Who We Are

Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) is Canada’s national philanthropic network, bringing foundations and grantmakers together in pursuit of a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

For over 20 years we have been strengthening Canadian philanthropy – in all of its diversity – to bring members and partners together to connect, learn, and advance the best solutions for change on the issues that matter most.

Our Approach & Strategy

  • PFC works with foundations to strengthen and broaden their governance, programming and relationships.
  • We create open spaces for foundations to act collaboratively and to harness their collective wisdom and resources.
  • We help to translate evidence-based learning into actionable practice and policy.

A message from our leadership

  • Dear friends:

    We’re pleased to present to you our 2022 Annual Report.

    In many ways, changing public policy was at the core of our efforts. It was also a year of renewed focus and reconnection, with COVID-19 finally becoming endemic. But it certainly left its marks. Inflation and interest rates remain historically high. Our civil society partners have yet to recover from the loss of income, volunteers and staff, and many are stretched by rapidly growing and changing needs.
    The deep challenges facing the world also show little sign of abating. The climate crisis is deepening at an unprecedented rate. Authoritarianism, inequality and state failures are surging globally, and the war in Europe is now in its second year.

    In this zeitgeist of transition and uncertainty there is opportunity. It can lead to the transformation of lives, if the moment is met with responsiveness.

    Our network has, in many ways, stepped up to the plate. Learning, change and incredible effort is happening across the sector. Many are heeding calls to engage and fund more diverse communities and initiatives, re-thinking how to align their resources to meet evolving needs and toward more forward-thinking principles.

    We know that the world is changing, and so too must our approaches. But we are also learning from the past as we respond to the needs of today to ensure that we will continue to do so for many decades ahead. This dedication ensures that our work is non-partisan, evidence-based, and open-mannered, to have meaningful impact in serving the common good.

    I am pleased to share the results of our dedicated work to support our growing network and strengthen our collective impact. 2022 saw our new brand and website, a successful national conference in Montreal, and growing collaboration initiatives, along with our growing engagement on policy issues that matter, and our thought leadership in the wider charitable sector.

    Please learn more about what’s we’ve been up to. Reach out with your questions. Tell us what’s working for you, what you need support with, and where you think we should be heading. In late 2023, we will begin the development of our next strategic plan. We’ll need your engagement, energy, and spirit to help us achieve our mission.

    Warmest regards,

    Jean-Marc Mangin

    President & CEO
    Philanthropic Foundations Canada

  • Dear colleagues:

    The growing complexity in the world continues to at times feel overwhelming. The uncertain economy, labour and volunteer shortages, and growing needs for more resources and responsive programming are continuing to create extreme demands on our sector, our partners, and the issues we care about most.

    But as a network we are working together, collaborating and supporting each other like never before. The truth is that while change is happening around us, we are not without agency. We can lead change. And we are.

    From historic regulatory changes and novel pathways for increased equity, to impactful growing platforms for greater philanthropic collaboration, to emerging research and resources for new and established funders alike, PFC is showing up, hand-in-hand, with our members.

    Indeed, each member in the PFC network brings unique and valuable insights, relationships and perspectives to the table. As we grow as a network, the strength and vigor of our collective impact does too.

    I have been honoured to serve as the PFC board Chair since 2020. As my term comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on the extraordinary practice of excellence that Philanthropic Foundations Canada has built, which I have had the pleasure of witnessing and participating in.

    As members, we are fortunate to have fantastic leaders on our staff, board, and committees, both new and long-standing. Thanks to their dedication, PFC has been delivering on its purpose to strengthen Canadian philanthropy – in all of its diversity – in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable world. I am so pleased to have been a part of it and look forward to continued engagement as an active member.

    With gratitude,

    Patty Faith

    Chair, Board of Directors
    Chief Brand and Reputation Officer, Medavie

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Public Policy & Advocacy

2022 marked historic milestones regarding the regulation and policy environment for foundations and the wider non-profit and charitable sector in Canada. The enshrinement of a new disbursement quota of 5% and new legal framework for funding non-qualified donees was significant.

Our leadership, member mobilization, cross-sectoral partnerships, and government relations were instrumental in informing and shepherding these changes, underpinned by the largest network consultation and engagement of PFC’s history, bringing community together in an unprecedented way towards a common cause.

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Increasing the disbursement quota

Our advocacy and leadership efforts culminated in a historic regulatory change for the sector: the disbursement quota increase to 5% for assets over $1M became law. Following the largest consultation of our network to date, PFC took an elevated leadership role in advocating for the sector’s needs, negotiating a diversity of perspectives towards a balanced approach to the policy issue. This regulatory change could unlock an estimated $300M-$500M in funding per year to non-profits and charities, coming at a time of increasing need for services and chronic resource strain.

