The Case For Giving Back

With a series of new initiatives, Medcan reinforces its support for community causes

One way to promote personal happiness is by contributing to causes that provide purpose and help us feel more socially connected. That’s what I learned back when I was researching my book, Eat, Move, Think.

I think that’s particularly true at this time of year, as we transition into the holidays. Which is why Medcan is rolling out a series of new initiatives designed to reinforce our commitment to the community, and make it easier than ever for our employees to get involved.

To this end, Medcan has partnered with the United Way and Salesforce to launch Philanthropy Cloud, a corporate impact platform designed to give every employee access to a global network of opportunities to donate, volunteer, and advocate for any cause. Think of it as a marketplace of nonprofits, which enables our staff to find organizations to engage with, and respond to campaigns for specific causes.

At Medcan, we realize that practicing corporate citizenship is a good in and of itself. But we also believe that giving back is good for business. By giving our employees the opportunity to create  social value, we’re contributing to their happiness and sense of community, thereby engendering loyalty and increasing productivity.

That’s part of the reason why philanthropic initiatives have always been part of Medcan’s core values. We believe in building healthier communities around us. We are proud to be making a difference:

  •  locally by housing The Power Project for under-privileged youth.
  • nationally by funding True Patriot Love, which supports military members, Veterans, and their families
  • and globally by operating Naweza to improve quality and access to healthcare in rural Uganda and Kenya.

These initiatives have generated a remarkable legacy:

  • Since I founded True Patriot Love in 2009, the charity has grown into the largest of its kind in Canada. Medcan was proud to be the founding supporter. Over the past decade, Medcan has donated approximately $2.5 million to True Patriot Love, which altogether has raised $30 million, supported 750 community-based programs and helped more than 30,000 military members, Veterans and their families.
  • We’ve supported Naweza since its inception in 2013, providing medical care to 4,500 patients and screening an additional 4,200 for chronic disease in rural Uganda and Kenya. We’ve also trained 235 local healthcare providers and created a mobile chronic-disease screening program, among many other initiatives.
  • Our Power Project has helped 45 young athletes achieve their potential with world-class training.

Despite our workforce’s predilection for good citizenship, giving is on the decline both in cash and volunteer hours in Canada. That worries me, because I believe in philanthropic giving. As the CEO of a growing company of 500+ employees, I feel some personal responsibility in helping to address our country’s giving gap. Throughout my life I have experienced time and again how volunteering is good for your body and mind, and I know that the benefits are greatest when you are giving yourself to something that grabs your passion.

So at Medcan we have been exploring ways that we can further empower our employees to pursue their philanthropic passions as part of our investment in their personal wellbeing, and our goal to create an organizational culture that is physically, emotionally and purposefully well.

Along those lines, we’ve made it even easier for our employees to support these initiatives, as well as any others they believe in. That’s where Philanthropy Cloud comes in.

The platform provides a single access point to all charities in Canada and the U.S., allowing individuals to easily identify the cause and organization that best matches up with their personal areas of interest.

In addition, from November 4th to December 4th, Medcan will be matching up to $50,000 in employee donations to True Patriot Love Foundation.

We’re also taking an extra step to encourage our employees to be generous to these causes. Most times when someone donates to a charity online, the charity pays about 7% in credit card and processing fees. For the first year of our participation in Philanthropy Cloud, Medcan is pleased to cover the United Way’s processing fee to ensure that 100% of employee donations reach the charity of their choice.

Our vision is for every Medcan employee to be giving back in some way. Because volunteering and participating in causes that improve your community, however you define it, is good for the soul—an especially important fact to remember as we move through the holidays.

Shaun Francis is Medcan’s CEO and chair. Follow him on Twitter @shauncfrancis. Connect with him on LinkedIn. And follow him on Instagram @shauncfrancis.

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