Jean Robert Nolet, CFRE
Jean Robert Nolet, CFRE
It is with immense sadness that BNP Philanthropic Performance announces the death of its co-founder, Jean Robert Nolet, at the age of 73. “We have lost a leader who marked his generation in a number of ways, both through his extraordinary contribution to the growth of philanthropy and through his commitment to clients in Montreal and across Quebec and the Atlantic provinces,” said Christian Bolduc, President and CEO of BNP. “I am one of many who are bidding farewell to an esteemed colleague. As co-founder of BNP along with Jean Robert, I have also lost a close friend who was always willing to share his invaluable insight with me.”
Surrounded by his loved ones, Jean Robert died on July 15, his lucidity, good nature, humbleness and positive outlook on his remarkable life evident until the very end. He is survived by his sister Carole (the late Yvon Lebrun), niece Nathalie Lebrun (Benoît Bélisle), nephew Patrick Lebrun, and countless friends, colleagues and partners.
A man of vision and determination
An active and engaged player among the generation of builders of modern Quebec, Jean Robert participated in the major social changes that have come to define the North American francophone society of today. He worked with vision and determination in the philanthropic world for 35 years.
Director General of the Montreal YMCA Foundation from 1983 to 1990, he implemented and managed an endowment and planned giving program that earned him an award of excellence and that continues to serve as a model for the some 2,000 YMCA establishments in North America.
A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 1988, a designation bestowed on him by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and since 1996 a Certified Development Executive, a title awarded by the Executive Leadership Institute of Indiana University, he also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (CCP, now known as Imagine Canada) and the Association des professionnels en gestion philanthropique (APGP).
Jean Robert generously shared his vast knowledge and experience across Quebec and the Maritimes. He notably implemented the first training activities offered in French in the country for fundraising. A partner and vice-president at Navion for nine years between 1990 and 1999, in 1999, together with Christian Bolduc, he co-founded what has become BNP Philanthropic Performance, a consulting firm offering a team of respected advisors whose philanthropic expertise is instrumental to organizations and their missions.
With his introduction of innovative financing programs, Jean Robert helped drive the rebirth of the giving culture in Quebec. In doing so, he advanced the creation of endowment funds for numerous organizations in the province.
A philanthropist to the core
Jean Robert was a philanthropist to the core and lived his mission every day, giving his name to a bursary awarded each year by BNP Philanthropic Performance. He found joy in coaching colleagues and teaching the programs used in philanthropy, and the Jean Robert Nolet bursary aims to encourage philanthropy professionals who wish to hone their skills.
He was also a major player behind the scenes, preferring to stay out of the spotlight and dedicate himself to strengthening the bonds between community members and key project stakeholders in order to promote and reinforce the causes served. He worked both in the business community and alongside institutions and organizations in the social economy, helping build bridges between the fortunate and less fortunate. He held a number of causes dear and donated anonymously to those of particular importance to him: culture, children’s education, health and the wellbeing of seniors.
A true agent of social change and a man who always offered the best of himself, Jean Robert wished only to be of help to those around him in a spirit of generosity, simplicity and humility.
His philanthropic legacy
In order to ensure that Jean Robert’s unique and inspiring vision of philanthropy lives on, and with his agreement, Christian Bolduc has created the Fonds philanthropique de bourses Jean Robert Nolet (BNP) at the Fondation Québec Philanthrope. Awarded annually, these bursaries will go towards the training of philanthropy professionals who wish to further their career but would otherwise not have the means to pay for the training programs offered by professional associations (AFP, APGP, AFÉSAQ) or the certificate program in philanthropic management offered by Université de Montréal.
If you wish to pay homage to the work of Jean Robert, you are invited to contribute to the fund Fonds philanthropique de bourses Jean Robert Nolet (BNP).
BNP Philanthropic Performance will match every dollar contributed.
Friends and colleagues of Jean Robert will fondly remember a generous man of culture who was always available and who had the unique ability to effortlessly resolve even the most complex problems. Despite a final few months that saw him suffer greatly, Jean Robert left us serenely and confident; he knew he was going to a better place, reserved for him by friends who had gone before him. He in turn will prepare it for us, his friends and family.
Jean Robert, your spirit will live on with us always.