This story was shared as part of our 2017 Annual Report.
Our 2017 featured fund was set up by the Parliamentary Internship Programme (PIP) to support its long-term sustainability. Creating these types of funds is a role we are uniquely positioned to play given our success in managing endowments, which generate a steady stream of income for organizations or groups such as the PIP.
Close to 500 young Canadians have benefited from the PIP since its founding in 1969. Recent university graduates and young professionals intern with members of Parliament to gain valuable skills and experience in public service. From writing statements, research papers and questions for Question Period to helping to prepare bills and motions in the House of Commons, participants immerse themselves in the work of Parliament over their 10-month full-time paid placements.
The PIP is the legacy of former MP Alfred Hales, who achieved all-party support to create the program which he saw as an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the legislative process in a meaningful way. Its inaugural director, James Ross Hurley, a former professor at the University of Ottawa, as well as a constitutional advisor in the Federal government, remains a strong supporter of the program.
Over time, dedicated members of the PIP Alumni Association considered the idea of giving back. We were able to offer them a perfect vehicle to explore solutions to enhance their fundraising efforts and legacy giving options, including handling complex gifts and bequests. This led to the establishment of the Hales and Hurley Parliamentary Foundation Fund, one of hundreds we manage.
“Setting up a stand-alone foundation was turning out to be a daunting prospect, but the OCF team quickly offered the viable fund option and took us through the process step-by-step,” explains Dr. Anne Dance, the PIP’s director and herself a former intern in the program. “They specifically tailored the Hales and Hurley Parliamentary Foundation Fund to the short and long-term goals of the Parliamentary Internship Programme and the Alumni Association. They impressed us with the simplicity of giving through the many options they offer.”
Dr. Dance refers to one particular goal that would improve the program’s inclusiveness and accessibility. “The 10 interns have always earned a stipend for their ten months of work,” she explains. “I would like to increase this stipend to ensure it is less of a barrier to applicants with young families or student loans, or for those traveling to Ottawa from remote regions of the country.” The steady and growing income generated from the fund is an ideal way to achieve this goal.
Looking ahead, the program’s upcoming 50th anniversary is expected to spark additional interest among supporters to contribute.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity to grow our fund with the OCF and foster the long-term sustainability of the Programme for many years to come,” Dr Dance concludes. “Thanks to the Hales and Hurley Parliamentary Foundation Fund and the continued expertise of the OCF, our fundraising campaign has become easier—and more ambitious.”
For our part, we are particularly delighted to be part of such an important legacy, one which benefits young people from all across Canada and is played out right in our own backyard.
The PIP is a non-partisan initiative of the Canadian Political Science Association. To learn more their work, click here. If you are interested in establishing a fund with us, please visit our website at ocf-fco.ca.