By Rob Stapleford, FCIA, Chair of the AFC, and Alan Cooke, FCIA, Vice-Chair of the AFC
The Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) is the philanthropic arm of the actuarial profession in Canada, and though its mission and vision are distinct from the CIA, its activities are largely undertaken by its actuaries. This article shares a brief look at what the AFC has been up to, its plans for the upcoming year, and how your support can help meet the needs of a growing demand.
Who we are
The AFC’s mission is three-prong:
- Promote awareness and education in mathematics, actuarial science, and financial matters.
- Advance the understanding of financial and risk related matters.
- Research issues involving risk and advance actuarial knowledge.
It is guided by a vision that supports:
“A public well-educated in financial and risk-related matters through an increased interest in mathematics, actuarial science, and financial matters by youth.”
Over the past year, the AFC undertook several initiatives aimed to empower and impact the lives of young Canadians, including:
- Supporting Junior Achievement (JA) Canada by providing financial support and enabling more than 80 actuarial volunteers to teach the financial literacy programs that JA provides in classrooms across Canada;
- Providing funding to charitable organizations that champion students to consider careers in mathematics. Three of these organizations were:
- The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences which fosters educational activities for students ranging from K–12 and organizes the Aboriginal Math Symposium at the University of British Columbia;
- The Canadian Mathematical Society which operates across Canada to promote the discovery, learning, and application of mathematics including the math camps for high school students going to the university; and
- Science and Mathematics in Action co-ordinated by Laval University to strengthen youth interest in math and sciences.
- Aiding the Toronto Foundation for Student Success which delivers after school programs including financial literacy for low income individuals in the GTA; and
- The Actuarial Research Internship Program which supports graduate research on actuarial topics.
During its 2019 campaign, the AFC raised $175,000 to fund these initiatives. Support was received from 70 CIA members, several corporations, and the three professional organizations for actuaries in Canada (CIA/SOA/CAS).
The CIA Head Office has been instrumental in helping with the execution of AFC goals by not only offering valuable administrative support but also updating the AFC’s website and providing outreach to members – support for which the AFC is most grateful.
Where we are going
As more of the responsibility for financial planning rests with individuals, educating all Canadians about financial literacy continues to be essential.
The AFC has been discussing with the CIA about how it can better support initiatives related to increasing diversity in the actuarial profession in Canada. In the coming year, the AFC will be working towards introducing a mathematics-related scholarship program for Indigenous students and students of colour by working with the Verna Kirkness Foundation and the International Association of Black Actuaries.
Further goals for the year are to expand the profession’s engagement with the AFC. The AFC can only provide these programs if it has the financial support of the profession.
For the 2020–2021 year, it is not only our goal to grow the base of financial supporters to over 100 actuaries in Canada but also to raise $225,000 for more AFC programming and activities.
We thank you for your interest in the AFC and look forward to receiving your support for this year’s upcoming fundraising campaign.
You can learn more about the AFC’s work here.
This article originally appeared in the CIA (e)Bulletin.
This article reflects the opinion of the author and does not represent an official statement of the CIA.