Almost half of graduating students volunteered at least occasionally in the past year

July 19, 2018

The Canadian University Survey Consortium's recently released 2018 Graduating Student Survey offers some interesting data on student employment and volunteering. Overall, 44% of graduating students volunteered at least occasionally on or off campus in the past year, including 24% of students who participate often or very often in community service or volunteer activities. Among those who participate in volunteer activities, the typical student spends about five hours a week volunteering; however, just 12% of students overall spend more than five hours per week volunteering. More than half (56%) of graduating students say they have been involved in some type of work and learning program experience. About 60% of graduating students are currently employed, with about 15% being employed on campus (10% exclusively on campus and 5% employed both on and off campus). Among those who are currently employed, results indicate that the typical student works about 18 hours a week, and almost three-quarters report working 20 or fewer hours per week. Students who are working are more likely to say their employment has a negative (42%) impact than positive (22%) impact on their academic performance, although 36% say it has no impact.

Jamieson Vitamins to match donations to Canadian Cancer Society Research this summer

July 19, 2018

This summer Jamieson Vitamins will match Canadian Cancer Society Gift of Discovery gift purchases dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. Donating to cancer research by purchasing the Gift of Discovery helps fund important cancer research led by Canada’s best and brightest researchers. The joint public education campaign between the Canadian Cancer Society and Jamieson is focused on sun safety and safer sources of vitamin D. Getting sufficient vitamin D is essential as it plays a vital role in a healthy immune system, healthy bones as well as being a factor in maintaining good health. There is also evidence that vitamin D may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, particularly colorectal and breast cancers.

Apply now to be part of the 2018 Creative Day for Social Good

July 18, 2018

Capacity Canada, in partnership with Alchemy Systems, Conestoga College, Manulife, and the creative community will provide free design and marketing work to non-profit organizations across Canada through Creative Day for Social Good (CD4SG). CD4SG will bring together teams of art directors, writers, account managers and other creative professionals who will donate their time to guide talented animation, graphic design, and public relations students from Conestoga College. On Thursday, October 18, 2018 the teams will converge at Alchemy’s Guelph office for a Creative Day to design and produce projects for these charities [in 24-hours]. Then on Friday, October 19, the fruits of their labour, which could include new identity designs, marketing materials, or even new websites, and videos, will be unveiled to the non-profits who’ve been selected to participate.

Last year the event received 50 applications, for 18 spots, from non-profits across Canada. The creative services total more than $100,000 of pro bono work to assist these worthy organizations in furthering their social impact. The deadline for submitting the application form is September 7, 2018.

New report promotes healthy community living through design

July 18, 2018

The design features of cities, communities and buildings can create conditions that promote and foster individual and community health and wellbeing, according to a new report by The Conference Board of Canada. Being physically active, buying healthy foods, building and maintaining social relationships, biking or walking to work, and participating in recreational activity can all be influenced by the design features of communities and cities. Elements such as connected streets, bike paths, and good public transit can promote physical activity by supporting active transport. Similarly, access to healthier food options can promote better diets and health, while creating spaces for social interactions and accessible opportunities for employment and volunteering can have an influence on mental health and loneliness.

The Conference Board of Canada partnered with DIALOG to develop a practical tool for urban planners, architects, design professionals and community stakeholders to help guide conversations and evaluate design decisions that promote community wellbeing. It prompts design professionals to consider the full spectrum of design features that impact on wellbeing. The Framework identifies five conditions that contribute to community wellbeing: social, environmental, economic, political and cultural. Each domain includes key indicators and metrics that help design professionals assess a project's contribution to community wellbeing.

Nominate an outstanding volunteer for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

July 17, 2018

The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards recognize extraordinary Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community and fellow community members. Six awards are presented annually on or around International Volunteer Day, December 5. Two awards are given in each of the following 3 categories: youth; adult; senior. Albertans are eligible for a Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award if they:

  • exemplify the spirit of community service
  • demonstrate exemplary initiative, leadership and creativity in their service to others
  • serve as a role model for others in their community
  • inspire others to engage in volunteer service
  • improve the overall quality of life of fellow Albertans and community as a whole

The deadline for nominations is September 21, 2018.

