The Philanthropist In Review

In the fall of 2008, The Philanthropist was on the verge of moving online and wanted to mark this achievement by taking stock of its contribution to the practice of philanthropy over the years, while setting a course that looks forward to the future of this field. It was around this time that a box full of journals, going all the way back to 1972, arrived at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. Two graduate students, twenty-one volumes, and five hundred and fifty-six articles later, a comprehensive catalogue of The Philanthropist’s achievements was born.

The following comprehensive catalogue covers every feature article, policy notice, conference announcement, case comment, and book review ever published by The Philanthropist. It includes brief descriptions as well as key words designed to assist with the process of digitizing and migrating the publication to a searchable online format. It was conceived as a resource for the Editorial Board, but in the process, various themes and trends emerged, shedding light on the evolution of the not-for-profit and charitable sectors over the last four decades.

The progress of the publication holds a mirror up to Canadian, and indeed international, society. The catalogue reveals social and political trends including changing attitudes to charity, greater expectations of the private sector in philanthropic endeavours, and policy reactions to increasing globalization and international security concerns. The Philanthropist catalogue traces the accumulation of legal precedents and tax law reforms. It chronicles eras of recession, government downloading, and funding cutbacks as they impact and shape the nonprofit sector as it is today.

Over the last thirty-six years, The Philanthropist has covered the full spectrum of the human condition, from the arts to religion, from family to business, and from death to inevitable taxes. For the uninitiated, there are explanations of the Income Tax Act as it relates to nonprofit organizations, broad descriptions of governance and accountability practices, leadership principles, and the effectiveness of fundraising strategies. For those already entrenched in the field, there are detailed discussions on the finer points of legislative proposals, exposés of policy loopholes, and comparative studies of U.S. and Canadian accounting rules.

The breadth of topics addressed in The Philanthropist was made possible by its many faithful contributors, some of whom contributed for over a quarter of a century. The journal attracted professionals from such disparate fields as law, accounting, academia, finance, and a number of nonprofit and for-profit subsectors. Each provided the reader with the benefit of their unique style, their particular point of view, and their learned opinion on topics of interest to them. The Philanthropist provided contributors with a venue for polemical discussion and disagreement, as well as for collaboration on themes of common interest.

Moving forward, The Philanthropist will continue to promote research and dialogue on topics of importance to the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. As it builds on past themes and tracks new ones, the journal will further its reputation for being the leading quarterly that documents the changing face of philanthropy.



Aiden Selsick & Samantha Young

Aiden Selsick is a Program Analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, where she is responsible for the implementation of social policy initiatives and quality assurance monitoring. Aiden’s professional experience spans financial, legal, and public service industries with a focus on research and policy development. Aiden holds a Bachelor of Arts and has recently completed a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

Samantha Young is an Economist Specialist and Financial Advisor at the Ontario Financing Authority. Previously, she was a Policy Intern at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and a Lead Youth Services Officer at Service Canada. Samantha has completed pro bono consulting projects for many non-profits, and currently volunteers with the Public-Private Alliance Foundation. Samantha holds an Honours Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Toronto.


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