Charitable Choices: Jay McCauley, Global Brand Ambassador for TELUS

Jay McCauley is the Global Brand Ambassador for TELUS. This dynamic, world-leading communications technology company since 2000 has contributed more than $1.7 billion, including 2.2 million days of volunteerism, to charitable causes. Jay helps to elevate their world-best social purpose and philanthropic efforts across Canada, the U.K., and Europe. Through his philanthropy, he has helped raise nearly $15 million in support of countless charitable causes and initiatives. We sat down with him to discuss his work more in-depth, and to learn more about how we can help.

TELUS

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Over the last two years, I’ve co-chaired the Masquerade Ball fundraiser in support of ComKids at Casa Loma, raising over $650,000 to put technology in the hands of underprivileged youth. I am also co-chairing the inaugural TELUS Friendly Future Foundation gala in 2024 which will feature A-list talent and raise critical funding to support underserved youth in Canada. Beyond my work with TELUS, I also serve on committees and as an ambassador for charities like CANFAR, SickKids Foundation, Boost for Kids, Children First Canada and the Lady Garden Foundation in the U.K. Through my philanthropy, I am very proud to have helped raise nearly $15 million in support of these important charitable causes and initiatives.

I am the youngest member amongst TELUS’ 19 global community boards, which have directed $107 million in cash donations to more than 9,600 initiatives, providing resources and support for underserved citizens and youth around the world. In my new role as TELUS Global Brand Ambassador, based in London, UK, I serve as the link to our Canadian headquarters and am responsible for ensuring that our social purpose is integrated across our global operations.

What problem does this work aim to solve?

Our award-winning culture of caring for our communities underpins our passion for giving. The spirited volunteerism of our 130,000+ team members and retirees worldwide reinforces TELUS’ position as the most giving company in the world. TELUS and our Foundation foster a ‘Give Where You Live’ mentality and this has been the company’s mandate for decades. TELUS believes that stronger communities improve the quality of life for all, and that doing good is good for business. In today’s world, not all youth have the same opportunity to feel like they belong. In Canada, nearly 1 in 3 youth can’t access the mental healthcare they need and many are falling behind in school. In addition to needing support, young people today want to have a stronger sense of belonging, so they can be at their best and feel connected to their communities. Through the $50 million TELUS Student Bursary, we are empowering students in financial need to access post-secondary education as well as funding more than 500 charities each year doing life-changing work across the country. From mental health services to skills training and education initiatives, we’re making sure every child and young person has an equal opportunity to learn, develop skills and build their confidence to thrive in a digital world.

When did you start with the organisation?

I began working at TELUS in October 2020 on the Public Relations team. I’ve held multiple roles, including working as a social media advisor for our President & CEO, Darren Entwistle. I started in my role as Global Brand Ambassador in May 2023 in London, and I am now located between London and Toronto.

What made you want to get involved in the community?

I have been blessed with good fortune throughout my life, and I feel a responsibility to focus my philanthropic efforts on supporting communities and groups of people that have often been underserved. I think supporting the younger generations is imperative to creating a safer, more inclusive and sustainable future. What’s most important to me is making a difference in the world through the work I do professionally, which is why I am so thankful to work with an organisation that not only accepts this but admires and encourages it. I attribute this passion for volunteerism largely to my parents, who instilled the importance of giving back. Working at TELUS has exposed the power of social capitalism to me and I see an opportunity to make real change with this new role.

What was the situation like when you started at the company?

I joined TELUS in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a very interesting experience for me. I was so inspired to see first-hand how TELUS was supporting Canadians through our various virtual technology solutions and keeping them connected to what was important to them. TELUS team members also stepped forward in 2021 to assist with booking vaccine appointments for vulnerable British Columbians, which was a truly inspiring experience. Our CEO, Darren, donated his salary to support our frontline healthcare workers; a donation that was matched by his family foundation. Our global-best broadband networks and technology supported Canadians by enabling online healthcare, education and teleworking flexibility during the pandemic; and upheld Canada’s digital economy and society for heightened productivity, competitiveness and human welfare outcomes in the current post-pandemic period.

Fast forward a few years and moving to London has also been an eye-opening experience, exposing me to TELUS’ global reach. We now operate in 30 countries around the world and are passionately supporting communities in each of these countries through our Community Board model. Before my position was created, there was no real connection between TELUS ambassadors in Canada and TELUS teams in other countries. My role as Global Brand Ambassador is helping to bridge this gap and build on the incredible work that has been done in respect of our global philanthropy.

How has your role changed since you started?

As Global Brand Ambassador, I am now responsible for ensuring TELUS’ award-winning brand and social purpose is integrated across many lines of business, including at our acquisitions and operations in the U.K. and Europe. Guided by TELUS’ social purpose, the TELUS team is laser-focused on helping to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues, such as affordability, access to technology, rural connectivity, access to healthcare, tackling climate change and driving better food outcomes. The addition of this new role and global viewpoint is already enabling us to expand TELUS’ impact and focus on broader issues that touch more lives than just those of Canadians.

What more needs to be done?

There is always work to be done in philanthropy. We can start by beginning to engage and activate Generation Z and encouraging this volunteerism and philanthropy in those just entering our workforce. Fostering a sense of community in Gen Z sets up a company for continued success. Much like myself, others in my generation are interested in working for organizations that align with their own personal values, so it is important to reflect these values at all levels of business.

Beyond the boardroom, every person can have an impact. There is never a shortage of need in our communities and in global crises. People should remain aware of important things happening around the world and find ways to contribute to a cause they care about. Finding what you are passionate about will make your time volunteering and the money you give feel even more impactful.

How can our readers help?

There is no doubt that volunteerism brings people together, and fostering this collaboration leads to remarkable outcomes. There are many ways that the readers of the Toronto Guardian can give back to their community. Here are a few ideas to get started:

Check out our TELUS merch shop. For every TELUS Critter Plushie sold, all proceeds go towards TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, supporting youth across Canada. These are available at select stores!

Visit friendlyfuture.com/stories to learn more about all the extraordinary work we are committed to through TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.

Volunteer for local charities and causes that you are passionate about; there is no shortage of opportunities to support underserved citizens all across Toronto and beyond.

Do you have any events coming up?

There are a multitude of events supported by TELUS coming up, but naturally, I am most excited for our ‘Together for Tomorrow: A Friendly Future Gala’ which I am co-chairing and will be headlined by some of North America’s most talented performers. You can buy tickets to this event here. This May will also be our 19th annual TELUS Days of Giving which engages tens of thousands of volunteers across the world. You can learn more about TDOG and join us here.

Where can we follow you?

I am always happy to connect with anyone interested in philanthropic opportunities. Feel free to connect with me at the links below to chat!

InstagramLinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

It’s hard to choose just one. Boost for Kids does phenomenal and unbelievably important work protecting child abuse victims. I recently joined the Board of Directors for ComKids and I am so excited to continue supporting them in empowering underprivileged youth with technology.

 

About Emilea Semancik 88 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods