Maven Collective Paying It Forward 2020

‘Paying It Forward’: A Simple Act of Sublime Pleasure

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With all the challenges that have arisen this year, 2020 will be, if nothing else, a year to remember. Thankfully, as we approach the holiday season and settle into the dark nights, it’s time for us to uphold our favorite tradition – Maven Collective Marketing’s Annual Pay It Forward Initiative.

What is the ‘Pay It Forward Initiative’? 

At Maven Collective Marketing, we truly believe in giving back and paying it forward. So, we developed the Paying It Forward Initiative as a way of showing our appreciation to organizations that are working tirelessly to make the world better, kinder and safer.

Every year, the Mavens at Maven Collective Marketing select a collection of local, national and international charities to support. This year, we have supported 13 amazing organizations (over double the number we gave to last year, wahoo!).

Here are some thoughts from the Mavens on this year’s ‘Pay It Forward Initiative’ and the charities they have selected:

Why Mavens ‘Pay It Forward’

Erica Hakonson Maven Collective Marketing Principal & Founder

“To see this list grow and pay it forward to the organizations we admire so much makes me cherish owning a business that has the ability to do this every year. When I started as a solo entrepreneur so many years ago, my goal was to be able to pay forward a completely funded Fistula surgery for a woman in need through the Fistula Foundation. Today, we have been able to do this year after year, which makes me beam with pride. To grow our list and funds to support additional charities each year makes my heart swell with pride and fuels us to do more and give more each year.”

Erica Hakonson, Principal & B2B Marketing Maven

Pay It Forward Initiative 2020: Selected Charities

Here is further information about the wonderful organizations our team has chosen to support this year and the work that they do to make the world better for all of us.

Fistula Foundation

Fistula is an injury that occurs during childbirth. It has largely been eradicated across the developed world but is still devastating the lives of women in the poorest of countries. The Fistula Foundation aims to “treat obstetric fistula with cost-effective, restorative surgery.” This year, our donation through the Maven Collective Marketing Pay It Forward Initiative sponsored a full Fistula Surgery for an individual.

Find out more about Fistula Foundation >

Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading national land conservation organization. They work to protect Canada’s most precious natural places and have helped to protect 14 million hectares across the country since they began in 1962. Their mission is to lead and inspire others to join them in creating a legacy for future generations through conservation across Canada. Since our team of Mavens are dedicated outdoor enthusiasts, we proudly support land conservation to keep the wild, wild.

Find out more about Nature Conservancy of Canada >

Squamish Helping Hands

Since 2006, Squamish Helping Hands has been providing food and shelter programs within the Sea to Sky communities. Every year they serve an average of 35,000 meals to those in need, as well as providing 12,660 brown bag school lunches and 3,000 shelter stays. Their vision is to end homelessness and hunger in our community, to “create a community that assumes respect and dignity for all of its members”.

Find out more about Squamish Helping Hands >    

Charity Water

Charity Water is a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. To date, they have funded water projects to support over 11 million people around the world. 

Find out more about Charity Water >

North Shore Connexions Society 

North Shore Connexions Society has been fostering an environment of inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities for more than 60 years. They provide programs and services which support the development and empowerment of adults, children and families. Plus, they advocate for a full range of community-based services to support their participants’ needs. 

Find out more about North Short Connexions Society >

The Kettle Society

The Kettle Society has been empowering people living with mental illness substance abuse, poverty and/or homelessness for over 40 years. They serve over 6,000 individuals every year and manage 400+ units of supportive housing.

Find out more about The Kettle Society >

Maven Collective Marketing Senior Marketing Strategiest

“The Darkness into Light sunrise walk started in Ireland in 2009 and has grown into a global movement since. Each year the walk provides an opportunity for people to connect with their local community and to show their support for those who have been bereaved by suicide. The Kettle Society provides much-needed mental health services to people in need and it is the local charity that Darkness into Light Vancouver partnered within 2019 (the 2020 Darkness into Light Vancouver walk was canceled due to COVID). Also, I take part in the annual homeless count in Metro Vancouver and this year, I was placed at a Bloom Group Women’s Shelter for the count and I was touched by the caring environment they have created for women and children in need.”

