The appointment of our new executive director, Ms. Isabelle Lajeunesse, has brought a new vitality to the Foundation. Isabelle specializes in philanthropy, marketing, and events, and has an impressive background as the former executive director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Montérégie division). With such momentum behind her, Isabelle will undoubtedly bring a significant boost to the Foundation’s activities and help consolidate the strengths of our professional and dynamic team!
The Foundation team and all the board members would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Hélène Lépine, who took on the role of interim director for over a year, in addition to being CEO of the YWCA Montreal. During this period of transition, the Board took the opportunity to redefine the Foundation’s guidelines and reset the priorities that will ensure its growth and sustainability.
In 2016–2017, we celebrated concrete and lasting achievements at the Y Foundation.
Following the strategic planning, the Board considered the following objectives: placing the donor at the heart of our actions and positioning, increasing our visibility on the Montreal philanthropic stage, boosting revenues, and effectively carrying out our strategic plan.
Thanks to our vibrant and committed board of directors and select network of partners and volunteers, we are on track to meet these objectives.
A new signature event
This year, we launched a new fundraising campaign entitled My Bag is Yours! This newcomer to the Montreal philanthropic scene was based on a novel idea: invite women to donate their handbags to an online auction in aid of a good cause. The virtual platform was a fun and original way to raise funds via friendly competition among bidders. The campaign helped extend the Foundation’s reach, as 80% of participants were new contacts.
The enthusiastic response from the Montreal business community and the excitement of the general public have convinced us that this is definitely an avenue to pursue.
Following a review of the Women of Distinction Awards’ strategic position, we focused on implementing its added social value. Several 2016 Women of Distinction have accepted to act as sponsors for certain YWCA Montreal events or programs. We are extremely grateful to these women for generously sharing their time and expertise.
In 2016–2017, we saw a major increase in the Foundation’s visibility. We are currently working on a strategic communications plan to continue to build on this and help position the Y Foundation as an established and pivotal organization on the philanthropic stage.
The Foundation has faced financial challenges in the last few years, but we have managed to stabilize finances by cutting expenses. Measures included significantly reducing the costs of the Women of Distinction Awards benefit evening to bring expenses in line with government recommendations. Also, by diversifying our fundraising activities, we have increased revenues.
The 23rd Women of Distinction Awards ceremony organized by the Women’s Y Foundation, raised $245,000 for the women and girls who benefi t from the YWCA Montreal services.
A brand new image to match the Women of Distinction Awards’ repositioning
Our new campaign, My Bag Is Yours!, was very popular and brought in close to $18,000.
For the seventh year in a row, the Women’s Y Foundation rallied a team of runners for the Scotia Bank Charity Challenge.
We offer our heartfelt gratitude to the Foundation’s board directors for their contribution and commitment. Our gratitude also extends to the My Bag is Yours! organization committee and its president, Louise Dufour, who expertly led the first incarnation of this campaign.
We gratefully acknowledge the commitment, generosity, rigour, and energy of Sandra Tittlit, Marie-Christine Dufour, and Lyne Jacques, directors who are leaving the board this year. We want to take the opportunity to welcome three new directors: Line Trudeau, Rachel Dupuis, and Audrey Cadre, who will carry on their work.
Lastly, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of the Y Foundation team—Sonia Wong, Ève Cardinal, and consultant Hélène Simonin—who were incredibly resilient, always available, and worked closely together with the YWCA Montreal colleagues, to whom we also extend warm thanks.
We will rise to the challenges of 2017–2018 with gusto and with the precious support of our donors. We aim to develop and maintain their trust in order to build a strong, unified network that can successfully support the realisation of the YWCA Montreal’s mission – to build a better future for women and girls.
Présidente du conseil d’administration
Fondation Y des femmes
Fondation Y des femmes