Today, it is with deep sadness that we share the news that one of our long-time friends, colleagues and champions has passed away. Jane Humphries is a name well known in the philanthropic network across Canada and around the world. Her many contributions have helped shape community philanthropy today and brought so much to so many leaders across our network. Including both of us.
Jane was the Executive Director of the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation from 1991-1999 before joining the CFC team to lead the support and development of a young, growing network. Jane spent 16 years with CFC helping us all do good—better. Her gentle spirit, impeccable expertise, and creative mind helped establish community foundations across the country. Literally. She hosted countless learning sessions, coached community and foundation leaders, designed thoughtful curriculum, hosted peer gathering (we have lost count of how many!) and conferences, brought innovative ideas in philanthropy forward, and much more. Her dream of CFC being a tenacious connector for community philanthropy from coast to coast to coast is one that we aspire to and work toward each and every day.
Jane’s contribution to the community foundation network also reached beyond borders and helped to seed an idea so familiar to many of us today: that our movement is not just pan-Canadian but global. To that end, Jane helped foster and create opportunities for foundations to learn and connect across borders and contributed to the establishment of community foundations abroad, and to the infrastructure that supports them. This included helping to establish the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network—a learning community that facilitated, nurtured, and encouraged community foundation development across North America and Europe. Jane was also a board member with WINGS (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support) for twelve years leading international gatherings in South Africa, Bangkok, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Italy and Istanbul.
Jane’s legacy is vast and without doubt includes impactful work being done in so many communities and the work we do across them, through our connections, relationships and collaboration as a network. But more than that, Jane has left a legacy of deep relationships across our network, sector and beyond. From kitchen tables to boardroom tables, from early in the morning to late at night, Jane was a friend, partner and mentor to so many of us at CFC and in community foundations from coast to coast to coast. Whether you met her once, knew her deeply, or are newly connected to a foundation—her efforts and presence have influenced your experience in community philanthropy.
Per Jane’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, online and offline donations can be made to the Jane Humphries Family Fund at Waterloo Region Community Foundation by visiting www.wrcf.ca/donate. The Jane Humphries Family Fund is part of WRCF’s Community Fund, which means grants made from the fund go to support the highest priority needs of Waterloo Region annually. You can also read Jane’s obituary here.
On behalf of CFC current and past staff and board members, and the entire network of community foundations, we extend our condolences to Jane’s family and friends. Jane’s most admirable talent was in facilitating relationships and inspiring others to step into community building in new and deeper ways. Like many of you, we will be forever grateful to her for her support, dedication and gracious nudges over the years. Rest in peace, friend.
Andrea and Andrew