I recently read a fascinating report from the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) on Transforming the Non-Profit Community in Edmonton. It is relevant to all cities and communities in Canada.

So many great quotes but here are just a few:

Here is a quote from UN Secretary-General António Guterres with my emphasis.

The [COVID-19] pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world. It has laid bare risks we have ignored for decades: inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation; the climate crisis…. COVID-19 has been likened to an x-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: The lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all; The fiction that unpaid care work is not work; The delusion that we live in a post-racist world; The myth that we are all in the same boat. Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in super-yachts while others are clinging to drifting debris.
– SECRETARY GENERAL OF UNITED NATIONS

 

Herer are some other quotes from the report:

 

For the purposes of this document, myths can be understood as widely held, yet largely
inaccurate, beliefs and ideas. There were six myths that were revealed during our strategic
engagement conversations.
1. The myth that the non-profit sector is truly voluntary.
2. The myth that non-profit organizations are flexible and responsive.
3. The myth that non-profit organizations operate as representatives of the community.
4. The myth that the non-profit sector is apolitical.
5. The myth that non-profit programs are fully data-driven and evidence-based.
6. The myth that the non-profit sector is truly altruistic.
Each myth, although specific to Edmonton, has been framed using the work of academics analyzing the non-profit sector.   An overview of each myth, along with some supporting quotes, are provided in the following pages.

 

 

While we cannot deny that the individuals who develop and run charitable foundations are well-intentioned, it might be time to ask if the legislative structures surrounding charitable foundations provide one more way for wealthy people to not only avoid paying taxes, but also advance their personal and ideological agendas.