Young Leaders Collect for the Win!

Series: Questions & Answers

30 May 2019

What would become of foundations and charities without the unwavering support of the business community, which is, like the rest of the population, aging. Fortunately, the younger generation is eager to get involved and find creative ways to raise money. We met with co-presidents of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s Urban Duathlon, who both give their time, sweat and money to the cause!

On the line, Kasandra Côté, senior manager, Canadian corporate tax at KPMG, and Marc-André Nantais, associate portfolio manager at Jarilowsky Fraser Limited, are very excited. In less than 24 hours, they will wake up at the crack of dawn to help organize, and participate in, the ninth edition of the Urban Duathlon for the CHU Sainte-Justine Centre of Excellence in Neonatology. An event they’ve been organizing for months.

In your opinion, do young leaders have the responsibility to get involved in foundations and charities?

Kasandre Côté: “Not only should they do it, doing so is imperative for the survival of organizations and it’s in their best interest! As co-presidents, Marc-André and I have have experienced exceptional leadership opportunities that translate to our professional lives. Not to mention, it feels great!”

Marc-André Nantais: “Especially since the income to governments related to active workers will decline over the next 20 years. As a result, the amount of financial aid reserved for organizations will be smaller. And needs, will only go up. The manpower will therefore need to come from private groups. If younger generations of leaders don’t want to see their taxes increase, they must give back, get involved in fundraising and make a difference in their communities.”

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In your opinion, do young leaders have the responsibility to get involved in foundations and charities?

K.C.: “Not only should they do it, doing so is imperative for the survival of organizations and it’s in their best interest! As co-presidents, Marc-André and I have have experienced exceptional leadership opportunities that translate to our professional lives. Not to mention, it feels great!”

M-A.N .: “Especially since the income to governments related to active workers will decline over the next 20 years. As a result, the amount of financial aid reserved for organizations will be smaller. And needs, will only go up. The manpower will therefore need to come from private groups. If younger generations of leaders don’t want to see their taxes increase, they must give back, get involved in fundraising and make a difference in their communities.”

Are younger generations sufficiently mobilized?

K.C .: “Marc-André and I are surrounded by young leaders who are driven, and who invest themselves fully, body and soul, in different organizations. It’s impressive!”

M.-A.N .: “The younger generations want to be heard. They’ve understood, that in order to change things they needed to act, especially when it comes to education and the environment. They may be less engaged politically, but they find other ways to get involved. Organizations need to be able to follow the trend and adapt to them. My generation of leaders must succeed in mobilizing future leaders, since they will be filling our shoes in 10 years.”

Kasandra Côté (bottom right) poses with KPMG teams who participated in the Duathlon in 2018.

Do you have to be creative to raise the money required year after year and to create events that are always more enticing?

 

K.C .: “The rules of the game have changed. Before, everyone called everyone to raise money. Today, companies choose their main causes based on their strategy. So there is lobbying work to be done, knocking on doors and ensuring that our cause is embraced by as many organizations as possible. When it comes philanthropy, companies are more organized now. “

M.-A.N .: “There is still room to raise large sums of money through our networks, as we saw with the Ice Bucket Challenge or crowdfunding campaigns. Galas will always exist. However, more and more, companies want to take part in events that promote team building or physical activity. For example, they will be more inclined to let their employees participate in an event like the Urban Duathlon, and match the amount of money raised.

Of course, you need to be creative, but it’s important to avoid fads. The business community is thirsty for opportunities. They want special events that allow them to accomplish something, network, get closer to their clients or donors. The challenge is to find a lasting recipe that will be easy to adjust in time. “

The cause

“After they were born, both my children were hospitalized for health problems,” says Kasandra Côté. So I had the chance to witness little miracles, but I also saw the daily challenges of several parents living with sick children. From then on, I couldn’t fathom not getting involved. It became my cause. If I choose to devote one evening a week away from my healthy children, I do it for all the parents who don’t have that luxury.” Kassandra has been involved in the CHU Sainte-Justine Young Leaders Circle for four years, and her friend Marc-André Nantais, whom she met through Young Canadians in Finance, recently joined her.

About the author

Mélissa Proulx

About Mélissa Proulx

Editor

Mélissa Proulx is a journalist, news contributor, and copywriter. Passion and creativity have been driving her to create rich and diverse journalistic content since 2002.