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President's Annual Report

IEEE Canadian Foundation
Annual Meeting of the Members, April 11, 2012


Grants Awarded in 2011

The Board awarded a total of $57,035 as 4 IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centre Upgrade Grants , 4 IEEE Canadian Foundation Scholarships, 10 IEEE Canadian Foundation Special Grants including one to support the first Women In Engineering Conference in Canada, 1 IEEE Canada Vehicular Technology Travel Grant, 1 IEEE Canada Women in Engineering Prize, Funding for 4 IEEE Canada Medals (W.S. Read Outstanding Service Award, R.L. Tanner Industry Leadership Award, TELUS Telecommunications Award and the Outstanding Engineering Educator Award ). In terms of the previous year's income, we received $50,880 in investment income and $19,120 in donations for a total of $70,000


Income in 2011

In 2011 we received $20,070 in unrestricted donations - up about $950 or 5% from the previous year - 55% (71%) came from the dues renewal process, 31% (19%) from cheques mailed to the treasurer and 14% (10%) from our Canada Helps online donation site. The numbers in brackets are for the previous year where we can see that a lower use of the renewal process corresponds to an increased use of cheques mailed to the treasurer and our online donation site. The latter two methods remove the issues of fluctuating exchange rates and double conversions. These details are recorded in our 2011 Honour Roll of Donors (our fourth which should be published later this year). Our Investment income was $52,580 compared to $50,882 in the previous year - up $1,698 or 3.3%.


Awards and Recognitions of Foundation Members

Congratulations to the following IEEE Canadian Foundation members
    .
  • Kash Hussein was awarded the 2011 IEEE Canada W.S. Read Outstanding Service Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Niagara Falls on May 9, 2011
  • Maike Luiken was awarded the 2011 IEEE Canada Central Canada Merit Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Niagara Falls on May 9, 2011
  • Elmer Bourque is being awarded the 2012 IEEE Canada J.J. Archambalt Eastern Area Merit Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Montreal on April 30, 2012


Evolving our Foundation Structure and Management

In April 2010 the Board implemented two significant changes. The Donations Committee was renamed the Development Committee with the added responsibility of publicity. This was accompanied by the creation of a Section Liaison Committee to build bridges with our Canadian IEEE Sections. We already had a similar committee to build bridges with our Canadian Student Branches. In 2010 and 2011, after a slow start, our volunteers began to implement the objectives of these two committees - this turned out to be more difficult than expected as these activities were new to our culture. In the second half of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 we began to address these issues. Many members are wondering why they are being asked to promote our foundation and ask for donations. Let me try to address these questions.

First, we are not known by many Canadian IEEE members. Our grants to Student Branches and Sections and others are very un-uniform across Canada. We tend to see repeat grants to a small cross-section of Sections (and the volunteers and members within them). 7 of the 11 IEEE Canada medals remain to be endowed.

Second, even with only a small proportion of our members being served, we do not have sufficient donations to fund the requests we receive. Most grants to Student Branches and others are only funded to a significantly lower level than requested. Also, we do not have adequate resources to fund larger projects (especially humanitarian projects) which could make a significant impact . With your help and better internal communication, I believe we can do much better.

We have made a start - as of now we should have an ICF news item in every issue of the IEEE Canadian Review and the IEEE Canada Electronic Newsletter, and we now have a presence on Facebook, courtesy of three specific assignments on our Development Committee. But we do not as yet have a successful process to get information about what opportunities we have available for individual members in Sections and Branches regularly and repeated sufficiently. We need to target specific groups of members with success stories of past grants and the availability of currently available grants and how to apply (for grants) or nominate (for scholarships and prizes).

IEEE operates with volunteers who frequently change volunteer leadership positions - most Student Branches change executives annually and unless there are outstandingly dedicated Branch Counselors (most unusual) there is no corporate memory, Sections leaders are working professionals who are very busy (as are many of our ICF members). This is where the 20 members of our Section Liaison Committee can have a major impact and I ask for your help to make this happen by attending Section meetings, getting newsletters distributed, discussing ICF opportunities specific to your Section, publicizing grants, etc that have been awarded locally, and making a presentation at your Section's AGM - our Development Committee will provide you with a set of PowerPoint slides. I ask our Branch Liaison Committee to increase communication with Branches (English or French as appropriate) with similar goals.

For the coming year, we will focus on publicity within Sections and Branches while part of our Development Committee will prepare content for publicity this year and for seeking donations from corporations in the future. By strategically using our own volunteers by defining manageable tasks spread over all our 30 members, I believe we can be successful in taking the next step in increasing the awareness of the "good works" that we can fund and fulfill our mission.


Closing Comments

The 30 members of the foundation are the ICF and our most valued asset. I thank all of you who have provided feedback and support. I also acknowledge the volunteer leadership of both IEEE Canada and the IEEE Foundation, and associated staffs, for their inspiration, advice and support..

Sincerely,
Robert T.H. (Bob) Alden, Ph.D., P.Eng., F EIC, LF IEEE
President
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