The Dragonfly Fund
The Dragonfly Fund has existed as a donor advised fund at Tides Canada since 2009. Dragonfly Fund philanthropy is grounded in a vision focused on healing and regenerating Mother Earth and humanity by transforming wealth to health. This approach strives toward the possibility that the world and her inhabitants can move beyond the current unsustainable systems and practices to a place where we value and prioritize the health of all living creatures in synchronicity with our incredible planet. The process includes creating conditions that support the awakening of humanity to the current state of the world, and opportunities for all of us to play a part in its healing. Dragonfly grantmaking contributes to this mission by investing in people, organizations, and communities committed to key elements of a healthy earth: clean energy, clean and available water, and a toxic-free environment. It takes an approach that infuses intuitive decision-making with spirit, emotion, and scientific evidence while leaving space for the unknown. Dragonfly Fund is informed by the Social Justice Principles of Philanthropy, and is continually renewing and updating its practices through learning from grantee feedback.
A toxic-free environment: Dragonfly philanthropy is working to reduce the pervasive use of harmful chemicals that are found in everything from microplastics polluting our oceans and lakes, to toxics found in everyday products such as baby products, shampoos, and cosmetics. The Dragonfly Fund is the founding funder of the Coalition for Action on Toxics, a collaborative working to significantly reduce toxics exposure in Canada.
Clean water: Water supply and quality affects every corner of the country and all parts of Canadian society, including food, energy, climate, and health. Equitable access to clean water is central to ecological, human, economic, and cultural well-being. The Dragonfly Fund works with Canadian charitable organizations committed to sustainably-built environments and economies that are in harmony with, or contribute to, overall freshwater health with fair access as a necessity to life.
Clean Energy: The Dragonfly Fund supports charitable organizations working towards community-driven solutions that support the transition to a clean energy system and a reduction in carbon emissions. Specific focus is placed on solutions that demonstrate promising practices for equity via collective ownership and the crossroad between experientially-based and science-based decision-making.
Dragonfly philanthropy considers the following approaches when identifying opportunities for philanthropic investments:
- Fill gaps that need to be filled that other funders may shy away from
- Influence policy as a means for creating systemic change, even though that change may be slow to reach the ground
- Invest in community-driven, grassroots work where change is more visible and can inspire deeper systemic transformation
- Invest in emerging leaders who are driven and focused implementers and who share the values of Dragonfly
- Embrace experimentation to learn what works and what doesn’t
- Ignite and support collaborations focused on ambitious goals
- Host convenings of potential partners who may not otherwise have the opportunity to get together
The following are core values that represent what Dragonfly philanthropy believes in and stands for. These values also inform the “how” of its grantmaking.
- Projects, organizations, and leaders with direct connections to, and lived experience within their communities are best positioned to create meaningful and effective solutions; their involvement is integral in helping the philanthropic and non-profit sector learn and grow.
- Whether acknowledged or not, the health of our environment bears direct correlation to the health of ourselves, our communities, and the financial system; we all benefit from putting our trust in both Mother Nature and an appropriate environmental and human health policy structure.
- Being vulnerable is a point of strength. Ensuring those vulnerabilities are not exploited strengthens us all.
- We all have something to learn and share, give and receive.
- It is the responsibility of humanity to steward our planet and her incredible gifts.