By Marnie Spears of member firm KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)
North of the 49th parallel, virtually everyone involved in the charitable sector has been closely following the extensive series on philanthropy that the Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national newspaper, has produced this Fall. (www.theglobeandmail.com/giving)
In recent years we have become accustomed to seeing media coverage of the charitable sector often falling into two opposing categories: feel-good, although sometimes superficial, profiles of a local charitable program on one hand; or pieces that are intended to be an exposé of sorts related to administrative costs – often based on analysis that misses the mark – on the other. With this back drop, I have found the Globe series to be a breath of fresh air. Thoughtful and balanced, the wide-range of topics presented includes many perspectives that will be equally of interest to our Giving Institute colleagues in the US…a few examples:
- ‘Welcome to the next generation of philanthropy’
- ‘It’s time to say not to not-for-profit’
- ‘New breed of company blurs lines between charity and business’
- ‘Accounting for the new philanthropy’
- ‘New social impact bond targets the greater good’
While not sugar-coating the challenges facing a sector that is being asked to do more with less and with deepened scrutiny, the series very effectively examines these topics in a forward-looking and solution-focused way. For all of us at KCI, most importantly it reinforces an essential theme that has been a drumbeat in our work with clients for years: the need to deepen and widen the ‘culture of philanthropy,’ both inside individual organizations and in Canada as a whole. With the number of Canadians giving dropping and their average age increasing, it is indeed an unprecedented challenge…but also an unprecedented opportunity. And it is up to all of us working in the sector to innovate, take risks, deepen our impact and communicate that impact in order to make the most of this opportunity.
I hope you enjoy flipping through some of the articles in this series, and find some ‘nuggets’ of interest that are relevant to your work with clients. Happy reading, and happy holidays to all!