FEATURED RESOURCE

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.”…

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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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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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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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Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector (Speaking Points)

On September 17th, PFC President and CEO, Hilary Pearson appeared before the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to discuss foundation roles and the need for modernization of the federal laws regarding charities. Download her speaking points below. You can also view the video of her testimony.

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PFC welcomes the federal government’s announcement concerning political activities

PFC welcomes the federal government’s announcement concerning the political activities of charities and charitable funders that will introduce legislative changes that will ensure that charities and foundations are encouraged to fully participate, in pursuit of their charitable objectives, in public advocacy, dialogue and policy development.

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Senate Social Affairs Brief on Social Finance

In February 2018, PFC President Hilary Pearson presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on the subject of impact investing and the need to clarify and broaden the rules governing so-called program-related investments in the Income Tax Act.

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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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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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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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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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CONSULTATION: “TOWARD GREATER RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT OF COMMUNITY ACTION

The Government of Québec called for briefs from stakeholders to provide input in the context of stakeholder consultations that have been organized for the formulation of a new Action Plan of Government Support to Community Actions. Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) submitted a brief to the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale entitled “Towards a greater recognition and better support of community actions.”

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GENDER-LENS PHILANTHROPY: A practical guide for Canadian foundations

What does it mean to a foundation to apply a “gender lens” to their work? This gender-lens granting guide is part of a series of learning tools and resources to support foundations on how to apply a gender lens in their work. Gender is a key piece in the diversity, equity and inclusion puzzle as more foundations think about the impact of their grantmaking and doing its part in working towards equity in all forms, including gender.

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GOVERNANCE AND GRANTMAKING: Approaches to achieve greater diversity, equity and inclusion

As a first step to assisting foundations with their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journey, PFC has created this toolkit to provide them with guidance and access to a broad range of tools and resources to support and deepen their commitment to social good through diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Navigating the CRA website: Charities & Giving

This updated guide has been developed to help foundations and other charitable grant-makers navigate the Charities and Giving section of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website, which is an indispensable legal and regulatory resource for all registered charities but can be confusing to navigate and challenging to find key information quickly.

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Staffing in Foundations

This guide was created to inform members about typical foundation staffing structures and roles. It is intended for foundation leaders who will find it useful as they build their team, or reposition staff to improve
their effectiveness.

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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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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Canadian Philanthropy: Survey Results, and Future Directions

How inclusive are the policies and practices of organized philanthropy? As Canada’s population diversity grows, and as our community partners and donors themselves include those who are more diverse in background, perspective and approach, it is urgent to ask ourselves how best to acknowledge and include diverse perspectives. This report reflects the results from a PFC survey of its members regarding diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices in 2018.

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Measuring Outcomes: An introduction for funders

PFC has released the third 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 explores and how funders can use data to measure the impact of their grantmaking.

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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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Effective Giving: Using data to inform philanthropy

This brief is the first in a series of learning materials on data and evidence-based grantmaking created for Canadian funders, by Philanthropic Foundations Canada and Powered by Data.  This first brief of our series sets the stage. Companion briefs will 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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Grantmakers and Governments: The Possibilities of Partnership, May 2017

This PFC publication explores the potential opportunities for partnering with government. It looks at how foundations have moved policy agendas forward in the last few years and includes compelling case studies demonstrating the different ways in which philanthropic funders and networks can participate in public-private partnerships.

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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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Small Foundations, Outsized Impact: How Three Canadian Foundations Create Change

Commissioned by Burns Memorial Fund, Mindset Social Innovation Foundation and Philanthropic Foundations Canada in September 2016, the report is intended to draw out consistencies in the practices and philosophies of high impact but small scale foundations.

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Negotiating Donor Agreements with Universities: A Toolkit for Canadian Foundations – October 2014

Education is the single largest area of funding interest for Canadian foundations, and many funders provide their education grants to universities. This 55-page toolkit is intended to support foundation boards and staff who are considering or in the process of negotiating a donor agreement with a university.

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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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Emerging Data Practices for the Philanthropic Sector – June 2015

The “brave new world” of digital data is not just about numbers but also about images, stories and content… anything that can be digitized and therefore shared, manipulated and used to create more knowledge and better practice. We know this is a very rapidly changing landscape. So we expect that this guide will evolve, as the data innovations described are superseded by other even more exciting applications.

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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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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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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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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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Assets & Giving Trends of Canada’s Grantmaking Foundations, September 2014

This 32-page research report, co-authored by PFC and Imagine, profiles the assets and giving trends of Canada’s 150 largest grantmaking foundations and ten largest community foundations over a ten-year period from 2002 to 2012. It also provides a breakdown of the distribution of grants by funding area. Highlights of the report are found in the 6-page Key Facts and Figures.

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Education and Research: A Grantmaking Snapshot

This snapshot provides a one-year picture of grants made to universities and colleges in 2013 by PFC members. In this year, PFC members made grants totalling $376 million to all funding areas. Of this total, $107 million went to education and research, including universities and colleges. Granting by PFC members to this sector is consistently the largest in terms of the total grant dollars allocated.

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The Philanthropic Conversation: A Guide For Professional Financial Advisors

This guide provides advice for professional financial advisors to guide them in their philanthropic discussions with clients. Based on a series of articles inspired by a unique Canadian research study: The Philanthropic Conversation: Understanding Financial Advisors’ Approaches and High Net Worth Individuals’ Perspectives. 

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Assets & Giving by Canada’s Top Grantmaking Foundations: Snapshot of 2013, October 2015

This 26-page research report profiles the assets and giving trends of Canada’s 150 largest grantmaking foundations for the year 2013. These foundations control tens of billions of dollars in assets and disburse over a billion dollars to qualified donees annually, making them significant funders for the charitable sector.

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Top 3 Publications

Recommended Reading

Emerging Data Practices for the Philanthropic Sector – June 2015

The “brave new world” of digital data is not just about numbers but also about images, stories and content… anything that can be digitized and therefore shared, manipulated and used to create more knowledge and better practice.

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PFC Statement on the Report of the Consultation Panel on Political Activities

PFC strongly supports all four of the recommendations made to the Minister of National Revenue.

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The Philanthropic Conversation: A Guide For Professional Financial Advisors

This guide provides advice for professional financial advisors to guide them in their philanthropic discussions with clients. Based on a series of articles inspired by a unique Canadian research study: The Philanthropic Conversation: Understanding Financial Advisors’ Approaches and High Net Worth Individuals’ Perspectives.

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