Skip to main content

Heela Omarkhail says she wants to use her Vision 2020 experience to focus on issues affecting women, immigrants and young people.

opolja/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The donor: Heela Omarkhail

The gift: Raising $10,000 and climbing

The cause: Vision 2020, a Toronto-based philanthropic foundation

Story continues below advertisement

The reason: To fund a variety of charitable programs

Heela Omarkhail thought it would take years for her to build up enough wealth to do anything meaningful in philanthropy. But then Ms. Omarkhail, 30, became involved in a program at the Toronto Foundation called Vision 2020 and she's now pledged $10,000 to start her own charitable fund.

Vision 2020 is a two-year program that introduces young people to philanthropy and helps them learn about the issues facing Toronto and other Canadian cities.

The program has 92 participants and Ms. Omarkhail got involved because of her work with real estate firm The Daniels Corp., redeveloping Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood.

"My interpretation of this program is that it's a philanthropy MBA," she said from her home in Toronto.

She's already set up a donor-advised fund at Toronto Foundation, a charitable fund that is managed by the foundation, and has committed $10,000. She plans to raise another $10,000, which the foundation will match.

Ms. Omarkhail immigrated to Toronto from Afghanistan, by way of Pakistan, as a child with her family. She joined Daniels after graduating from the University of Toronto nine years ago.

Story continues below advertisement

She says she wants to use her Vision 2020 experience to focus on issues affecting women, immigrants and young people.

"I'm hoping this will really help me shape the vision and mandate for my own foundation," she said. "Giving is not about writing a cheque. I very much subscribe to engagement philanthropy."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter