Mawer’s workplace culture of giving inspires $150,000 multi-charity program for Canada’s 150th

Big milestones deserve big actions. It’s not every year that Canada turns the big one-five-o, so we at Mawer Investment Management Ltd. decided to mark the occasion by upping our charitable giving game in a special, very flexible way.

To mark Canada’s 150th Mawer is allocating $150,000 for our employees to support various charities across the country. What has come to be known around the office as “150 for 150,” is an internal program in which the first 100 employees to submit a donation request will receive $1,500 each to support the registered Canadian charity of his/her choice. The donation is made by Mawer on each employee’s behalf, but the employee has complete freedom to choose which charity will benefit.

Beyond the monetary donation, and in keeping with the firm’s commitment to empower local charities by all means possible, employees are also donating their time as volunteers to their chosen charity. In each of Mawer’s offices there is a “Wall of 150” where employees will share their volunteer stories (e.g., what they did and why the charity is important to them). The goal of both the wall and the program is to share experiences, celebrate Canada, and recognize team members making a positive difference in our communities.

I feel fortunate to work in an environment where people get genuinely excited by opportunities like this. Years ago I might have felt slightly bummed that, instead of a big Canada Day office bash, my employer had decided to focus its celebration around giving back to the community. That feeling quickly evaporated once I dipped my foot into charity involvement and realized a level of satisfaction and purpose I had never experienced before.

This program matters to me because it provides yet another opportunity for me to support a charity that unexpectedly became near and dear to my heart about five years ago: The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Back then I was at a point in my life where I knew I wanted to be involved with a charity, or multiple charities, I just didn’t know which ones were out there. I also didn’t know which ones were going to resonate with me on a personal level, which I believe is essential if you’re going to dedicate yourself to a particular cause.

Around that time, Bennett, the son of close friends, was diagnosed with a rare (~150 people in the world) life-threatening genetic disorder. Children’s Wish granted Bennett a wish, and so began my journey as a volunteer for an organization that continues to inspire and motivate me today. My initial involvement was borne more from wanting to support friends as opposed to supporting the foundation itself, but as is often the case with charities, the closer I got, the more I wanted to help.

Our firm’s partnership with the Community Foundations of Canada has only strengthened our commitment to community giving, and with this initiative, we are thrilled to be able to empower not just one, but 100 different local charities.

Guest post by Andrew Johnson, Institutional Portfolio Manager with Mawer Investment Management Ltd.

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