Earlier this year, Cynthia and Glenn Hildebrand established the Cynthia and Glenn Hildebrand Fund, a Designated Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation to support specific organizations close to their hearts. The Hildebrands spoke with The Winnipeg Foundation’s magazine, Working Together, about their decision to create a lasting legacy.
Working Together: How did you hear about The Winnipeg Foundation?
Glenn Hildebrand: Cynthia and I have read The Winnipeg Foundation’s annual publication in the Winnipeg Free Press for a number of years. In addition, I have been involved with a few organizations which have recently established endowments through the Winnipeg Foundation. The Foundation has a great reputation, accomplishes a lot of good in the city and it is an organization we knew we could trust with our charitable contributions.
WT: What inspired you and Cynthia to start a fund?
GH: We really like the concept of supporting organizations we care about in perpetuity. Establishing a fund was a way to leave a lasting legacy.
Cynthia Hildebrand: The Winnipeg Foundation made the process of establishing a fund so easy for us. Leslie Weir [Director of Family Philanthropy] came to our home and met with us to provide all the information and answer our questions. It really was a very pleasant process.
WT: Why did you decide to make it a Designated Fund?
GH: Having some control over how our legacy was divided and distributed was important to us both. A Designated Fund allowed us to earmark proceeds to organizations we cared about, while at the same time, providing alternate arrangements should the organizations cease operations at some point.
WT: Your fund supports four diverse organizations Why are each of these meaningful to you?
GH: We put a lot of thought into the organizations we chose to support. In the end, we reached consensus on the list and are proud of our decision. I support CNIB [Canadian National Institute for the Blind] actively both financially and with my time. I am currently the Manitoba Board Chair and serve on CNIB’s National Board. The Christmas Cheer Board is important to me because, as a child growing up in a single parent household, we were on social assistance for a number of years and relied on Christmas Cheer for a hamper and presents. Now that I am able, I am proud to give back to them so that they can continue that important work for others.
CH: Our shared love of cats started in both of our childhoods. Cats continue to be a very important part of our lives, so supporting D’Arcy’s ARC [Animal Rescue Centre] was a natural for us. We visited to see their operation and that sealed it for both of us. Our last organization helps vulnerable women and children in times of need. I thought this was an important area of support that could use our help.
WT: Glenn, you’ve been involved in the Foundation for Registered Nurse of Manitoba, which established a series of funds at the Foundation last year. Can you tell me about that?
GH: A number of years ago I worked at the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba and during that time, became involved with the Board of the Foundation for Registered Nurses of Manitoba (FRNM). The Board oversaw a reorganization in which we entrusted our funds to The Winnipeg Foundation so that awards for ongoing nursing education would always be available for these wonderful healthcare professionals. The Winnipeg Foundation invests the endowment and lets the FRNM know what is available annually for awards. Our Board receives the applications and makes awards annually. It helps the FRNM, benefits registered nurses and nurse practitioners, and ultimately benefits Manitobans who receive care from these professionals.
WT: Has philanthropy and community service always been a part of your lives?
GH: I strongly believe that giving back is a social responsibility. In the 1980s, I worked in broadcasting in Brandon and was pleased to give back to the community by lending my time and my voice to a number of causes. That’s where I first became involved with CNIB. I also dedicated time to the Heart and Stroke Foundation as a member of their Board in Brandon for a number of years. After moving to Winnipeg in 1990, I continued to support a number of charitable initiatives, including the United Way where I was a workplace campaign chair for a number of years. As a member of the Board of the Winnipeg Press Club and the Foundation for Registered Nurses of Manitoba, we established endowments through The Winnipeg Foundation.
CH: Glenn and I have made charitable giving a part of our lives together. In my work life, I have been involved with the United Way campaign both as a volunteer and a regular supporter. Supporting community organizations that help others is important to both of us.
For information on different types of funds, or how to start a fund at The Winnipeg Foundation, visit www.wpgfdn.org or call 204.944.9474 (toll-free 1.877.974.3631).