Finding Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist Delivers Rewards



    
    Mackenzie Investments hosts an expert panel to decide which teen wins
    $5,000 prize to give to charity of choice, $1,000 for themselves
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - A new poll of teenagers reveals a caring and
generous generation that supports causes in health, the environment and
poverty with both time and money that approaches the levels of adult
Canadians.
    Sponsored by Mackenzie Investments, the survey is part of a program to
identify Canada's most charitable teen and acknowledge them with a $5,000
donation to their favourite charity, plus $1,000 for the winner to personally
recognize their outstanding efforts. The contest will also recognize five
runners-up with $500 each to the charity of their choice.
    A whopping 84 per cent of Canadian teens volunteer at least five hours a
year to charitable causes - much higher than Canada's total national average
of 42 per cent. And when it comes to donating their own money, much of which
comes from part-time jobs, this young group - who report giving an average of
$293 a year - is hot on the heels of the nation's average of $400. With three
million teens in Canada today, that translates into millions of their own
dollars being put to hard work in their communities.
    "Canada's teens are doing incredible work and we want to shine a
spotlight on them," said Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy
for Mackenzie Investments. "They're already a powerhouse in their communities,
and they're doing it for the right reasons. By recognizing a national role
model, we hope to encourage even more charitable activity."
    When asked why they donate their money and time, teens, generally thought
of as a "me first" generation, prove to be more altruistic. The top reason is:
wanting to help the communities they live in, at 59 per cent, and 58 per cent
just want to make the world a better place. Particularly noble given what you
would expect from teens - only 32 per cent say they are giving because they
need to fill school requirements, and just 13 per cent say they want to give
because high profile celebrities are doing it.
    "Our teens are giving because they want to change the world. Seeing these
values at such an early age is incredible for Canada's charities," says
Offman. "Imagine what these teens, as adults, will accomplish with their
spirit, time and money."

    
    Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist Contest
    Submissions welcome from October 21 to November 24, 2008
    Winners will be announced in early December 2008
    

    To recognize the already outstanding charitable contributions from this
specific age group, Mackenzie Investments is sponsoring Canada's Top Teen
Philanthropist Contest. Promoted by Community Foundations of Canada, the
membership organization for Canada's network of 164 community foundations and
supporter of its own Youth in Philanthropy Program - this contest is giving
teens their time to shine if they have sacrificed sleep, their allowance and
free time to help people in need.

    
    Calling all 13-19 year old Canadians!

    -  The winner will receive a prize of $5,000 to go to their charity of
       choice;
    -  PLUS he or she will win $1,000 cash for themselves, ideally to invest
       in an RESP and help save for their future education.
    -  Five runners-up will receive $500 each for their charity of choice.

    How to enter and win:

    To be eligible to win, go to www.mackenziefinancial.com/teen and tell us
your story by filling out the brief contest entry form.

    Have you:
    1)  Demonstrated a continued effort and commitment to helping your
        community?
    2)  Raised a significant amount of money, for your age group, for a
        charitable cause?
    3)  Done something creative in the process? Were you recognized for doing
        something unique and unexpected for your charity of choice, or in
        your community?
    4)  Gone "above and beyond" - i.e., if you were volunteering for a school
        assignment, did you do more than was asked?

    To be eligible for the prize, you must meet these criteria within the
    last 12 months:

    1)  Be between the ages of 13-19
    2)  Be a Canadian resident
    3)  Have donated money, goods, services or your time to support a
        registered charitable cause, for at least one year
    4)  Provide at least one example of the results or "impact" of your
        actions
    5)  Ensure your fundraising or volunteer activity is associated with a
        registered Canadian charity
    6)  Provide the name and contact information of the registered charity
        you supported, for validation of your activities.

    A panel of seasoned philanthropists will help crown the winner:

    Monica Patten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community
    Foundations of Canada
    
    Monica Patten has presided over a period of unprecedented growth in
Canada's community foundation movement. In May 2005, she received a Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Lawson Foundation in recognition of her
"extraordinary accomplishments and leadership." Patten was also honoured by
the Public Policy Forum in April 2002 for her contribution to public policy
and Canada's voluntary sector.

