canadian foundations and that 90 per cent of all foundations arc family foundations.
The Directory has other useful features. Among them is a guide to effective foundation fund raising (its theme is “do your homework!”) and a description of the disbursement rules for Canadian foundations. As in previous editions, the Directory lists major United States foundations which have funded Canadian charitable activities.
Although all foundations must list all grants in their Public Information Returns, the editors note that grants information was not available for several foundations (among them four of the top 50 foundations according to the grants made). Presumably, a number of foundations did not bother to file a complete return. This is unfortunate. It is difficult for fund raisers to learn about the interests of a foundation without knowing which activities the foundation supported.
Not all of the 667 listed foundations accept outside funding applications. Is it necessary to list those (approximately 50) foundations that do not accept applications? If such foundations arc to be included, a separate listing of “closed” foundations should be considered.
In his 1985 review of a previous edition of the Directory ((1985), V Philanthrop. No.3, pp. 51-53), John Mablcy wrote that it would “serve as the standard reference source on Canadian charitable foundations”. That statement can be repeated, even more forcefully, for this consolidated edition. All charitable organizations who look to Canadian foundations for support should purchase at least one copy.
The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy 74 Victoria Street, Suite 920
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Managing Voluntary Organizations
By Geoff Poulton
Published by John Wiley Son, Chichester, U.K. 1988, pp. 167.
REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH STERN
Executive Director, Metro Toronto Federation of Community-Based Seniors’ Agencies
There exists an implicit contradiction inherent in the role of managers of organized voluntary work: are we social activists responsive to the needs of the community or the administrators of what may become semibureaucracies?
Managing Voluntary Organizations is the second in a series of educational texts on social service management. Author Geoff Poulton, currently a senior lecturer on social work education at the University of Southampton, brings to a potentially dry topic his extensive background in grassroots community work. Community development is a field which has finally come into its own.
After providing a brief overview of the effects of recent British social and economic policies on the voluntary sector, Geoff Poulton offers four case studies of organizational development in which he has been involved. These experiences provide a wealth of detail concerning the painstaking development of S.C.O.P.E., a member-led grassroots ad hoc community family network, and the creation of the Southern Council for Community Work Training.
In spite of references to unfamiliar British networkings and local government structures, Managing Voluntary Organizations raises all-too-familiar concerns: how can a voluntary organization avoid bureaucratization and remain member-owned? Is it inevitable that government-funded bodies lose critical perspective and end by maintaining the status quo? How should we react when voluntcccrism is being increasingly promoted by government which sees it as a cheaper alternative to the “welfare state”?
What Geoff Poulton docs is give the lie to the old view that social workers make bad managers. He succeeds in demonstrating that, because of its nature, good community development work can only be conducted by a worker with good managerial skills, acquired through the process, if not before. This is, however, no invitation to haphazard development. The author carefully sets out the systems necessary to operate a voluntary agency which must be responsibly accountable to both its funders and its members/community. Above all, he carefully builds an appreciation of the wider responsibilities of those who take a leadership role in initiating, building, and maintaining voluntary services.
The best thing about this book is that it’s not overly academic. The case studies themselves are excellent examples of a wedding of values to purpose and process, and a demonstration of the possibility of achieving a balance of good management and democratic process. There is great danger that any growing voluntary organization may lose its effectiveness and its focus by becoming quasi-institutional. If we really do believe in the importance of collectively empowering members of the community, then surely we can’t afford to let that happen?
REVIEWED BY DAVID E. SPIRO
Blake, Cassels and Graydon, Toronto