Philanthropy for the 3rd Millennium
When you hear the terms ‘philanthropy’ and ‘foundation’ you may think of people presenting giant cheques and family names on buildings; but did you know that philanthropy is so much more than that?
Philanthropy means literally “love of mankind”. Thus, philanthropy is giving money for a purpose or cause benefiting people who you don’t personally know. (Animal welfare is usually included as well.)
‘Philanthropy for All’ is the message we want to share. It’s not just a space for people of a certain socioeconomic means or from a certain area code. Philanthropy is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make a difference in the present and future life of our communities here on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast Foundation’s Philanthropy for the 3rd Millennium pilot program (P43M) makes philanthropy accessible to a larger and more diverse audience.
The Goal of the Project
Developed in January of 2021, P43M sought Sunshine Coast Residents between 25-55 years old, who were curious about philanthropy and the various ways that they can use financial contributions to make a difference in the world and the local community. We want to engage workers and community leaders and provide an understanding around the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast Foundation and our role in philanthropy, and how anyone can make a positive difference where they live.
“More younger people with families are choosing to live and work on the Sunshine Coast” shared our Board Chair, Manjit Kang. “They have a vested interest in helping to shape the future of our community, and this program gives them a great opportunity to do that.”
Doing Good in the World
Five young people participated in our initial community dialogue. We explored ways of doing good in the world. We discussed global and local challenges such as poverty, income inequality, housing, environmental degradation, mental health, and food insecurity, among others. The session then explored the various ways people can make an impact and how ways of giving have shifted over the past decades. This examination led us to discuss the short and long-term impacts of small donations, impact investing, and contributing to community organizations or foundations that deliver results.
Doing Good on the Sunshine Coast
Participants were then introduced to our work at the Sunshine Coast Foundation. We talked about how a community foundation can be a sustainable source of funding for community initiatives and the ways folks are able to engage with us. Discussion flowed to address real issues, challenges, and opportunities facing our community.
Grant Making in Practice
In May 2021, P34M participants had the opportunity to influence the issues and organizations that the Sunshine Coast Foundation supports. They reviewed grant applications submitted to the Foundation and recommended the award of $1,900 to two of them, both of which grants were approved by our Board of Directors.
Investing and Impact
Participants then explored opportunities that could diversify the Foundation’s investment portfolio. They looked at options for investing locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally and brainstormed some potential local investing opportunities for the Foundation.
Looking to the Future
This pilot program was well-received, and participants appreciated their enhanced understanding of their own opportunities to be philanthropic. They were able to engage with like-minded community members and make lasting connections with neighbours and peers who are on the same journey to make a difference.
For More Information
If you’re interested in being a part of this program in its next iteration, please get in touch with our Executive Director at ED@sunshinecoastfoundation.org.
Many thanks to Dr. Chris Hergesheimer, who led this project on behalf of the Foundation.
We are also grateful for the support of the Vancouver Foundation for this program.