PEI government invites feedback on changes to Employment Standards Act

July 16, 2018

Most employees are eligible for a variety of leaves under the Employment Standards Act of Prince Edward Island including protection of employment for persons needing time off from work to address issues due to family violence. During the 2018 spring sitting of the provincial legislature, the Employment Standards Act (Bill 116) was amended to provide for for up to three days of paid leave, and another seven days of unpaid leave for employees who need time to deal with the consequences of domestic violence. The government of PEI is looking for your feedback on draft regulations to support the implementation of Bill 116: An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act. Regulations provide specifics on how to put action into an act (law). The Lieutenant Governor–in-Council (cabinet) is responsible to pass regulations; rather than the legislature which passes legislation. You can provide input using one of the following options:

Please complete the survey or send a written submission by August 27, 2018.

Deadline extended for call for concepts to improve early learning and child care

July 16, 2018

The deadline to submit your innovative idea as part of the federal government's call for concepts to improve early learning and child care service delivery has been extended to July 27, 2018. Please note that going forward, priority may be given to projects targeting children with varying abilities. This priority is added to those noted at the outset: Indigenous families, families from official language minority communities, lower income families and newcomer families. Review the Guide for more information and guidance on the call for concepts and to learn how to complete an application. You have until July 27, 2018 (2:00 pm Pacific Time), to submit your application to

New anti-racism grant now open in Alberta

July 10, 2018

As part of government efforts to address racism, Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda has unveiled details of a new Anti-Racism Community Grant Program. The grants are to help communities combat racial discrimination, foster acceptance and promote diversity and inclusion. The grant will be divided into two streams: a general community stream and a stream directed at supporting anti-racism projects and initiatives that affect Alberta’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Applications for the Anti-Racism Community Grant can be downloaded here. The first application deadline is August 1.

SpencerCreo Centre offering affordable, shared office space to Vancouver nonprofits

July 10, 2018

The SpencerCreo Centre is an affordable, shared office space for nonprofit organizations in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown District. Located on the 5th floor of 610 Main Street, the Centre boasts beautiful mountain and city views, a spacious circular board room and additional meeting rooms, two kitchens, private offices, designated desks and hot desks.

Established in 2016, the Centre is a project of the SpencerCreo Foundation. The Foundation heavily subsidizes rent for its nonprofit tenants, including free Internet, printing, meeting space, and storage. The SpencerCreo Centre has become a vibrant hub for non-profits to inspire each other; share resources efficiently, collaborate on overarching goals, and feel supported in their everyday work environment. The Centre is currently seeking additional nonprofit tenants. Workspace available includes:

  • Private offices (capacity for 3-4 desks; 3 staff minimum) at $400/month – waitlist only
  • Designated desks at $125 each/month
  • Hot desks (temporary, part-time use) at $40/month, 3-month minimum

Eligible nonprofits must be:

  • A registered Canadian charity or seeking charitable status
  • Preferably linked to the SpencerCreo Foundation’s funding mandate to support charities that endeavour to raise individuals out of poverty and/or support children and youth.

Please contact Tara Taylor, manager of the SpencerCreo Centre, for more information or to apply for space. Email: or phone: 1 (778) 386-4836.

TD launches the TD Ready Challenge to prepare people and the economy for the future

July 10, 2018

TD has launched the TD Ready Challenge, an annual North American initiative that has ten $1 million (CDN) grants available to help catalyze innovative solutions for a changing world. The announcement follows the recent launch of The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving. The TD Ready Challenge will address the four areas identified within The Ready Commitment as critical to building an inclusive future – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Each year, eligible organizations will be invited to submit proposals offering scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within The Ready Commitment.

Acting as a springboard for social innovation, the TD Ready Challenge will forge relationships, test new ideas and surface solutions to emerging problems. In its inaugural year, the TD Ready Challenge will focus on financial security, seeking innovative solutions to help increase income stability and prepare people for the skills they need for the economy of the future.

TD will accept applications until July 27 and judged in two rounds by a panel consisting of TD executives and external subject matter experts. Grant recipients for the first year of the TD Ready Challenge will be announced this fall.

ONN launches budgeting tool to help Ontario organizations prepare for changes to workplace regulations

July 10, 2018

Keep on top of Ontario's workplace regulation with a new tool from the Ontario Nonprofit Network. Bill 148 (the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act) outlines a number of changes intended to improve employment conditions for Ontario workers. These include raising the minimum wage, providing staff with a minimum of three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer, expanding personal emergency leave and creating fairer scheduling rules.

