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National Philanthropy Day 2015

National philanthropyNovember 15th is National Philanthropy Day (NPD) – a day to celebrate and recognize those who contribute to good causes and make this world a better place. This day has been celebrated worldwide since 1986, but it only became officially designated by the Canadian government on November 5, 2012.

We Canadians are a philanthropic bunch, some 44 per cent of us volunteer our time and almost double that number donate to charities or non-profits. According to StatsCan, in 2013 volunteers gave two billion hours to good causes, that coverts to approximately one-million full-time jobs! And, it’s not just time we are generous with, between us in 2013 we donated almost $13 billion, on average donating $531 per head. That’s a 14 per cent increase on 2010.

I’ve always liked Michael Bloomberg’s (ex. Mayor of New York) quote, “Every dollar makes a difference. And that’s true whether it’s Warren Buffet’s remarkable $31 billion pledge to the Gates Foundation or my late father’s $25 check to the NAACP.”

Many companies are also philanthropic, and I certainly like to support those that actively support local causes in the communities in which they operate. This is another reason why I’m always happy to support family-owned businesses as they often take pride in working closely with the community. Accent Inns for instance donates cash, provides in-kind sponsorship, and management time for a wide range of charitable organizations. I asked John Espley, the marketing guy at Accent, who by the way is a judge for the National Philanthropy Day Awards, about his company’s philanthropic efforts and was surprised to learn, in 2014, they supported (through cash and in-kind sponsorships) over 300 community groups, charities, and organizations across B.C. And, that includes over 700 room nights donated! When pressed to put a dollar figure on all this support he said it was in excess of $85,000 a year!
I checked them out, and Accent Inns has long-standing philanthropic relationships with many well-known organizations including: BC SPCA; Family support Institute; Adoptive Families Association of BC; The Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Division, Arthritis Association, BC & Yukon; Shriners of BC & Yukon; and Sierra Club BC. All great causes I have to say!

national phil vi chapterIf you’re interested in learning more about NPD visit the website of your local chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals. And, if you’d like to go to a NPD event and award ceremony, here are three taking place around the province.

AFP Vancouver

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Summit: 8:00am – 5:30pm
Luncheon: 11:00am – 2:00pm
Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
Keynote speaker: Jessica Houssian (Women Moving Millions)

AFN Vancouver Island

The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Wine and Cheese Reception/Award Ceremony
When: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 – 4:30pm – 6:30pm

AFN Okanagan Chapter

National Philanthropy Day Luncheon
The Harvest Golf Club
When: Friday, November 13, 2015 – 11:00am – 1:00pm
Keynote Speaker Mike Roberts

Mike Wicks
Blue Beetle Creative