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National Philanthropy Day Edition - November 2021
In Defence of Philanthropy

Even as we celebrate National Philanthropy Day across North America on November 15th, increasing criticism of philanthropy gives us reason to pause. In Defence of Philanthropy, my colleague and friend, Dr. Beth Breeze, offers an impassioned defence of the role of philanthropy in society.

Beth Breeze "tackles the main critiques levelled at philanthropy and questions the rationale for undermining and disparaging philanthropic acts. She contends that although it might be flawed, philanthropy is a sector that ought to be celebrated and championed so that an abundance of causes and interests can flourish.”

The holiday season is often a time families come together and focus on giving. As an advisor to multi-generational families, I have observed four influential ways our “philanthropic elders” can be entrusted to propel a family’s giving together, while enabling them to participate meaningfully even as successors take on greater leadership, and deepening their own sense of purpose and legacy:

  1. Accountability
  2. Mediation
  3. Storytelling
  4. Mentorship
Read the article in Canadian Family Offices by Watermark's Dr. Sharilyn Hale.
The Simone Joyaux Memorial Award

Simone was my mentor, colleague, and friend. She died in May 2021. A fierce advocate for excellence in the nonprofit sector, she was a globally renowned consultant, author, educator. A true thought-leader, she shifted multiple narratives, and modelled engaging, enabling, and the power of cage-rattling questions.

She was instrumental in my professional formation and leadership. From philanthropy and governance to organizational development and social justice, much of my work today is informed by the seeds she planted in me. And I know there are countless others who had this same privilege.
To honour her extraordinary leadership in philanthropy, and to support more leaders in the sector, I've established the Simone Joyaux Memorial Award at Carleton University's Masters of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Program, for a part-time student in financial need. The first award recipients will be announced early in 2022. Do you want to support the next generation of leaders in philanthropy? Join us.

How data can make your giving better

Whether you’re a philanthropist, an advisor, or a leader of an organization, you don't make decisions without understanding the issues at hand. You need data to be informed. As the year draws to a close, what might this mean for your giving?

  • You feel compelled to support those experiencing homelessness. However, knowing that domestic abuse calls went up 55% between March and December 2020, and 28% of shelters and transition houses said they struggled to support women and children feeling violence, you might choose to donate to a women-led and women-focused shelter with the experience and expertise to help victims of violence.
  • You might want to help 'close the achievement gap' in schools. However, if you knew that 50% of black and indigenous students couldn't complete their work due to inadequate technology you might choose to support tech hubs and after-school support clubs at local libraries.

The Toronto Foundation's 2021 Vital Signs report offers compelling insight into the most pressing issues in Toronto, each with data-informed giving tips and considerations for donors. Here are some other resources to inform your charitable decisions: 

Looking to make more data-informed giving decisions? Let's talk.
Philanthropy in an unequal world:
How can advisors support clients to engage in more effective giving and social investing to tackle inequality?

December 6th, 2021 12:00 PM EST

Are you an advisor to families? Join me and a global panel of experts for a compelling discussion on philanthropy in the post-COVID world, where the implications of inequality have been highlighted so painfully.

This session is hosted by STEP, a global professional body, comprising lawyers, accountants, trustees, and other practitioners that help families plan for their futures.
Strategy ~ Family Engagement ~ Governance

Watermark helps those who give, give well, and supports
social purpose organizations to enhance their performance.

Contact Dr. Sharilyn Hale for a confidential exploration of your needs.
Watermark Philanthropic Counsel