publication date: Nov 13, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski
"Having a National Philanthropy Day highlights to every
citizen that they have the opportunity to make a difference," says KCI
VP Karen Willson
. "This is a day for every Canadian to celebrate
The government would never have supported the bill's
introduction, let alone passed it, she continues, if it had been focused on a
small group of citizens.
Willson shared her views with Hilborn Charity eNEWS after Bill S-201, sponsored by Senator
Terry Mercer, passed its third reading in the House of Commons on November
5th. Royal assent is expected in the coming weeks.
"I hope this bill will spur more Canadians to see how easy
and important it is to give and volunteer, and how fulfilling and inspiring it
can be to help our neighbours," Mercer commented.
right to ask for money
The bill makes Canada the first country in the world to
legislate permanent recognition of November 15th as National
Philanthropy Day. Willson believes it brings distinction and credibility not
only to the sector, but to donors and volunteers. And it validates that asking
for money is an important part of their mandate.
"With the passage of
this bill, Canada has taken a leadership role in global philanthropy," declared
a delighted Andrew Watt, president
and CEO of the Association of
Not just for the rich
A commitment to celebrating generosity at any level from
anyone runs through the excitement over National Philanthropy Day. The word
"philanthropy," which once carried connotations of wealth, social position and
large gifts, has become democratized as fundraisers, charities and donors
themselves drive a greater and greater trend towards appreciating and relating
to all givers.
"On a personal note," says Willson of her consulting work
with dozens of charities, "I hear on each of my capital campaign projects, ‘If
everyone in our community would only give $10, we could purchase this piece of
equipment for our hospitals, or have more scholarships in our post-secondary
institutions, or build this new arena.' ... Can you imagine the difference
Canadians would make if more people gave $10 to their favorite charities?
The impact to personal lives would be incredible."
Small gifts, huge
Last year alone, she continues, individuals in Canada gave
over $8 billion to charities. With small donations by more people, that number
could grow exponentially.
Even 140 characters could create a gift, thanks to a contest
presented by AFP with support from Telus. On November15th
can tweet what they're doing to change the world to #npdTELUS
The five most inspiring, innovative and creative tweets will earn the senders a
$500 contribution to the charity of their choice.