5th Generation

Did you know there are not many longstanding family foundations in Canada? And even fewer with a fifth generation. Well the Lawson Foundation is actually one of them, with five generations of family members participating actively in the Foundation’s work.

Over the years, the Lawson family and the Foundation have done a great job of engaging up and coming generations. Continuing that tradition and as part of our strategic direction, it’s a priority to engage the 5th Generation in philanthropy and help build their engagement with the Foundation for the long term. who are actively engaged with the Foundation.



Engaging the Lawson Family’s younger generations is a tradition that has allowed the Foundation to get to better know the new generation of philanthropists, to get them excited about the work of the Foundation, and to teach them about grantmaking. Over the past four years, the Foundation has been much more intentional about engaging the 5th generation through granting and awarding initiatives and by providing engagement and learning opportunities. (ICYMI, a must read CharityVillage article focusing on the Foundation’s engagement of younger generations.)


5th Gens

Meet the 5th Gens – a network of young philanthropists who are engaged in the Foundation’s work.


The 5th Generation In Action


COVID-19 Rapid Response & Recovery Funds
In 2020 and 2021, the 5th Gens came together to distribute $200,000 of charitable funding across two granting rounds to charities in need across Canada that were suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included support for UNICEF, CanadaHelps, WaterFirst Education and Training, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Fred Victor Centre, Habitat for Humanity, Matthew House Refugee Reception Services Toronto, Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Horizons for Youth, and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

Top 25 Under 25 Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25
The Lawson Foundation has partnered with The Starfish Canada for the 2018 edition of the Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25. The 5th Gens helped select a number of the Top 25 recipients who shared $50,000 in awards to support the advancement of their environmentalism. Learn more


Emerging Leaders60th Anniversary Looking Forward Awards
In 2017, the 5th Gen took part in the Foundation’s 60th Anniversary celebration by awarding $140,000 for the Looking Forward Awards to six Emerging Leaders, each of whom have passionate leadership skills, are dedicated to a cause/project and are involved in the sector in a positive and innovate way.


5G Fund: Accelerate Grants
In 2015, the Foundation convened a group of 5th Genners, whose first initiative was the 5G Fund: Accelerate, a micro-granting program aimed to kick-start ideas that contribute to the wellbeing of Canadian communities. The 5th Gen decided to focus on youth mental health and proceeded to award fourteen micro-grants for a total of $38,800 in support of projects across Canada.

Understand our Impact

Access information about our granting history and the projects that we fund in our Grants Navigator

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