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…

Journey of Reciprocity: The First Eight Years of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

This article is the eighth in a series on Indigenous Communities and Philanthropy. SUMMARY: The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada strives to promote dialogue amongst First Nations, Métis, Inuit communities; private, public and community foundations; corporate philanthropy programs, charitable organizations, and United Ways. This article describes the origins of The Circle and the…

Belonging, Community and Indigenous Philanthropy

This article is the ninth in a series on Indigenous Communities and Philanthropy. SUMMARY: The following is an edited version, approved by the author, of a keynote address delivered at the All My Relations Gathering in Winnipeg on November 18, 2015. RÉSUMÉ: On trouvera ci-dessous une version adaptée, approuvée par l’auteur, d’une conference prononcée à Winnipeg,…

Book Reviews

Uncharitable: How Restraints On Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta Medford, Mass: Tufts University Press isbn: 978-1-58465-723-1 in recent years, there has been increasing discussion ab ou t the “blurring” of the lines that separate the charitable sector from the private sector. To many people, the argument goes, the concept of “charity” is no…

What’s The Law: A Sketch Of The Income Tax Treatment Of Endowments

“Endowments” are held by many Canadian charities. However, the source of these endowed funds and the nature of the legal conditions applicable to these endowments vary widely. More and more often charities that hold endowments are seeking input on how they can or should spend their endowments. The answer to whether they can only spend income…

The End Of Endowments?

The economic swells of the last 18 months stress-tested the system of charitable endowments. Headlines announced spectacular losses to these long-term funds. My favourite was the headline to a Vanity Fair article that chronicled “Harvard’s Big, Dumb Financial Train Wreck.” The world biggest endowment lost $11 billion of its $36.9 billion.1 While it is tempting…

Counterpoint: A Response To “United Way, Where Are You Leading Us?”

Viewpoint and Counterpoint provide a forum for informed debate of issues of wide interest to the philanthropic sector. The opinions expressed are those of the authors. [The following letter was received by John M. Hodgson, Q.C., author of “United Way, Where Are You Leading Us?” and is reprinted with Anne Goldens permission.] Dear Mr. Hodgson:…

Accounting Standards for Not-For-Profit Organizations: A New Direction

Introduction In March 1996, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants released new accounting recommendations! that will dramatically affect the way many not-for-profit organizations account for capital assets and contributions and change the basic financial statement presentation for such organizations. The new recommendations should make not-for-profit organizations’ financial statements easier to understand and reduce inconsistent accounting…

Viewpoint: United Way, Where Are You Leading Us?

The United Way of Greater Toronto raised over $51 million in its 1995 campaign:1 a new level of achievement. Other Canadian fund-raising campaigns may exceed the total raised but nothing approaches the United Way campaign as a successful annual event. In addition, the United Way of Greater Toronto launched a capital endowment campaign in May…