Toronto: LGBTQ Activist To Receive AFP Philanthropy Award

Mark Bonham – Image:

LGBTQ activist and philantropist, Mark S. Bonham, the patron and namesake of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at UC, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter. 

In announcing the award, the AFP made particular note of the diverse philanthropic activities for the LGBTQ community made by Mark, including his HIV/AIDS work, his educational projects, his work for LGBTQ homeless youth, and his contributions to the cultural community.

“The AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Philanthropy Awards Selection Committee, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is very pleased to announce the 2018 Philanthropy Awards recipients.

“Again this year, we were inspired by the extraordinary accomplishments of all the nominees. Thank you to all of them for making our community better. This year’s recipients have made an indelible impact on the charitable sector. Not one part of our community has gone untouched by their commitment. I look forward to celebrating them with you on November 21st.”  — Dr. Krishan Mehta, Chair – Philanthropy Awards Selection Committee

The 2018 honourees are:

  • Outstanding Philanthropist: Mark S. Bonham
  • Outstanding Volunteer: Jim Leech
  • Outstanding Corporation: Royal LePage Shelter Foundation
  • Outstanding Foundation: Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons
  • Mo Davies Outstanding Small Organization: Dying with Dignity Canada
  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: Jamie Cleghorn & Max Armstrong
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rivi Frankle
  • Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Cathy Mann, CFRE

The 2018 recipients will be honoured at the Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, November 21 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, as part of Congress, the Greater Toronto Chapter’s annual conference”.

Mark S. Bonham is an active supporter of arts, education, health, and the LGBTQ community. His significant contributions have had a lasting impact.

The expansion of Casey House, an HIV/AIDS specialty hospital, in 2017 would not have been possible without Mark’s generous contribution of $2.5M to the project seventeen years earlier. This level of support was unheard of within the HIV/AIDS community at the time and was truly transformational. Their new contemporary facility allowed Casey House to expand their services along with their physical and clinical capacity to become a global leader in HIV/AIDS care.

As co-chair of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust’s capital campaign, Mark helped raise more than $10M towards the Egale Centre – a new building dedicated to homeless LGBTQI2S youth. Mark’s generosity to this community also enabled Inside Out, Canada’s largest presenter of LGBT film and the world’s third largest LGBT film festival, to establish an annual scholarship for LGBT-identified filmmakers and greatly expand its operations.

At the University of Toronto (U of T), he established the Bonham Scholarship for Rotman School of Management students. Established in 2000, The Bonham Chair in International Finance enables the school to advance research and education. The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at U of T was established in 2005 through his generous $1M endowment. Today, it is the largest degree-granting program in the world in the subject of sexual diversity, and includes an undergraduate and collaborative MA/PhD program with over 350 students.

Mark also serves on the board of directors and fundraises for We Are the Villagers, which financially assists children from low-income homes in northern Ontario to participate in recreational and cultural extra-curricular programs.

A thought leader and hands-on visionary philanthropist, Mark S. Bonham has played a significant role in advancing organizations across the greater Toronto area.

[Mark Bonham, the patron and namesake of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at UC, also received a 2016 Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service from Massey College at U of T, for his advocacy and philanthropy in support of the LGBTQ community].

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter has honoured leadership in philanthropy through its annual awards program since 1995. This year’s group of extraordinary recipients will join a long list of generous Canadians. These awards celebrate the outstanding contribution of time, leadership and financial support of a special group of Canadians who set new benchmarks of excellence in the acts of giving and volunteering.

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is a recognized leader in promoting  philanthropy and providing education, training, and best practices for those in the fundraising profession. With more than 1200 members, the Greater Toronto Chapter is the largest of the more than 240 AFP chapters throughout the world.


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