Investing in Community

Philanthropy and Grantmaking Foundations

The Future is Made: 2019 Environmental Scan - Trends and Emerging Issues

Authors: Institute for Community Prosperity (2019)

This 2019 Environmental Scan peers into 2019 and reports on major current socioeconomic trends and developments, at local, provincial, national and international scales, relevant to the work of the Foundation. This Scan anticipates, celebrates and challenges us to quit shouting at the TV (or “tsk tsking” at our smartphone), to move from watching the hockey game to playing on the ice. We can, must and will design a future that is better than the present. What’s more is that machines will be our allies, as they always have been, even as the distinction between biological and mechanical life are evermore blurred.

Report:Terra Cognito: 2018 Environmental Scan
Authors: Institute for Community Prosperity (2018)

This 2018 Environmental Scan plays on the term terra incognita, first employed by the Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy to refer to regions that have not been mapped or documented. It is an apt phrase to describe the Twenty-first Century, and particularly this past year: The theme of last year’s Scan, written on the heels of the Trump presidential victory, was Into the Unknown. Many of the themes covered in this year’s Scan cover aspects of awareness, from the machine-based algorithmic, immutable awareness of blockchain, to civic journalism as a response to the frightening erosion of trust in media, to shifts in how we understand community impact, to the insights to be gleaned from investments in social research and development (or, social R&D). All of this on a bedrock of understanding the facts of our history and territory.

Report: Into the Unknown: 2017 Environmental Scan
Authors: Institute for Community Prosperity (2017)

This scan, a companion piece and follow-up to the 2015 scan, serves as an overview of the major current socio-economic trends and developments, at local provincial, national and international scales, relevant to the work of The Calgary Foundation, focuses on phenomena that directly impact the Foundation’s interests in stewarding its financial and community investments and in nurturing a community where all belong. Information in this scan is derived from several sources, including news stories, op-eds, policy reports, and academic literature.

Blog: Is This Era of Bully Philanthropy?
Author: James Stauch (2016)

What should we make of philanthropists withholding donations to make a political statement?

Research Partnership: Social Innovation, Societal Change and Canada's Grant-making Foundations

The Institute is partnering with L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) looking into the role of philanthropic (i.e. grant-making) foundations in Canada – past, present and future. Senior Researcher Peter Elson is also serving as collaborator (co-investigator) for the project. Other partners include Community Foundations Canada and Philanthropic Foundations Canada, two key umbrella organizations in Canadian philanthropy.

Presentation: Futurecasting Canada: Anticipating the Role of Community Foundations in 2025 and Beyond
Presenters: Pat Letizia, James Stauch and Lesley Cornelisse (2015)

This session was an interactive exploration of themes that will impact philanthropic work in Canada in the coming decade. Frames meta-trends in social organization, demographics, environmental sustainability, economics and finance, and serves as a tool to reimagine the role of community foundations within this evolving context, enabling a discussion of new approaches that will enable communities to thrive in changing times.

Report: If You Don’t Like the Weather: 2015 Environmental Scan
Authors: James Stauch, Jill Andres, Lesley Cornelisse and Pat Letizia (2015)

This scan serves as an overview of the major current socio-economic trends and developments, at local provincial, national and international scales, relevant to the work of The Calgary Foundation. It focuses, in particular, on phenomena that directly impact the Foundation’s interests in stewarding its financial and community investments and in nurturing a healthy, vibrant, giving and caring community.

Article: Fostering Sustainable Futures for Rural Community and Regions through Philanthropy
Authors: Ryan Gibson, Joshua Barrett, Kelly Vodden, 2014

Looks at how community foundations can influence and participate in regional development in rural areas to support revitalization and sustainability.

Corporate Community Investment

Community Investment Profiles

Author: Alexandra Preddy (2015)

This is a series of "caselets" profiling the unique approaches of Canadian companies to investing in community.  Please note: If printing, please choose "Fit to page" under options/preferences.


Assiniboine Credit Union

ATB Financial


Canadian Oil Sands

Canadian Tire


Green Shield Canada

Mountain Equipment Co-op

Sponsor Energy



Vancity Community Foundation

Village Brewery

Blog: Fox in the Henhouse

Author: James Stauch (2015)

Thoughts on shared value, corporate philanthropy, and corporate community investment prepared for The Soul of the Next Economy Forum 2015.

Student Report: Plummeting Oil and the Potential for a Prosperous Community

Author: Lindsay Johnson (2015)

When companies are fixated on short-term financial goals they may fail to notice the needs of their customers, the depletion of resources that are crucial to their operations, and the declining economy in the communities where they do business. Through a case study of the extractives sector, this paper explores where Creating Shared Value (CSV) goes beyond traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in building community through business.

Student Report: Authenticity: The Lifeline of Organizational Corporate Social Responsibility

Author: Megan Schimpf (2015)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer a differentiating factor for organizations; its usage has increased and become widespread across diverse sectors, growing into a standard organizational expectation that has resulted in a growing number of organizations seeking to reap the benefits that come from CSR without actually doing the work CSR was intended to do. This paper provides a distinctive contribution to present-day literatures by highlighting the pertinent role authenticity in CSR has in shaping today’s business climate.

Report: Corporate Community Investment in Canada: Understanding the Field (Fall 2015)

Authors: James Stauch and Zoë Anderson, 2015

This paper explores the literature surrounding corporate community investment and what education options exist for professionals in the field.

To understand more about this field, discover MRU’s Extension Certificate Program in Corporate Community Investment.

Social Finance

Article: Social Finance and Nonprofits: The Contribution of Social Finance to the Sustainability of Nonprofit Organizations and Social Enterprises

Author: Dr. Olaf Weber

Examines how different social finance institutions in Canada – impact investors, credit unions, and others – finance the work of nonprofits and social enterprises.