The Giving Pledge Welcomes John & Marcy McCall MacBain as Signatories
Geneva, Switzerland (May 28, 2019) – John and Marcy McCall MacBain have joined 18 fellow new signatories to The Giving Pledge, a commitment to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes. With The Giving Pledge’s announcement out of Seattle today, the total number of signatories has reached 204 from 23 countries. Founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, The Giving Pledge continues to expand internationally.
John and Marcy wrote in their pledge letter, “We believe that strong, dedicated and creative leadership is needed to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe talent is found in every corner of the world, but that opportunities are not – and we want to reduce this gap .We pledge to give the majority of our wealth to philanthropic causes to provide greater benefit to our communities and our world by giving more, and by giving sooner.”
Here is the full text of their letter:
Our Giving Pledge
John and Marcy McCall MacBain
Geneva, Switzerland, May 1, 2019
We have strong roots in Canada. We were both raised by parents who were active in their respective communities and dedicated to public and community service. We benefitted from public school teachers who challenged us to work harder and dream higher.
John, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, was raised by Al and Vi MacBain, who led by example. His parents were active in the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the Children’s Aid Society, the YMCA, teaching in public elementary school and serving on city council. John’s teachers were instrumental in providing the foundation for his future studies as a Rhodes Scholar and his future success as an international entrepreneur.
Marcy, raised on a farm near Walton, Ontario, was born into a tight-knit family where supporting each other and contributing to community events were top priorities. Marcy’s parents, Murray and Sherry McCall, were involved in the performing arts, sports and public engagement which were instrumental in shaping Marcy’s independence and confidence. As a small-town farm girl, she knows how important it is to lower existing barriers that prevent students from achieving their full potential.
We were fortunate to attend some of the most distinguished universities in the world, thanks to the help of scholarships, summer jobs, student loans and, in most cases, the reasonable tuition of publicly-funded universities.
In 2007, we founded the McCall MacBain Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland with proceeds from the sale of the controlling interest in Trader Classified Media, which John and his team grew over almost two decades from three small publications in Montreal into the world’s leading classified advertising company.
As directors of the McCall MacBain Foundation, we believe that strong, dedicated and creative leadership is needed to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe talent is found in every corner of the world, but that opportunities are not – and we want to reduce this gap.
In our philanthropy, we identify and invest in young people with leadership potential. We feel an urgent need to embolden students to take risks to improve our collective future. For these reasons, we focus primarily on scholarships. When we give to a scholarship, we hope to select potential leaders who will change the world for the better. At the very least, we know that the scholarship will significantly improve a scholar’s life and that of the scholar’s family and friends, forever.
Our largest gift to-date is the creation of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill in early 2019. The program selects national and international scholars to study at McGill University in Montreal for a master’s or professional degree. Selection is based on exemplary civic engagement, intellectual curiosity, entrepreneurial spirit, academic excellence, and integrity of character. In 2013, we made the largest gift in support of the Rhodes Scholarships, which assures the sustainable growth of the scholarship into its second century. We also contribute to other scholarship and leadership programs in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa.
In addition to our primary focus on scholarships, our foundation also works on climate change and the environment, starting with the co-founding of the European Climate Foundation in 2008. We support programs in Europe, Africa, Canada and the United States.
Our foundation is also working on maternal health and wellness, as well as health issues in rural areas. We support programs in Africa, Australia and Canada.
We pledge to give the majority of our wealth to philanthropic causes. We are proud to be part of the Giving Pledge. We will provide greater benefit to our communities and our world by giving more, and by giving sooner.