Desmond von Teichman on impactful contributions and inspiring generosity 

May 14, 2024 7 min. read

How the Royal LePage® Shelter FoundationTM’s 2023 Philanthropist of the Year cultivates a culture of giving back

Desmond von Teichman, Broker/Owner of Royal LePage® Locations North, is a true philanthropic leader with an unwavering commitment to uplifting his team and his community through charitable efforts. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation was proud to celebrate his genuine compassion and ongoing, deeply generous dedication to the cause with their most prestigious annual award – the National Philanthropist of the Year. 

Being recognized as the Shelter Foundation’s 2023 Philanthropist of the Year wasn’t something Desmond was expecting. Reflecting on the honour, he was quick to express gratitude and recognize the collective efforts of the Royal LePage family in driving so much positive change.

“Receiving this recognition was an extremely humbling moment. What I love about Royal LePage is how philanthropic the network is. When I found out I had received this amazing honour, my first reaction was feeling like an imposter. In a sea of so many worthy nominees and truly generous people, I was beyond proud to be acknowledged in this way,” Desmond noted. “It was a very special day, indeed.”

Giving locally and nationally

At the core of Desmond’s philanthropic journey is a deep-rooted connection to supporting women and children fleeing intimate partner violence in the communities he serves. Providing resources to his local women’s shelters and the brave women and children they help stands as a cornerstone of both his personal and corporate philanthropy. 

“The Shelter Foundation provides critical infrastructure to help us help those in our own backyards who are, most unfortunately, not safe in their homes. There is something truly inspiring about a real estate company that wants to ensure families can walk away from violence and abuse, and seek refuge at a shelter where they can then chart a new course,” said Desmond. “Knowing that whatever our community looks like, and wherever we live,  we can raise our hand and start making a difference for our neighbours – this is all the inspiration one could need to involve themselves in causes like the Shelter Foundation.”

Desmond also believes that direct involvement with local women’s shelters is a personal investment in community welfare. “We’re proud of our relationships with our shelter partners – we stay in touch year-round, and want to work alongside them to help make our community a safer place. It would be easy to write a cheque once a year, but we believe that we can accomplish more when we work together,” he noted. Collaborating on various fundraisers and events, including the Collingwood Holiday Tour of Homes and Royal LePage Ski Day, Desmond and his team stand as pillars of support, ensuring these shelters have the resources they need to help women and children not only survive, but also thrive.

Zooming out, the importance of the education and prevention initiatives funded at the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation on a national level is another point of pride for Desmond. “We know that intimate partner violence is systemic, complex and often cyclical. While we cannot take our eyes off our local women’s shelters, we have to make sure we’re also seeing societal changes that help stop this senseless violence before it starts.” 

Strategic focus and a culture of giving

For Desmond, philanthropy is not only about giving – it’s about having a strategic focus and maximizing your impact. While acknowledging the vast number of worthy causes in our communities, he advocates for concentrated efforts. He and his team channel resources towards organizations like the Shelter Foundation and local women’s shelters where he feels they can make the greatest impact.

Leading by example, Desmond nurtures a strong culture of philanthropy within his brokerage and in his broader community. Always looking to attract those who share the team’s philosophy of giving back, he sees the value in centering the good works of his company to encourage others to get on board and start making a difference in any way they can. He continuously encourages his team to participate in joint endeavours, and celebrates each contribution and milestone.

Ultimately, Desmond’s motivation stems from a hopeful vision where organizations like the Shelter Foundation – along with their army of champions and supporters – can build a world where everyone is safe in their closest relationships. 

“I am incredibly grateful that I do not have personal experience with intimate partner violence, and I am hopeful that the efforts of the Foundation can make this a reality for all families,” he added. 

Committing to act

For those who are eager to make a difference, Desmond offers sage advice: Just start, regardless of the scale. In a world where every contribution counts, collective action – no matter how big or small – has the power to make a significant difference in our communities. 

As a Royal LePager, you too can make a difference for women and children escaping intimate partner violence in your own community. By becoming a Commission Donor, you’ll help make home a safe place for everyone each time you help a client buy or sell. 

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