A message from Community Foundations of Canada’s new Chair, Bill Lockington
February 22nd, 2018
The Board of Directors of Community Foundations of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Lockington, founding chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, as Chair of its Board of Directors. As Bill steps into the role following Victoria Grant, who has served as the Chair since 2015, we asked him to share his thoughts on what’s next for our movement. Read Bill’s reflection here, and on behalf of all of us at Community Foundations of Canada, please join us in welcoming our new Chair, Bill Lockington.
Dear friends and colleagues,
In 2009, I had the privilege of joining the community foundation movement as the founding chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. It’s an organization through which I came to understand the profound impact of place-based philanthropy on the community around me — as champions of giving, enablers of social capital and as points of connection through which a sense of belonging and collaboration could be strengthened. In 2012, I had the opportunity to experience these qualities at a national level when I joined the Board of Directors of Community Foundations of Canada.
Looking back over the past decade, the community foundation movement has grown in so many ways. We’ve expanded our reach, and today more than 90 per cent of Canadian communities have access to a community foundation — a number that will continue to grow as a unique culture of community philanthropy emerges in Canada’s North. But we’ve also grown in our thinking about our unique role, and about the ways in which we can work together.
Community foundations are matchmakers, facilitators, valued partners and trusted advisors, identifying and meeting the current and future needs of our communities. We advocate for community interests without partisan leanings and we collaborate as a movement on national initiatives, including the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th. We help shape community conversations and decision-making through programs like Vital Signs, through community knowledge and leadership, through capacity building efforts, facilitation and advocacy — all hallmarks of community philanthropy that take on new and emerging importance in our collective work.
As we look towards the future of community philanthropy and the community foundation movement, we increasingly see ourselves as part of three connected ‘communities’, each with distinct needs: our unique local communities, our national pan-Canadian community and the global community. Today, advances in technology, transportation and media increasingly blur the boundaries of these communities and confront us with both issues and opportunities that were not even foreseeable a decade ago. Change, and the increasing pace of change, is omnipresent and inevitable in every thread of the community fabric.
The local community as we know it is no longer insulated from international issues by the nation state and is instead being directly influenced by global forces. No longer can community philanthropy work solely in an isolated local context without regard for national and global issues of the national and global communities. As ‘citizens’ of the broader spectrum of these communities, what will this mean in terms of our engagement, the relevance of our work and the evolving role of philanthropy? We will need to continually be deliberate, sensitive and reflective as we consider the effects of rapid change and the resultant outcomes of this broadening citizenship.
The Sustainable Development Goals that were declared at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit capture the convergence of these many ‘communities’. Underpinned by the principle of universality, the SDGs are a call to action that recognize the interconnected nature of local, national and global challenges, and sets local and national leaders from all sectors on a path to 2030 with the vision of ‘leaving no one behind.’ As we connect the aspiration of these global goals with community philanthropy at the local and national level, we will be stretched to further our leadership, creative skills and our connectedness as a national movement of local foundations — synthesizing the identification of national and global issues and needs with those of our local communities. Notwithstanding the complexity of these issues and the challenge of change, the community foundation movement and Community Foundations of Canada are uniquely positioned to be adaptive and playing a significant role in the betterment of our three communities.
I am honoured and appreciative to have been appointed as chair by the directors of Community Foundations Canada and am continually mindful of the leadership and guidance of my predecessors, most recently Vicki Grant, who have set a high bar for successors. I look forward to being part of the next chapter in the movement story, sharing with our almost 200 community foundations, continued growth, engagement and meaningful contribution to our communities in Canada.
On behalf of the board of Community Foundations of Canada, we anticipate very much the pleasure of working with you.
With My Kind Regards,
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