A Journey Toward Decolonization: One Step at a Time

This article is the second in a renewed collaboration between The Philanthropist and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The goal is to highlight Indigenous philanthropy and share Indigenous perspective and wisdom on reciprocity as well as Indigenous-focused work happening in the philanthropic community.    In 2007, I wrote one of my first articles…

Canada’s “Symbolic” Rescue of Journalism May Be Too Little, Too Late

Canadians have become accustomed – especially with President Donald Trump presiding over his country’s fall from grace on the world stage – to hearing almost embarrassingly glowing reviews of our nation as a global bastion of democracy, tolerance, and good governance. So it is somewhat sobering to read, in none other than The Washington Post,…

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Book Review: The Shifting Terrain: Nonprofit Policy Advocacy in Canada

The Shifting Terrain: Nonprofit Policy Advocacy in Canada, Nick J. Mulé and Gloria C. Desantis. eds, Montreal & Kingston, Ontario, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-7735-4864-0 At what point did advocacy become a dirty word? Should charities be governed in accordance with their purposes? Is the role of government one of regulator, or enabler? These…

The Case Against Policy Advocacy Deregulation

Introduction Over the last year, many have argued in these pages that the rules restricting Canadian charities from intensive policy engagement should be relaxed or rescinded (Gibbins, 2015; Gibbins, 2016; McRae, 2016; Cave, 2016; Juneau, 2016; Northcott, 2016). Some go so far as to argue that restrictions on advocacy and political activity impose “unreasonable limits…

Human Rights and Charity — Regulatory Challenges

This article is the fifth in a series on Poverty and Human Rights in Canada. SUMMARY: This article addresses the regulatory challenges posed by human rights approaches to charity, focusing specifically on the charity/politics distinction. It develops a simple point, which is that Canadian charity law is currently ill equipped to apply the charity/politics distinction…

The Moral Imperative for Policy Advocacy, Part 2: Options for Reform

This is the second of three articles by Max Bell Foundation and their Senior Fellow, Dr. Roger Gibbins, addressing policy advocacy over the next few months. SUMMARY: This article sees the declaration by the newly elected Government of Canada for a more open relationship with charities as a welcome opportunity and it proposes three strategic…

Uncomfortable Advocacy

The Philanthropist published the Moral Imperative for Policy Advocacy by Dr. Roger Gibbins of the Max Bell Foundation on February 16, 2016. This is the first of three articles on policy advocacy and it presents a cogent case on the obligation of charities to engage in political activities. The second looks at alternative strategies for…

Charities Have a Moral Obligation to Help Develop Public Policy

SUMMARY: The election of the Trudeau Liberals follows several years of tension between the federal government and a sizeable group of Canadian charities, and flags an opportunity for the charitable, non-profit sector. Max Bell Foundation’s Senior Fellow Roger Gibbins has been examining the roles charities play in delivery of social programs and policy initiatives of…