UBC Sauder Philanthropy Program Wraps Up Another Year

Posted 2019-05-09

The UBC Sauder Philanthropy Program , which aims to foster responsible, thoughtful, and philanthropic leadership, wraps up its sixth year of operation.

Housed under the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, the UBC Sauder Philanthropy Program (UBC SPP) aims to educate UBC Sauder students about philanthropy and provide unique opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills. UBC SPP showcases local philanthropists and leaders working in philanthropy through its speaker series and mentorship matching.

Focused on gaining an understanding and appreciation of philanthropy, students are provided with opportunities to learn about philanthropy and interact with philanthropic leaders. With an aim of teaching the many different forms that philanthropy takes, including managing grants, running non-profits, and impact investing, the program offers several learning components. These include a Speaker Series where students can hear from thought leaders on the topic of philanthropy and a Mentorship program where students have an opportunity to be matched individually with a mentor working in the sector.

The 2018-19 Management Committee responsible for the ongoing support of the program was:

  • Shirali Desai
  • Adrienne Ellis
  • Simranpreet Kaur
  • Curtis Kothe
  • Ellen Morrison
  • Sakiko Toriya

The program’s speaker series this year hosted four events. First, “The Roadmap to Philanthropy” with Abdul Ladha, a prominent Vancouver philanthropist and the Founder of Spark Global Philanthropic Foundation. Then, “Corporate Philanthropy: Business, Responsibility and Giving” and “Getting Involved in the Non-Profit Sector: Options for Careers and Volunteering” with Christie Stephenson, Executive Director of the Dhillon Centre. The final event of the year was “Finance for Social Change” with Renewal Funds founding partner Joel Solomon.

“As philanthropy grows and becomes a more prominent aspect of business, it is wonderful to see so many students wanting to get involved and become the future of responsible business leaders,” says Christie Stephenson, Executive Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics. “Being able to connect our students to philanthropists in the business community gives them a terrific opportunity to learn from leaders in this sector and gain a deeper understanding of the practice and impact of philanthropy.”

Another outcome of the UBC SPP was the development and launch of a new Sauder course on Philanthropy. “Philanthropy in Review” is a 300-level, 3-credit course that began in January 2019 and covered the theoretical framework of philanthropy, distinctions between philanthropy, charity, and other forms of impact, such as impact investing, and explored the landscape of giving and wealth management.

The UBC SPP mentorship matching will continue over the summer as the program looks ahead at exciting new speakers for next year’s speaker series.

Students interested in getting involved in the program in 2019-2020 should contact Christie Stephenson at