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Rosalind E Franklin BSC MSC

Rosalind E Franklin BSC MSC

My PhD research explores the reciprocities between the socio-economic constructs of charity and the city, with a particular interest in how charities engage urban space to frame and mould the choice to give.



Prior to entering the PhD program in 2012, I worked in the Canadian and international non-profit sectors with a specialization in fundraising, communication and organizational development.

  • Director of Development, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (2011-2012)
  • Non-Profit Strategist, Montreal, Canada (2009-2011)
  • Lecturer in Philanthropy, McGill University (2007-2010)
  • Development Manager, World Federation of Hemophilia, Montreal, Canada (2004-2009)
  • Fundraising Management Consultant (1998-2004), working in various locations including the Canada, USA and Indonesia
  • Senior Manager, Ethnic Markets, United Way of Greater Toronto (1994-1998), Toronto, Canada


  • PhD candidate, King's College, University of Cambridge
  • MSc, Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies (with highest distinction), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • BSc (Hons), Geography, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Funding and awards

  • King's Studentship, King's College, University of Cambridge (2012-present)
  • Doctoral Award, Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, Gouvernement du Québec (2012-present)
  • Starkey-Robinson Award, Canadian Association of Geographers. Prize given for research excellence at PhD or Master's level (2011)
  • Pruitt Fellowship, Society of Woman Geographers, Washington, DC (2009)
  • Research Grant, York Centre for International & Security Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada (2008)


My research aims to theorize and empirically investigate the relations between charity and the city through the vantage of charitable fundraising. I will explore the economic, social and political rationale for charitable fundraising at three mutually informing levels: the city as a socio-economic formation under capitalism, the corporation and the individual. The various rationales will be used to tease out the ways in which charities use urban space to frame and mould the choice to give. To accomplish this, I draw upon social theory, business models and concepts arising from economic and cultural geography. As well, I am pursuing an ethnographic case study of the fundraising and marketing communication practices of Paris-based charities.

This work emerges from my broad research interests in philanthropy and in urban culture. I am fascinated by the ways in which spaces of generosity emerge and are sustained. My M.Sc. thesis shed light on how philanthropy serves as socio-spatial anchorage for migrants living and working in Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands region, deployed to imagine, negotiate and enact connections at home and in the adopted locality. The research opened my eyes to the impact of particular industries on urban processes and how these permit or constrain generosity. This line of inquiry underpins my doctoral thesis.



  • Franklin, R. (2008) Collapsing the dualism of diaspora philanthropy and government regulatory frameworks, Working Paper, York Centre for International and Security Studies, York University, 2008.
  • Franklin, R. (2006) Fundraising, Organizational Development Monograph. World Federation of Hemophilia, 6.

Conference papers

  • 'Places of everyday generosity: the philanthropy of Newfoundlanders in Fort McMurray', Unwrap the Research conference sponsored by the University of Alberta, Fort McMurray, AB, October 24, 2010.
  • 'Mapping geographies of generosity: the philanthropy of Newfoundland emigrants', Postgraduate Forum, Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, Manchester, August 26, 2009.
  • 'Digital Storytelling', panel presentation at the International Day for Sharing Life Stories, Montreal, May 16, 2009.
  • 'Diaspora Philanthropy and Government Regulatory Frameworks', Mobility and Insecurity: Diasporas, Democracy, and Canadian Security Workshop, York University, Toronto, May 21, 2008.
  • 'Reasonable Accommodation: Viewpoints on making space for Quebec immigrants', Research Seminar, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, Montreal, January 10, 2008.
  • 'Philanthropy, Identity and Borders' with Professor Alan Nash, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, at the Summer Program in Nonprofit and Community Development, Institute of Community Development, Concordia University, Montreal, June 12, 2007.


  • Lecturer, The Fundamentals of Fundraising, Department of Career and Management Studies, McGill University (2007-2010)
  • Lecturer, Philanthropy and Fundraising, Department of Career and Management Studies, McGill University (2007-2008)

External activities

  • Vice-President, Academic Affairs, Cambridge Canadian Club (2013 - present)
  • Co-organizer, Sutton Trust Summer School, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2013 - present)
  • Postgraduate Fellow, Association of American Geographers
  • Member, Society of Woman Geographer