A word from FGM – November 2023

Historically, philanthropy was essentially an individual matter, the domain of the wealthiest in our society. But today, it is being democratized and is becoming more accessible. By emphasizing common values, we can deploy philanthropy in a collective manner. The result is a more effective response to the problems experienced, and the needs expressed, by our communities. As November is Philanthropy Month, and with Giving Tuesday coming up, let’s look at how we can start donating strategically.

Giving circles, in which several donors come together around shared causes and goals, constitute a great example of collective philanthropy. There is strength in numbers here: more resources can be mobilized, but as well, the collective intelligence of those involved yields a greater impact. And when everyone contributes, the support offered to the community can become strategic. That’s the principle behind the Women’s Impact Montreal Collective Fund (WIM Fund) at the Foundation of Greater Montréal.

That is what FGM seeks to accomplish through its other Collective Funds, too. Those are the Fund for Social Equity, the Fund for Climate and Ecological Transition and the Fund to Support Indigenous Initiatives. The partners, organizations and individuals who contribute to them combine their donations with those of others, This enables them to have an even greater impact on issues close to their hearts. But what’s more, these donors also support the initiatives best suited to dealing with these issues in an effective, innovative and foundational way. How so? By fostering spaces for discussion that work to better identify the problems the community wants to resolve, as well as the best potential solutions. That way, we can transfer power to those dealing with those issues on the ground. That is how philanthropy can be deployed in a strategic way.

Many ways to contribute

There are, of course, many other ways in which one can give back and at the same time involve the community one wishes to benefit. When you create your own Fund at FGM, you decide on its mission, and also each year determine which organization(s) will be its beneficiaries. But you can, as well, finetune your focus by creating an advisory committee or drawing on FGM’s expertise. This kind of committee, which can be made up of family members or other people you trust, can also take over the reins when the time comes, and ensure that your Fund will continue its work well after you are gone, while remaining attuned to the needs of the community.

As you read on and find out more about some of the philanthropists who have joined forces with FGM, you will see how diverse their backgrounds, goals, and life paths are. You will also see that by utilizing the power of solidarity and collaboration, and by donating strategically, we can all attain our philanthropic goals.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

November 2023: Profiles in philanthropy

Isabelle Ménard

Since 2023, Isabelle Ménard is the Chair of the Women’s Impact Montreal Collective Fund’s Advisory Committee at the Foundation of Greater Montréal.

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Kees van Draanen

A lover of art and a philanthropist and professional tied to the cultural sector, Mr. van Draanen is also a member of the Foundation’s Ambassadors Network.

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Karen Macdonald

Journalist by training and tireless community advocate by passion, Karen Macdonald is FGM’s Chair of the Board of Directors since 2023.

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5 Advantages of Planned Giving

Build a philanthropic heritage that reflects your values and your commitment.

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