Juniper Glass profile picture

150 Profiles: Juniper Glass

As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.

Name: Juniper Glass

Current role in the sector: Principal of Lumiere Consulting and Community Engagement Committee member at Fondation du Grand Montreal

Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: 20 years working and 28 years volunteering!

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
At a certain point, maybe 12 years ago, I realized the incredible things that happen when grassroots groups get funded to work on their priorities. Social change needs innovation at the margins. There is wisdom in lived experience that so often goes unnoticed by decision makers in our systems.

Since then I’ve had passion for shifting the flow of resources, especially philanthropic resources, towards initiatives led by people with lived experience. To fix our systems we need to listen to and lift up communities creating solutions.

Describe your desk/workspace.
On one half of my regular desk is a standing desk that I hacked with a few screws, a shelf and an Ikea coffee table (proud). My home office is in our family craft room/spare room/piano room. The desk is usually covered in a mess of notes from client meetings, conference programs, batteries to recharge, and my son’s doodles.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
I think it’s essential that settler Canadians listen and learn from Indigenous perspectives, not just once in a while but in the everyday. My social media feeds are filled with Indigenous news outlets and wise folks, like: @windspeakernews@Pam_Palmater, @KimCBaird, @widjia, @jessewente, @SenSincMurr, @christibelcourt, @CBCIndigenous, @NationTalk, @APTNNews and @FNSummit.

I also appreciate Makook, a digest of top news about Indigenous peoples and reconciliation. You can sign up to receive in your inbox each week.
And because humour is strong in Indigenous communities but often missed by the rest of us: @TheEagleist.

I also follow what leaders in progressive philanthropy are up to in Canada, like @MATCHIntFund, @VancouverFdn, @TidesCanada, @TheCircleCanada, @RAVENtrust, and @CEGN.

For you as a past author with the journal, please share with us your reflections, reactions, thoughts about what has changed and/or stayed the same?  

My first pieces for The Philanthropist were part of a series on internationally-focussed charities in spring 2015. One was an interview with Julia Sanchez of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. Julia reminded us that there is a global dialogue about the importance of civil society and the need for governments to support an “enabling environment” for it to flourish.

At that time, two and a half years ago, the non-profit and charity sector in Canada was constrained and quiet on the question of the state’s role in supporting civil society. Since then I have been impressed to see and be part of the blossoming of this dialogue across the country. We have a ways to go, but there is a new sense of empowerment in our sector as well as practical policy alternatives about how non-profits and charities could be regulated that just weren’t there in spring 2015.

Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at philanthropistprofiles@gmail.com

Juniper Glass, MPNL, is principal of Lumiere Consulting, supporting funders, national non-profits and Indigenous organizations with strategy, research and evaluation. Juniper is a frequent contributor to the discourse on systems change philanthropy in Canada and a research associate with PhiLab, the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network.