Why Speak Ill of Charity?

It’s sad. There are too many people who speak ill of charities. Some making sweeping accusations or conclusions without any real evidence or understanding. Some prefer to focus on the mistakes charities make (and of course they make some) rather than the good they deliver, There are some who think the continuation of social problemsContinue reading “Why Speak Ill of Charity?”

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Mega-Charities: the 100 Largest Charities in Canada

I am working on a major paper currently entitled, Mega-Charities and All the Rest: Money, Power, Folk Lore, and Transformation. It will include research and data about the revenue sources of charities in Canada and, drawing upon CRA data will provide a comprehensive look at all the ways charities fund raise. The paper will include revenueContinue reading “Mega-Charities: the 100 Largest Charities in Canada”

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Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget

UPDATE… at the request of the Edmonton Journal, I rewrote the piece below and the EJ published it HERE. Dear Premier Prentice: We met west of Edmonton at a BBQ when you were campaigning for your position. I appreciated your speech and remember thinking you could be a strong Premier and move our Province forwardContinue reading “Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget”

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Let’s Stop Assuming Non-Profits Should Just Be Run Like a Business.

It is not uncommon for business leaders or entrepreneurs to suggest that charities need to behave more like business. Of course non-profit operations should be based on sound financial and management principles and practices, but I suggest blanket statements like “be more like business” ignore some fundamental differences between private and non-profit sector organizations. OftenContinue reading “Let’s Stop Assuming Non-Profits Should Just Be Run Like a Business.”

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Heretical Propositions: Toward Democratic Philanthropy (Part One)

 This is the first installment of a series from a long essay I am writing about philanthropy or more specifically about the need for a major, if not radical shift, toward democratic philanthropy. The essay will be included in a book of exposition and criticism I am writing, currently entitled “Heretical Propositions.” Money can mean a lot of thingsContinue reading “Heretical Propositions: Toward Democratic Philanthropy (Part One)”

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Let’s Play Pretend

Let’s play pretend. Pretend you run a business that sells widgets that are critical to a buyer. The price of each widget is $1000.00 and the buyer needs 100 of them. That’s $100,000. Now let’s pretend the cost of each widget (materials, labour, reasonable marketing costs, equipment maintenance, transportation costs, etc.) makes up 80% ofContinue reading “Let’s Play Pretend”

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Are There Too Many Non-Profits in Alberta Duplicating Service? (2012 UPDATE)

|Download Report| A couple years ago I published a short piece called “Are There Too Many Non-Profit Organizations in Alberta Duplicating Services?” which attempted to increase the public’s understanding of the make-up of the voluntary sector while also challenging the facile notion that so many of society’s problems would be solved if non-profits stopped allContinue reading “Are There Too Many Non-Profits in Alberta Duplicating Service? (2012 UPDATE)”

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Imagine Canada Update: A Framework for Action

Earlier this year I attended a dialogue session facilitated by Imagine Canada here in Edmonton. It was the first stop on a pan-Canadian effort by Imagine Canada to have dialogue about drivers of change in the nonprofit sector with an eye on identifying proposed actions to ensure Canada has a strong, vibrant non profit sectorContinue reading “Imagine Canada Update: A Framework for Action”

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Thinking about Progress

I am glad to see so much attention being paid by many community groups to addressing poverty. The Vibrant Communities initiative across the country is heartening and it is producing results in terms of achieving poverty reduction for thousands of households. An evaluation of this intiative is forthcoming, if not already released from Tamarack. IContinue reading “Thinking about Progress”

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Community Transformation, Not Just Sector Change

There is a growing body of information about the trends and forces facing non-profit organizations and even more opinions on how the sector needs to address them. There is a lot of talk and a good amount of action taking place around shared services and shared space. Social enterprise is becoming more of a playerContinue reading “Community Transformation, Not Just Sector Change”

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