As part of a broader initiative to educate and support the nonprofit sector in meeting the requirements of the legislation, ONN has developed a budgeting tool. This tool will help you budget and advocate with your funders. As you and other organizations use the tool, they will analyze the data and share their findings on how these changes affect the nonprofit sector. Use this tool to explore changes related to:

  • Personal emergency leave (two paid days)
  • Extended vacation leave for staff over five years at one organization
  • Minimum wage increase to $15/hour (if applicable)

Access the tool here.

Volunteer consulting available this fall from University of Toronto

July 10, 2018

The University of Toronto Consulting Association’s (UTCA) Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG) program is a pro-bono consulting service offered through the University of Toronto. They take on a select number of consulting cases each year to offer services from teams that have a mix of undergraduate and MBA students, along with professional consultant advisors. These engagements run from October 2018 to March 2019 and span a wide variety of business problems, such as improving engagement, retention, sales, management, or profit. If you’re unsure if your business problem fits, feel free to apply here and someone from the team will follow up with you.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre receives $10-million donation for seniors' health

July 10, 2018

A donation of $10 million by Peter Cipriano allows Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to reinvent care for seniors. The Peter Cipriano Centre for Seniors Health will create a first-ever patient-centred model of care to keep seniors healthy and in their community. Shared across Toronto, Ontario and then Canada, the new model will increase the wellbeing of seniors nation-wide, while reducing demands on the health-care system. Mr. Cipriano knows first-hand the health-care challenges of seniors through the experience of caring for his own parents. Now, he lends his name to the Peter Cipriano Centre for Seniors Health, a custom-designed space where Sunnybrook experts will pioneer a new model that offers fully coordinated care organized around the needs of patients and their families.

Canadian employees report workplace stress as primary cause of mental health concerns

July 10, 2018

Mental health issues in the workplace are among the top concerns for organizations of all sizes. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), one in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or illness each year, equating to 500,000 employees unable to work every week due to mental health problems or illnesses. Seeking to understand how the daily experience of employees impacts the workplace, Morneau Shepell partnered with the Globe and Mail to create the "mental health experience in Canada's workplaces" survey. Morneau Shepell and the MHCC have released a new white paper detailing the survey's findings.

Understanding mental health, mental illness and their impacts in the workplace outlines a key finding that Canadian employees report workplace stress as the primary cause of their mental health problems or illness, with depression and anxiety noted as the top two issues. The white paper outlines that despite the prevalence of mental health issues, employees are confident in their ability to cope with stressful situations. The majority of survey respondents reported a neutral (59%) or positive (26%) outlook on mental health, which closely mirrors the reported coping strategies. More than half (54%) of respondents indicated they have high/optimal coping skills. Employees identify the use of positive coping mechanisms such as seeking professional support, and negative coping strategies such as drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco.

Without effective coping strategies, employees are at risk of further harm to themselves. The white paper explains that suicide remains a top concern, with more than half (58%) of survey respondents reporting they had considered taking their lives to cope with mental illness.

New funding for community support, multiculturalism, and anti-racism initiatives launched by Government of Canada

July 10, 2018

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, announced three new funding streams that will strengthen diverse communities and support anti-racism initiatives across the country. The government is investing a total of $51.9 million over 3 years, which includes $21 million in new funding for community-led projects, events and capacity building initiatives.

The Projects component will fund community-led activities that work toward the elimination of discrimination, racism and prejudice, with a priority for those supporting Indigenous Peoples and racialized women and girls. The Events component will fund local events that promote intercultural and interfaith understanding as well as celebrations of a community’s history and culture, such as heritage months recognized by Parliament. The Community Capacity Building component will fund projects that will help recipients promote diversity and inclusion by strengthening the online and social media presence of organizations, establishing their communication strategies as well as enabling them to recruit and train volunteers.

Those interested in applying for funding under these new initiatives are encouraged to contact Canadian Heritage at

October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month

July 10, 2018

Workplaces across Canada are invited to participate in the 18th annual Canada's Healthy Workplace Month®, presented by Great-West Life and managed by Excellence Canada, which takes place throughout the month of October. Canada's Healthy Workplace Month® is Canada's longest-running initiative to promote workplace wellness. More than 3,000 organizations are expected to participate in this year's event by hosting their own employee engagement campaigns and launching new workplace wellness initiatives. To participate, organizations can visit to access campaign planning tools, including more than 150 suggested employee activities. They can also register for free as an administrator or coordinator to receive added tools and access to coaching.

