A champion of eye ingenuity
Donald K. Johnson

​Donald K. Johnson’s new book 'Lessons Learned on Bay Street' will be published in 2021

​With leadership, generosity and a passion to make charitable giving easier, philanthropist Donald K. Johnson is driving advancements in vision care and research

In his decades of fundraising for countless not-for-profit organizations, Donald K. Johnson has often sealed the deal with a favourite pair of quotes.

"I like to tell people, 'It's better to give it away with a warm hand than a cold hand,' and, 'He who gives while he lives always knows where it goes,'" Johnson says with a chuckle from his Toronto home.

A veteran investment banking executive, Johnson is one of Canada's most renowned philanthropists. And as a board member of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation for more than 20 years, he is a driving force behind the 2020 Vision Campaign underway at the world-class facility that bears his name. The Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, one of the largest and most comprehensive eye clinics in North America, set the ambitious target of raising $20 million this year.

Health charities and organizations across the country have faced intense challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cancellations of in-person events disrupting fundraising plans. Despite these challenges, the 2020 Vision Campaign is well on the way to achieving its goal. Johnson is both proud and unsurprised by the campaign's success.

"Ours is the leading eye institute in Canada and one of the top five in North America, and I think donors like to give to an organization that is both a leader and recognized internationally," he says. "There are also many very grateful patients, families and friends who want to give back to the Institute and express their gratitude."

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