Case studies and Reseach by Karma & Cents

About Karma & Cents –
Our Process

How does a Social Impact Lab work within a family enterprise or small business? A short document highlighting how we work within a multi-disciplinary team integrating lab exploration techniques.

Philanthropy & the Family Office

Family philanthropy is more than just giving back; it is a way for families to make a positive impact on society and instill important values in future generations. Family offices are established to preserve family wealth across generations. Melding philanthropy into family office operations is more than just writing cheques to your favourite charities. This white paper provides some recommendations on how to operationalize your giving within a family office.

Planning your Legacy –Questions for Family Members

Wondering where to start with your personal or family legacy planning? These questions will get you on a path of discovery.

Beyond the Sunset: How not to burden the Next Generation once things have gone dark

There is growing discourse that charitable foundations should not be held in perpetuity; that the needs of today’s society outweigh the benefits of holding onto charitable assets for generations. Sunsetting, or spending down a foundation, requires more than just legal considerations. Like any company, sunsetting a foundation has both an emotional as well as an economic toll. To help you get full grasp of this, here are six questions to consider before shutting down your charitable giving vehicle, be it is a private foundation or a donor advised fund (DAF).

Check out our 60 Seconds of Philanthropy video on Sunsetting a Foundation.

6 Steps to Create Greater Impact with your Philanthropy… And it’s not about giving more

This six-step Guide to Giving walks donors through the in’s and out’s of setting up a strategic philanthropy plan and values-based legacy planning.

What is the Right Giving Vehicle for Me?

This comparison charity outlines the different types of charitable accounts you can have to manage your philanthropic assets. 

Note: Information presented is for the Canadian philanthropic marketplace.

Beyond Giving & Volunteering – How and why individuals are exploring new ways to advance social good

Published in 2013, this report was commissioned by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Written by 27 Shift, Gena Rotstein, along with a number of experts in the philanthropy field, provided commentary and additional resources.

BCorp 101 – Integrating Social Purpose into SMEs and Family Businesses

What is the value of a BCorp for a family business? This whitepaper shares some info on what Social Purpose Businesses are and how BCorps benefit SMEs and Family Businesses

Integrating Social Purpose in Your Business

What does it take to integrate Social Purpose within your already exisiting business model? How can an establish company set themsleves up to become a BCorp? This whitepaper walks you through our process.

Case Study: Zero Waitlists for Mental Health Supports

Authors: Dr. Alina Turner & Jillian Mah

CONVERGE Mental Health Coalition, a collective of 70 individuals and organizations, proposed a bold vision to reimagine the mental health system, from one that delivers fragmented and often dehumanizing service through disjointed infrastructure to one that promises no wait lists, more access points, and greater coordination. This report is shared with permission from Helpseeker Technologies.

Converge logo in grey with coloured brain

Client Project: Reimagining Mental Health Service Delivery in Alberta

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, taking the complex issues in Alberta’s (and other jurisdictions’) mental health system is one such example where an info graphic explains so much. Below is what one family foundation alongside a group of other funders, community agencies, business leaders and governement bodies are working towards. This Collective Impact approach to addressing complex social issues is part of the unique approach to philanthropy advising that happens with K&C clients.

Mental Health highway of services re-imagined

Client Project Announcement – Windmill Micro-Lending: Loan Fund for New Albertans 

Untapped potential – “In Alberta, meeting an internationally trained engineer or physician driving a cab, stacking shelves or cleaning floors is a daily occurrence RBC estimates that by tackling immigrant underemployment, Canada has the potential to add $20Billion to its GDP.”

Windmill Microlending is Canada’s largest provider of affordable and flexible microloans for immigrants and refugees to help them move from low-income work into their professional career. 

The Hunter Family Foundation established a fund in Alberta with Windmill to address the challenges facing new Albertans as they integrate into Canada’s labour market. Providing the seed capital for this fund, the goal is to have $1Million of circular funds flowing out to these individuals by 2025.

Client Case Study – Building Cities Collaborative Models

In the Spring 2021 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review is a case study on a collective funding project between private philanthropy and the City of Calgary. K&C was part of the Community Investment Funders Table and participated in developing the evaluation criteria for the City’s Mental Health strategy.

Recipient Case Study – Lowdown Tracks Documentary

Working with a family foundation, a film production company and a national non-profit a documentary about Canada’s homeless population was released in 2017.

Recipient Case Study – Invisible Heart

Working with a group of family foundations, the Place2Give Foundation a film production company and a national non-profit a documentary about Social Impact Bonds was released in 2018.

Briefing to the House of Commons: Government Spending, WE Charity & the Canada Student Service Grant

There are three critical issues that the WE Charity scandal lays bare. This document outlines those three areas and provides 10 recommendations for the Canadian government to consider as it investigates the WE Charity/Federal Government program funding.

Client Case Study: – How K&C is Sparking Social Systems Change in Mental Health

Authors: Lauren McGill & Chantal Tranchemontagne

Starting in 2019 K&C embarked on a system-level change project with the Hunter Family Foundation in the area of Mental Health. Originally focusing on Alberta, this project has expanded across Canada.

Client Whitepaper – Understanding the Current Landscape of Emerging Adult Mental Health and Needs in Calgary & Surrounding Area

Author: Naomi Parker

Using a Collective Impact approach to this research, the Hunter Family Foundation commissioned a study in partnership with PolicyWise, Calgary Counselling and Alberta Health Services to assess the issues facing Emerging Adults mental health. This study has two parts, a narrative for philanthropists to consider when funding mental health projects and a technical report that has all the data tables supporting the narrative.

Client Project: Putting Dignity at the Centre of Calgary’s Food System

The issues around food security are complex. It is not just about poverty, or just about mono-crops, or just about logistics. In fact, how we get food from our farms to our tables is not a straight line. The infographic below comes from a series of conversations the YYC Food Security Fund had with producers (farmers and ranchers), grocery store operators, trucking and warehousing experts and charities that spend in excess of $500K on food annually. We believe that there are better ways to get nutrient rich, locally sourced food into the bellies of every citizen. By putting dignity at the centre we can ensure that accessing healthy, locally sourced, affordable food becomes a right not a privilege.

Food system info-graphic that shows how food gets from farm to table in Calgary

Client Whitepaper – YYC Food Security Fund: The Right to Eat Right

YYC Food Security Fund seeks to connect the two worlds of ‘upstream’ food security – sustainable agricultural production and distribution – with ‘down stream’ food insecurity – ensuring all citizens have adequate access to healthy and affordable food. The Fund seeks to build a thriving local food economy while addressing some of the challenges underpinning Calgary’s food ecosystem. Most food philanthropy focuses on the downstream aspects of food security – mainly through food charity. The YYC Food Security Fund aims to also focus on the upstream aspects focusing on local food production and distribution.

This case study highlights a venture philanthropy approach to investing in community prosperity, which means it aims to invest not just in existing models, but in rapid prototyping, testing and evaluating new models. The Fund is also informed and shaped by business owners, merchants, suppliers, philanthropists, community activists, farmers, ranchers and other producers.

Social Impact Lab – Financing Solutions Instead of Funding Problems

In April 2018 we ran a Social Impact Lab for 9 family foundations/ offices in Calgary. This half-day workshop provided a framework for exploring how best to fund innovation and high-risk solutions.

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