TD Bank Group (TD) has committed CDN $10 million over the next five years to the Black Opportunity Fund (BOF). This donation is among the largest contributions in Canada to a Black-focused, Black-led and Black-serving organization.
Established in 2020, BOF was founded and is led by a team of diverse Black Canadian professionals to help establish a $1.5 billion fund, one of the largest in the world. It is designed to dismantle the structural barriers that for generations have prevented many Black Canadians from achieving economic success.
“At TD, we believe that we can be a catalyst for positive change as we strive to enrich the lives of our customers, communities and colleagues,” says Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group. “Economic inclusion can be instrumental in reversing the impacts of systemic racism and bias, and together with Black Opportunity Fund, we are committed to continuing to help meet the needs of Black communities while contributing to the creation of an equitable society and better future for all.”
Built on the understanding that a significant number of Black-focused, Black-led and Black-serving organizations continue to be under-resourced and under-funded in Canada, the work of BOF directs stable and long-term financing and resources into the community.
A rather pleased Craig Wellington, Executive Director of Black Opportunity Fund Craig Wellington, told the Caribbean Camera,“This is historic. This is a great Domino to fall, and we hope that this will help encouraged a lot more Dominos. These would be very important in moving our mission ahead and moving Canada’s black community.”
He added the funds come in 2021, a significant year. ‘This was a setting up year for us. This year was supposed to building infrastructure to make sure we have the foundation to move forward on our mandate; so this was a year for strategy and planning. We have implemented a significant amount of partnership and programs in a number of areas. We have had funding partnership set up with the national bank CIBC, but TD bank funding is historic because I cannot personally think of a commitment bigger than this from a Canadian Corporation to a black – led black organization serving the community.”
As part of TD’s financial commitment, BOF will establish a philanthropic granting pool totaling $400,000 per year to fund Black-serving community and non-profit organizations focused on areas of financial security, inspired by one of the four drivers of the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform. TD’s financial commitment will also be applied to BOF’s endowment fund, designed to support the long-term sustainability and permanency of the Fund.
In addition to its financial contributions, TD intends to provide its people the opportunity to harness their passion and talent to support the work that BOF is leading. Every year, two positions will be created for TD colleagues who can apply to be seconded to BOF to work on selected BOF projects and initiatives that support the organization’s mission to help dismantle the effects of anti-Black racism. Further, a wide-range of BOF volunteer opportunities, including skill-based projects, will be available to TD employees through the TD Ready Commitment Network, the Bank’s internal engagement platform.
“Black Opportunity Fund is pleased to accept this incredible show of confidence in our mission and objectives from one of North America’s largest Banks,” said Craig Wellington, Executive Director of Black Opportunity Fund. “We believe this historic commitment from TD will translate into real change including social and economic empowerment for many Black Canadians,” said Wellington.
TD will work with BOF to better understand and address the barriers that Black banking customers face by using insights from BOF. Both organizations are committed to reducing systemic bias and discrimination and believe that this work will help the Bank to build a more inclusive culture and support the specific needs and financial aspirations of Black communities across Canada.
The collaboration with BOF is just one of the many initiatives underway at TD as part of its broader commitment to further advance its inclusion and diversity priorities, such as doubling the representation of Black executives by the end of 2022, as well as increasing minority executive representation across the Bank by 50% by 2025. At the same time, through the TD Ready Commitment, TD has contributed a total of $17.5 million in Canada and the U.S. in 2020 to address the immediate and longer-term impacts of racism and advance related goals, including $12.1 million in support of Black-led and Black-focused organizations.
Through these initiatives, TD is proud to continue to help drive progress toward a more inclusive, equitable tomorrow harnessing the scale of its business, philanthropy, and people.
To learn more about the Black Opportunity Fund, please visit www.blackopportunityfund.ca