Our partner, The Philanthropist, has just published a book review of PhiLab’s book: Philanthropic Foundations in Canada: Landscapes, Indigenous Perspectives and Pathways to Change
Book Review: Philanthropic Foundations in Canada: Landscapes, Indigenous Perspectives and Pathways to Change
By Don McRae
“A gift that does nothing to enhance solidarity is a contradiction.”
Mary Douglas in her forward to The Gift, Marcel Mauss
Philanthropic Foundations in Canada: Landscapes, Indigenous Perspectives and Pathways to Change is a wealth of information on Canadian foundations for people just entering the philanthropic world. It is a primer on many of the key issues that confront these groups and how they have moved forward to address these challenges. That said this book also holds much for established practitioners. It examines several important concerns in the field, especially in relation to working with partners in a respectful and collaborative way.
A key learning from this text, especially in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) and the Black Lives Matter coalition, is the idea of working toward reciprocity; where the grantor and grantee are equals in moving a project forward.
As the title suggests, the book is separated into three parts. The Landscapes section is a comprehensive review of the history of foundations and delves into several important operational issues. It speaks to the regulations and frameworks within which foundations operate. The Indigenous Perspectives segment addresses efforts by foundations and Indigenous communities to build relationships and collaborate as true partners in their work. The Pathways to Change chapters provide examples of foundations and communities learning how to work toward long term solutions to complex problems. These meetings with grantees are worthwhile journeys, but the process is long, involves a great deal of work, and much soul searching…
 The Gift: the form and reason for exchange in archaic societies, Marcel Mauss, Routledge Classics, Cornwall England, 2004. Available at: Available at: https://libcom.org/files/Mauss%20-%20The%20Gift.pdf .
 Financial accountability and reporting of foundations in Canada, Francois Brouard and Marc Pilon at page 76.
 Measuring the Circle – Emerging Trends in Philanthropy for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Communities in Canada: A focus on Manitoba, (The Circle, 2017b).