150 Profiles: David Sax

As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.

Name: David Sax

Current role in the sector: Writer/Journalist, co-chair Toronto Public Library Foundation’s New Collection

Years working and/or volunteering in the nonprofit sector: 3 years.

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
I was a guest author of New Collection in 2014, where I spoke about my second book.  The crowd and people involved were so great, that I immediately signed up for membership, and volunteered for the committee.

Describe your desk/workspace.
A post-apocalyptic hellscape of loose papers, stacked books, random business cards, and for some reason, at least one type of lip balm.  Plus a laptop, and four canisters of undeveloped film now pushing a year old.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector? 
Right now I’m reading Arrival Cities by Doug Saunders, which talks about the global migration from rural to urban, including cities like Toronto which are fueled by immigration.  The key to successfully integrating these fast growing, dynamic communities are the essential public services that allow them to thrive, and in Toronto, the library is at the core of this.

What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
More important than raising funds is inspiring the public to understand why your cause is important.  For the library it is both easy and a challenge, as many people are familiar with it, but few know its scope, the breadth of services it provides to all ages, classes, and corners of the city, and just how precarious its position is as a publicaly funded entity.

Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at philanthropistprofiles@gmail.com


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