The Canadian Philanthropic Community has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with innovation and receptiveness which saw an increase in funding from $99 million in May to over $116 million in July as reported by Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC). In August, PFC published their second COVID-19 Data mapping series report that illustrated the success that the Canadian Philanthropic Sector had achieved, based on 59 unique survey responses. These surveys were conducted in an ongoing survey since May in collaboration with community partners (CFC, EFC and The Circle).
PFC reports that 75% of funders are willing to collaborate, share knowledge and co-fund, displaying the sheer cooperativeness of our Canadian Philanthropic Sector. The report identified five guiding principles to assist the philanthropic sector throughout COVID-19 and its ramifications. A prominent theme throughout the report leads to the first guiding principle, “be flexible, pragmatic and proactive in grant-making” with 64% of foundations modifying their reporting procedures/deadlines, 58% percent removing covenants on existing grants, 41% agreeing to advance payments to existing grants. COVID-19 emergency response funds and directly funding basic needs and emergency support were at the forefront of the responses with Social Services and Health being the two top targeted sectors. The report shows that 66% of funding went to the general population, 34% to low-income people and 27% percent to Indigenous populations.
Overall, the PFC report brings together the Canadian Nonprofit Sector by raising the profile on the collectiveness and generosity of Canadians. More than 30% of respondents established a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and over 10% supported food banks and food security. It signifies that in times of crisis, the Canadian Philanthropic Sector comes together and funding remains targeted, effective and consistent. Over 50% of funders increased their disbursements and over 80% funded COVID-19 responses. Post COVID-19, we at Funders in the West believe wholeheartedly that the Canadian Philanthropic Sector will adapt to focus and identify what our communities need and do their best to meet them.
Iryna Khovrenkov, Western Hub Co-Supervisor assisted with data analysis and the compilation of this report.