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: Ernest Edmond Jr.
Current role in the sector: Right now I am involved in several projects related to non-profit sector: basketball coach; member of the Governing Board at Daniel Johnson High School; Montreal Young ambassador for the 375th; member of the Board of Directors of Forum Jeunesse Île de Montréal; Montreal Creative Mornings speaker; co-founder and President of Les Ballons Intensifs; volunteer for organizations such as: Pour 3 Points, L’Union Gonavienne and Fondation Muntu, etc.
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: I have been a volunteer for various organisations for 15 + years, and I have been working in the sector for 5 years.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
While I am highly involved in numerous projects, my defining moment was in 2009, when my younger cousin asked me to train him at basketball throughout the summer. This simple request led to the creation of a unique nonprofit organization named Les Ballons Intensifs, which offers free athletic training sessions to disadvantaged youth so they can become engaged citizens and create positive changes in their communities. It led me to become more engaged in my community, to learn more about philanthropy and even get a degree in non-profit management at Université de Montréal.
Describe your desk/workspace.
No lie, my desk is a mess. You will regularly find a bunch of business cards and papers pertaining to different things related to the non-profit sector such as fundraising, volunteering and governance.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
Books such as La gouvernance et le conseil d’administration by Roméo Malenfant and La gestion philanthropique: guide pratique pour la collecte de fonds have expanded my understanding of the non-profit sector. For good ideas and advice, I also follow regularly: Classy, Épisode and Charity Village.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
Personally I think the sector needs to think about two key issues: diversity and new ways to diversify income.
There is a lack of representation of youth, visible minorities and other excluded groups, particularly in leadership positions. I think it is important to ensure that everyone is well represented and is part of decision-making, in order to properly address the various inequalities that are affecting our society.
The sector also need to think about ways to diversify income, because of grant funding drying up, changing regulations, donor preferences and many other uncertainties.
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