New Year, New Opportunity to Make an Impact!


New Year, New Opportunity to Make an Impact!

by Martha Powell


The start of a New Year is always a great time to reflect on goals for the year ahead. It’s time for reenergizing, starting fresh, and sparking positive change. For many, the New Year brings with it a renewed confidence to tackle even the boldest and most audacious goals. With a big year ahead, there’s certainly no shortage of those.

Closing 2018 with the largest amount of gifts in the Foundation’s 66 year history, we thank YOU for your continued generosity and support. It is thanks to you that we were able to grant over $4.7 million into the community last year. I invite you to join us as we continue on this journey making London and Middlesex a vibrant and caring community where everyone feels as though they belong.

We have some exciting initiatives on the horizon. Here are a few to look out for:

Vital Signs: the momentum around #WhatLondonCanBe continues to build. How can we do our part to contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals? How can we create a future where everyone in our community is healthy, sheltered, equal, employed, educated and green? Join us as we explore these issues in greater depth at our Vital Conversations. Sign up to receive more information at

Back to the River: Although we’ve taken a short hiatus from the spotlight, we’ve been doing work quietly on this project while the environmental assessment is being completed. Securing over $2 million in private donations for the Forks inaugural project and a $3 million gift for affordable housing in the SoHo region, this has solidified Londoners’ support for this initiative. In addition, we are pleased to continue working with the McConnell Foundation through an Innoweave grant to determine what the future entity of Back to the River looks like.

Social Impact Fund: We currently have over $4 million in social finance loans out in the community and recently had our first loan paid back in full for the creation of affordable housing units at 356 Dundas St. Affordable housing continues to be a priority for us as our Vital Signs report reinforced the great need for this in our community. As more project proposals continue to come through our door, we look forward to working in innovative ways to support social entrepreneurs, developers, and fund positive change through our investments.

Game-Changing Grants: Our Community Vitality grant program is open with up to $1 million available for innovative, collaborative, game-changing projects that strive to create systemic change. Each year I continue to be impressed by the bold ideas put forth through this program. One thing is for sure, we have a community full of hard-working, passionate people who believe in the power of collaboration. The deadline for submissions is February 12, 2019, learn more at

These are just a few highlights of our upcoming year. I hope you, too will set goals to create positive change - whether that be personally, professionally, or in your community. I look forward to seeing where 2019 takes us!