Group of male executives smiling

In 1902, Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest person in America. He was 67. Years before, he made a commitment to donate his wealth for the betterment of communities and the causes that were important to him. His wife, Louise, shared his passion for making a difference in the world.

Carnegie believed in the importance of education and the arts. The Carnegies donated millions of dollars to fund the building of libraries and centres for the performing arts. Andrew Carnegie had very little formal education. He was a voracious reader. He wanted to make books readily available to masses of people.

Carnegie Hall in NYC is a monument to his commitment to the arts.

On June 28th, 2022, the University of Toronto held a ceremony for Ian Telfer and his wife Nancy, in appreciation of their donation of $7,000,000 to U of T’s School of Music. The funds will be used for a Concert Hall in the new Conservatory of Music. The hall will be named the Jay Telfer Forum in honour of Ian’s deceased brother. Jay was a performing musician.

Ian and Nancy have donated millions of dollars to educational institutions and charitable organizations. Their generosity of spirit has touched many lives.

People often think that successful business leaders are driven to make money. In our experience, successful executives and entrepreneurs are motivated to make a difference. Money is the measure of the impact they have on the lives and the causes they care about.

A value is a thing or condition we consistently act upon to get and to keep. A value is a vector, a direction with a force.

The two most important indicators of what we value are how we spend our time and our money.

When Andrew Carnegie became wealthy, he devoted time and money for the rest of his life to making a difference in the communities in which he was involved and for society in general.

I have known Ian Telfer since we were at U of T many years ago. Ian & Nancy have given generously of their time and money to impact the people, communities and causes they care about.

Purpose-driven leaders demonstrate a commitment to making a difference in their work and lives. With philanthropy, they give throughout their lives and lead by example. By giving back, they leave a legacy that benefits todays and tomorrows generations.