change lives.

Quarter Club: Business as a force for good

A few years ago, entrepreneurs Emily and Corey McGill and Shane Borthwick were searching for a way that their businesses could make a difference in the region.

A series of meetings with United Way led to the creation of the Quarter Club – a community of inspiring leaders using business as a force for good.

Together, this collective of leaders has pledged a quarter of a million dollars over five years to United Way Saint John, Kings & Charlotte so they can invest in solutions to break the cycle of domestic violence and help individuals and families access mental health supports – two critical issues impacting our region.

The Quarter Club is modelled after the Million Dollar Pledge, a group of business leaders in the region that together pledged $1 million over 10 years to invest in improving academic outcomes for children and youth.

Shane and the McGills liked the Million Dollar model but were searching for a way that smaller businesses could take part. That led to the Quarter Club launching in 2019 with 13 members. That has grown to 15 today.

In joining together, club members are able to amplify the power of their investments and benefit from the insights and assurances of return on investment that United Way brings.

Corey and Emily were looking for an effective way to maximize the impact that their restaurant, McGill’s, makes in its charitable giving.

Through the Quarter Club, they can not only magnify that impact but they can meet with the organizations that benefit from their donations and see the difference that support is making in Saint John and beyond.

“We feel very passionate about giving back to the community. And with this we can make a strong impact. It’s not just $100 here, $100 there – this can make a big impact,” says Emily, whose own HR consultancy, Emily McGill Professionals, will join the Quarter Club this year.

“Getting more businesses involved will only magnify that impact.”

She vividly remembers meeting with Second Stage Housing to see and understand how the Quarter Club’s funding was benefiting the transition program for women who have suffered domestic abuse. And the day when her daughter told her about the personal wellness sessions at her school – also funded through Quarter Club donations.

For Shane, it has meant that he has confidence that donations from his company, Impact Wealth, are moving the needle in addressing social issues.

And for him, the focus isn’t the monetary value but that the support is helping to strengthen the region in which he lives and works.

With the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Shane says the need to grow the collective is even greater.

“This is about like-minded, purpose-driven entrepreneurs in the region helping address serious issues in the community like poverty, domestic violence and mental health,” he says. “This is an important initiative addressing needs that have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

More information on the Quarter Club and the impact it is having, visit the United Way website