Arthur Chan, a Bachelor of Commerce student at UBC Sauder, is being recognized, along with his charity D2D Destiny Foundation, by the Vancouver Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) with the "Outstanding Youth Philanthropist" award for 2018.
Arthur Chan, a Bachelor of Commerce student at UBC Sauder, grew up with the spirit of philanthropy very present in his home. Both his parents are board members of reputable charity organizations, and this philosophy of social responsibility was entrenched in his understanding of business and the community he grew up in.
"I've always wanted to follow my parents' footsteps," says Chan. "The learning process and inspiration started right at home."
At the age of 14, Chan was already geared up to translate this concept into practice. He teamed up with students from high school and founded the Young Ambassador Program, an initiative to help BC Children's Hospital raise funds through events and awareness-building activities.
These small steps towards making a difference grew in scale under D2D Destiny Foundation, a Canadian registered non-profit organization he launched in 2014 to bring a more streamlined and professional touch to charitable activities and fund more humanitarian causes. D2D stands for the conviction that anyone can 'dare to dream'. Nicole Poon, a recent UBC Sauder graduate, is a founding member of D2D Destiny Foundation. Brandon Tsang, Natalie Chan and Ranger Lee are other UBC Sauder students and D2D members implementing their classrooms knowledge in the realm of social enterprise. To date, D2D Destiny Foundation has raised over $445,000 to support eight charity partners, including VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Richmond Centre for Disability and the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation.
Through the combined efforts of both programs, Chan and his team of charity champions have hit a milestone few youth-led programs can dream to achieve.
They raised over $1 million for BC Children's Hospital in a span of seven years, an achievement now recognized by the Vancouver Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as part of their "Giving Hearts Program." The association celebrated the achievements of D2D Destiny Foundation by awarding Chan the "Outstanding Youth Philanthropist" for 2018.
Chan will represent the team at the 2018 National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 7th when the award will be officially conferred.
Giving back to BC Children's Hospital
Chan’s drive to support health-related initiatives comes from a personal story. As a child, Chan spent four years at BC Children’s Hospital as a patient braving leukemia.
"I knew I wanted to give back to the community, give back to BC Children's Hospital for all they did to help me recover," said Chan.
The hospital that helped save Chan’s life is now benefiting from D2D Destiny Foundation's charitable drives. Part of the $1 million dollars was spent on purchasing a functional electrical stimulation (FES) walking aid, an orthotic brace that helps children and adolescents living with cerebral palsy. The funds are also being utilized to meet other urgent medical needs at the hospital.
Learning entrepreneurship at UBC Sauder
Chan credits the entrepreneurship courses at UBC Sauder in shaping the business side of his charitable work. "Running D2D Destiny Foundation with a large team, managing the funds effectively and devising creative ways to fund more causes requires an entrepreneurial mindset," says Chan. "I was able to learn these skills and sharpen my knowledge of critical business functions at UBC Sauder."
UBC Sauder faculty members are helping Chan beyond the lecture halls. Kin Lo, senior associate dean, students at UBC Sauder, and full-time lecturers Ellen McIntosh and Steven Minns have joined the Honourary Board of D2D Destiny Foundation. Santa Ono, president and vice chancellor of UBC, also serves in the same position to help guide young team with sound strategic advice.
“I’m inspired by Arthur’s passion and determination towards his philanthropic work, and I was happy to become involved in any way I could,” says Steven Minns. “Arthur and his team have developed an e-commerce concept for the charity’s website that is one of a kind in Vancouver, and their long-term vision for D2D Destiny Foundation is to expand its scope beyond Canada and make it the ‘Amazon of charity.’ It’s quite remarkable and I’m thrilled to see his work being recognized by the AFP.”
In the meanwhile, Chan believes every student can contribute to a worthy cause in their own way. "Philanthropy has no boundaries. You can achieve anything by simply having a belief and working hard."