Young philanthropists pledge more than $500,000 of their own money to Toronto Neighbourhood Resilience Project
TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2018 /CNW/ - More than 90 of Toronto's Millennial and Gen X philanthropists are bucking stereotypes about their generations and collectively pledging more than $500,000 of their own wealth to build the city's urban resilience. Through the Toronto Neighbourhood Resilience Project, these young philanthropists will work hand-in-hand with the City of Toronto, Toronto Foundation, community leaders and residents from across the city to invest in projects that will strengthen the city's social fabric. Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Foundation President and CEO Sharon Avery launched the project today at Native Child and Family Services, one of ten community organizations involved.
"There's a frustrating myth that young people are apathetic and entitled, and nothing could be further from the truth," says Avery. "In just three months, we've surpassed our target by recruiting 92 passionate young people between the ages of 25 and 45."
What this group has in common is a love of their city and the commitment to give significant personal funds as well as their time to make the city a better place. Each individual or couple will contribute $10,000 over two years to create a permanent endowment ensuring reach well beyond their lifetimes. With the help of additional private donors, these seed funds will be leveraged to reach $2 million.
This next generation cohort brings a new way of thinking about and doing philanthropy. "For us it's all about social impact. We want to understand the root causes of inequity," says Serena Hak, one of the early adopters in the group. "Through this project, I'll learn about the city's biggest challenges and opportunities, which will allow me to give in a purposeful way and will lead to a more resilient Toronto for future generations."
The young philanthropists will spend two years learning from neighbourhood residents and leaders, community organizations and government, including the City of Toronto's Chief Resilience Officer Elliott Cappell, as they work to understand the city's most pressing issues and what can be done to address them. First up is a series of Resilience Labs, where they will be "at the table" where 10 community organizations across the city will engage diverse local residents to design resilience projects.
"We need to take thoughtful and decisive actions to make our cities more resilient. As one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities, we're building a citywide resilience strategy to help Toronto prepare for catastrophic events and stresses that are increasingly part of our city life," says Mayor Tory. "The Toronto Neighbourhood Resilience project is a part of this strategy, where philanthropy and City Hall are working together to strengthen the social fabric of our city and face Toronto's challenges together."
Toronto is at a critical point. The city is on track to grow by 2.9 million, or 42.3%, to reach 9.6 million by 2041. While this growth brings amazing opportunities, it also puts more strain on the city's chronic stresses, like the housing crisis and the widening income gap. These additional pressures inhibit the city's ability to respond to large-scale emergencies, putting Toronto's most vulnerable people at the highest risk. Building the city's urban resilience and mobilizing a new generation of philanthropists will be key to ensuring Toronto residents, organizations and government can withstand adversity and ensure that everyone in the city can thrive.
About Toronto Foundation
Established in 1981, the Toronto Foundation is one of the top 191 Community Foundations in Canada. We pool philanthropic dollars and facilitate charitable donations for maximum community impact. Our individual, family and organizational Funds number more than 500 and we administer more than $400 million in assets. Through the Vital Toronto Fund we engage in city building, mobilizing people and resources to increase the quality of life in Toronto. To learn more, visit www.torontofoundation.ca
SOURCE Toronto Foundation
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT:Sasha Chabot-Gaspé, (647) 289-0990, [email protected]