Case studies on private foundations contributing to sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Canada in innovative ways

Research Projects


The project aims at understanding why, how and with which results private foundations can contribute to the SDGs in innovative ways. To our knowledge, there are no published studies attempting at empirical verification of the contribution of private foundations to SDGs. The goal of the project is to undertake a multiple case study of three/four private foundations (necessarily endowed; preferably corporate ones, for the sake of future international comparability) that are considered as best practices for their contribution to SDGs in Canada in innovative ways. The main headquarters of the foundation need not be in Canada: an international foundation with local activity in Canada could be included in the study.

The case studies will feedback Prof. Rey-Garcia own research project while at UQAM as a visiting researcher, entitled “Philanthropy oriented towards social innovation: antecedents, enablers and effects”. The latter self-funded research project combines theoretical and empirical research, in order to produce, validate and test the conceptual framework. During her visiting research at UQAM, she will use such conceptual framework to structure the interview questionnaire towards the case studies. After her visiting research at UQAM, Prof. Rey-Garcia’s project will feed back, in its turn, PhiLab future comparative research.

Thus the short-term goal of the project is to pilot a multiple case study (3-4 private foundations and their respective ecosystems). Its long-term goal is to produce comparative study tools that can be used in future collaborative projects between PhiLab and UDC.

Affiliated Hub(s): National Research

Research Axis: Philanthropy and Environmental Justice

Project supervisor: Jean-Marc Fontan

Partner(s): UDC, Environment Funders Canada

Team member(s): Marta Rey-Garcia, and Rosane dal Magro

Student researcher(s): 

Beginning date of the project: 

End date or projected end date of the project: 


Ongoing Case Research on Philanthropic innovation for sustainability (July, 2020)

Rey-Garcia, M., & Dal Magro, R. (2021). Walking the Talk on Sustainable Development Goals: The Case of Community Foundations in Canada. The Foundation Review, 13(4).