Sponsored in part by Concordia, this year’s theme is “At the Heart of the City,” and will include panel discussions on education, health and more.
Marcel Dupuis, associate vice-president of Development at Concordia’s Advancement and Alumni Relations, and Daniel Salée, professor in the Department of Political Science and in the School of Community and Public Affairs, are among the panellists taking part in the two-day event.
Raising money strongly improves society
Dupuis accepted to speak at this year’s summit because he has seen how philanthropy can positively impact local, national and global communities over the course of his 26 years working in fundraising.
He notes that it is particularly important for higher education institutions to raise money in order to support students and various academic activities.
“One of Concordia’s nine strategic directions is to go beyond, and fundraising allows us to go above and beyond by increasing the quality of our programs and activities. Thanks to our donors’ valuable support, students benefit from increased scholarships and bursaries and updates to equipment and buildings,” Dupuis says.
“During convocation, we always mention to our graduates to remember the various types of financial assistance they’ve received over the course of their studies. It’s important for us to start to educate our graduates to give back and support society.”
Dupuis feels Concordia’s involvement in the summit is very appropriate given its role as a “leading education institution in Quebec.” He adds that it is only natural for the university to be a part of this discussion because of its major impact on philanthropy in education.
‘No such thing as a small gift’
One of the summit’s aims is to demonstrate how philanthropic actions can change the face of a city and impact its residents, and that the act of philanthropy includes more than financial support. Dupuis encourages individuals to give their time as a volunteer or mentor or for other engagement, and certainly to give based on their financial capacity.
“It doesn’t always take a million dollars to make a difference, and there’s no such thing as a small gift,” he says.
While Dupuis admits that certain aspects of philanthropy have changed since he first entered the field in 1991, he maintains that guiding elements of effective fundraising have remained the same. These include identifying an individual’s capacity and choosing the right person to solicit the contributions.
Most importantly, donors as much as ever want to make an impact and deeply care about the institutions or the programs they are supporting.
More than anything, Dupuis hopes his talk will inspire the summit’s participants to become better citizens and remind them that we all have a duty to share and be respectful of others.