CIBC is making a major impact in the communities it serves through a wide variety of initiatives.
As 2021 comes to a close, it’s a natural time to reflect on the year gone by and to look toward what the New Year will bring. In another year underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the needs of communities across Canada continues to be paramount.
In response, CIBC has remained focused on helping its clients, employees, charity partners, and communities achieve what’s most important to them. From running side by side with Canadians to change the future of breast cancer, to empowering the next generation of leaders, changemakers, and entrepreneurs, this commitment is reflected in the bank’s actions — past, present, and future.
Fuelled by a purpose — to make ambitions a reality — the bank further enhanced its efforts to support communities from coast to coast to coast this past year. It built on its commitment by evolving longstanding charitable partnerships and initiatives to keep everyone safe during the pandemic and by launching new programs to support and help create a more inclusive and equitable society.
Together with our dedicated partner CIBC, we’ve created a national movement that has transformed the breast cancer landscape in Canada, enabling new discoveries and a greater understanding of the disease. Longstanding partnerships like this are rare and we’re grateful that since joining us in 1997, CIBC has provided unwavering support to people affected by breast cancer.
Putting purpose into action through new and reimagined initiatives
Part of this purpose is taking care of the people and organizations that keep our communities strong. In another year that saw charitable organizations and those they support impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Team CIBC remained committed to helping make a difference, collectively volunteering over 99,000 hours of time and donating millions to over 4,000 non-profits and community organizations.
Of the many causes supported throughout the year, there were a few with which Team CIBC shares a cherished history, such as the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021.
An annual tradition, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) CIBC Run for the Cure takes place every October and is the country’s largest single-day volunteer-led event in support of the breast cancer cause. In partnership with the CCS, the CIBC team has raised more than $58 million for breast cancer research, treatment, education, and support programs, which in turn has enabled Canadians affected by breast cancer to receive vital life-changing support. This year, through a reimagined virtual event, the run raised more than $9 million toward the cause.
“Together with our dedicated partner CIBC, we’ve created a national movement that has transformed the breast cancer landscape in Canada, enabling new discoveries and a greater understanding of the disease,” says Andrea Seale, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society. “Longstanding partnerships like this are rare and we’re grateful that since joining us in 1997, CIBC has provided unwavering support to people affected by breast cancer.”
Earlier this month, the bank celebrated another fundraising tradition — CIBC Miracle Day. Taking place on the first Wednesday of December for 37 years, CIBC Miracle Day is dedicated to improving the lives of children in underserved communities globally. On this day, CIBC Capital Markets team members and CIBC Wood Gundy investment advisors donate their fees and commissions from the trading day to help kids in need. Since 1984, the annual employee-driven event has raised more than $266 million globally, helping to transform the lives of children and communities worldwide. This year’s virtual Miracle Day raised $6 million in funds to help children’s charities worldwide.
Keeping the spirit of these fundraising initiatives alive in a virtual environment required a level of creative ingenuity and dedication from both Team CIBC and its partners, which is something CIBC’s Vice President of Community and Client Relationships, Andrew Greenlaw, is incredibly proud of.
“Our team, clients, and charity partners came together this year around our shared purpose to support those most in need, successfully overcoming unprecedented obstacles along the way,” says Greenlaw. “We couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who helped us in our endeavours to support our communities, whether it was supporting cancer research, investing in future leaders, or championing inclusive communities.”
We’re looking forward to working with CIBC and BGC Canada to create real opportunity for the next generation of leaders from the Black community. This initiative uniquely offers changemakers and emerging leaders in underrepresented communities the resource they need to fully participate in post-secondary education without financial barriers. The BlackNorth Initiative is proud to prioritize both access and inclusion.
Breaking down barriers
In its goal to champion inclusive communities, CIBC also made new commitments and investments in the next generation of leaders and changemakers.
In October, the bank launched the CIBC BlackNorth Initiative Youth Accelerator program in collaboration with the BlackNorth Initiative and BGC Canada. As part of CIBC’s commitment to removing barriers, the Youth Accelerator provides students from the Black community with $50,000 over four years for tuition, mentorship, financial education, and opportunities to secure paid internships or co-ops with signatories of the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge. These signatories include hundreds of businesses in a variety of sectors, offering students a broad platform for career discovery.
“We’re looking forward to working with CIBC and BGC Canada to create real opportunity for the next generation of leaders from the Black community,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “This initiative uniquely offers changemakers and emerging leaders in underrepresented communities the resource they need to fully participate in post-secondary education without financial barriers. The BlackNorth Initiative is proud to prioritize both access and inclusion.”
The bank also further contributed to Indspire and has donated $8 million since 1994 to support Indigenous youth with scholarships, mentorship experiences, and career opportunities through programs like Building Brighter Futures, Rivers to Success, and Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering.
Challenges are a proven method to stimulate innovation to find solutions for complex societal problems. By opening the problem-solving process to traditional and non-traditional partners, the Inclusive Design Challenge seeks ideas to reimagine workplace accommodations, increase access to assistive technology and create flexible work environments.
To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, CIBC announced the launch of the second Inclusive Design Challenge in partnership with MaRS to help remove barriers to employment faced by Canadians living with disability. With the first challenge focusing on access to work, the next phase looks at ‘Support at Work,’ and seeks solutions that reimagine the workplace.
“Challenges are a proven method to stimulate innovation to find solutions for complex societal problems,” says Alex Ryan, Senior Vice President of Partner Solutions at MaRS. “By opening the problem-solving process to traditional and non-traditional partners, the Inclusive Design Challenge seeks ideas to reimagine workplace accommodations, increase access to assistive technology, and create flexible work environments.”
Advancing social and economic equity
Now as the bank looks toward the future, it’s focusing its efforts on funding partner organizations in Canada that support greater employment outcomes and access to education.
In November, CIBC announced the launch of the CIBC Foundation, which will serve to advance social and economic equity by creating greater access to opportunities for underserved communities in Canada. The foundation’s launch exemplifies the bank’s genuinely caring belief that together as a community with shared vision, we can overcome obstacles and emerge more united, resilient, prosperous, and ready for a sustainable future.
“At CIBC, we believe that an inclusive economy with opportunity for all lifts our society and benefits everyone,” says Greenlaw. “Through the new CIBC Foundation, we’re putting our purpose into action and investing in opening new avenues to opportunity for underserved communities in Canada so we can all live in a world without limits to ambition.”
To support this goal, the bank made donations totalling $70 million in 2021 to launch the foundation and has plans to grow that amount to $155 million over time. With these initial donations, the CIBC Foundation will be one of Canada’s top providers of funding grants to charitable organizations. The foundation will also play a significant role in supporting the social element of the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments.
As we head into 2022, CIBC will be accepting applications starting in March and plans are underway to launch the foundation in the U.S. next year.
See how CIBC is making a difference in your community
CIBC encourages clients, community members, not-for-profits, and other Canadians to reach out to learn more about how it’s making a difference in its communities and how you can get involved.