Letter from the Executive Director – Fiscal Year 2017

For the Conconi Foundation past year was marked by partnerships, some we’ve cultivated for years others only recently coming to be. We’d like to highlight a few that had shaped the year and some that have set up a new path forward.

  1. St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation – Foundry. Our annual Conconi Challange was suited up in Turn on the lights campaign where fundraised dollars went to operating five brand new health and wellness sites for youth age 12-24. The Foundry concept, re-imagined how BC’s health care system cares for some of our most vulnerable [our youth] and designed an easy access one stop clinics offering services like mental health supports, primary health care, sexual health and others. The new centers are located in Abbotsford, North Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George and Campbell River. The campaign raised a total of $1.2 million in three weeks, in large part due to the local communities and their efforts to organize and engage local resources and capacity and the generous support of the St. Paul’s Foundation.
  2. Inwithforward + McConnell Family Foundation – Grounded Space: Canada’s first R&D collective for the social sector. Think International Space Station for nonprofits, where teams come to explore, learn, create, adapt and launch. Corporate sector spends 2-20% of their revenues on research and development, in contrast, nonprofit sector spends zero dollars. In fact, the social sector is disincentivized to spend time and money on research and development. However, if our collective aim is to have better social outcomes and our sector spends 80% of its budget on paid staff we must find better ways to activate the wealth and depth of human resources within the sector. We are prototyping this idea in 2017-2018 and would love anyone interested in learning more to contact us.
  3. United Way Kamloops – A Way Home. As part of a nation wide effort to address youth homelessness, this is an initiative where a local community reorganizes its efforts and resources, builds on its strengths and community capacity to end youth homelessness. The Conconi Foundation is a funding partner for the A Way Home Kamloops chapter and is involved in the National Founder’s table where collectively we work on strengthening the foundation of this platform.
  4. Vancouver Foundation – Fostering Change. Last fiscal year started with the publication of the Opportunities in Transition Report published by the Vancouver Foundation as part of the Fostering Change Initiative. As part of an advisory group, we examined data on youth aging out of foster care and asked questions about how we can have better outcomes and set youth up for success. The report outlined significant financial costs related to youth aging out of the foster care system at age 19 and suggested extending supports past 19 years of age could actually help bring that financial cost down. The goal is to ensure youth aging out of foster care system has access to resources, supports, opportunities and caring stable relationships which can help them transition to and thrive in adulthood.
  5. ARC Foundation + The Stollery Charitable Foundation – SOGI District Coordinator. This was a seed funding with an aim to build Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity educational capacity within the school district and lay the groundwork for future initiatives.
  6. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation – Mining for Miracles. For the 5th consecutive year, we’ve contributed to this incredible event. If you know anything about us, you know we love match opportunities, and so simply put, how could we say no? The numbers are impressive, this year only over $20 million was raised during the Miracle Weekend (insert link) and in 30 years of its existence the campaign has brought in $262 million to the BC Children’s Hospital.
  7. MaRS Catalyst Fund – Canada’s impact investing fund.  The fund is based at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world’s leading innovation centers. The MaRS Catalyst Fund, a national impact venture fund, is a pioneer in Canada in the field of impact investing and as such in addition to making investments it’s mission is also to educate Canadian marketplace on impact investing. The fund aims to provide much-needed capital to early stage Canadian ventures that address social and environmental issues across three sectors: healthcare, cleantech, and education.

We continue to explore what it means to have an impact, what systemic change looks like, and how organizations might build their capacity to evolve as needs and times change. All this work continues to be in the realm of our sector focus: social services, education, and healthcare. We have another full and interesting year ahead and looking forward to keeping you informed.

Best,

 

Sanja Simic

 

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