CEO, Community Foundations of Canada
President, Community Foundations of Canada
Philanthropy, business, and government need to change the rules to do their part.
COVID-19 has stretched our communities with many, including non-profits and social enterprises, on the frontlines. A just recovery will be driven by community leaders. Philanthropy, business and government can do a simple thing to help make this happen — change who is eligible for philanthropic funding because many communities are still being left behind.
Charities, non-profits and social enterprises all serve communities. A registered charity, in government language, is a qualified donee — making it eligible for more funding opportunities. In Canada, there are 40,000 organizations with charitable purposes that are not qualified donees. While BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, many of the small-to-medium-sized organizations that frequently represent and serve them are not qualified donees and therefore face a number of barriers to accessing support.
At Community Foundations of Canada, we see how this limits who can apply for philanthropic funding. We also see a simple fix: reform the existing rules to be more inclusive. Philanthropic efforts — from foundations to corporate social responsibility to individual donors — are still falling short of equitably supporting communities and need flexibility.
We have witnessed how this pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities. As an organization with the purpose of “relentlessly pursuing a future where everyone belongs,” we want to do everything we can to ensure that funding is as accessible, timely, and responsive as possible for communities dealing with the pandemic’s impacts.
We have an opportunity for social change. Reforming regulations on accessing philanthropic dollars can bring closer a just recovery driven by the community.