Resources

Discover our wide variety of philanthropic resources and grantmaking tools.

Resources

Featured, Research Publications

Snapshot of Foundation Giving in Canada in 2018 and Trends 2013-2018

This research report is produced periodically by Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC )to provide a snapshot of Canada’s top 150 private and public grantmaking foundations (with grantmaking as primary activity) in 2018.

This report also looks at historical asset and granting trends between 2013, when PFC released its first snapshot report, to this current report based on 2018 data. 

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Featured, Research Publications

Investment & Disbursement Survey Executive Summary: 2018-2020

This report presents the results of a member survey conducted by Millani Inc. on behalf of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) in May 2021, capturing FY 2018 to FY 2020 data from 93 foundations. To further contextualize the questionnaire, Millani conducted eight interviews and three focus group sessions with a sampling of PFC members. The purpose of the survey was to assess members’ views regarding three specific areas:

1. Management of Investment Portfolios and Performance
2. Potential Changes in the Disbursement Quota (DQ) and Charitable Expenditures
3. Responsible, Impact- and Mission-related Investments

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Featured, Policy & Regulation

Equitable Recovery Collective Submission: CONSULTATIONS BY FINANCE CANADA: BOOSTING CHARITABLE SPENDING IN OUR COMMUNITIES

The Equitable Recovery Collective formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the nonprofit and charitable sector and the communities it serves. The Collective aims to advance good public policy and advocacy for an equitable recovery, better funding practices that are more equitable and that advance equity, and greater equity within the sector. 

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Featured, Policy & Regulation

Charities, non-profits need more than upped disbursement quota from feds to advance equity in communities

The Hill Times: OPINION

The disbursement quota represents only one element of a much broader and necessary policy conversation related to how to increase investment in communities and collectively unlock the full socio-economic potential and public benefit of the non-profit and charitable sector.

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Featured, Policy & Regulation

Consultations by the Government of Canada on Boosting Charitable Spending in our Communities

Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Government of Canada’s consultations on “Boosting Charitable Spending in our Communities.” This submission builds on the policy brief PFC presented to the federal government in June 2021 and reflects the most extensive consultations – with members as well as sector partners and experts – undertaken in PFC’s 20-plus-year history.

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Featured, Practice Publications

PFC Learning Series Tool 2: Learning in a time of crisis: 7 tips to help foundations focus on learning and evaluation

In non-crisis times, foundations often use tools such as strategic plans and evaluations to guide and inform action. A key goal for many foundations is to be able to describe the impact of their investments to help inform where and to whom future funding should be allocated. However, the COVID-19 crisis has affected how several foundations operate as well as how they deploy their resources to support their grantees and communities. The magnitude of the crisis has led many foundations to recognize the need to be more responsive and less restrictive in the support they provide. At the same time, there is an opportunity to reflect and learn from this moment in time regarding how foundations can work differently and what it means for contributing to positive change going forward. This short guide offers seven tips for foundation staff to understand, adopt, and make use of a learning mindset. Included are several links to relevant resources for those looking to learn more.

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Featured, Practice Publications

PFC Learning Series Tool 4: A Primer on Analyzing Financials of Charities and Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations exist for purposes other than earning returns for investors, so traditional measures used to analyze the performance of for-profit enterprises are not well suited for evaluating them. This primer serves as a resource for donors and funders to help understand and analyze financial statements in order to determine the financial sustainability of an organization and identify potential red flags.

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Featured, Practice Publications

PFC Learning Series – Tool 1: COVID-19, social inequalities and foundations’ response

As the COVID-19 crisis reveals and magnifies inequalities, PFC has decided to launch a Learning Series comprised of resources, observations and practical tips that foundations across Canada can implement. Our first tool highlights the importance of advancing equity and inclusion while responding to COVID-19.