Funding for non-qualified donees

To facilitate an equalization of funding access, inadequately addressed by a disbursement quota increase, we actively engaged in another cross-sectoral lobbying effort towards a historic policy milestone: creating a new legal framework for funding non-qualified donees. Our mobilization efforts create the potential to better level the playing field and enable a redistribution of funding, in particular to the innumerable grassroots and community groups working on the ground – groups more likely to be led by and serving Indigenous, Black, and other equity-deserving communities.
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Learning & Capacity-Building Initiatives

Our learning and capacity-building initiatives built significant momentum in 2022 across our network, with a focus on amplifying effectiveness in grantmaking, programming, and investing:

National Conference

Bringing our network together in-person for the first time since before the start of the pandemic, our national conference was an energizing experience: the conference had our highest ever turnout of participants, speakers, and diversity all-around. Over 330 members and friends gathered over 2 days and 28 sessions featuring 80+ speakers, exploring the theme of “reconnection” and how philanthropy’s response to the pandemic can serve as a blueprint for future interconnected challenges.

JEDI Accelerator

We ran Canada’s first and only accelerator program for foundations to strengthen capacity around JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion).

The program guided participants through deep conceptual understanding and helped turn learning into concrete action. By the end of the program, 87.5% of participants had started to undertake changes to advance JEDI at their foundations.
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Investment Roundtable

As interest in intentional and sustainable investment strategies continues to grow, so too did our Investment Roundtable in 2022. Expanding to a more national level and engaging member investment committees for the first time, this roundtable has become a unique Canadian platform for practitioners and leaders to learn and exchange knowledge on emerging investment trends, and collectively strengthen investment capacity and practices across the sector.

CEO Retreat

Canada’s only national annual gathering of philanthropic executives, our signature retreat continues to bring together CEOs for a co-designed program of peer-networking and learning. The retreat creates space for open discussion on recent developments and concerns across Canada’s philanthropic community, and seeds new initiatives and action on critical issues. 2022’s gathering in Wakefield, QC saw a diversification of participants and expanded representation from across the country and types of member organizations, with a record 80 leaders participating in-person or online.

Affinity Groups

Members gathered for continuous capacity-strengthening through our peer-learning groups. Our Program and Grantmaking Staff Affinity Group in particular saw renewed leadership, direction, and diversification in 2022.

The steering committee expanded, and the group strengthened its commitment to exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in grantmaking, all toward enhancing effectiveness in grantmakng, programming, and administrative practices.

To me, the PGSAG represents a link to foundations and philanthropic practices to which I may not have had access otherwise. Being part of the steering committee has been a highlight in itself, for the always interesting conversations, the shared experience and the professional friendships.

Ode Belzile
Director, Philanthropic Activities - Fondation J. Armand Bombardier

The Roundtable has proved a valuable experience to share how investment portfolios are managed at different foundations, how managers are evaluated, what products are being considered, and various issues facing foundation Investment Committees as they seek to generate income and safeguard principal.

Tim Gardiner
Vice-Chair of Board of Directors - Lawson Foundation
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Research and Publications

Responding to major shifts in society and reflected in philanthropy – including the pandemic, the ongoing racial justice movement, and climate change – PFC engaged in several collaborative research initiatives in 2022, to better understand the philanthropic sector and serve its evolving needs.

This resulted in several guides and research reports, as well as ongoing research projects:


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2022 Philanthropic Foundations Salary & Benefits Report

A unique PFC sector resource, providing a comprehensive review of pan-Canadian employee salary and benefits data from PFC member organizations. This report provides foundations across the country with benchmarks for trends and best practices in good governance and human resource management.

Grant-making Toolkit for the New Decade

We partnered with Community Foundations of Canada to co-develop our first joint grantmaking guide. Revised from older PFC versions, it takes a modernized approach to address major shifts in philanthropy. With a lens adjusted for todays context vis-a-vis the pandemic, the current battle for racial justice, and the climate crisis, the guide is a community resource to facilitate good grantmaking practices and more effective and impactful philanthropy.

Temporarily down as updates are being made to the guide

Equity Benchmarking Survey

Since 2020 we have participated in the Equitable Recovery Collective, a group of non-profits and charities working to advance an equitable recovery from the pandemic and a strong non-profit sector. Last year one of the collective’s working groups, which includes PFC, launched an ambitious research project to gain more of a baseline understanding of the non-profit sector’s capacity in reference to a host of organization-level indicators on equity. The ongoing benchmark survey – collecting data from 1600+ organizations, including many PFC members – will help lay the groundwork for action-oriented awareness and capacity-building interventions across the sector for the years to come.
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Partnerships & Collaboration

By expanding and deepening PFC’s member and sector partnerships in 2022, we were able to facilitate systems-level collaborative approaches to address some of Canada’s most pressing problems:

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Canadian Philanthropy Climate Change Commitment

We launched the first full year of collaborative programming for our 50+ commitment signatories in 2022, supporting signatories to action the pledge’s seven pillars, and catalyzing critical and tangible work to address the climate crisis. This has continued to position our program as a leader within the global WINGS #PhilanthropyForClimate movement. Within just one year, signatories’ average level of concrete climate engagement had already increased by almost 25%.

