Philanthropy in 2017: More Than Donations

May 1, 2017

- As told by Three Women Leaders -

Canadian women are contributing to charitable giving and philanthropy more than ever. Research from TD Bank and Investor Economics shows that in 2013, Canadian women donated about $3.3 billion to charities, 50% more than a decade before. 

Philanthropy is an essential way to generate new ideas and growth. According to local leaders The Honourable Mayann Francis, Roma Dingwell and Brianna Stratton, we can all be philanthropists. While writing a cheque is one way to contribute, there are really three types of donations: time, talent and treasure. In fact, TD’s report revealed that for most women, philanthropy incorporates “effort, commitment and a basic desire to help others by sacrificing personal resources and time.” 

To emphasize these findings, TD hosted the Time Talent & Treasure event on April 19th, where these three women shared their thoughts on Canadian women and philanthropy. 

         Women & Philanthropy Pannel - web
Photo caption: (left to right) Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President of Philanthropic Services at TD Wealth, Brianna Stratton, the Honourable Mayann Francis, Roma Dingwell, and Tina Murphy, Manager, Community Banking & Charitable Donations at 
TD Canada Trust.

Philanthropy in 2017

Collaboration is key to modern philanthropy. According to TD’s research, “68% of Canadian women support no more than three causes each year, so charities may benefit from teaming up on fundraising efforts.”

For Ms. Francis, “giving back to the community is all about compassion, altruism and generosity.” She was the first African Nova Scotian and the second woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, but she has also dedicated time to many organizations including United Way/Centraide and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. 

As the founder of The Bridge, a collaborative office and community space, Ms. Stratton is an advocate for new waves of philanthropy and sustainable giving models. “There are more than 87,000 registered charities across Canada, so rather than create a new charity, I created a space where organizations can work together. We have a balance of all types of organizations to ensure sustainability.”  

Halifax is home to several local businesses that contribute to both the economy and social good, including Squiggle Park, Hope Blooms, Youth Art Connection and Stone Hearth Bakery

How to Make a Difference in Halifax 

There are many resources available to help guide financial donation decisions. The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia offers many services and financial advisors, such as those at TD Bank, that can support the creation of a giving plan.  

Before donating your time, Ms. Francis encourages personal reflection. “Get to know yourself and your city. It’s important to determine the communities and causes that are important to you.” 

“Find something that gives you a return for both your heart and your pocketbook and you will see the return on that investment grow more quickly,” says Ms. Stratton.  

“Giving your time is such a simple yet valuable action. If you take a few minutes to sit down with someone, get to know them, and then find opportunities to open doors by connecting them with others, you will make a difference,” says Ms. Dingwell. 

Through the Halifax Partnership’s Game Changers program, presented by TD, we rely on business leaders to hire youth, provide experiential learning opportunities and become Connectors. By taking the time to meet with local and international graduates and then making introductions, it’s easy to help young people build their professional networks.

It's clear we can all practice our own versions of philanthropy, by making introductions, promoting volunteerism at work or leading a fundraising campaign. Through connections and collaborations, we can build a stronger, healthier, more prosperous Halifax.