Understanding Information Exchanges and Reporting by Grantmaking Foundations


  • Francois Brouard Carleton University / SCSE/CSES
  • Juniper Glass Lumiere Consulting; Philab




Foundations, Information, Ecosystem / Fondations, Écosystème


Information and reporting issues are more present than ever in a context of accountability pressures on nonprofits and foundations. This conceptual article explores the information flows between the stakeholders in the philanthropic ecosystem and examines four broad types of reporting: tax and regulatory, financial, social, and grants reporting. Tax and regulatory reporting includes the general requirements imposed on charities and specific requirements imposed on Canadian foundations by the Income Tax Act. Financial reporting refers to financial statements and other financial information. Social reporting refers to information shared about foundations’ activities, non-financial performance, and impacts. Grant reporting refers to information requests and disclosure between foundations and grantees, and information about grants shared with other stakeholders. The article provides an analysis framework to examine the grantmaking foundations’ ecosystem and identify key trends and challenges regarding information exchanges.

Les enjeux liés à l’information et à la communication sont plus présents que jamais dans un contexte de responsabilisation en expansion. Diverses parties prenantes participent dans l’écosystème des fondations subventionnaires et sont engagés dans l’échange d’information. L’objectif de cet article conceptuel est d’explorer la circulation de l’information entre les parties prenantes de l’écosystème philanthropique et d’examiner quatre grands types de communication, soit celles fiscales et réglementaires, financières, sociales et subventionnaires. Les communications fiscales et réglementaires comprennent les exigences générales et spécifiques des organismes gouvernementaux, par exemple, la Déclaration de renseignements T3010 requis par la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu du Canada. Les communications financières comprennent les états financiers et les autres informations financières. Les communications sociales portent sur l’information partagée à propos des activités des fondations, de leur performance non-financière et des impacts. Les communications subventionnaires comprennent les demandes et la divulgation d’information entre les fondations et les bénéficiaires et celle partagée avec les autres parties prenantes. Parmi les contributions de l’article, notons le développement d’un cadre d’analyse, basé sur la théorie des parties prenantes et sur la circulation de l’information, afin d’examiner l’écosystème philanthropique.


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