    Carlos Bustamante, Host, YTV's The Zone

    Bustamante uses his dynamic personality to reach millions of young
Canadians, including teens, each week as host of YTV's The Zone, a popular
after school programming block for youths. The Zone provides a daily
opportunity for youths to get interactive on-air and online, and features
celebrity interviews, contests and sketch comedy.

    Danielle Silverstein, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation

    Silverstein is steering the Foundation by directing initiatives that
serve children and youth in need in the areas of physical activity, education
and life-skill development. Along with funding youth baseball initiatives such
as Rookie League and Field of Dreams, and providing grants to charities
serving youth in our communities, the Foundation recently added a Home Run
Scholars educational partnership directed at reducing the high school dropout
rate in Toronto's most underprivileged communities and ensuring youth at risk
have the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education.

    Malcolm Howard, Olympic Gold Medalist, Men's Rowing

    Canadian athlete Malcolm Howard is a world-class rower. He won a gold
medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the men's eights, and has several gold
and silver World Rowing Championships medals. Active in philanthropy, Howard
is affiliated with the Canadian Athletes Now Fund, a registered charity that
provides direct funding to Canadian athletes. Though the CAN Fund Malcolm is
promoting sport in Canada, recently launching "Malcolm's Million" to support
Canada's winter athletes training for Vancouver. malcolmsmillion.ca.

    
    Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy at Mackenzie
    Investments
    

    Offman is also Managing Director of the Mackenzie Charitable Giving Fund;
a donor-advised giving program that offers Canadians a chance to create the
equivalent of a private foundation in their name to support their favourite
charities over time. Last year Offman wrote a children's book to help parents
teach their kids about the value of giving, entitled The Charity Glove. He is
past Chair of the Leave A Legacy Program for the Greater Toronto Area and
served on the Executive of the Toronto Roundtable of the Canadian Association
of Gift Planners.

    
    Other findings from the survey:

    Youth and their parents - who's doing better?

    -  Teens are a confident bunch; just under half (43 per cent) believe
       their own generation cares more about charitable issues and causes
       than their parents' generation.
    -  52 per cent of Ontario teens believe their generation cares more

    If I had a million dollars:

    -  Teens were asked how much they would give to charity if they won a
       million dollar windfall; and they said they would donate an average of
       $134,402.
    -  Mackenzie asked the same question in 2007 of Canadian adults aged 18+
       and the average donation amount was $117,000 - teens are thinking
       bigger!
    -  Those in the Prairies would give the highest amount; $204,226

    Big numbers

    -  93% per cent of Canadian teens have been involved in some kind of
       philanthropic activity
    -  One quarter (24 per cent) have raised donations for a charity on their
       own (outside of school or a group they belong to)
    -  On average, teens raise $516 per year through fundraising efforts

    Where do teens get money to donate?

    -  Teens are happy to take away from themselves to give to others. The
       largest percentage - 30 per cent of teens - say they get money to
       donate from a part-time job. 50 per cent of Albertans say the same,
       the highest region
    -  22 per cent use part of their allowance, and 16 per cent ask their
       parents for extra money to donate

    Role models for teens

    -  While teens believe their generation is doing a better job than their
       parents', they still look to their elders for guidance. A large 61 per
       cent say parents and family are their greatest role models for giving
    -  Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) look to their own friends or
       classmates
    -  One-third (32 per cent) say teachers or guidance counselors
    -  A much smaller 17 per cent say reports about celebrities' charitable
       activities

    NOTE: Regional results available upon request.
    ----------------------------------------------
    

    About the survey:

    The Mackenzie survey results are based on a Youthography national online
survey conducted from September 17 to September 21, 2008. The final sample
consisted of 532 respondents; total sample is accurate 19 times out of 20: +/-
4.25.
    More information on charitable giving and the Mackenzie Charitable Giving
Fund, which allows you to leave a legacy of giving, can be found at
www.mackenziefinancial.com/giving.

    Mackenzie Investments: Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967, and is
a leading investment management firm providing investment advisory and related
services. With $64.7 billion in assets under management, Mackenzie Investments
distributes its services through a diversified network of third-party
financial advisors. Mackenzie Investments is a member of the IGM Financial
Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier
financial services companies with over $118 billion in total assets under
management as of September 30, 2008.




For further information:

For further information: Catharine Marion or Olivia Yu, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2768, (416) 969-2718, cmarion@environicspr.com,
oyu@environicspr.com


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