ESG Recognizes the Philanthropy Observatory

Blog, Quebec Hub


PhiLab is happy to announce that the Philanthropy Observatory (Observatoire de la Philanthropie) has been officially recognized by the École des sciences de la gestion (ESG) the 8th of April, 2021. The Observatory, an initiative of Élisabeth Robinot, PhiLab member, and Léo Trespeuch will have a three-year mandate. Below you will find a brief presentation of the project.

Where did you get the idea to launch a philanthropy observatory at ESG?

The Philanthropy Observatory emerged from the will of two researchers to work together on philanthropy: Élisabeth Robinot, professor of the Marketing department of ESG UQAM, and Léo Trespeuch, professor of the Marketing and Information Systems department of EGUQTR. The Observatory is a research and strategic monitoring unit aimed at developing studies and knowledge transfer around philanthropy from a marketing perspective. The objective is to study the evolution happening in the philanthropic sector and to come up with answers for professionals working in the field. This way, they can better understand how to manage the communications around their philanthropic actions and fundraising campaigns.

Three research axes have been developed:

  1. the study of the donation behavior of individuals;
  2. the study of corporate philanthropy;
  3. the study of nonprofit organizations.

The Observatory joined the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab) in 2019.

What are the planned activities for the Observatory?

The Observatory’s mandate is to generate research and disseminate knowledge. Research seminars are organized on the first Thursday of each month, allowing the Observatory’s members to present their work. As soon as the public health situation permits, we hope to organize a retreat with sector actors to survey the needs regarding the Observatory’s research axes. At the same time, the Observatory will share research results with the sector’s professionals. The Observatory was established thanks to the support of foundations (Béati, Friends of Notre Dame, J. Armand Bombardier), Centraide of Greater Montreal, Converge, etc. They all supported the project. Our responsibility is now to work hard to help them and offer sound counsel on the issues the philanthropic sector is currently facing.

What are the final products you hope to deliver after the Observatory’s three-year mandate?

We hope to organize a yearly conference around the themes covered. We also plan on publishing a book, articles, blogs, and short videos.

What are the services offered to members?

For students, we offer guidance and structure for Masters and Ph.D. Theses, as well as philanthropy research grants.

For researchers, we offer participation in seminars to present their research and have constructive exchanges around them.

For professionals, we offer partnerships. For example, we have a student who is completing his Ph.D. in partnership with Desjardins (Mitacs grant). There is also the possibility of sharing our research results.


The Observatory published an infographic in collaboration with PhiLab: University foundations in the digital era.