Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Phi-lan-thro-pist. Noun. Def: a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” *
CaST School has come into being as a result of the philanthropic actions of a small group of committed educators, students and their families. Its continued existence is dependent on that same commitment multiplied by the generosity of others.
Working with the full board of directors, founding families, outside donors and select advisors, CaST School is designing a unique framework for wide-ranging philanthropic activity that will define its existence while institutionalizing the giving process across time. In order to build and maintain the type of community of which we can all be proud, and in which we all want to learn and grow, we must seek support from multiple sources, while taking measured risks in the development of opportunities that can be seeded from within our community. That is, in addition to standard donation practices, we believe that by working within social enterprise models, which combine the activity and business models of commercial activity with a mission-driven purpose, CaST will realize its short and long-term capitalization goals.
Operating as a separate division within the school, CaST Philanthropy is dedicated to building bursary, professional development and operating funds dedicated to improving teaching and learning in our institution, and securing our financial future. To this end, four CaST School charitable funds will begin seeking donors in the inaugural operating year 2020-2021:
CaST Annual Fund 2020
Every year, in order to supplement operating capital gained from tuition and program development, CaST families will be asked to contribute to the annual fund. No amount will be thought too small. This fund will likely fall under the auspices of the Parent Association, as it does in many north American independent schools, and is generally used to broaden programs within the school’s existing curriculum. Since this is our first operating year, discussion within the board and within the community will take place before announcing a target amount for this fund and how its proceeds will be used. What should be clear is that the community must depend upon itself to strengthen and build upon what it already has, and what it would like to make manifest in the functioning of our school.
CaST Diversity and Inclusion Fund
The volatile period of history through which we are living is giving us striking knowledge of the disparities between and among countries, peoples and regions globally. Whether disparities in health or wealth, education and opportunity, we face similar disparities here in Canada. Therefore, in order to have CaST School, its faculty, students and their families, reflect the economic, racial, gender, language and ethnic diversity of the world city that forms our classroom, we will build and maintain a Diversity and Inclusion Fund (DIF) whose bursaries for students, and grants for teachers, will help broaden and maintain our diversity.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Board has elected to reserve 6 of the 24 available seats for students enrolling under the Diversity and Inclusion Fund, 2 seats in each of three grades: 10, 11 and 12. For each student, CaST will match gifts of $10,000 with the balance of full tuition, or $12,500. Assuming an ongoing stream of outside funding for each DIF student, CaST School will match this amount for every year a DIF student re-enrolls at CaST for the duration of their enrollment.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Fund was the first to be formulated as we designed CaST School, and has already drawn a $10,000 pledge, a challenge grant which seeks to attract its similar number in order to begin the fund with $20,000. Should you wish to participate in supporting this fund, please write to our principal, Dr. Sealey, to discuss it.
Friends and Scholars Fund
Since it is not always possible for individuals or families to make large donations of over $5000, nor is it always desirable for donors to be named, CaST School will, on a semester by semester basis, create a GoFundMe page for smaller donations that will support the activities of the school. This fund is primarily open to donors giving less than $1000, with that gift directed through GoFundMe Canada’s partnership with the United Way. GoFundMe collects funds for select non-profits and distributes those funds at the end of each fiscal quarter. We envision the Friends and Scholars Fund reaching across the country and around the world, giving friends of CaST School the means to support our work here in the city of Toronto. More will be written about this fund in early fall 2020.
CaST Social Enterprise Fund
In the last fifty years, much research has been carried out by scholars who began witnessing unique mergers of business activities with those of charitable or foundation-based social missions. Small and large non-profits found themselves engaging in business practices that helped them realize their missions, while corporations that adopted social missions learned that those missions could be funded within the same commercial frameworks in which profits were derived. Companies like Newman’s Own, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Fair Trade coffee beans, Housing Works second hand clothing shops, and multiple contemporary entrepreneurs have used their knowledge and access to resources to support a so-called “double bottom line”: social benefit and commercial profit.
CaST Social Enterprise Fund will do the same, working with CaST students, teachers, families and the network within the CaST Friends and Scholars Club to build, or support, social enterprises which we control, and that merge commercial practice with social good: mission-driven enterprise. Should you have ideas on this topic, or are open to engaging in social enterprise activities given your skill set and state of mind, you are welcome to be in touch with the CaST principal about your ideas.
The first project will launch this fall. We’ll let you in on the surprise in store for you later this year!
*"Philanthropist" definition courtesy of Oxford Languages