This paper brings together findings from three separate investigations to provide a deeper understanding of the changing roles of the government, for-profit and nonprofit sectors in ensuring civil society. The first study, based on a survey of 645 nonprofit organizations from across Canada, revealed a nonprofit sector changing to meet the challenges of the times, despite a general pessimism among leaders of nonprofit organizations as to their future (Meinhard & Foster, 2003a & b). The second, based on interviews with 20 Government of Ontario officials with links to the nonprofit sector, demonstrated how civil servants struggled to help nonprofit organizations adjust to the new policies and also encouraged them to form partnerships with the for-profit sector (Meinhard & Foster, 2003c). The research reported in this paper, based on interviews with 17 senior officers of Ontario-based corporations active in philanthropy, focuses on the corporations and probes more deeply in to the myriad of ways they are getting involved in their communities as socially responsible corporate citizens.The findings from the corporate interviews are compared and melded with those from previous interviews with government officials and nonprofit organizations to provide a three-dimensional perspective of the direction in which Canadian civil society may be moving.
Keywords: CVSS, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Working Paper Series,TRSM, Ted Rogers School of Management
Meinhard, A., Foster, M. & Berger, I. (2005). Closing the loop: corporate links to the voluntary sector (Working Paper Series Volume 2005 (3)). Toronto: Ted Rogers School of Management, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Ryerson University.