Place-Based Endowments in the Periphery

About the Project

This research examines place-based collective endowments as a mechanism to facilitate revitalization in peripheral regions from theoretical, public policy, and local development perspectives. This research will directly contribute to improving rural development public policy by providing critical information about current challenges and opportunities for place-based endowments. Information will be collected through key informant interviews with leading philanthropic organizations from across Canada as well as drawn from case studies focusing on specific philanthropic activity in three different parts of Canada: British Columbia; Ontario; and Atlantic Canada. This project is SSHRC-funded for 5 years and focuses on connections between philanthropic organizations, rural communities, and place-based endowments with the goal of understanding the challenges and opportunities for rural charitable organizations to contribute to environmental and community resiliency.

In Atlantic Canada, the team is mapping the landscape of philanthropy with some interesting preliminary results. In rural areas particularly, the definition of philanthropy is vague and is more often seen in acts of kindness – for example fundraisers for a child in the community who is ill or rebuilding a neighbor’s home that burnt down. With a higher sense of place (or attachment to their community) in Newfoundland and Labrador than across other parts of Canada, this sort of giving in rural communities presents an interesting case study to examine the impact that philanthropy can have.

Research Team

  • Ryan Gibson, University of Guelph
  • Louis Helps, University of Guelph
  • Alex Petric, University of Guelph
  • Sean Markey, Simon Fraser University
  • Katherine Levett, Simon Fraser University
  • Emma Squires, Simon Fraser University
  • Kelly Vodden, Memorial University
  • Brady Reid, University of Guelph