I was invited to help establish The Funding Network—Toronto by my colleague, Janis Rukavina. While I hadn’t seen the model in action before speaking to Janis, I know from our working relationship of more than 20 years that when Janis is determined to make something happen, it is best to become part of the team. And after all those years, I also have a deep respect for her judgement.
Participation in The Funding Network has been a revelation. While I have always strongly believed in the value of charitable giving, I had never had such an intimate relationship with the charities that I am helping to support, nor was I aware of the breadth of innovative projects that are initiated in Canada. My role at events is to lead the pledging session. I will admit that I was reticent at first, feeling that it was one thing to give myself but another to ask the same of my friends and acquaintances. However, I have come to appreciate the camaraderie of the members during the session, and as we all get to know each other better, the good-humoured prodding and united commitment is making it one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.