B.I.V. – The White Edition: Developers partner to support B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation
December 15th, 2008
Business In Vancouver – The White Edition
Developers partner to support B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation
By Peter Mitham
Taking care of others shouldn’t be a lost priority when companies are having trouble taking care of themselves. It’s as important as ever for companies to be engaged with the communities where they work, said Robert Fung, president of real estate developer Salient Developments Ltd.
“We need now, even more than before, to support communities,” he said.
Salient, for example, hasn’t backed down from its commitment to support the Building for Kids initiative of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The initiative launched in 2005 when B.C. real estate markets were hot, and the real estate industry sought to boost its long-standing support for the hospital. Re/Max offices and other brokerage firms have been strong supporters of the foundation in the past, but the real estate and development community fundraising committee wanted a program that would attract the support of consultants and others in the industry, particularly developers.
Companies that support the program pledge a portion of project sales or a set amount per project in exchange for having the Building for Kids logo on site signage and marketing materials. Salient was among nearly two dozen companies that signed on to support the program when it launched.
So far, Building for Kids has raised $727,424, approximately half of which has come from the annual Building for Kids Charity Golf Classic. This year, the initiative has garnered $288,000 for the hospital from the likes of Bosa Properties Inc., Concert Properties Ltd., Southwest Contracting Ltd. and Eecol Electric (Saskatchewan) Ltd.
Fung said ongoing infrastructure projects means fundraising shouldn’t necessarily suffer from a decline in residential construction.
“I think people have to be very disciplined with how they spend money,” said Fung, “whether it’s in sponsorships or donations or just toward basic project costs.
That attitude rings true for Michael Hall, vice-president, research, with Toronto-based Imagine Canada, an organization representing charities and not-for-profits in Canada.
Companies may contribute just 3% to the total operating budgets of charities in Canada, but their contributions go beyond the cheque book.
“There’s an understanding that what’s good for communities is good for business,” Hall said. “The challenge that we have, however, is that a lot of corporations are not measuring the impact of those community investments on their bottom line, so they may have trouble coming up with the hard evidence to support the business case.”
The care Fung’s three kids have received in the emergency ward of the Children’s Hospital has helped him make the connection between his company’s contributions and their impact.
“You never know how badly you need them until you’re really worried about one of your kids,” he said. “And once you use the services, you get a sense of the fact that [foundation staff] are pretty good stewards of your dollars.”
To donate to the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, please click here.