150 Profiles: Marsha Brown

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: Marsha Brown Current role in the sector: Community engagement liaison and philanthropist. Years working and/or volunteering in the nonprofit sector: 25+ years. What was…

Point/Counterpoint: Limited life foundations ensure greater social impact

Resolved: Founders and directors will help their foundations have greater impact if they commit their entire endowments during a limited period of time, spending down their resources rather than managing them in perpetuity. Point: Lars Boggild Canadian philanthropic foundations regularly look for ways to be more impactful on the issues they care about. Approaches ranging from…

What are we talking about when we talk about social innovation?

This article is the first in a series on social innovation. In British Columbia, dozens of Lower Mainland fishers operating family-owned boats no longer have the size to sell to wholesalers. Instead, they band together to create a membership-driven club; subscribers can purchase fresh catch right off the dock. The result: sustainable food production, improved…

Signals of Transformation: What Will 2017 Bring for Canada’s Non-profit Sector?

In many ways, 2016 was a year of flux for Canada’s non-profit sector. Our lagging economy put pressure on non-profit organizations and charities to deliver essential services, creating a “structural deficit” along with new fiscal challenges for provincial governments (Emmett, 2016). Meanwhile, the Fort McMurray wildfire in May demonstrated the sector’s critical role in times…

Foreign Activities by Canadian Registered Charities: Challenges and Options for Reform

The following paper is the culmination of  The Philanthropist’s series “Canadian Charities Working Internationally,” which began in March 2015.  In it, Toronto charity lawyer Andrew Valentine outlines the challenges with the current “direction and control” rules that apply to Canadian charities working abroad. He also presents proposals to reform the system, ranging from simple administrative…