Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Enhancing Inclusion in Philanthropy

We try to embed the principles of diversity in everything we do. But it’s not enough to simply recognize the value of difference—diversity. We have to work to bring everyone together and welcome the passion, talents and the contributions each individual can make—inclusion.

One of the most exciting projects AFP has ever undertaken regarding inclusion is a new three year program just launching in Ontario that is designed to increase giving among a number of ethno-cultural and immigrant groups, First Nations/M├ętis/Inuit peoples, women, youth, individuals with disabilities, Francophone-Ontarians and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered populations.

From Diversity to Inclusion in Philanthropy: An Action Plan for Ontario’s Charitable Sector will involve the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada, our Toronto and Ottawa Chapters and the Ontario government’s Partnership Project Office, which is committing up to $300,000 over three years to support the program. The end product will be a series of one-day conferences and the development of an online philanthropy and inclusion “toolkit” for fundraisers and donors.

It’s a true partnership—between government and the charitable community, working together to serve growing and diverse communities. All of society benefits from the perspectives and involvement of these communities, so it’s critical that we engage them. The partnership is an incredibly innovative blueprint for nonprofit-government collaboration that I know will serve as a model across AFP and beyond.

It will enable us to build stronger relationships with donors and fundraisers, locally and across borders. It will allow us to better inform a rapidly growing sector in an exponentially changing world.

We will learn much over the next three years. Many of those lessons will be unexpected. But one thing I do know: inclusion is integral to understanding who we are today and who we will be tomorrow.

Be sure to listen to the comments of the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and honorary chair of the program. 

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