By Joseph Mathieu
Two Carleton University Leadership in Philanthropy Awards were presented at the annual holiday reception on Nov. 29 that capped off another incredibly successful Philanthropy Month.
Ed Ireland and the Carleton University Alumni Association (CUAA) were respectively recognized as an outstanding individual donor and a loyal, long-standing partner of Carleton. Through their support, the award winners have both made significant impacts on the university and the larger community Carleton serves. University leadership and students were on hand to present the awards and thank the recipients.
Ireland, a civil engineer in Ottawa, received the award for his generous financial support and encouragement of hundreds of students. He has led the charge since 2008, when he began funding a few bursaries for student athletes. Since then, he has set up endowments and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help varsity athletes, students with disabilities and students in humanities, human rights and engineering.
This fall, he identified another critical need on campus and used his support to make an immediate difference. The Bimaadiziwin Fund, which he established to provide emergency financial assistance to Indigenous students, has already been used to purchase grocery cards for students in critical financial stress.
Leadership in Philanthropy
Nurturing and promoting a school legacy in which future generations can prosper is integral to the executive council of the CUAA, which has worked closely with Carleton over the years. The CUAA recently pledged $1.3 million, including $1 million to the MacOdrum Library, $250,000 to the Fund for Good and $50,000 to the High Performance Athletes Fund.
Having previously donated millions to help build the Alumni Hall and Sport Centre and several thousands of dollars to many other initiatives, CUAA also notably helped bring back Ravens Football with a $500,000 gift.
These leaders have committed to both academic success and athletic excellence over the years by promoting personal growth and professional development for students, and by fostering school spirit and Ravens pride.
The award ceremony marked the end of Philanthropy Month, a four-week sprint of fundraising from charitable donors of all kinds. Significant progress for Collaborate, the university’s $300-million fundraising campaign, was announced. The campaign recently passed the $200-million bracket with the help of individuals and partners like Ireland and CUAA, as well as gifts such as the recent $3-million donation from the Singhal family, in whose honour the River Building was renamed Richcraft Hall.
Carleton’s Day for Good also took place on Nov. 29 – the university’s fourth edition of the international Giving Tuesday. The university set a 24-hour goal of raising $150,000 and pledged to match gifts dollar-for-dollar (up to the goal). Donors surpassed the goal well before noon and kept giving until midnight. The final amount raised, including matched funds, was an incredible $393,867.
Giving Tuesday and the addition of crowdfunding into the university’s funding model has transformed the community into a philanthropist army, a force for good.
FutureFunder.ca, the Carleton crowdfunding platform, sponsors students, researchers, faculty members and staff in developing courses, projects and prototypes with thousands of dollars in micro-gifts. Now almost four years old, the peer-to-peer support in crowdfunding has truly become a university tradition.
But evenings like the holiday reception remind Carleton that before webpages went up to facilitate philanthropy, there have been champions like Ireland and the CUAA lighting the way for a better tomorrow.