As the co-owner and Community Manager for the Ian Martin Group, Kate Masson works to establish a community of belonging and shared accountability for staff through a self-managed operating system and a genuine spirit of care for those in the organization. You’re going to get a sense of that in this conversation. We’re focused here not on the staffing organization, the work of Ian Martin Group as a B Corp, but on their foundation.
They have been intentional in creating a foundation. The structure reflects the impact they intend, which includes looking at the effect they don’t want to have. They are addressing a very relevant need that they understand because of their work in hiring people. They understand the barriers to work, the challenges that exist. So, the Meaningful Work Foundation is meant to address those barriers. They are avoiding the power imbalance that can often exist between a funder and those that it’s looking to fund. They’re aware that they are granting small amounts and that the organizations they tend to support are small organizations, so they avoid making onerous demands in terms of application and reporting. They are engaging employees in meaningful ways, leveraging their expertise. In granting, and within the individual team members, they are addressing personal biases that might exist, getting that upfront so that they can have conversations that are really meaningful in deciding where the grants should be given.
They are a small foundation, a young foundation. But I think there are some big lessons that all funders can learn, whether your lens is that of a foundation or a corporate team making donations, perhaps even from a personal giving standpoint.
Have a listen.
- Meaningful Work Foundation : https://ianmartin.com/meaningful-work-fund/
- Ian Martin Group: https://ianmartin.com
- Kate Masson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katemasson
- Ian Martin Meaningful Work Foundation Grant Recipients 2020: https://ianmartin.com/ian-martin-meaningful-work-foundation-announces-2020-grant-recipients/
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business: https://www.ccab.com
- Home Suite Hope: https://homesuitehope.org
- Plan Canada: https://plancanada.ca
- Windmill Microlending: https://windmillmicrolending.org
- Yonge Street Mission: https://www.ysm.ca
- Benevity: https://www.benevity.com
- Peterson’s book, Love Giving Well: https://www.strongerphilanthropy.ca/book/