Largest private donation in B.C. Parks Foundation’s history could signal larger shift in philanthropy

Donation coincides with launch of 25x25, a multi-year campaign to protect 25 per cent of land and waters in partnership with Indigenous peoples

Why It Matters

Canada’s remaining wilderness needs greater protection. A $100 million donation will protect more land in British Columbia – but it could also change how business leaders choose to preserve their legacies. Right now, only an estimated 3 per cent of charitable donations benefit the environment.

The B.C. Parks Foundation received the largest private donation ever made to a conservation organization in Canada this September, but those in Canada’s philanthropic world believe the impact goes beyond the Wilson 5 Foundation’s $100 million gift to the charitable partner of B.C. Parks.

“We have understood legacies to be about causes the dead cared about in the past, whereas now, we are starting to understand these gifts as bequests for a shared future,” said Oana Branzei, professor of international business, strategy and sustainability at Western University’s Ivey Business School. “It’s a complete temporal swap as to what a legacy is meant to be.”

Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon athletica, launched the Wilson 5 foundation in 2012 with his wife Summer Wilson. Both spoke publicly about the donation, made on behalf of their entire family, at a recen


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