Youth perspectives on the Philanthropy Forum

Two students were selected for scholarships to attend this year’s Philanthropy Forum. Here are their thoughts and insights from the day!

From Shannon, Trent University: 

When I wake up in the morning, I get out of bed for one primary reason: I like to learn.  I like knowledge for knowledge’s sake. And, I love knowledge that can be put into action for the benefit of the community.

At the Philanthropy Forum, I attended an array of workshops, met many highly involved non-profit community members, had thoughtful conversations about the changing world of philanthropy and charity, but most of all, I learned.  You couldn’t take two steps without walking into someone with a great idea, a new perspective, or a valuable lesson from their time spent in the non-profit community.

Philanthropy and charity aren’t always about money; I felt so much generosity of spirit and a deep undercurrent of hope throughout the day.

I learned something unique from each speaker and workshop facilitator I encountered. Dave Meslin, from my hometown of Toronto, talked about the multitude of ways civic engagement is necessary and can be fun, effective, and redefined by community effort.  Alasdair Hooper spoke about stewardship, and the paramount importance of a thank you to donors big and small.  Bryan Tenenhouse spoke with expertise about branding and representation, and how to best market the charitable spirit.  Casey Ready spoke extensively about differentiating between charity and social justice and identified a need for greater amounts of advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups.  Terri Catlin led a ridiculously fun improv workshop, where I got to say hi to the “president” and learned the value of living in the moment to best handle life’s unexpected surprises.

I’m graduating this year and hopefully jump-starting a career in the non-profit sector.  I look forward to utilizing everything I learned at the Philanthropy Forum from branding, to stewardship, to affective civic engagement, but most importantly, kindness. Thank you to CFGP, and everyone who attended the Forum!

From Jordyn, St. Peter’s Secondary School:

The Philanthropy Forum was an amazing experience that I was really grateful to take part in. It was inspiring to be in a room full of people who make their livings by making the world a better place. It was such a learning experience and I really hope to implement the strategies and outlooks I heard at the Forum in my own life and the organizations I am a part of now, and those I will be a part of in the future.

Dave Meslin, the keynote speaker, really inspired me with his talk of public space, in that it’s our space so we should take care of it as a community. From the workshops, I learned about the importance of giving meaningful thanks to those who support our organizations, how to help make campaigns work, and how important charities and social justice organizations really are. I was able to talk and connect with many people who gave me great advice for my future and for the fundraising I need to do for an upcoming awareness trip. The Forum also opened up a lot of opportunities for me to continue my development as a concerned youth.

I don’t know who the donor was that allowed me and another student to attend the Forum, but I’d like to thank them and everyone who made the Forum an enjoyable experience.


4th Annual Philanthropy Forum– in like a lion, out with a bang!


Our fourth annual Philanthropy Forum was a jam-packed day. More than 125 people, who work or volunteer in the non-profit sector (or both!), joined us for a day of networking, learning, and celebration.

Our day started off right with keynote speaker Dave Meslin, a Toronto-based activist, journalist, and “professional rabble-rouser.” Meslin not only elicited much-needed early morning laughs but also shared his profound ideas about citizen engagement, public space, and how non-profits can run a winning campaign.

Throughout the day, seventeen experts from the Peterborough area and across the Province facilitated a host of workshops and discussions, covering an array of issues important to the non-profit sector. From learning how to effectively engage Board Members to using social media for fundraising, these sessions provided food-for-thought as well as useful strategies to implement in the workplace.

We were also pleased to end our Forum with something that got us up on our feet! Terri Catlin, a Kawartha-based actor, writer and entrepreneur, facilitated a lively presentation that fused improvisation techniques with workplace strategies, equipping us to deal with issues and conversations “in the moment.”

And who could forget the evening’s Creative Cocktail? With live music, a candy bar, and a photo-booth (how’s that for pizazz?), we ended the night off right by listening to four engaging stories of heart-warming philanthropic contributions everyday citizens are making to our community.

With the bar set this high, we know that the fifth annual Philanthropy Forum will be mind-blowing!

Philanthropy Month is HERE!

Philanthropy Month begins

Both the City and County of Peterborough have proclaimed November 2013 to be the Month of Philanthropy, and the Community Foundation is thrilled to host a series of activities to celebrate the profound impact that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—has made to our lives, our communities and our world.  Visit to learn more.

A wise man once asked ‘Can anyone be a philanthropist?’ Listed below are our events that will leave you believing that the answer is most certainly YES!

November 5 – Business After Hours: Join the Community Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce as we kick off Philanthropy Month in style! Details: Tuesday, November 5, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Ashburnham Ale House, no cost however please register in advance here.

November 14 – Philanthropy Forum: A day of interactive sessions, breakthrough thinking, networking and a celebration of philanthropy in Peterborough. Review the program and register at Details: Thursday, November 14, Peterborough Golf & Country Club, full day program $60/person.

November 14 – Creative Cocktail: A reception and celebration will follow the Forum with a special version of Peterborough Economic Development’s bi-monthly Creative Cocktail! Details: Thursday, November 14, 6:30 – 9:30 pm, Peterborough Golf & Country Club, no cost however you must register in advance: sign me up for Creative Cocktail!

November 20 – Timeraiser: A silent art auction with a twist where guests bid volunteer time (hours), rather than money, on works of art by local emerging artists. Successful bidders donate their time to local non-profits over the year. Timeraiser artists are paid for their work, so not only are we building volunteerism but we’re also supporting emerging artists in our community!  Details: Wednesday, November 20, 6:30 – 9:30 pm, Market Hall Performing Arts, ticket price: $20, get yours here:

We look forward to seeing you this month!