The editors of PANL Perspectives identified the following outstanding reports about philanthropy, charities and the nonprofit sector.

Shifting Power Dynamics: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Nonprofit Sector (2023) is a 62-page slideshow that summarizes results from a survey of 1,655 charities and nonprofit groups. Led by the Equitable Recovery Collective and Imagine Canada, the report explores what Canadian charities and nonprofits are doing to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within their organizations. One finding: despite experiencing increased expectations and facing greater barriers, organizations with leadership from Black, Indigenous, racialized communities and other underrepresented groups are doing more than their white-led counterparts to advance EDI in the sector.


The Philanthropy Transformation Initiative Report: Enabling Change, Walking the Talk and Creating the Future (2023) outlines 10 core principles for driving transformative change in foundations and philanthropic support organizations. Published by WINGS, with the support of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, at Cambridge University. WINGS is a global network of more than 200 philanthropy associations, networks, academic institutions, support organizations and funders in 58 countries, all of whom are committed to strengthening philanthropy.


Imagine Canada report coverData from Diversity Is Our Strength: Improving Working Conditions in Canadian Nonprofits, from Imagine Canada (2022), demonstrates that our sector’s workforce is diverse but undervalued: 77% of nonprofit workers are women; 47% are immigrants; and 35% of the workforce is Indigenous and racialized people. And workers tend to be older and better educated than the economy-wide averages, but they face lower salaries and difficult employment conditions. The report lists the immediate action needed from funders, governments and nonprofit leaders.


Women Give, Report CoverWomen have become ever more influential in philanthropy, and they give differently than men. Women Give 2022: Racial Justice, Gender and Generosity (2022) is a report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, that analyzes how U.S. households, and particularly women, supported racial justice causes. About one in seven U.S. households gave money to support racial justice causes and organizations in 2020, and single women were more likely to give to these causes than single men or couples. And women are more likely than men to “view all of their resources—not just their money but also their time, expertise, and networks—as tools with which to do good.” The greater likelihood of women to contribute their time and talent, as well as money, has also been found in Canada, although we don’t have good data on giving to racial justice causes.


CIRA Guide,Cover,2022Millions of Canadians don’t have an internet connection, and of those who do, only half of rural households and just a third of First Nation households have access to basic download speed targets of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and 10 Mbps upload. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is addressing this digital inequity. CIRA manages the .CA internet domain and happens to be one of the few, non-governmental, digital-funding programs in the country — and it just released “How To Fund Digital Equity In Canada: A Guide for Funders” (2022).


Nonprofits in Ontario are facing increased demands for services, as well as inflation, deepening financial precarity, and a staffing/volunteer crisis. In 2022, the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and l’Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) surveyed 1,500 charities and discovered there’s an urgent need for a coordinated sector response and long-term public policy solutions to not only mitigate challenges that nonprofits are facing, but to prepare for future emergencies. 2022 State of the Sector – Policy Report contains their findings.


CCVO report coverThe Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) conducted a survey of 331 Alberta nonprofits and engaged in a literature review to better understand the impacts of the pandemic on the nonprofit sector. Its report, Alberta’s Nonprofit Sector: Too Essential to Fail, synthesizes findings, revealing a sector that is under strain and undervalued.


Trust & Impact report coverTrust & Impact, from Imagine Canada in 2022, reports on past causes of reduced unrestricted funding and how it increased quickly in Canada after the pandemic started. Through interviews with two dozen Canadian funders, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the state of unrestricted funding in Canada today.


What does a world-leading framework of charities law look like? (2022), by Sue Barker, draws on experiences in Canada, New Zealand and other countries to dive into regulation, contracting, advocacy and a whole lot more. Barker’s 600-page report (pdf here) builds on two decades of her legal practice in charities law — and makes 70 recommendations, many of which apply to Canada.


Carleton University PhD student Fahad Ahmad and MPNL alumna Rachel Pereira helped to produce a new report, Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy (in English and French). Prepared by the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities and Carleton’s MPNL program, the report provides the first in-depth examination of the relationship between Canadian philanthropy and Black communities.

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Photo of stars is courtesy of Jeremy Bishop.