Scotiabank Launches “Bright Future” Community Program

Craig Kielburger helps launch global philanthropic program

January 21, 2011 @ 12:00PM

Toronto – Scotiabank today launched an international philanthropic program uniting the Bank’s charitable, social and community efforts and employee volunteer activities under one new banner – Scotiabank Bright Future. Scotiabank President and CEO Rick Waugh was joined by special guests including Free The Children Founder, Craig Kielburger as he announced the program at an event held in Toronto earlier today.

“From its earliest days almost 180 years ago in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Scotiabank has held a steadfast belief in supporting the unique needs of each community it serves,” said Rick Waugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank.  “While our operations have grown worldwide, we have maintained our focus on community service. The Bright Future program will enable Scotiabank and its 70,000 employees worldwide to build upon this tradition of creating a bright future – one community at a time.”

Elements of the Bright Future program:

Employee engagement and recognition: In 2010, Scotiabank employees spent more than 324,000 hours volunteering and fundraising, and by applying through the Bank’s formal community programs they generated C$7.5 million in additional funding for the organizations that they support. As part of today’s launch, the Bank also introduced the Bright Future Community Leadership Awards which will be given to Scotiabank employees for outstanding commitment to their community and leadership in helping those in need.  Scotiabank will make a financial donation to the designated charity of the winners.

Scotiabank Bright Future Young Leaders Award: As part of the launch Scotiabank today also announced the establishment of “The Scotiabank Bright Future Young Leaders Award”, which will recognize youth from Canada and international locations for outstanding contribution to their communities annually. Applications for the first youth awards will be accepted later this year, with the first recipients announced in the spring of 2012.  Further details on the youth awards programs will be available in the coming months at  

Community and Charitable Giving: Over the last five years Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world. We’ve made it easier and more transparent for charities to make an application through a dedicated website. To mark the launch, Scotiabank announced a C$1 million gift to Toronto-based Hospital tor Sick Children’s International Patient Program that provides life changing care to children from outside of Canada.

Centralized information: The Bright Future program, including information for charities seeking support, can be found on the Bright Future website in English, Spanish and French at The Bank will also be launching a new internal Bright Future platform in three languages, which includes all information on the program as well as localized lists of volunteer opportunities for employees.

“Giving back in meaningful ways is an intrinsic part of Scotiabank’s history, culture and identity,” said Sylvia Chrominska, Group Head, Global Human Resources and Communications, Scotiabank. “Bright Future builds on our past practices, creates a new shared philanthropic program that respects local priorities and introduces new initiatives that will bring even greater value to those around us.”

Bright Future’s origins began in 2007 in Scotiabank’s Caribbean and Latin American markets. With today’s announcement all Scotiabank donations and charitable activities – wherever they take place in the world – will be part of the Bright Future program.

“Bright Future has been a success in Mexico and we are proud that through this program we have been able to be part of building stronger, more vibrant communities by supporting the work of our charitable partners,” said Nicole Reich de Polignac, Executive Vice-President and President & CEO, Grupo Financiero Scotiabank, who participated in today’s launch from her office in Mexico City. “On behalf of my team in Mexico and my colleagues in other countries from Canada to Chile, Puerto Rico to Peru, we look forward to building on this success.”

Engaging a New Generation

Scotiabank was pleased to welcome Free The Children Founder, Craig Kielburger, who participated in today’s launch. In addition to inspiring and motivating the audience to be community active, he applauded Bright Future’s recognition of the importance of youth for future philanthropic success.

“Through the Scotiabank Bright Future Young Leaders Award we have an opportunity to recognize the contribution of young people who are active in their communities and, at the same time, reach out to those who have yet to become active volunteers,” said Mr. Waugh. “Engagement of youth around the world is vital to the continued operation of charitable and not-for-profit enterprises.”

Public Attitudes towards Corporate Philanthropy

A recent Canadian poll conducted by Harris/Decima demonstrates that people feel strongly about corporate philanthropy. Nearly three-quarters of Canadians (72 per cent) are more inclined to volunteer, fundraise, or donate to local charities provided their employer supports these initiatives.

“Canadians have long recognized and appreciated the efforts of the companies that support and sustain the very communities in which they operate,” said Marcel Lauziere, President and CEO, Imagine Canada. ”The Scotiabank global Bright Future program demonstrates the pride and commitment of Scotiabank and its employees to the communities it serves, but more importantly to the causes that strengthen and enrich quality of life around the world.”

The Scotiabank Bright Future program comes at the beginning of the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteerism. Information on the program can be found on the Bright Future website at

The Scotiabank Bright Future Poll was conducted by Harris/Decima via teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus.  A total of 1,030 Canadians were surveyed from December 16th to December 19th, 2010.  Results are accurate to within +/- 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

For details on the programs outlined above and for more information, see BACKGROUNDER: SCOTIABANK BRIGHT FUTURE PHILANTHROPIC PROGRAM