The Centre Cannot Hold: Charting A Course for PFC in Dangerous Times
Five months into my whirlwind journey for PFC, I have met with members from across the country to discuss the key challenges facing Canadian philanthropy and to listen to them about how we are doing as a national organization as we embark on our next strategic plan.
I was struck by the genuine support and good will that PFC can build upon — a reflection of the strong legacy that Hilary, our former President has given us. At the same time, our members also expect more from PFC. Our members are proud of their philanthropic work but want to achieve greater impact. They are keenly aware of the wide-ranging existential and divisive challenges that our society is facing.
Private philanthropy cannot solve these challenges on their own. However, it can be the catalyst, the risk-taker and the bridge-builder towards solutions. To become more effective, we collectively need to be more strategic. This is an overused concept, but to me, it means that we need to be more rigorous, more networked and to improve our internal practices – while keeping our love of humanity and empathy as core values. PFC can help its members on that learning journey.
My key take-aways from the national listening tour informing our 2020 program are:
- A stronger national voice for the members as PFC engages governments, partners and Canadians on our collective contributions to the public good. This engagement will be based on updated research and data on Canadian foundations. We will amplify that research through our renewed communications platforms and our deepened networks to encourage the new Parliament to modernize the regulatory framework for the charitable sector.
- An enhanced platform to support capacity-building of our members, for both their volunteer Boards and their staff. PFC will organize a 3-day conference in Québec City on October 20-22, 2020 on democracy and philanthropy and online and in-person learning and networking events and tools on responsible investing, data and evidence, reconciliation, DEI, NextGen philanthropists and the art of grantmaking practices.
- Greater support and tools to support collaboration and learning. Opportunities to join more communities of practice (i.e. affinity groups) will be offered as well as improving PFC’s support to existing groups.
- A new strategic framework for 2021-25 that builds on the 2020 pilot projects and an ongoing consultation process with PFC’s members and partners.
These priorities have been endorsed by the PFC Board at our meeting in late November. Members will receive, early in the New Year, more details on PFC’s 2020 programs and how they can participate and support them.
As you can see in our latest newsletter, we are beginning by rolling out new guides and toolkits on Impact investment, DEI and Gender as well as partnering with our members to scale up the reach of their programming. I look forward to continuing that journey with each one of you.
Meanwhile, my best wishes for 2020.