From the Editor

We close this volume with some solid law, some sound advice, and some views of new frontiers in philanthropy.

The solid law comes in the form of the Honourable Mention entry in last year’s Philanthropist Award competition. Paul Michell analyzes the history of the rule against political activity by charities in England and in Canada, with a brief look as well at the United States, and proposes a more subtle guideline for appropriate conduct in the public interest.

Professor Jim Phillips, as usual, adds a perceptive note, applying some of the principles set out in the Michell paper to a current case.

The sound advice comes once again from Kelly Rodgers, who was introduced to readers in our last number. This time she cautions board members against a multitude of potential conflicts of interest, some of them not obvious to the casual director, and some of them no doubt tempting to the director insufficiently familiar with his or her legal obligations.

The new frontiers this time lie abroad. Julie Jai describes Canadian efforts to promote human rights in Columbia and Peru. The directors of INTERPHIL and CIVICUS, two prominent international organizations serving and promoting philanthropy, set out their views on the kind of society voluntary bodies can help to create. Their perspectives have developed from experience in vastly different societies and they may help Canadian readers to appreciate the opportunities we have here, as well as inspire us to want to help elsewhere.




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