Data Strategy Roadmap

Anchored in our policy agenda to fix the sector’s data and its impact on equitable funding distribution, we launched a partnership with Ontario Trillium Foundation in late 2021 to explore a data strategy for the philanthropic sector. Over the last year we built up the partnership, convening key stakeholders and conducting initial research, in preparation for a second phase in 2023 to advance data equity in the context of a T3010 overhaul and beyond.

PFC Membership

PFC is Canada’s national network of grantmakers, with a diverse range of members from across the country. They vary in size from those with assets under $1 million to large foundations that are over $1 billion, and range from small family foundations to large public and community grantmakers. They support an array of sectors, populations and issues. 2022 saw 17 new members from across the country join our network, and many of our longstanding members experienced significant milestones, highlights, and transitions in their work.

PFC members in 2022

  • Type of organization
    • Charitable organization: 8
    • Non-profit: 2
    • Private foundation: 108
    • Public foundation: 14
  • Geographical Spread
    • Alberta: 13
    • BC: 6
    • Manitoba: 2
    • Newfoundland and Labrador: 1
    • Nova Scotia: 2
    • Ontario: 70
    • Quebec: 37
    • Saskatchewan: 1
  • Asset Size
    • $200M+: 13
    • $100-$200M: 11
    • $50M-$100M: 16
    • $10M-$50M: 42
    • $5M-$10M: 18
    • Under $5M: 33
  • Members
    At the end of 2022 we had 133 members, including 17 new members

Collective assets and grants

$54B in assets

Collectively managed by PFC members in 2020* which represents about 44% of all assets managed by foundations in Canada that year

$1.4B in grants

Collectively disbursed by PFC members in 2020*, which represents 18% of all grants disbursed by foundations in Canada that year

* 2020 being the most up-to-date T3010 data that year

25% of the top 150

PFC members represented 25% of the top 150 grantmakers in Canada by asset size in 2022

New Members

We welcomed 17 new members in 2022! Showcasing the diversity of our network, with representation across the country, as well as foundation type, size, and approach, each of our new members is doing unique and innovating work with positive impacts across a variety of sectors and regions in Canada and beyond.

Member Highlights

Many of our members had transformative impact in 2022. Here are just a few big highlights and milestones from a few of our many exceptional members →

  • Many PFC members mobilized swiftly and significantly to support Ukrainian refugees and frontline relief following the Russian invasion in 2022. 30+ member foundations made a significant difference in the lives of Ukrainian refugees, the Canadian diasporic community, and direct aid on the ground.

  • The Ivey Foundation, Canada’s sixth oldest private family foundation, announced that it will wind up operations by the end of 2027 and distribute its full $100 million endowment over the next five years, beginning in 2023. The Foundation’s board made this decision due to its commitment to benefit the current generation, at a time when their resources could be best used to address the urgent climate crisis, which cannot wait. Learn more here.

  • The philanthropic community was rejuvenated with lots of new leadership in 2022, bringing bold visions for change.

    A big congratulations and welcome to: Andrea Clarke at Chagnon Foundation, Nadia Duguay at Fondation Béati, Riz Ibrahim at Counselling Foundation of Canada, Dan Hula at Youth in Philanthropy, Anita Wortzman at Asper Foundation, Francesco Miele at Fondation Mirella & Lino Saputo, to name just a few of the new faces at the helm of philanthropic organizations in Canada.

Ready to join Canada’s growing network of grantmakers?

Leverage your sector leadership for the common good through idea exchange, networking, advocacy and more.

PFC provides a unique platform and network for addressing the complex social and environmental challenges of our time, while daring to reinvent traditional philanthropic practices. By challenging preconceptions, committing to rigorous and honest examination of the sector's blind spots, and disrupting the status quo, PFC is a catalyst for meaningful action, strengthening our collective ability to redefine ourselves through continuous learning and unlearning.

Nadia Duguay
Executive Director - Fondation Béati


Brand New Website

We launched PFC’s refreshed brand and new website in spring 2022, to complement our new Purpose Statement and as a first step in rebuilding our digital ecosystem. Our brand now better reflects our mission, and our website improves our member user experience and better serves our sector needs.

Our social media engagement and following also expanded alongside these changes – don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn,Twitter, and Facebook, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date!

Financial Information

Statement of revenues and expenses
Year ended December 31, 2022

  • Revenues 2022

    Total: $ 1,650,722

    Revenues 2022 Total
    Membership fees 854,642
    Conference fees and Donations 355,537
    Donations (Unearmarked) 255,493
    Grants (Earmarked) (Note 6) 167,179
    Interest income 17,871
    Quebec COVID-19 consortium 0
    Student subsidies (MITACS) 0
  • Expenditures 2022

    Total: $ 1,650,722

    Expenditures 2022 Total
    Impact Advocacy (Schedule A) 280,751
    Learning & KMB (Schedule B) 171,606
    Strategic communications (Schedule C) 190,520
    Research (Schedule D) 117,843
    Member support (Schedule E) 130,192
    Conference (Schedule F) 430,705
    Governance and accountability (Schedule G) 21,331
    Operations (Schedule H) 276,777
    Quebec COVID-19 consortium (Schedule I) 0
    Collaborative/Climate project (Schedule J) 22,920