The Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation was started in 2016 to promote the vision of a more equitable society.
With a particular focus on children and immigrant communities, we invest in organizations that address the symptoms of inequality and exclusion, while working to level the playing field.
Since its inception, the Foundation supports organizations that best impact our areas of focus: food and shelter, healthcare, education, immigrant integration, and arts and culture initiatives locally and globally.
We provide financial gifts to charities and organizations within our area of focus. When deciding on the best initiatives to support we measure impact, organizational experience, breadth of expertise, and most importantly, alignment with our core vision and areas of focus.
Our Principles of Philanthropy
The impact, reach and moral power of The Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation are based on a set of solid principles — principles firmly anchored in the core beliefs of Moez Kassam, Marissa Kassam and their family.
It has been said that philanthropy is no longer exclusively about benevolence; rather, the goal of modern charitable endeavors is to solve real problems affecting real people. Philanthropy is not about the founder, the leader or the donor — it is about the people and populations that are the focus of a foundation’s mission.
The effectiveness of a philanthropic foundation is also based on the talents and experience of its governing team. Moez Kassam is the founder of Anson Funds. Anson Funds manages over $1.4 billion in investments for successful individuals and organizations.
Marissa Kassam is Vice President of Philanthropy for Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets and previously worked at J.P. Morgan in New York, Hong Kong and London.
Through their foundation, Moez and Marissa exercise their core principles of philanthropy together:
The idea of transparency in regard to philanthropy is not rooted in scrutiny, rather it is for the broader world to understand why donors do what they do, and to understand their goals. Not to mention, it is a great way to maintain and engage supporters.
The Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation follows a policy of openness and pledges clear, consistent, and timely communication with the public, applicants, grantees and donors.
Just as Moez Kassam works with a broad array of stakeholders to achieve returns for Anson Funds’ clients, the Foundation team engages leaders from a wide range of social, economic, political and cultural sectors to grow the impact of the Ffoundation’s work.
Thought leaders, entrepreneurs, writers, artists and front-line organizations are some of the important partners the Foundation seeks out for inclusion in its important missions. This is why Moez Kassam sits on the Board of the Toronto Public Library as well as the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
The complex challenges of today’s society are interconnected and require collective approaches to succeed. Philanthropy plays a central role but cannot do it alone. In order to make the biggest difference an all-hands-on-deck approach is required. With these partnerships, the foundation also aspires to maximize accountability, diversity, inclusion, strategic focus and ultimately impact.
Accountability is a core principle that runs parallel to transparency. A foundation is accountable for much more than each dollar it receives; ultimately it is accountable for the efficiency and effectiveness of its programs, down to each family, group, and person it attempts to uplift and support.
Diversity and inclusion run parallel to partnership. Including a wide range of communities and perspectives in the Foundation’s work not only demonstrates respect, but also magnifies the good the foundation is able to achieve. This is why the Foundation is a National Building Circle Donor for the Institute of Canadian Citizenship (ICC) as well as a partner of Windmill Microlending which is a registered charity that services newcomers. As previously touched upon, the strength of partnerships with varying groups also allows a foundation to expand and ensure the inclusion of groups that may have once been neglected.
Strategic focus and impact are, in the end, the truest test of any foundation’s value. Every philanthropist has a dream, but ideals and noble goals are not enough. Philanthropic organizations are ultimately measured by their impact, and their effectiveness is based in large part on an ability to focus on the mission and the ability to choose proven methods that can bring success to the mission.