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The Lab

Social and institutional resources to give our cities meaning.

Charity

How can we do good together?

Social Capital

How do social connections impact quality of life in cities?

Subsidiarity

How can we balance freedom and responsibility today?

Case Studies

Who are the organizational pioneers of our time?

City Soul

Why are religious communities so vital to our cities?

Charity begins with a possibility: How can the full range of institutions in our cities work together for the benefit of all citizens? As an existing category of social structure with distinct functions, legal descriptions, and cultural/social roles, charities are a vital aspect of our common good, even for those who do not consider themselves religious. How would we know if charitable capacity is declining, improving, changing? What can we learn from data sources such as the tax, census and survey data (eg. T3010 data in Canada, IRS Form 990 in the US, national household and healthy surveys, the General Social Survey)? What new partnerships and cross-institutional network development could be undertaken to strengthen this sector? As much as the charitable sector accomplishes, there are significant capacity opportunities that can be acted on.


Latest

Charity and Social Capacity

Though seldom sensational, Canada's charitable activities are essential to our civil society. Our...

Valuing Toronto's Faith Congregations

Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to...

Additional Resources for Charity

Charity and Social Capacity: November 2016 Though seldom sensational, Canada's charitable activit...

Can Data Standards Improve Our Common Lives?

This piece was originally published in Municipal World. Are data standards what our communities a...

Planning in Good Faith: A Cambridge Evening Symposium

Faith communities have made and continue to make significant contributions to the well-being of C...

Urban Drama: Talking about Cities with Noah Toly and Milton Friesen, Part I

In conjunction with the Redeemer University Centre for Christian Scholarship annual conference, C...

Giving is a Group Project

It would appear that a tremendous amount of the money donated in Canada to charitable work is hig...

Law, Design, and the Human Habitat: Part II

By the end of the day, working amid the street noise, sun, and constant collegial exchanges, we h...

Law, Design, and the Human Habitat: Part I

As teams we spent time debating, puzzling, and sketching how the SmartCode could guide a strongly...

Is Social Capital Measurement Still Relevant?

This 2014 paper seeks to explore both the current and potential means for evaluating the role tha...

Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities

The Social Cities research report "Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities"...

Saviors at City Hall?

City residents may well shudder (or laugh) at the thought of their beleaguered mayor at the helm ...

Habits of Engagement: Faith Based Organizations and the Life of Cities

Urban planning isn't something that most people spend time thinking about. The arrangement of our...

"Big Society" and Social Responsibility

"It is incumbent on those of us who make it our business to think through such things to imagine ...

Charity with Attitude - flames painted on the side and all that

Charitable work in Canada and the US is massively important along many lines—social, economic, cu...

Do Some Charities Need the Gallows?

This Fast Company article asks an important question: Do some charities have a shelf-life? Is it ...

It's a Wonderful [Social Enterprise] Life

The intriguing blur that current explorations of social enterprise creates arises, for examples, ...

Social Enterprise and Complexity - a brief report

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the Adelphi University Schoo...

Crowdsourcing Goodness?

In today's inter-connected world some of the most innovative models for social innovation will be...

Cardus Releases Backgrounder on Increasing Charitable Tax Credits

On January 15 Cardus released a backgrounder paper on its recommendation to increase charitable t...