Tom Ehrlich

Tom Ehrlich
Investment clubs have been popular for some time. The idea of pooling funds and sharing information on the best opportunities for a good ROI is appealing on many fronts. Within all age groups, but particularly among the younger demographic, this idea is being applied to philanthropy. Many young people are anxious to support good causes with their time and money, and doing it with friends adds a special dimension.
Tom Ehrlich was treated for cancer at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and when he asked his doctor how he could help the hospital that had just helped him, Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the Cancer Program at The Princess Margaret, told him about all of the important research ‘in the funnel’ that urgently needed funding. That conversation, together with Tom’s great network of friends and work colleagues, spawned the Invest in Research Program.
Tom and his good friend Gary Morassutti got to work quickly and within a few months had put together a ‘club’ of 25 people who had not yet made major donations to The Princess Margaret. The goal for the program is to raise a pool of $1 million over the course of five years, and each year pay out $200,000 in support of research projects.
Dr. Gospodarowicz and Dr. Ben Neel, the Director for Research at the hospital, invited proposals for this funding, vetted the proposals, and forwarded the six projects they felt were most in line with the strategic priorities of the hospital. The Invest in Research club members reviewed the proposals and cast their votes. For the inaugural year, two grants of $100,000 each were awarded—one will support research into a promising new drug for leukemia patients, and the other funds a study of lung tumor formation.
Reviewed: October 2013