As a financial advisor in Calgary, Susan O’Brien cares about people first. Her number one priority is to help her clients get the most out of their money, and giving back to the community is a big part of that. Now, as one of the newest members of the Calgary Foundation’s Advisor Engagement Committee, Susan is positioned to support her clients’ philanthropic efforts, no matter now big or small.
The Calgary Foundation facilitates philanthropy in the Calgary community by forging strategic partnerships between donors and community organizations. Every year, the fund floods millions of dollars into Calgary’s charities and nonprofits, supporting diverse causes across the city. With a focus on poverty reduction, mental health, strengthening relationships with Indigenous peoples, creative arts, and future sustainability, the Calgary Foundation is changing lives one donation at a time.
However, there’s often a gap in knowledge when it comes to charitable donations. People know they want to give back, but they often don’t know how or where to give their money. That’s where the Advisor Engagement Committee comes in: these six Calgary financial experts are here to educate their peers and clients about how to bring philanthropy into their financial practices.
“Many of my clients care as deeply as I do about the community we live in. Through deep conversations, I am able to figure out what people’s plans and goals are, and help them come alive,” Susan says. “Once we talk about giving to causes that are important to people, excitement builds from the change they can see and giving increases.”
At the same time, Susan says it’s not about how much you give — it’s about giving period. “Sometimes in philanthropy we think big,” she says, “but small amounts of money can make a big difference.”