Reflections after nearly a quarter century of humble leadership, and on the eve of retirement

A century of community service is certainly a milestone worth celebrating! The incredible generosity of our donors combined with the tireless commitment of charitable agencies has assured The Winnipeg Foundation’s impact today and for the long term. Anyone associated with The Foundation cannot help but be inspired by the passion that underlies the charitable sector. I hope everyone reading this centennial publication shares our sense of pride in the history of this beloved Winnipeg institution and the role it plays supporting local philanthropy.

With the creation of Canada’s first community foundation here in our city in 1921, William and Elizabeth Alloway became the architects of a Canadian philanthropic movement and this is the wonderful legacy we have inherited. In 2020, The Winnipeg Foundation distributed grants amounting to $73 million which benefitted more than 1,000 charitable agencies. Many grants are designated based on donor preferences; some are scholarships and still others are provided in response to applications. Community organizations make a vital contribution to the quality of life we all enjoy in Winnipeg – they benefit our individual and collective well-being in countless ways. Because generations of donors have followed in the Alloway tradition, charities working in every field have enjoyed the support of The Winnipeg Foundation.

This “last word” may well be my final opportunity to write as CEO because my retirement date is fast approaching. After more than 23 years, it’s time to pass my leadership responsibilities to the next generation.

I want to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the current and past Board members who have provided unwavering support and a steady hand – always raising appropriate questions and assuring that we stayed true to our vision: “A Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all.” Success for a community organization is impossible without a strong governance structure and The Foundation has always been blessed with a caring and thoughtful Board of Directors.

I also want to recognize the contribution of The Foundation’s staff who are unquestionably the source of our collective achievements. Successful leadership at the Board and CEO level depends enormously on the professionalism and dedication of staff. Our Management Team and all the Departmental Teams have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the vision and values of The Winnipeg Foundation for which I am both indebted and grateful. Looking to the future, I feel very comfortable that The Foundation has the needed depth of experience to continue delivering meaningful impact. On all fronts, I am proud of my staff colleagues – past and present – and the excellence of service they provide.

Winnipeg is widely recognized for its generosity and for the strength of its charitable agencies. It has truly been my privilege to serve this amazing organization and this remarkable community. FOR GOOD. FOREVER.

Foundation CEO, Rick Frost shares a message at the end of every Working Together magazine. Download or view the full special Centennial issue on our Publications page.

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