Cathy FitzGerald, Senior Marketing Strategist

The Bloom Group

The Bloom Group supports the most vulnerable people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside through the provision of housing, health and social services. Their vision is to help build strong and resilient communities where everyone has adequate housing and health care, and where “everyone is supported to live with a sense of self-worth and self-determination”.

Find out more about The Bloom Group >

St Mark & St Philopateer

St Mark & St Philopateer church relies on donations to host weekly services and provide community services such as providing food for those that are vulnerable and living with food insecurity.

Find out more about St Mark & St Philopateer >

Marketing Consultant at Maven Collective Marketing

“This year, I have selected St Mark & St Philopateer as this church is heavily dependent upon the donations of its community. The church uses the donations to pay rent, host weekly service, help with clergy expenses and provide community services feeding vulnerable populations and providing further services.”

Fady Azmy, Digital Marketing Maven

Plan International 

Plan International is a development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. They work tirelessly to empower children young people and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls and support the safe and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood. 

Find out more about Plan International >

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

The Downtown Eastside is home to many vulnerable populations including those who are homeless, mentally ill, and or with addictions. But, it is also a place known for creativity, community and tenacity in the face of stigma. The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is a safe space for women where they can access resources, take refuge, and grow together.

Find out more about the Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter >

Maven Collective Marketing Marketing Consultant

“As if we needed any reminding, 2020 has been a pretty difficult year. COVID-19 has impacted everyone. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the Downtown Eastside Women’s shelter provide incredibly valuable services that are critical to the type of society I want to be a part of. I choose to donate to them to help them to continue to provide these services well into the future.”

Andreanna Mazereeuw, Digital Marketing Maven


ElderDog Canada is an organization dedicated to ageing people, ageing dogs, and the importance of the connection they enjoy. They assist and support older adults in the care and well-being of their canine companions so they can keep them at home with them for as long as possible.

Find out more about ElderDogs Canada >

Maven Collective Marketing Digital Marketing Consultant

“This year I have selected ElderDogs and The Greater Vancouver Food Bank. It’s so sad when older people have to give up their canine companions! ElderDog Canada helps make sure seniors can keep their dogs at home with them as long as possible. With the extra difficult year we’ve been having, food banks are even more stretched than usual. They have significantly greater buying power than regular people at the grocery store, and can essentially double each dollar donated. Donating money is the best way to help out.”

Arianna Ardenne, Digital Marketing Maven

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank

The Greater Vancouver Food Banks mission is simple: provide healthy food to those in need. Since starting out in 1983, the food bank has grown significantly and now provides assistance to approximately 8,500 people weekly across Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore.

Find out more about the Greater Vancouver Food Bank >

Maven Collective Marketing digital marketing consultant

“Millions of people in Canada face food insecurity every single day. With all the additional challenges that have arisen in 2020, I have selected the Greater Vancouver Food Bank this year. More and more families are relying on food bank services this year, making the amazing work they do is more important now than ever!”

Katie McCourt, Digital Marketing Maven

Crisis Centre of Canada

Crisis Services Canada provide suicide prevention and support to people across Canada. Their services are nationally available via toll-free phone or text, making them easily accessible to anyone that is thinking about, or has been affected by suicide.

Find Out More About Crisis Services Canada >

“The Crisis Centre of Canada is able to be there for those in need when they need it most. This is a cause that is near to my heart.  I hope during this tough year organizations like the Crisis Centre of Canada becomes a beacon of hope for those that need it.”

Ella Dinsey, Digital Marketing Maven

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about Maven Collective Marketing or our Pay It Forward Initiative, we’d love to hear from you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out at

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