Profile of a Philanthropist
The experiences and knowledge of our client base has provided us with valuable insight to allow us to identify areas where we can provide strategies and/or education. In this edition of The Artisan we have asked Rob and Janice Dawes to share with us some information about supporting a charity. As both Rob and Janice are philanthropic by nature, It did not take them long to share with us why they donate, volunteer, or offer their skills and support. “It is because it provides a way to give back and improve our community and our society. It may sound like a text book statement, but it is the best way we can describe our motivation.” says Janice.
What is your biggest take away? The act of helping others can make you feel better. Knowing that you have given your time, finances, or property to assist people in need adds purpose to your life.
How do you get started? Selecting a charity and determining what you would like to do are the first steps. For us it was something that directly affected our family and we felt that volunteering was the most effective way to show our support.
How does one determine where they can make the biggest impact? When we first started to volunteer, we had to determine where our personal skill sets could be applied. Accessing websites is the fastest way to gain information on issues connected to a charity. As a result, we became better educated about the charity and their needs and learned where and how we could dedicate our time in an effective manner.
What is your story of philanthropy? For myself, I became a volunteer in fundraising events for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They have a number of ways to participate. I chose to support the CIBC Run for the Cure. My friends and family fully supported my endeavors. For the Run, I become involved in the Committee for York Region and I also decided to participate in the Run. I trained through the Running Room to actually run the 5K.
Not being a runner this was a totally new experience and a challenge. We set some fundraising goals for the team and rallied around meeting the target. I have been doing this now for 4 years and every year it brings forward the importance of being involved. I have also become involved in other events such the Yard Sale for the Cure and their Pink Bus Tour.
My husband volunteers his time for the Run as well. He works with a group of people to manage the logistics on the day itself. He was also a Big Brother when he was younger and now volunteers by organizing the Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Golf tournament. As a result of his involvement he was asked to join the Board of Directors to assist in growing their fundraising initiatives. The level of involvement is dependent on how much time you wish to dedicate to the organization. It can be as little or as much as you want. Our experience has been that you will be welcomed to join the organization and starting out as a volunteer is a great entry point.
How has philanthropy benefited you? We met a new group of people who broadened our perspectives and made us feel that our contributions made a difference. As an example, when I participated in the Run for the Cure, I met many survivors of the disease, researchers, corporate partners as well as media supporters. For my husband, he has had the opportunity to connect with many organizations within our local community e.g. Schools, Corporate Sponsors, Government: all of whom participate in supporting the Big Brothers Big Sisters with their programs.
What message would you like to pass on to others? There are many organizations that need help, be it through funding or volunteering. The spirit and passion that exists within the people of these organizations is humbling.
What is next for you?
As for the future…Considering an endowment allows us to still continue to do good works and encouraging the next generation of our family to also become involved.
If you currently support a charity, you will likely have realized many of the benefits that Rob and Janice have shared. If you have not become involved yet, we would encourage you to consider volunteering as there are many benefits to donating one’s time - we don’t believe you will regret your decision to do so.