John Bromley strives to create a “culture of giving” in Canada.
The 39-year-old entrepreneur has founded three successful charitable giving and community engagement companies. As founder and CEO of his most recent venture, Vancouver-based Chimp – the name is a portmanteau of “charitable” and “impact” – Bromley established the first giving platform built for donors. The donor-advised fund is geared toward everyday philanthropists, and has raised more than $220 million for charity.
“I’m most passionate about changing people’s perceptions and behaviours related to giving,” said Bromley, who lives with his wife and two young sons in Vancouver.
He launched Chimp in 2012 to democratize access to donor tools and engage people of all ages and income brackets in philanthropy by opening free giving accounts, which act as donors’ private foundations.
While traditional fundraising raises money for charities, it has failed to develop a culture of giving, according to Bromley, who is committed to reversing a current decline in giving in Canada.
“Giving is important because it’s a form of expression of who you are. It should be tied to something you care about.”
Including work outside of Chimp, Bromley has played a role in more than $1 billion worth of charitable giving. He assists with national corporate and community giving programs and also advises and invests in startups.
Bromley previously spent four years working in corporate finance as a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers and RBC Capital Markets in Montreal.
He moved back to Vancouver in 2005 and learned the facilitation side of the charitable and non-profit sector. In 2006, he became vice-president of Benefic Group, which he founded with his father and mentor, Blake Bromley, a pioneer in charity finance and law.
John Bromley, who has sat on many charity and non-profit boards and is an active mentor, also previously founded Peer Giving Solutions, a web-based tool to help charities raise more money, in 2009.
Birthplace: Prince George
Where you live now: Vancouver
Highest level of education: Bachelor of commerce, McGill University
Currently reading: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Currently listening to: Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World by Matthieu Ricard (audio book)
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: I wanted to be a philanthropist. I realize now I didn’t really know what the term meant at the time
Profession you would most like to try: I’d be a teacher, probably for high school or adult learning
Toughest business or professional decision: As someone who comes to entrepreneurship through subject matter expertise, it was tough to let go of developing solutions for multiple segments. We originally launched with solutions for charities, companies and donors, but recently made the decision to focus specifically on the donor experience. Choosing that focus was the right decision for Chimp and, in my view, it is what is most required if the social economy is to flourish
Advice you would give the younger you: A dollar spent in pre-production is a dollar saved in post-production
What’s left to do: Empower more everyday people to think, act and feel like philanthropists
Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40