I moderated a panel on The History of Business and Philanthropy for The Canadian Business History Association. Panelists Patricia Hardy, Professor Charles Harvey, and Steven Ayer discuss the historical interplay of business with philanthropy in light of the generally accepted notion that the prime function of a business enterprise is to generate profits for shareholders.
The idea that business owners should also seek to perform social tasks is regarded as an ancillary activity. Historical evidence suggests that not all business leaders or organizations have been content simply to perform a commercial role in society. Numerous industrialists and entrepreneurs throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century made significant contributions to their local communities. The early efforts of socially responsible business leaders and companies are well documented. The character of corporate philanthropy has continued to evolve since the 19th Century along with changes in industry, society and the economy. From public service-minded business owners giving to church charities and pet projects, corporate philanthropy today takes on many forms, even as a broadly encompassing corporate social responsibility strategy. This panel will present and discuss the historical, contemporary, and future role of business and business leaders in the area of philanthropy.
You can view the panel discussion HERE.
Research Articles on Canada’s Charitable and Philanthropic Sector
As an active philanthropist and participant, I write a series of monthly in-depth research articles on relevant topics to Canada’s charitable and philanthropic sector.
Charity Expense Reporting (May 2022)
Inter-Charity Donations in Canada (April 2022)
Government Funding to Canada’s Charities and Foundations (March 2022)
Real Estate Investment in Canada’s Charitable Sector (February 2022)
Fundraising Methods Used by Canada’s Charities: Past, Present, Future (January 2022)
The Use of External Fundraisers in Canada’s Charitable Sector (December 2021)
Charitable Gifts-in-Kind: Donations With Impact (November 2021)
The Veritas500 Fastest Growing Charities in Canada (October 2021)
Measuring the Efficiency of the Canadian Charitable Sector (September 2021)
The Canadian Donor Advised Fund Market (August 2021)
The Impact of COVID on the Canadian Charitable Sector (July 2021)
The Canadian Charitable and Philanthropic Sector: An Overview (June 2021)
I recently published a research report on The Impact of COVID on Canada’s Charitable Sector (July 2021) which provided some surprising insight. Notably, the industry as a whole increased its cash balances materially and received more government funding, while reducing expenditures on charitable activity and staff levels. What is particularly concerning is that all of these measures accelerated as the crisis lengthened. This in spite of the accommodating policies of government to assist the sector in managing the worst of the crisis.
The Financial Post commented on the research report HERE.
You can view the Executive Summary of the research report and order a copy of the full report HERE.
Mark was one of a distinguished panel of speakers on Ryerson University’s Generous Futures: 2SLGBTQ+ Communities Impacting. This public event, held June 1st, 2021 , kicked off Pride Month for Ryerson and its community of supporters. The panel looked at issues such as the role philanthropy plays in addressing 2SLGBTQ+ justice and equity, and how are queer leaders affecting positive policy changes and increasing visibility of initiatives in support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Keynote Speaker for Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) Employee Pride Celebration (June 2020)!
In recognition of #PrideMonth, HOOPP welcomed Canadian businessman and philanthropist Mark S. Bonham for a virtual Speaker Series this week on diversity in the workplace. As an active member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, Mark has endowed the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto and co-chaired the successful capital campaign to create Egale Centre, Toronto’s first LGBTQ2S+ homeless youth shelter.
In his informative and inspiring presentation to HOOPP employees, Mark shared why diversity and equality is so important for both employees and employers, in addition to valuable practices for creating accommodating corporate cultures for LGBTQ2S+ individuals and their allies.
I was honoured to have participated in a panel discussion on the challenges facing investors during the global health crisis and post-lockdown. Discussion included the impact on M&A activity, venture capital, and the financial industry in general. Fellow panelist Andrew Hall, former EVP and head of corporate development of WPP in London, provides his insight into the impact on the marketing industry and consumer behaviour. You can listen to the conversation HERE.
Mark was interviewed by Canada’s History magazine podcast in May 2019. The interview delves into the relevance of knowing history in today’s society, with a special focus on LGBTQ history. It covers my published research in the area, and the work of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto.
You can listen to the interview here.
Mark was profiled in the Toronto Star newspaper on his life as a business entrepreneur, philanthropist, and LGBTQ activist.
You can read the profile here.
Mark S. Bonham was honoured as the 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) annual conference in November 2018.
Mark S. Bonham was profiled in The Globe and Mail newspaper related to his being honoured with the 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
You can read the profile HERE.
Mark S. Bonham contributed the chapter on the biography of Mark Carney to the book The Governors of the Bank of Canada (New Federation House, 2018).
To read more and order the book, visit HERE.
Mark S. Bonham is a contributing author for the financial industry to The Canadian Encyclopedia. He has contributed the following articles:
Mark was the Keynote Speaker for the annual Rotman School of Management’s Awards Presentation breakfast. You can view Mark’s presentation HERE.
In September 2017, Mark presented a talk on 150 Years of Canada’s Life Insurance Industry at the conference 150 Years of Canadian Business History Conference, held to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the founding of Canada.
Mark spoke on the topic of Canadian Financial Institutions: reviewing their global ambitions and corporate social policies, 1900 to present. The talk was presented at the conference From Public Interest to Private Profit: The Changing Political and Social Legitimacy of International Business, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, May 5-6, 2016.