GBF Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2.2

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Happy Spring!

The TRAM Selection Panel is currently reviewing the three final proposals. We are greatly looking forward to announcing the successful TRAM network at an official press conference scheduled for June 13, 2014.

Thank you to all who are bringing attention to the Coalition for Access to Psychotherapy (CAP) through social media. Jim Hughes' interview with Tommy Schnurmacher on CJAD 800 AM addressed CAP and many important mental health-related issues. The feedback we have received reinforces the need for action.

Finally, we would like to thank GBF's Executive Coordinator, Caroline Ure, for her hard work over the last three years. We wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Kindest regards,

Joelle Sholzberg
Communications Manager
Connect with GBF

In this issue:
Sandbox logo
The Sandbox Project
Sandbox announces phase two of their mental health initiative.
PFC logo
Philanthropic Foundations Canada
GBF spotlights PFC's commitment to foundations and organized philanthropy.
<img>Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
TRAM Selection Panel member, Aaron Brown, describes his experiences in working with youth in transition.



Sandbox Project Mental Health Initiative

GBF is proud to support phase two of the Sandbox Project Mental Health Initiative. In phase two, a mobile application (app) will be developed to help youth and their families manage their mental illnesses. The app will provide users with access to their medical records and will allow them to track their moods, activities and treatment responses. Care providers will also use the app to stay connected with their patients and to collaborate with their patients' other care providers.

Phase two was announced in January at the Sandbox 4th Annual National Conference and Workshop (click here for press release) -- an event which drew leading experts and advocates in child and youth mental health. The Sandbox Project is currently seeking Letters of Interest from candidate sites for phase two.



Q&A with Hilary Pearson, President of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC)

PFC recently celebrated its 15th year. How has philanthropy in Canada changed in the last 15 years?
Canadian philanthropy has grown in numbers with an acceleration in the formation of private foundations particularly since the mid-2000s. It has also grown in sophistication as more philanthropists with entrepreneurial backgrounds and an interest in having significant social impact join the ranks, and as established foundations take more advantage of the resources and learning available through networks such as PFC. Finally the extent and degree of foundation collaborative activity has increased very significantly. PFC has responded to this interest by creating more collaborative platforms such as its Member Hub and web-based platforms for funder affinity groups. 

What is the purpose of PFC's affinity group platform?
PFC's objective in offering web-based platforms from the PFC web site is to facilitate the collaborative activities of funder affinity groups without the need for them to establish their own infrastructure. The affinity group platforms are controlled by the funders themselves and allow the groups to share information and documents, post events and help funders find each other. One of our first funder affinity groups to use this platform was the Mental Health and Wellness Affinity Group, spearheaded by the Graham Boeckh Foundation, which was established in 2013. We are encouraging new affinity groups to emerge more quickly using the ready-built platform.
What challenges will philanthropy face in the coming years?
One of the biggest questions that philanthropy faces is how to understand and work together and with partners more effectively to make innovative social change. Canada has many big and complicated social challenges in its future including how to build better relations with First Nations, how to cope with environmental degradation and how to ensure a better quality of life in our cities for all including new immigrant populations. To do this, Canadian philanthropy will need to network and collaborate on an even larger scale. Much private philanthropy still functions in silos and it will be important to break down those silos over the next few years to achieve greater impact. The networks of PFC and other infrastructural organizations in philanthropy will be very important to that process.

PFC conference logo

PFC will be hosting their annual conference in Halifax in October. The conference will explore philanthropy's response to social and environmental issues facing Canada in the 21st century. The event is open to all grantmakers - members and non-members. Learn more at

Atlas Shrugged

By Aaron Brown

As student leaders in Residence Life, my teammates and I are in some respect charged with maintaining the well-being of students at university. Although we are reminded throughout the year that we are students first and foremost, we tend to feel we carry the weight of not only our own worlds, but those of the residents--we are Atlas reborn. There is a pressure inherent in being a leader that we must be strong when others can’t; that we must solve everyone’s problems for them; that we must bear the unbearable. If there is one thing I have learned in my three years on the Residence Life Team, it is that we simply cannot carry the weight of the world, no matter how much we try. If we cannot fix everything for our residents, then we must revisit our mission. You see, our goal is not to carry the world for everyone--our goal is to help everyone carry their own world; a community of people capable of helping themselves. That is not to say that we should not help others--I don’t think I could convince anyone I feel that way. But we should not and cannot consistently do for others what they can do for themselves. We need to educate our youth on how to be self-sufficient. Think how much easier it would have been for Atlas had he not been left to bear the weight of the world alone.

Aaron is a student at Nipissing University who has a passion for working with and promoting wellbeing among youth and adolescents. Aaron is a member of the TRAM Selection Panel.
Copyright © 2014 Graham Boeckh Foundation, All rights reserved.

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