Charitable Choices: CEF – Compassionate Eye Foundation

Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) is a registered Canadian charity based in Vancouver. This unique charity is founded on the basic idea that through the creative process, and with the help of photoshoots, funds can be generated as charitable revenues. Income made by photos purchased through Getty Images helps a variety of charities whose focuses are on health, education and sustainability in developing countries. We spoke with Ryan Bragg, board co-chair of CEF to learn more.

CEF - Compassionate Eye Foundation

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

Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) Is a charity that leverages the sales of stock photography, in partnership with Getty Images, to fund community-based development projects. These projects focus on health, education, and sustainable development in Asia, Africa, and South America which are completed by project partners who are on the ground in those communities.

What problem does it aim to solve?

CEF contributes to addressing development needs in small communities which provides solutions to basic life challenges in developing countries. This can take the form of safe water projects, school construction, health support, young women’s education, or health clinics. By predominantly partnering with nimble, grassroots NGOs, CEF is able to reach to communities and projects which can be left behind by larger charities.

When did you start/join it?

I joined CEF in 2014.

What made you want to get involved?

I was attracted to CEF’s charitable model that funds through sales of stock photography across the world rather than a model that targets local donations.

What was the situation like when you started?
CEF was funding significant projects across three continents funded by the stock photography model. We had, and continue to, fund projects across the world in partnership with grassroots NGOs.

How has it changed since?

Although CEF is still funding projects, our revenue has been significantly impacted by structural changes in the stock photo industry which sells photos for a drastically reduced price compared to a decade ago. In order to maintain the level of development funding, CEF is seeking to augment our revenues through alternative means.

What more needs to be done?

CEF needs to continue to fund projects. The pandemic has brought new challenges and opportunities for our support. We seek smaller partners with modest projects that larger funding organizations may not be willing or able to fund. There is no shortage of projects which are seeking funding.

CEF - Compassionate Eye Foundation

How can our readers help?

Readers can assist in a few ways.

CEF is always regularly looking for Board Members who share our passion to do good through creative means. Currently, we are seeking a few Board positions.

We are always looking for interesting photoshoot locations for our stock photography. If readers have any locations that are unique outdoor settings or unusual workplace settings where our professional photographer volunteers could set up a shoot it would be greatly beneficial.

We have also had extremely generous donations from retiring stock photographers who have donated their collection for our use upon their retirement. One never knows…

Do you have any events coming up?

CEF has a few photography shoots that are planned for the upcoming months. We don’t have any public events planned over the summer.

Where can we follow you?

Facebook | Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity/non-profit that you love?

Embers Staffing – a non-profit staffing agency in Vancouver.