A Look Inside The Philanthropist As We Approach Half a Century of Sector Engagement

In 2022, The Philanthropist journal will mark its 50th anniversary.  When we launched in 1972, the editorial team expressed its hope that, through this publication, they would “offer a forum for an informed and constructive critique of the charitable and philanthropic scene in Canada.”

As part of our planning for the future of The Philanthropist, the Agora Foundation board of directors last year directed our editorial team to increase coverage of critical operational and value-laden issues facing the non-profit and charitable sector in Canada – in effect, to leverage our writing, tools, and resources to animate and inform its discussions, policy development, and advocacy.

We have been working to create content that might be a bit more provocative – in a way that we hope contributes to the sector’s need to think more deeply about the challenges and opportunities it faces. And of course, The Philanthropist and Agora are part of that sector.

Over these past three months, we’ve been looking closely at the impact of COVID-19 on the sector by engaging professional journalists and writers from across the country to support us in amplifying its voices and experiences.

We now want to turn our attention to what the future holds, and to explore ways in which the sector must change in the face of the continued impact of COVID-19. It’s meant to be a broad-based and inclusive conversation that includes constructive critiques which, we believe, will stimulate this discussion and raise feedback.

We think this is a critical time for charities and funders to rethink their role in communities. Indeed, we are already seeing evidence that the shock of the pandemic is viewed by some organizations as an opportunity to update structures and adopt new ways of working.

We hope our writing – rooted in a long history and looking forward to a strong future – continues to inform the necessary debate and discourse that needs to happen in these uncertain times. What’s more, we continue to challenge ourselves as a journal to do better: to engage the sector’s diverse views, nature, expertise, and experiences.

We see The Philanthropist as a key partner in ensuring that Canada has a strong, viable non-profit and charitable sector that will be at the table to ensure, as Imagine Canada says, “that organizations are able to survive, adapt to changed circumstances, and position themselves to actively contribute to the recovery [and] the role they can and must play in Canada’s recovery from COVID-19.”


Leslie Wright, Executive Lead & Publication Manager

Agora Foundation Board of Directors & Editorial Team


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