We’re passionate about charities. We’re moved by the essential work they do and our vision is to see more of them thrive.

Blue Sea believes in the power of charities to make the world better.

For Blue Sea, a thriving charity has the money needed to accomplish its mission this year and to grow their vision next year. A thriving charity is continually building buzz, momentum, and their bottom line - all while making a measurable impact. We offer two program streams:

1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events

Blue Sea visualizes, executes, and manages national peer-to-peer fundraising events that empower charity partners to:

  • Fundraise more money, more effectively, more efficiently, and with less risk
  • Create a meaningful community experience among volunteers, donors, and stakeholders
  • Incite generosity among networks of supporters
  • Gather communities of volunteers and supporters
  • Draw attention to their cause and enhance the profile of their work
  • Give voice to people and causes people often overlooked in society
  • Learn new skills as they work with us through each event

2. Coaching + Training

Blue Sea is committed to investing into ongoing coaching and training for charities, including through our Essentials Fundraising educational program.

  • Informal Coaching: Faced with a natural demand from many partners, Blue Sea offers counsel on fundraising, promotion, event management and volunteer engagement.
  • Formal Training: Having identified important gaps in skills and knowledge for many partners, we launched the Blue Sea educational arm, Essentials Fundraising, in 2019. Essentials offers an intensive six-month program in fundraising fundamentals and best practices, including guiding participants as they plan for sustainable fundraising for their specific agency.

Partner Grant Program

Blue Sea is a granting foundation... with a twist.

Unlike regular foundations, we have no endowment and don't accept applications for traditional grants. Our charity partners receive grants through our Partner Grant Program, and we consider those grants to be "earned" by participation in Blue Sea events.

Through approval and participation in one (or more) of our national peer-to-peer fundraising events, Canadian social service charities can earn their grant through their successful recruiting and fundraising efforts. The more successful a partner charity, the larger the "earned grant."

When coupled with our hands-on coaching, our peer-to-peer event fundraising campaign delivers a reliable return on investment, an engaged community of support, greater awareness, and valuable knowledge of events and fundraising.

As one of our charity partners said:

"Participating in your events is more reliable than any traditional grant application - I know if I invest the hours into my campaign, I will get the grant I want at the end."

Financial Reporting

Blue Sea Philanthropy Inc. is the legal name for Blue Sea Foundation.

Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with widely-accepted Canadian accounting principles for not-for-profit organizations, as established by the Accounting Standards Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. You may access our CRA page and filings here.

Every $1 invested in our charitable program produced $2.63 in earned grants.

Blue Sea Foundation

Board of Directors

Blue Sea is governed by remarkable leaders and thinkers who care deeply about charities and the people they serve.

Melanie Reist

Chairman of the Board

Lawyer | Mediator | Morrison Reist Krauss LLP

Kitchener, Ontario

Jim Stirtzinger

Director | AVP Digital Experiences, Manulife

Kitchener, Ontario

Jeff Chatterton

President | Checkmate Public Affairs

Waterloo, Ontario

Neil Ostrander

CEO | International Teams Canada

Elmira, Ontario

Linda Goodall

Executive Director | The Orillia Lighthouse

Orillia, Ontario

Kristy Guthrie-Roth

Principal Strategist | Brightlight

Kitchener, Ontario

Five Convictions

1. Charities make the world better.

A society without charities striving to make life better for people and communities is unimaginable. But society often takes for granted that impact, and seldom takes stock of the true value of the charitable sector to everyone’s quality of life.

2. Helping charities thrive is in everyone’s best interest.

Thriving charities that deliver more service, provide better leadership to the community, and innovate more quickly will improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities across Canada.

3. Many charities that do stellar work need significant help with fundraising.

The capacity of charities to attract support varies enormously:

  • There are over 170,000 charitable and nonprofit organizations in Canada
  • 85,000 of these are registered charities recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency Read more...
  • In 2016, 10 charities received 9% of all charitable giving by Canadians, while the 100 largest charities received a third of all charitable giving

Funding for charities is complex. Many receive significant government funding for programs, while many more do not. Some generate revenue through sales (thrift shops for example) or other services. Some get a majority of their funds from the government but also invest heavily in public fundraising (hospitals, universities). But most charities are heavily dependent on individual donors.

4. Often, charities serving some of the neediest and most marginalized people need the greatest help in fundraising.

Many fine smaller charities struggle to raise funds that would help them grow their impact. With few resources to innovate, experiment, or develop staff, they are trapped on a plateau, unable to reach a higher level either of service or funding. Meanwhile, those charities directly serving at the sharpest edge of human need are often the ones who most need the boost in revenue, morale, skills, experience, and confidence that Blue Sea seeks to provide.

5. Canada needs a revival of philanthropy for a new generation.

Many reports document that fewer Canadians are giving, although donation amounts have risen. This is true in every age group except people over 60. This means that charities are relying on an ever-smaller number of people for donations, and those donors are aging rapidly. Read more...

Any analysis of this trend makes it clear that charities need to connect with new and younger people in fresh ways. Donors need to feel engaged, and the interaction should be meaningful and beneficial for both parties.

Blue Sea events are calibrated to provide partners with the opportunity to provide constituents a significant, satisfying, and even fun engagement around a cause.

Our events are national in scope, but intensely local in execution. We strongly profile local partner charities. Participants and donors have an administrative relationship with Blue Sea, but their emotional investment is in the event, and with the local partner charity.

Questions about Blue Sea Foundation?
info@blueseafoundation.org | 1.877.743.3413