On Day 2 of Philanthropy Week, Catherine Thibault (CAE) led a discussion about "The perspective of partners and donors" with guests Geneviève Latour (Rio Tinto Aluminium), Caroline Lavoie (Trottier Family Foundation) and Martine Vanasse (PSP Investments). The main topic discussed was the motivations of philanthropists who decide to support scientific research and training. What are they? Are there commonalities? How can INRS position itself accordingly?
Motivations and commonalities:
- The Trottier Family Foundation and Rio Tinto Aluminium believe in philanthropy that goes beyond monetary donation. They prefer a proactive approach that allows them to support change financially but also to actively take part in it.
- The projects selected must align with their culture, values, and objectives and have a positive and measurable impact on society. The possibility of developing these initiatives into large-scale models is also a key factor when choosing to support a project.
- Piecemeal requests are not considered. As donors, they need to meet with the recicipent to understand the positive impact and sustainability of their project, and to work with them closely to establish clear objectives and deliverables.
- Philanthropic success lies not only on the donor, it's a shared responsibility between the donor, the recipient, and other stakeholders.
- For Rio Tinto, philanthropy is also a way of giving back to their host communities located in various regions of Quebec and to involve their own employees.
- When choosing to support a project financially, the Trottier Family Foundation, Rio Tinto, and CAE, all believe in spending time in the field to fully grasp the scope of the project and feel the passion of the people who will benefit from the financial support. It makes a huge difference when choosing a project.
What makes INRS unique and attractive to potential donors:
- All participants were unaninous that INRS sets itself apart because of its ethical vision of research that benefits society as a whole.
- The INRS four research centres address a vast array of issues and challenges that resonate with potential donors.
- The cultural diversity and balanced gender distribution of its student population and teaching faculty also makes INRS attractive.
- The INRS multidisciplinary approach also offers interesting networking and partnership opportunities with stakeholders from many different areas.
How members of the INRS community can help:
- By getting involved with the Foundation as a Partner or Volunteer to contribute to the development and growth of INRS. Take a look at the Engage section of our website to find out how to get started.
Coming next: Spotlight on our recipients on Wednesday, October 20 at noon.