Key Points

This article presents the theory of philanthropy of the Palix Foundation, which seeks to improve health and wellness outcomes for children and families in Alberta, Canada, by mobilizing and applying knowledge about brain and early childhood development and the link to lifelong mental health and addiction outcomes.

Through years of intuitive exploration and adaptation, the foundation evolved its role to include brokering access to the latest scientific knowledge, convening key players in multiple forums to explore applying that knowledge, and serving as a learning partner to public systems and communities in Alberta.

Following evaluation of a major phase of the foundation’s work, its leaders asked the authors to work with them to address questions emerging from the evaluation relating to the next phase in its development. This led to a concentrated effort to synthesize the foundation’s underlying theory of philanthropy and apply it to those questions. · Articulating the theory of philanthropy helped “make the implicit explicit” and provided a useful way for the foundation to engage with its stakeholders and recalibrate its approach for a new phase of work.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access Sponsor

Support for this open access article is provided by the Palix Foundation.