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!

Reflections on Philanthropy Month

With a memorable Philanthropy Month behind us, the question we have been pondering here at the Community Foundation is this: How do we sum up a month of events and conversations that celebrate the impact of Philanthropy in our lives and our communities? If you’re like us, you might be craving a little more of Philanthropy Month, and so we include here some very special mementos to tide you over until next year.

Thank you to our many volunteers, partners, speakers, donors, participants and supporters who made Philanthropy Month possible.

Save the date. November 2013. Philanthropy Month returns!

The Peterborough I wish to build includes…

During Philanthropy Month, we asked community members to finish this sentence: “The Peterborough I wish to build includes…

Overwhelmed by the unique and thoughtful responses, we wanted to share a few with you:

  • Kids who are transformed by their art
  • Affordable homes for everyone!
  • Diversity
  • A strong connection to our natural landscape  and environmental history
  • Random acts of kindness
  • See photos here.

Now we turn it back to you. Tweet us @cfgp_ or come by our Facebook page and finish this sentence: “The Peterborough I wish to build includes…”

The Philanthropy Forum Hit List

On the first day of Philanthropy Month, Teresa Kaszuba devoted a segment of her show to“The Philanthropy Forum Hit List”: where local experts weighed in with tips in their field of specialty. We had a blast filming at Natas Cafe and celebrated Philanthropy Month with some of our community’s most creative (and caffeinated!) downtown dwellers. The show aired on November 2nd and we couldn’t resist posting it on our new blog.

The purpose of this edition of The 5 O’Clock Show was two-fold:

1) to tell viewers a little bit about the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and its connection to Philanthropy Month, and

2) to encourage viewers to take part in the festivities planned for November 15th

Enjoy the video below and click here and learn more about the cocktails, networking and inspiring speakers we have lined up for the 15th November.