40 At The Forty's Novel Idea
A group of civic-minded citizens in Grimsby is turning charities’ need for cash into an opportunity to craft better stories.
Established in 2018 under the auspices of the NIAGARA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION’S GRIMSBY FUND, the group of 40 philanthropists, calling themselves 40 at the Forty, gathers four times a year to host a story-telling competition in which everybody wins.
Each of the 40 members is required to contribute $100 per event, which creates a $4,000 pot for each of the quarterly sessions. One thousand dollars is invested in the Foundation’s Grimsby Fund, and the remaining $3,000 is handed out that night in a grant of $1,500 and two grants of $750 each.
The recipients of the cash are determined by secret ballot, cast by the 40 philanthropists, and they vote based on the “pitches” delivered by representatives of the three charities who’ve been chosen to present that night.
Don Stewart, a member of the Foundation’s Grimsby Fund Committee, spent a career as a professional fundraiser, so he knows that being able to “succinctly and powerfully present your charity’s case for support is a skill that needs to be practiced and honed.”
Giving each charity a 10-minute chance to make their case in a room full of generous and successful people is about more than which presenter goes home with the most money, Stewart said. Charities learn how to improve their stories and, even if they don’t take home the biggest prize, they get professional-quality feedback. They also increase community awareness of their causes and sometimes they make a connection with someone in the room and gain additional offers of support.
The 40 at the Forty event is hopeful, entertaining, and inspiring, Stewart said. It puts money in the Grimsby Fund’s coffers, teaches charities how to touch people’s hearts, and draws a community together for the good of their neighbours.
As of April 2019, the following local Grimsby Charitable Organizations made presentations to the Members of the Grimsby Fund’s gatherings of the 40 at the Forty:
■ Rose Cottage Visiting Volunteers
■ Town of Grimsby – Jim Wright Memorial Fund
■ Grimsby Pre-School Co-Operative
■ Gillian’s Place of West Niagara
■ The FORT
■ EarlyON Grimsby Beach Site
■ Nelles Manor
■ GAMRU South Shore Search & Rescue
■ Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grimsby, Lincoln & West Lincoln
Each of these deserving organizations made their pitch to the Members of the 40 at the Forty and were each awarded with a cheque to support their ongoing programs and services to the people of they support day in and day out.
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