Photo of Susan Phillips

Susan Phillips

Comparative public policy for the third sector; philanthropy and nonprofits; public management

Phone:613-520-2600 x 2633
Office:5213 Richcraft Hall

Graduate Supervisor, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

BA Honours in Geography (University of Victoria, Canada)
MA in Geography (University of Waterloo, Canada)
MA in Political Science (Carleton University, Canada)
PhD in Political Science (Carleton University, Canada)

Susan’s research focuses on public policy and regulation of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, financing of charities and nonprofits, cross-sectoral collaboration, community foundations and place-based philanthropy.

Philanthropy – the use of private resources for public purposes – is an important complement to the work of governments and an essential means of building inclusive, resilient communities. Nonprofits provide a wide range of services that our society depends upon; they enable citizens, as volunteers and members, to engage with each other; and they serve as advocates for social change.  As many Canadians work in the nonprofit sector as in natural resources. I am driven to better understand how this diverse sector operates, the changing patterns of financing, giving and volunteering, and how public policy can better enable its work.  As the public, private and nonprofit sectors collaborate and co-produce in new ways, my research seeks to examine the opportunities and challenges this creates.

Selected recent publications and funded research

Routledge Companion to Philanthropy. London: Routledge, 2016. (co-editor and co-author with T. Jung and J. Harrow)

International Trends in Government-Nonprofit Relations:  Constancy, Change and Contradictions, in E. Boris and E. Steuerle (eds.) Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, in press. (with M. Blumberg).

A Dawn of Policy Convergence? Third Sector Policy and Regulatory Change among the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Cluster, Public Management Review, 16, 8, 2014: 1141-63. (with S. R. Smith)

Preparing for Impact:  Accountability and Performance in Canada’s Third Sector in K. Seele (ed.), The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada 3rd ed. Toronto:  LexisNexis, 2014.

Shining Light on Charities or Looking in the Wrong Place? Transparency and Co-Regulation in Canada, Voluntas, 24, 3, 2013: 881-905. Awarded Best Paper in the journal for 2013.

Developing a Better Understanding of Community Foundation in the UK’s Localisms, Policy and Politics, 41, 3, 2013: 409-27. (with T. Jung and J. Harrow)

Recent Grants

“The Demand Side of Impact Investing,” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Community University Research Alliance. “Responsible and Impact Investing.” $1 million 2011-2016. (Collaborator; T. Hebb, PI). This project $25,000.

“Place-based Philanthropy:  The Changing Role of Community Foundations in Community Leadership,” Insight Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), $116,000, 2012-2016. (PI with collaborators J. Harrow and T. Jung).

Recent Teaching

PANL 5002 – Policy and Legal Environment for Philanthropy and Civil Society

PANL 5007 – Program Evaluation for Philanthropy and Nonprofits

Recent Supervision

In progress:

Regulatory Waves: Regulation and Self-Regulation of Civil Society Organizations in Kenya

LGBT Rights, Political Institutions and Economics in the Caribbean

Governance in the Internal Audit Sector of the Canadian Federal Government

Recent Editorships and Academic Offices

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 

Member, Editorial Board, Public Management Review, 2010-

Member, Editorial Board, Policy & Society, 2010-              

Member, Editorial Board, The Philanthropist, 2000-

Recent Awards and Distinctions

Distinguished Service Award for contribution and leadership in research and practice, Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER-ARES), 2016.

Potter Foundation Visiting Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, Australian Centre for Nonprofit Studies, Brisbane, 2016

Impact Award, Carleton University for ‘outstanding contributions that entail mobilizing one’s teaching, research, and administrative skills to play a notable role in building on institutional strengths and connections to make a difference., 2015

Visiting Fellow, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

International Research Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) Award for Best Paper published in Voluntas in 2013

Elected, Visiting Fellow, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, 2010-2011, 2012

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy, Cass Business School, City University London, 2010-211