I am in the midst of attending the PFC annual conference in Calgary.  There have been some very interesting speakers and discussions for foundations.

Here are some ideas for foundations to consider in dealing with the tough economic times:

1) More Operating grants;
2) More Multi-year funding;
3) Fund counter-cyclical – fund more now in difficult times and less later in good times;
4) Infill when government is backing out – this is controversial because you might be letting government off the hook but one wants to ensure survival of programs so something must be done (see #5). 
5) Increase advocacy especially with respect to government cutbacks – be careful that you fund the right advocacy groups who are knowledgeable about the issues and well connected to constituents and they are charities such advocacy needs to be within the rules (see CPS-022);
6) Don’t use the 3.5% disbursement quota as a ceiling – it is supposed to be floor; and
7) Look into program related investments (PRI) or mission related investments (MRI).

At the conference I will be a facilitator for a roundtable on issues in Global Philanthropy.

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Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit https://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca or http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca He can be contacted at mark@blumbergs.ca or at 416-361-1982.

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.