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"The founders personify the company ... and we can’t be one dimensional characters."
After crunching all the numbers, it's clear our charitable sector is not only operating effectively, it's offering more to Canadian society than most of us even realize.
With giving back a key theme of Canada 150, it is the perfect time to reflect on our nation's rich history of charitable giving and, in particular, to shine light on small charities that you probably have never heard of that form the backbone of our country and what makes it great. Here are some interesting stats about small charities:
How many of us have seen food banks open their doors in our home towns? The reasons may differ by region -- the decline of manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec, fisheries in Atlantic Canada, farming in the prairies, forestry in the northwest -- but the overall reality is similar across the country. The economic landscape is fundamentally changed.
Not only are out-of-province donations OK in Brad Wall's Saskatchewan, but so are corporate and union donations. There are no donation limits of any kind, and out-of-country corporate donations are allowed as long as that corporation has a Canadian presence. It really is the Wild West out in Saskatchewan.
Have you heard about social enterprises? Social enterprises apply business solutions to social problems. They're incredibly hot right now. So hot, in fact, that I've just come back from the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference in San Francisco where there were over 2000 attendees.
If only Zika was a two-week stint like the Olympics. Sadly, after Olympians go home and the buzz in the Olympic village dissipates, mosquitos carrying the Zika virus will remain, and those living in their midst have no choice but to stay.
Canadian charities have long relied on P2P campaigns to engage their most passionate supporters in attracting donations. But Canada's economic uncertainty and increased competition in the charitable space have dampened results for many of the country's largest and most established P2P programs.
You can try and spin it how you want, but the bottom line is that donors are only as altruistic as much as their socio-economic circumstances allow. A majority for the most part give because of their emotional connection to the cause, but that is only as long as they have additional income to give in the first place.
Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.