“Dancing with giraffes: Why philanthropy matters for public management.” Canadian Public Administration v.61:2 (June 2018), pp. 151-183.

Over the years, philanthropic foundations have become important players in promoting social change and shaping public policy in many countries. However, in Canada, the role of private foundations in public management remains insufficiently acknowledged and poorly understood. Based on a study of Canada’s largest family foundations, a group of 38 foundations that together hold nearly $13 billion in assets, Susan Phillips argues that these foundations play an important role in Canadian governance, funding some causes but not others, shaping public discourse, supporting the nonprofit sector and co-creating policies with governments. Their rise presents new opportunities for the public sector, but also raises important questions of democratic governance. In awarding the J.E. Hodgetts Award to this article, members of the committee noted that it exemplifies how academic research can improve our understanding of public administration and draw attention to important contemporary trends that could impact its practice. A well-written and thought-provoking contribution, the article should inspire a new research agenda in the field of Canadian public administration going forward.

Each year the J.E. Hodgetts Award is awarded to the finest article in English appearing in the previous year’s volume of Canadian Public Administration (four issues). This annual award was created in 1992 by the Institute of the Public Administration to honour the contributions of Ted Hodgetts, who passed away in 2009.

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