Investment firm donates $500,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts

Mawer, an independent investment firm with presence in Calgary, Toronto, and Singapore, is all about doing the right thing. It was the guiding principle of their founder, Charles Mawer, who strived to “do the right thing” for clients, employees, and the community. Over 45 years later, that is exactly what Mawer is doing—by running their most successful United Way campaign to date in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driven by this principle, Mawer ran a week-long fundraising campaign for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, a collaboration between United Way of Calgary and Area and The City of Calgary (including the Calgary Emergency Management Agency). Mawer offered a 1:1 company match for employee donations and raised almost $500,000, an incredible total that speaks to just how deeply “do the right thing” runs throughout the organization.

Allison Webb, chief marketing officer at Mawer, explains that the company’s commitment to giving back to the communities in which they operate prompted them to run this campaign.

“We understood that COVID-19 would severely impact vulnerable groups and wanted to get involved quickly to help address those challenges,” Webb says. “We have worked with the United Way for many years and were confident that through the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, our contribution would be directed to those that needed it most.”


“COVID-19 has impacted everyone, everywhere. Everyone has a personal connection to this cause, which created a sense of urgency and wide participation.” – Allison Webb, Mawer CMO


“We are so grateful for Mawer’s wonderful contribution to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund,” says Karen Young, president and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area. “Their generous support helps us to continue making an impact by investing in the community and supporting vulnerable Calgarians through these uncertain times.”

Although the effects of the pandemic have been felt at every level across the local community, Mawer is proof that it is possible to still create an incredible impact no matter the challenges, by uniting people behind a great cause. Webb believes the personal nature of the pandemic is one of the reasons behind the campaign’s success.

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone, everywhere,” she says. “Everyone has a personal connection to this cause, which created a sense of urgency and wide participation.”

With so much support for the cause, Mawer’s campaign was the perfect outlet for employees to connect and work together to create a real impact in the community—at a time when building employee morale and strong connections is more important than ever.

Mawer maintained a high level of engagement among employees by keeping the campaign top of mind with ongoing updates, company-wide emails, and a big final announcement at the end of the campaign. The 1:1 match opportunity and direct involvement from company executives also helped increase the organization’s impact and motivated employees from across the organization to get involved and contribute their different ideas and perspectives as well as their campaign donations. Using a corporate match is not only a way to double the impact in the community but is also a great opportunity to motivate and engage employees in their giving.


“It’s honestly a joy to work for an organization that makes giving back to the community an ongoing priority.”Craig Senyk, Mawer president


According to Webb, employee morale and volunteer spirit at Mawer continue to be strong, and the team is proud to work at a firm that emphasizes the importance of “doing the right thing” and giving back in a real, tangible way.

Craig Senyk, Mawer’s President, echoes Webb’s comments, “Chuck’s [Charles Mawer] words are more than a motto to us—it’s a principle we strive to live by, every day. I am immensely humbled by how everyone at the firm has rallied to support our communities during these very difficult times. It’s honestly a joy to work for an organization that makes giving back to the community an ongoing priority.”

Mawer is a prime example of how engaging employees in a meaningful cause can have an incredible impact not only in the community but also within the company. In fact, 74 per cent* of employees say their job is more fulfilling when they can make a positive impact at work, and the COVID-19 Community Response Fund is certainly impactful, having already helped 197 local agencies to support vulnerable people through the pandemic. Mawer’s contribution will help Calgary and area recover from the effects of COVID-19 and build back with even more resiliency.

For those looking to engage employees during these challenging remote working scenarios, Webb has some suggestions and words of encouragement. Rather than waiting for the program to be perfect, Webb’s advice is to communicate early and often, provide a few different ways for employees to participate, and celebrate the milestones. Making a difference doesn’t require perfection—just a can-do attitude and, in the words of Charles Mawer, a desire to “do the right thing.”

*Cone Communications, 2016


Thanks to Mawer for their tremendous support of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, and their ongoing commitment to United Way and the communities we serve.