REPORT | Philanthropic Foundations Canada Releases its Inaugural 2024 Landscape Report, Highlighting Transformative Trends in Canadian Philanthropy

publication date: Jun 19, 2024
author/source: Philanthropic Foundations Canada

Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) is proud to announce the release of its 2024 Landscape Report, a first-edition comprehensive study examining the current state and evolving dynamics of philanthropic foundations in Canada. Reflecting over 11,000 public and private foundations stewarding $135 billion in assets, this report marks a significant milestone in PFC’s ongoing commitment to advancing knowledge and fostering impact within the philanthropic sector.

Why this report matters

Building on a decade of foundational research, PFC’s latest report leverages a mix of never-before-released and under-analyzed quantitative data, as well as new, rich qualitative insights gathered from extensive interviews with a cross-section of Canadian philanthropic foundation CEOs. By synthesizing historical data and contemporary perspectives, this report provides an unprecedented, holistic view of a significant part of Canada’s non-profit and charitable sector.

“Our 2024 Landscape Report offers a wide-ranging view of Canada’s philanthropic foundations, bringing our previously limited understanding of foundations to a new level while highlighting critical gaps in available data,” said Jean-Marc Mangin, CEO. “It notably underscores the sector’s transformation and sets the stage for future research and policy development.”

Key findings

The report describes the vibrant nature of Canada’s growing philanthropic foundation sector, shaped by its unique cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity. It traces the historical development of foundations, regulatory evolution, and the impact of new philanthropic tools such as Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) on Canada’s more than 11,000 foundations, which as a sector has grown 25 per cent, from 8,852 in 2005 to 11,061 in 2021.

Despite a $100 billion increase in foundation assets over the past 14 years (from 2008 to 2021), the report notes the challenges foundations face in balancing capital preservation with charitable mandates amid market uncertainties.

Foundations gifted nearly $10 billion to qualified donees in 2021 alone. From 2018- 2021, both public and private foundation grantmaking to qualified donees grew by 23 per cent and 72 per cent respectively. Identifying specific grantmaking trends remains complex due to data aggregation challenges.

The report highlights the lack of available data on our sector and the need for more Canada-specific research, moving beyond reliance on US and UK contexts. It introduces the Foundation Triangle model to better understand the interplay between regulation, assets, and grantmaking in the Canadian context.

Future directions

The 2024 Landscape Report not only highlights the sector's historical and recent transformations but also points to future research avenues. It emphasizes the need for greater investment in philanthropic education, intermediary organizations, and researcher training to build a more robust and insightful philanthropic landscape. It also marks a beginning of a new, robust research agenda for PFC we’re calling People and Practices, that will provide practitioners, the public, and policymakers alike with more reliable information to better understand our sector’s impact and better inform our practice and the regulatory environment that influences it.

“Canadian foundations are at a critical juncture, balancing legacy and innovation,” added Michele Fugiel Gartner, PFC’s Lead Researcher and the report’s author. “This report serves as a catalyst for deeper exploration and understanding of how foundations can effectively meet society’s evolving needs.”

Access the report here.

Like this article?  Join our mailing list for more great information!

Copyright © 2011-Current, The Hilborn Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

Free Fundraising Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List