True Patriot Love (TPL) started in 2008 when Canada’s Chief of Defence staff challenged a group of Toronto based philanthropists to raise money to support troops returning from Afghanistan. The next year, the first tribute dinner was held, and they raised $2 million in that one evening.
According to TPL’s website, their mission “is to inspire every Canadian to contribute to the resilience and well-being of our military, Veterans and their families.” Over the years, they have funded 750 programs.
Bronwen Evans, one of the founding members of TPL, and the current CEO. This year she has decided to step down as CEO and launch an independent consulting practice. “Last spring, I informed the board that I would be stepping down as CEO. It was a tough decision, but I believe that change benefits people and organizations alike, and I am ready to take on a new challenge,” Evans said.
She said she will be using the skills she has developed throughout her career in government, charitable and corporate sectors to assist other organizations with business development and brand strategy in order to achieve transformative growth.
“There are many worthy causes competing for the same dollars, so it’s essential to communicate a compelling vision and find creative ways to break through the noise in an era of content overload. Today’s donors, whether they are individuals or corporations, want to experience a connection to a cause that goes beyond writing a cheque and reading an annual report.”
Evans started working with military families a bit by accident.
She said, “I was the VP of marketing at Medcan Health Management, and the CEO Shaun Francis asked if I would help organize our very first gala…While organizing that gala in 2009, I began to truly appreciate the impact of the sacrifices that military and families were making, especially as a result of our mission in Afghanistan. I became passionate about bridging the disconnect between our civilian and military worlds and ensuring that our military and veteran families had the support and care they deserve,” said Evans.
Though she is leaving TPL for new adventures, Evans intends to stay involved.
She said, “That sense of connection and that there is something bigger than ourselves makes us stronger, and it’s made me stronger.”
When asked about the incoming CEO, Nick Booth, Evan said, “We have built a talented and dedicated team and board at True Patriot Love, and I am confident that the organization will thrive under Nick’s leadership. I had the opportunity to get to know Nick, who has an outstanding track record as a fundraiser, through the Invictus Games and see his passion for the military and veteran community first hand. I am absolutely thrilled he has decided to bring that passion to Canada.”
Nick Booth has a wealth of experience in this sector. He is the former founding CEO of the Royal Foundation, Prince William and Prince Harry’s primary philanthropic and charitable organization. He helped initiate the Invictus Games and the Heads Together Mental Health program.
Booth has spent over 30 years working in the charitable sector in both the UK and the USA, with organizations such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2017 New Year Honours.
Booth said, “I have known True Patriot Love for some years through my work with the Royal Foundation and the Invictus Games. I have great respect for all that the organization has achieved and for the team working there.
“As such, I was very excited when offered the role. Equally, to have the opportunity to build on my own involvement with the military in both the UK and USA and apply this in support of those who have served here in Canada, and I very much include families in this who do so much, is an honour and one I shall seek to dedicate myself too in the years ahead.”
While there has certainly been overlap in his experiences in the UK and the USA to his new role with TPL, there will certainly be differences.
“Certainly understanding the specifics of the Canadian context and system is something I will focus on early in my time here, as well as developing relationships with key funding and delivery partners and those in the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of Veterans Affairs,” he said.
However, Booth feels his biggest challenge may come from a different source, Canadian winters.
“It is rarely very cold in London, so I am bracing myself for the change. However, I am also excited about life in Canada and exploring all it has to offer,” he says.
Follow the link for more information on True Patriot Love.