January 10, 2022
From the President

What a year we’ve had, and what a year we have ahead

Jean-Marc Mangin, President and CEO of Philanthropic Foundations Canada

Dear members, partners and friends:

If 2021 has shown us anything, it’s that anything is possible. Just a few short weeks ago, I would have said that we may be slowly – possibly – in a place to be optimistic about the direction of the pandemic. But now with the new Omicron variant, everything is again uncertain.

What is clearer than ever however, is that as a sector, and as a community, we must work together. The pandemic is continually showing us that collective action matters. It’s vital to strengthening the common good, and it can help us imagine a better world.

To this end, we have worked together in unprecedented ways.

Starting in 2020 and wrapping up this past fall, PFC facilitated the COVID Québec Consortium. This extraordinary initiative of generous and forward-thinking foundations helped to get resources to communities fast to help curb the spread of COVID-19 with testing and vaccination, protecting vulnerable residents in Greater Montréal at higher risk of getting sick. In the end, together we mobilized 10 foundations in raising $12.3M, supporting 27 community action plans involving over 200 community groups, and reaching 3.3 million residents.

When PFC learned about the federal government’s interest in the disbursement quota in early 2021, we quickly sprang into action. We undertook our largest and most extensive consultation in our history as an organization on the issue. The input we received since March – through focus groups, interviews, surveys, CEO gatherings, webinars, and discussions with sector partners and experts – provided invaluable insight for PFC as it developed an evidenced-driven progressive position that balances current and growing needs with sustaining capacity to respond to future ones. In total, at least 70% of members engaged on the issue with PFC.

Because of our early attention to this issue and our determination to comprehend what’s at stake so fulsomely, it has become clear that PFC is playing a leading role on regulatory reform for the entire sector.

We are expecting a new policy regime to be announced this year on the disbursement quota and we are working hard to ensure that its implementation meets the needs of the sector and the communities our sector is here to support. And we will also be here to assist members with any needed transition.

Closely linked to this work to advance more inclusive philanthropy are our learning initiatives on important issues such as data, investment – notably impact investment, and non qualified donees.

In fall 2021, PFC launched its first JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) learning cohort, which promptly filled-up. This accelerator consists of monthly sessions guided by diverse experts in supporting foundation leaders to better understand the issues, develop and implement action plans relevant to the individual contexts of participating foundations, and build a strong supportive peer network experience. In 2022, we’re set to launch a second cohort.

And a few months ago, we launched the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change, a program housed at PFC in collaboration with Canada’s largest funding networks – Community Foundations of Canada, Environment Funders Canada, and the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The pledge is an ambitious and growing program that invites and supports Canadian foundations to take meaningful action on climate change.

These are just some of the examples of the new directions and robust work we are able to take on because of the growing appetite in our sector to learn from each other. And we’re just getting started. PFC is here to support this work, and I know we can do it together. 

If you’re motivated by this ambition, we invite you to renew your PFC membership for 2022 if you haven’t already done so, and we encourage those new to PFC to consider joining. 

We surely have another roller-coaster year ahead of us. Through listening, learning, and working in partnership, our sector can play an even more effective role supporting more organizations working in more communities as we emerge from this global storm.

Thank you for being part of our evolving community and for the important work you do.

On behalf of all of us here at PFC, I wish you the very best for 2022.

Jean-Marc

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