Carleton Announces New First-in-Canada Graduate Degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

In theUnited States, there are 168 graduate programs that train future leaders in the non-profit and philanthropic sector. In Canada, there has not been a formal graduate education in the study of philanthropy.

Until now.

Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration is launching a new Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership degree and graduate diploma in the summer of 2013. These credentials build on Carleton’s strong foundation in the area of public policy and administration, while focusing on producing leaders who have the distinctive, sophisticated knowledge needed to effectively navigate non-profits through a rapidly changing environment.

“Today, more than ever, non-profit leaders need to be more strategic and innovative, ensuring they can assess and communicate their impact to the public, funders and governments,” says Susan Phillips, director of Carleton’sSchoolofPublic Policyand Administration. “And philanthropy has become much more complex. For example, many philanthropists are taking a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, creating their own foundations rather than simply making donations. Other investors are seeking opportunities that blend the value of social and economic returns.”

After extensive research, Carleton found that there is a huge demand for a program like this. The sector is facing major succession issues as many senior employees retire in the near future.  While charities, social enterprises and philanthropic institutions seek to attract creative talent, there is no obvious path for young Canadians into professional careers in this sector. 

The program has been made possible in part by a $350,000 gift from TD Bank Group, which also donated $400,000 to the Migration and Diaspora Studies program. The program includes the Metropolis centre announced in May.

“TD is proud to provide scholarships for students in the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program at Carleton, the first of its kind in the country,” says Jo-Anne Ryan, vice-president of Philanthropic Advisory Services, TD Wealth. Philanthropy and corporate social responsibility are very important to TD, our customers, clients and employees, and we are proud to invest in a program that will prepare graduates to be innovators, leaders and shapers of social change.”

The new program is designed to help current non-profit professionals enhance their skills and to produce the next generation of innovators in charities, social enterprises, philanthropic foundations and development offices, as well as the governments, financial institutions and businesses that interact with them. Through a combination of intensive summer sessions and interactive online learning, it will be accessible to students acrossCanada.

“This new master’s program is unique in its focus on philanthropic leadership and will contribute significantly to raising the standard of effective practice in the growing field of private philanthropy in Canada,” says Hilary Pearson, president of Philanthropic Foundations Canada.

In 2010, Canada Advancing Philanthropy, a group of senior fundraising professionals from across Canada, had asked Canadian universities to submit proposals for a master’s program that might become the generally accepted credential for entry into upper levels of the field. The group endorsed Carleton’s proposal as its choice to provideCanada’s national program.

Home to the oldest school of public policy in Canada, Carleton University is well-positioned to support this new program with research that will help the sector become more effective in meeting emerging challenges. The Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) is a longstanding research hub for the study of social finance, impact investing, charitable regulation and non-profit management. The new degree fits with Carleton’s philosophy of community engagement and experiential learning as students will be able to pursue paid internships while helping to solve real-world problems related to the sector. As Carleton is based in Ottawa, the program will take advantage of numerous opportunities to network, partner and pursue internships with a range of relevant national and community organizations.

More information about the program, including registration information, is available on the website:

About Carleton University:
Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 25,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

About TD Community Giving:
TD invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2011, TD donated over $65 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United Statesand the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit


For more information:
Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
University Communications
613-520-2600, ext.  1391