Let’s Keep the Conversations Going

Another year, another conference over, but that doesn’t mean that the learning, exchanging, collaborating and discussing ends. This special post-conference edition of the PFC newsletter is for both attendees and non-attendees alike, to capture the look and feel of the conference, and summarize some of the key take-aways. We also provide links to some resources that were shared.

The 2018 PFC Conference convened a diverse group of people engaged in organized philanthropy to explore tough questions. What is the role of philanthropy in engaging citizens in the era of polarizing populist politics? Should and how can private foundations be more publicly accountable in an age that is pushing for more openness? How do we adapt to the disruptions caused by the “fourth industrial revolution” – the digital and AI age? How can foundations take on risk for greater impact?

Our conference videos give you a snapshot of how we tackled these questions at Connect. Create. Change.

We also look forward to deepening our discussions, providing grantmaking and governance workshops and supporting specific funder issues through our various affinity groups through next year’s programming. Lots to look forward to in 2019!

We thank everyone who contributed to and participated in our 7th biennial PFC Conference as well as our partners and sponsors. Below you will find resources shared at the conference, blogs and articles and the full plenary videos.

Hilary Pearson

Hilary Pearson, President, PFC

2018 PFC Conference Recap

What is the role of philanthropy in citizen engagement?

What is the legitimacy of private philanthropy?

Blogs & Articles

Conference 2018

Hilary Pearson shares her PFC philanthropy conference take-aways, focusing on the themes of collaboration, connection, and inclusion that emerged.

Conference 2018

The funder-grantee relationship can too often be riddled with power imbalances, saviourism, and imposed expectations. Justin Wiebe explores the realities of this relationship and what he learned at the PFC conference.

Conference 2018

Reflections from Sarah Davies, President of Philanthropy Australia on her recent trip to Canada and participation at the PFC Conference.

Conference 2018

Legitimacy – foundations’ “social license to operate” – was a hot topic at the 2018 PFC conference. How can foundations respond to the call to demonstrate their legitimacy?

Conference 2018

What is the role of philanthropy in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. PFC Director of Communications, Jennifer Thomas shares her thoughts from the PFC Conference.

Conference 2018

Jillian Witt shares her reading list coming out of the 2018 PFC Conference in Toronto including pieces on Public Interest Journalism and European Philanthropy.

Conference 2018

Powered by Data shared their reflections around the possibilities and pitfalls of evidence-based philanthropy.

Conference 2018

The similarities between Canada and Scotland run deeper than our cultural and historical ties. Jonathan Christie was inspired by the emerging youth leaders at the PFC Conference and shares his thoughts.

Full Plenary Videos

The World of European Philanthropy

Can we seek inspiration from our colleagues in continental Europe, who are addressing many of the same global and local challenges that we face? What new approaches are they deploying to have broader impact? What changes will the next generation bring about?

Philanthropy’s Work: Empowering Women and Girls

Is Canada truly a gender-sensitive society? And what does a gender lens look like when applied to philanthropy? This plenary features a conversation with three women leaders who are “at the table”.

Populism, Citizen Engagement and Philanthropy

Organized philanthropy in Canada has much to ponder in the face of climate change, migration, changes in political leadership, economic transitions and ongoing debates on reconciliation with indigenous peoples, questions of social exclusion and more.

What next for Philanthropy in Canada? An intergenerational Conversation

The philanthropic sector is undergoing a transition of leadership . This intergenerational conversation on the role of young people, explored ways that leaders across generations are working together – or not- to reinvent this field.

The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Evidence Based Philanthropy

While few would argue with evidence-based decisions, surprisingly little can be said about what constitutes “sound” evidence or relevant and actionable data. This plenary examined the possibilities and pitfalls of philanthropic practice based on evidence.

Private Philanthropy and Public Accountability

Foundations are privileged institutions, exercising the power of their resources to shape communities and sometimes the policies of governments. What is the license to operate of the foundation in a democracy? Should private foundations receive more scrutiny? Or does private philanthropy have a unique role to play in taking risks for society that others cannot?


Data For Impact: What Should Be Shared, With Whom, And Who Should Decide

PFC and Powered by Data released a series of learning materials on data and evidence-based grantmaking created for Canadian funders. This first brief of our series sets the stage. Companion briefs do a deep dive into specific examples of how data infrastructure can transform philanthropy—and how funders can bring this into their own work.

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Could it Happen Here?

These slides were shared by Michael Adams in the Opening Conversation: Populism, Citizen Engagement and Philanthropy and contain some of the research that was presented.

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The Intersection of Philanthropy and Public Interest Journalism

What is the role of journalism and media in promoting informed conversations among citizens about key political and social issues in Canada? In an age of withering traditional media business models, does philanthropy have a role to play in creating space for informed public dialogue?

What's Next for Philanthropy in Canada: An Intergenerational Conversation

Jon McPhedran Waitzer moderated this plenary ans shares his opening slides.

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PFC 2019 Symposium in Calgary

Wednesday, October 16 and 17th, 2019

Save the Date

Join PFC and your colleagues for its biennial Symposium in Calgary at the Hyatt Regency. More info to come, but you will not want to miss it so mark your calendar.