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Multi-passionate entrepreneur is a concept you read about when you are a small business owner. It means that it’s hard to pick your area of expertise when you have many, and therefore you keep them all in your business mix.

Well, that’s how I feel about giving to charity. There are so many worthy organizations. So many causes that I feel passionate about. Yet, every year since I started my business, and long before that personally, I picked certain charities, outside of my annual planned gifts to give a gift to at holiday time. Deciding is always hard, and usually happens on a long reflective walk when I think about my year, and what charity resonated with me.

This year, I wanted to keep the tradition alive, (of course!). I also wanted it to continue to expand in alignment with my business goal to make sure BridgeRaise is about doing good. You know I’m all about supporting charities in doing good by raising more money. But just like there are always more ways you can raise more money from companies, there are more ways that I can do good through BridgeRaise.

This year, I expanded my business to include Cristina. Those of you who work with BridgeRaise know her well. So, to expand BridgeRaise’s holiday giving, I asked Cristina to pick an organization that she wanted us to support. I know it was a hard choice for her too, and I love her choice: The Redwood Shelter. Here’s what she said:

“I’m a superfan of smaller organizations that provide direct support – especially for women and children.  Having worked and volunteered with charities big and small for many years now, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous resourcefulness and impact that financial donations can make!  I’m so pleased that BridgeRaise is supporting the Redwood Shelter – knowing our donation will help provide a safe haven for women and children fleeing abuse, especially at this holiday time.”

What a great way to start our giving! And keeping with the theme of women, I continue to be so impressed with the leadership being demonstrated on women’s health issues by Women’s College Hospital. The women leading and working at WCH are impressive at epic levels, and I know my support is going to innovate in women’s health care while including people who are often left out.

Finally, no list of mine would be complete without supporting an environmental charity, and one that connects to young people as well is clearly a slam dunk! EcoSchools Canada is teaching young people and their schools about very practical ways they can make a change to positively impact our environment. This year they began their national expansion and I know the difference they are going to make in our climate crisis is a valuable one.

As always, I am so proud of these organizations and so many others. Giving to charity is a source of pride for me, a personal choice and I feel incredibly grateful each year that I have this opportunity. I hope you also find time to build your giving tradition and find charities that have connected with you.

And finally, as I enter into 2020, I wanted to share a new addition to BridgeRaise’s “doing good” program. Mentoring new fundraisers is something I have always enjoyed. It really has brought such a richness to my career and life! It felt right therefore, that BridgeRaise would make a formal commitment to mentorship by offering a mentorship call or coffee per month. I am looking for fundraisers that need a helping hand, have a burning question, or just need someone to talk to. It can be about anything career-related – for this I’m going well beyond corporate fundraising! Let’s set up a time!

In the meantime, my warmest wishes to you and I hope you enjoy the giving season.

Heather Nelson