The Canadian Non-profit Sector

Neoliberalism and the Assault on Community

by Ted Richmond and John Shields  foreword by Axelle Janczur  

A comprehensive overview of the anatomy of the Canadian non-profit sector providing critical analysis of key social policy and political issues.

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  • Forthcoming September 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636696
  • 160 pages
  • $27.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB Forthcoming September 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773637150
  • $26.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF Forthcoming September 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773637143
  • $26.99
  • For sale worldwide

About the book

Neoliberal restructuring has left individuals and families scrambling for survival and increasingly reliant on the under-funded and over-regulated non-profit sector to patch over the steadily growing fissures in our society. The book examines the creativity and resilience of nonprofits in maintaining and expanding their services. This book also delves into the vital role of non-profits in advocacy for human rights, anti-racism, Indigenous claims, and improved health and social services.

The decades-long turn towards marketized solutions to social needs has created the conditions under which privatized modes of service delivery have become the norm. The extraordinary rise of the non-profit sector is an under-analyzed consequence of neoliberal restructuring in Canada. In this timely corrective, Ted Richmond and John Shields analyze the place of the non-profit sector in neoliberal times in Canada. The authors take a critical political economy approach, providing a vital analysis of the significance of the non-profit sector, and bring clarity to its dimensions and roles in society. The book pays particular attention to the provision of social, human and health services in Canada’s changing welfare state system. 

Economics Political Economy Public Policy Social Work

What people are saying

Donna Baines, professor of social work, University of British Columbia

“This book makes a landmark contribution to our understanding of the complex and increasingly neoliberalized nonprofit sector. Richmond and Shields share their usual sharp and compelling analysis in this meticulously researched and must-read book on a sector that is often overlooked and definitely merits of this kind of decisive and definitive analysis.”


Ted Richmond

Ted Richmond has worked in the non-profit and government sectors for some forty years. He is an active community-based researcher with many social justice-oriented publications to his credit. He has also been a part-time university teacher of non-profit sector studies.

John Shields

John Shields is professor emeritus in the Department of Politics & Public Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University, where he taught for thirty-five years. He is an active researcher in the areas of the non-profit sector and immigration and settlement studies. He often works in close collaboration with community-based researchers.

Axelle Janczur

Axelle Janczur has been the executive director at Access Alliance for the past twenty-one years. Axelle’s work includes the opening of community hubs in east and west Toronto, the launch of a successful social enterprise, the opening of the Non-Insured Walk-In Clinic, the creation of a safe, welcoming space for LGBTQ+ newcomers and much more.


  • Chapter One: The Non-profit Sector in Neoliberal Times
  • Chapter Two: Overview of the Sector: The Architecture of a Mission-Based Sector
  • Chapter Three: Financial and Human Resources in the Non-profit Sector
  • Chapter Four: Non-profit Advocacy
  • Chapter Five: 2020 A Year of Turbulence
  • Chapter Six: Future Challenges and Opportunities


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