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Featured, Practice Publications

We’re all in this together: A statement from Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Environment Funders Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

With input from the charitable and non-profit sectors, we’ve outlined 5 guiding principles to assist foundations in supporting their grantees through this time. We invite foundations across the country to adapt these to their context and join us in their implementation so that the organizations we fund can carry on their important work in our communities throughout and after the crisis.

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Featured, Practice Publications

Funders Making Change: Engaging in Public Policy

This guide is a resource for funders considering public policy work.  In this guide you will find 1) a useful checklist on what you can and can’t do 2) strategies for public policy engagement and 3) case studies from Canadian foundations. The guide also explains the regulatory framework for charities engaging in public policy activities.

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Featured, Practice Publications

Understanding the Philanthropic Landscape: How grants data can inform funder decision-making

PFC has released the second brief in the series of learning materials on data and evidence-based grantmaking created for Canadian funders, in collaboration with Powered by Data. This brief does a deep dive into specific examples of how data infrastructure can transform philanthropy.

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Featured, Research Publications

A Portrait of Canadian Foundation Philanthropy

Have you wondered about broader trends and practices in the Canadian foundation landscape? PFC, in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), has prepared a profile of the practices of philanthropic foundations in Canada. The study is part of a collaborative global effort led by researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University. Through this study, we are becoming better informed about Canadian foundations and their comparisons with peers across the world.

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Featured, Grantmaking, Practice Publications

Good Grantmaking: A Guide for Canadian Foundations, revised 2015

This significantly revised guide shares concrete examples and successful practices from grantmakers in Canada on how to navigate the five stages of the grantmaking cycle. There are practical checklists that are useful for seasoned professionals and new grantmakers alike, to help you apply these approaches in your everyday work.

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Featured, Research Publications

Snapshot of Foundation Giving in 2015

This snapshot provides a data portrait of Canada’s grantmaking foundations in 2015. The snapshot also takes a more detailed look at the largest grantmaking foundations by asset size and by annual grants. It provides a picture of the significant impact and contribution of the largest foundations in the country.

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The Northpine Foundation Appoints Aatif Baskanderi as CEO.

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Good Governance: A Guide for Directors of Canadian Foundations

This revised version of the popular PFC Governance guide has been redesigned as a user-friendly workbook for current and new directors of Canadian charitable foundations. The updated version features checklists and a new Resource Map to help you find the resources that are most useful to your needs.

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PFC Learning Series Tool 4: A Primer on Analyzing Financials of Charities and Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations exist for purposes other than earning returns for investors, so traditional measures used to analyze the performance of for-profit enterprises are not well suited for evaluating them. This primer serves as a resource for donors and funders to help understand and analyze financial statements in order to determine the financial sustainability of an organization and identify potential red flags.

DOWNLOAD

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PFC Learning Series – Tool 1: COVID-19, social inequalities and foundations’ response

As the COVID-19 crisis reveals and magnifies inequalities, PFC has decided to launch a Learning Series comprised of resources, observations and practical tips that foundations across Canada can implement. Our first tool highlights the importance of advancing equity and inclusion while responding to COVID-19.

DOWNLOAD

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We’re all in this together:

A statement from Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Environment Funders Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

With input from the charitable and nonprofit sectors, we’ve outlined 5 guiding principles to assist foundations in supporting their grantees through this time. We invite foundations across the country to adapt these to their context and join us in their implementation so that the organizations we fund can carry on their important work in our communities throughout and after the crisis.

ACCESS THE DECLARATION

Impact Investing Guidebook

The Impact Investing Guidebook and accompanying resources are designed for foundations large and small, with different capacity and levels of commitment. More specifically, it’s written to provide practical strategies and tactical support for executive directors and board members of foundations that are thinking about or beginning to make impact investments.

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Philanthropy in Action

Philanthropy In Action

Find out how various foundations are making an impact in their communities beyond just providing funds to donnees. These inspiring stories provide a mere glimpse at what can be accomplished through collaboration between philanthropy, government, business and communities.

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