Philanthropy in Ottawa: Donation creates tangible results for youth

Editor's Note

Philanthropy in Ottawa is supported by The Foundation (WCPD), an Ottawa-based philanthropic tax planning advisory firm that helps individuals and foundations increase the size and impact of their charitable donations.


Who: Mitchell Carkner, CEO, Decisive Group Inc.

The donation: $10,000 

The recipient: Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa (BBBSO)

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The inspiration: “The impact of BBBSO on youth in our community is simply incredible. I was inspired to give and get involved at the board level because I witnessed tangible results with the kids,” says Carkner. “I knew this was an organization with a great history and a bright future changing the lives of youth in Ottawa.” 

Five years ago, Mitchell Carkner decided the time was right to volunteer with a youth organization in the community. BBBSO appealed to Carkner on many levels, including one-on-one mentorship, leadership and community engagement. The organization’s mandate to match Bigs (mentors) with Littles (mentees) has helped create life-changing relationships since the 1970s.  

Carkner joined the BBBSO board of directors in 2018 and currently holds the role of vice-chair. 

“In my role on the board, I wanted to walk-the-walk in terms of fundraising. It is important to be invested and give as a donor, too,” says Carkner. “When you are on a board, fundraising is always top of mind. I wanted to show leadership, not only at the board table, but also make a financial commitment to an organization I believe in fully.” 

Carkner, 37, started his career as a commissioned officer in the Canadian Army. He served eight years and retired as a captain before shifting to leading technology-focused teams. Using his experience in the application of IT infrastructure and cloud networking technologies, Carkner now leads the Decisive Group as CEO. Recently, he was named one of the recipients of a Forty Under 40 award. 

“We are very fortunate to have Mitch on the board of directors at BBBSO,” says the organization’s executive director, Susan Ingram. “He brings a fresh perspective, an enthusiasm for the local youth and a desire to move the organization where it needs to go to be successful for today and the next generations.

“Mitch is generous with his time, giving of his talents and big-hearted with his treasure. He is an exemplary board member and we are so happy he is being recognized as a Forty Under 40 recipient.” 

Philanthropy in Ottawa is a monthly feature highlighting notable donations in Ottawa. Share your stories of philanthropy in our community with

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