Susan and David Rose take their role as community contributors very seriously. Among the Foundation’s more diligent and discerning donors, the Ottawa couple has deep roots in the community – and deep pockets when it comes to investing in its long-term well-being. Both economists, they are driven by an acute sense of caring for the world in which they live, while remaining ever attentive to results to ensure that each grant made from their fund will deliver a lasting impact.
That meticulous approach to conducting their affairs is what has distinguished many of the Roses’ joint endeavours over the years. From David’s career as a Bank of Canada and international economist while the couple raised a family, to their purchase and decade-long management of a popular natural food store, the decisions they’ve made together have been carefully measured to achieve financial success, while placing great emphasis on maintaining social responsibility.
It is that sensibility that guides the two of them in their giving pattern, which got started in earnest with the establishment of their Community Foundation fund in 2006. “We had reached the stage where all our children were grown and established, so it felt like the right time to set priorities for our own charitable giving path,” says David. “The Community Foundation offered the ideal vehicle to accomplish that in an efficient manner, without the costs involved in managing a private foundation.”
“While we’d always supported a variety of important projects in developing countries, along with such causes as the Ottawa Food Bank and numerous local children’s programs, our Community Foundation fund allowed us to focus our giving where we felt it would have the strongest, longest-term impact,” says Susan. Through their donor-advised fund, the Roses have worked closely with the Foundation over the years to support a diverse array of causes they care about, as well as numerous projects selected through the Community Grants program. Many of these have been focussed on providing opportunities for children or youth, both in the Ottawa region and around the world.
Their Foundation fund has also offered a way for the Roses to conduct their giving in the way they feel most closely fits within their own personal value system. “What we’re really trying to do is help people to help themselves in building a better life,” says David. “Whether they’re young people who just need a break, or new immigrants requiring better access to opportunities to advance themselves or their careers – if they’re willing to work hard, we’re prepared to give them the boost they need.”
Together, the Roses have provided more than a small boost to countless charities in Ottawa and around the world. Since establishing their fund less than ten years ago, the couple has made more than 150 grants. “Since they began working with us, the Roses have quietly made a significant contribution to improving the quality of life for the people of Ottawa and beyond,” says Bibi Patel, Vice-President of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “It’s truly remarkable what they’ve been able to achieve through their fund in what is a relatively short period of time. Their generosity and prudence have paid off many times over for the community at large.”