This year, Canada's Healthy Workplace Month® will be showcasing the most outstanding initiatives being taken by small, medium and large organizations across Canada. Organizations can earn a spot in the web showcase by submitting their plans to support employee well-being and organizational health. Applications can be submitted through the Healthy Workplace® website until November 30, 2018. Winners will be selected based on predefined criteria and announced in December 2018.

Almost half of Canadian workers would leave their job for a bigger paycheque

July 10, 2018

Money really does talk, suggests new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. More than two in five Canadian workers (43%) said they'd leave their job for one with better pay. In terms of gender, 45% of men would resign if offered more money elsewhere, compared to 39% of women. Additional reasons for leaving included: bored/unchallenged by work (17%); don't feel appreciated (11%); for a company with a higher purpose/stronger mission (10%); corporate culture is not a fit (9%); bad commute/want something closer to home (7%); unhappy with boss (4%). Whatever the reason for leaving, employees should have a good exit plan when parting ways with a company. In a separate survey of Canadian HR managers, 90% said the way someone quits affects their future career opportunities.

The Government of Canada announces new funding for Black Canadian youth

July 10, 2018

The Government of Canada has announced plans to launch a new funding initiative to address the significant and unique challenges faced by the Black Canadian community. To enhance community support for Black Canadian youth, Canadian Heritage is investing $9 million over three years, an investment that was originally announced in Budget 2018. The initiative will fund projects that respond to key concerns of Black Canadians to help address issues faced by Black youth that affect their full and equitable participation in our society. This new funding will help empower Black youth by promoting Black history, culture and identity; developing leadership skills; and encouraging local community involvement. The funding will also go toward projects that help combat discrimination. Projects funded by this new initiative will foster a better understanding of the experiences of Black youth and help facilitate dialogue between all Canadians.

Those interested in applying for funding under this new initiative should contact Canadian Heritage at for more information.

CIRA report: Grassroots organizations share gaps and solutions for Canada's internet

July 4, 2018

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released The gap between us: Perspectives on building a better online Canada, which captures the experiences, opinions and proposed solutions of 70 grassroots organizations across Canada working to make the internet better for Canadians. These organizations, working on the frontlines of Canada's internet, share a narrative of haves and have nots, including Canadians who lack the ability to get online or the skills to do so safely and effectively, as well as the organizations who serve them. Gaps and solutions are highlighted in internet infrastructure, access, digital literacy and funding. Participants of this report provided the following insight:

  • Home internet access provides a richer online experience than for those who access the internet in a public space.
  • For low-income families, low-cost internet options are often still too expensive and the quality, speed and size of data packages are insufficient.
  • There are inequities in access in both rural and urban communities.
  • Seniors, new Canadians, Indigenous peoples and others are being digitally left behind, causing isolation and making it harder for them to access opportunities and services online.
  • Learning the fundamentals of using the internet is a gap that exists, but with little attention or funding devoted to it.
  • Lack of digital literacy in Canada increases vulnerability to cyber threats such as malware, phishing scams and the influence of "fake news."
  • Funding parameters for internet projects are often complex or too precise, and the application process can be cumbersome.
  • There is intense competition for a small pool of funding and trendy digital issues get more attention and funding than those will less visibility do.
  • A lack of consistency in funding, along with short timelines for using it, impact project effectiveness.

Canadian employers underestimate proportion of their workforce with a chronic condition and its impact

July 4, 2018

The 21st edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey of Canadian employees with workplace health benefit plans (plan members) and of organizations who offer their employees health benefits (plan sponsors) indicates that while 58% of surveyed plan members report having at least one chronic disease or condition, plan sponsors underestimate the proportion of their workforce with a chronic condition (29%). Three-quarters (77%) of plan sponsors indicate they are concerned about the impact of unmanaged chronic disease on the productivity of their workforce. Key findings from the report include:

  • Fifty-eight percent of surveyed plan members report having at least one chronic disease or condition, yet plan sponsors estimate that just 29% of their workforce has a chronic condition.
  • Almost half of employees with chronic conditions (47%) report they have missed work or found it harder to do their jobs as a result; this climbs to 72% among those with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
  • One in three plan members (33%) report high levels of stress on a typical day over the past three months, increasing to 50% among those in poor financial health.
  • The top sources of stress are personal finances (38%), workload (37%) and work/life balance (31%).
  • Twenty-six percent of plan members took time off or left work early due to stress in the past year; among them, they reported 13.8 times when they took time off or left work.
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