Submit your photos for Volunteer BC's 2016 photo contest

March 7, 2016

Do you have photos of volunteers that are the root and foundation of your community? The Volunteer BC Volunteer Photo Contest is back for National Volunteer Week, April 10 to April 16, 2016. Submit photos that reflect the unique qualities of your volunteers and the strong contribution they make. Photos must be taken in the 2015-2016 year, multiple photo entries are allowed (please submit each photo individually), and photos must be of volunteers in BC only. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 photos. Winners will be announced in the Volunteer BC newsletter and be included in their Annual Report and website. Submit your photos here.

Lawson Foundation announces new Diabetes Funding Opportunity

March 7, 2016

The Lawson Foundation envisions a Canadian population with reduced rates of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. With a focus on children and youth, they invite letters of intent from registered charities across Canada to strengthen the delivery of diabetes prevention, treatment and management programs and services through innovation, translational research, knowledge mobilization and quality improvement. Through the Diabetes Funding Opportunity, the Foundation will invest in projects across the spectrum from the periconception and prenatal periods through childhood and adolescence and the transition from pediatric to adult care. The Foundation has not predetermined the funding envelope but plans to award approximately $2,000,000 for 10 to 12 projects through its Diabetes Funding Opportunity. Applications must be submitted through the Foundation's online application portal and must be submitted by 12 noon EDT on April 18, 2016.

Charities step up to benefit former Goodwill creditors

March 7, 2016

Three Canadian Goodwill organizations and Clothesline have won a competitive process to purchase some of the assets of the former Goodwill Toronto Eastern Central and Northern Ontario (TECNO). Clothesline, which raises money for the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) along with Goodwill, The Amity Group; Goodwill Industries Essex Kent Lambton; and Goodwill Industries Niagara, took part in a competitive process arranged by the Trustee for the former Goodwill TECNO, which recently declared bankruptcy. The competitive process had the oversight of five inspectors elected from among the creditors to represent their interests in reviewing the bids. Two of the inspectors were former employees of the now defunct operation (one each for unionized and non-unionized staff). The Goodwill organizations and Clothesline will now leverage the assets they purchased to support their own charity and social enterprise work.

Calgary's Soul of the City Neighbour Grant application deadline fast approaching

March 3, 2016

Grants of $10,000 to Calgarians to put into action their idea to improve, enhance, or revitalize their community or neighbourhood. Five winning applications will be awarded a $10,000 Soul of the City Neighbour Grant and will be featured in a short video documentary. The deadline for Soul of the City Neighbour Grants March 7, 2016 at midnight. Applications must be received by Calgary Foundation by this time to be considered. On April 5, 2016, finalists will present their project in front of a live audience and the five winners will be selected. By mid-March 2016, finalists are selected, notified and a coaching session will be set up on how to present projects.

Schools encouraged to apply for the RBC-Evergreen Watershed Champions Award

March 3, 2016

The RBC–Evergreen Watershed Champions Award recognizes classes that demonstrate learning about their local watershed and who take action to care for it. For the 2015–2016 school year, nine awards are available:

  • 1 Grand Prize Award (Grades K–12) – $3,500
  • 4 Elementary Awards (Grades K–6) – $2,500
  • 4 Intermediate/Secondary Awards (Grades 7–12) – $2,500

Award money will be given to the school and must be applied against school environmental initiatives. Award applications are due on Friday April 8. Review the How to Apply section below for more information and to access the award application.

Canada Post Community Foundation for Children accepting funding applications

March 2, 2016

The Canada Post Community Foundation for Children is now accepting funding applications for programs that benefit children. Registered charities, school programs and community organizations are invited to apply for a share of the $1.1 million available to deserving programs serving children and youth across the country. Each application is assessed by employee volunteers during several reviews. Evaluation criteria include organizational profile, project impact and appropriateness. The deadline for applications is April 11, 2016.

Volunteer Cowichan accepting nominations for Leaders of Tomorrow Awards

March 2, 2016

Volunteer Cowichan in British Columbia is seeking nominations for the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards. This is your opportunity to nominate youth (age 6 to 24) that demonstrate leadership through volunteerism. This event is all about the nomination as everyone receives recognition. As part of the event, one youth randomly from each age category is given the opportunity to make a donation to their charity of choice. The deadline for nominations is March 25, 2016 and the awards event will be held April 15, 2016.

Scholarships available for young media-makers to attend BC conference

March 2, 2016

The Inspirit Foundation is excited to offer four scholarships for young media-makers to attend this year’s Media That Matters: Story Money Impact at the Hollyhock Institute on BC’s Cortes Island from June 1-5, 2016. Media That Matters: Story Money Impact is an intimate conference illuminates the spark of engagement at the core of these three pursuits. Structured around case studies from the frontlines, Story Money Impact reveals best practices in the areas of documentary, digital content, and independent journalism. It explores how these professions can synergize with funders who want maximum leverage for their resources and reach, while partnering with strategic innovators who can highlight those results with more robust evaluation tools. Each of the four scholarships cover the full conference registration fee, full accomodations and meals at the Hollyhock Instute (based on the shared room rate), and travel costs from Vancouver to Cortes Island. A travel bursary of up to $800 is available to participants outside of BC. Interested applicants must be:

  • between the ages of 18 - 34.
  • Canadian or a resident of Canada.
  • able to attend for the entire conference (June 1 - 5, 2016).
  • have a demonstrable practice in film making or in using media to create social change.

Please visit the Inspirit website for additional application criteria. The deadline for applications is March 18, 2016.

PwC Canada Foundation launches new discussion paper exploring nonprofit overhead ratios

February 24, 2016

The PwC Canada Foundation has launched a new discussion paper exploring the issue of not-for-profit overhead ratios. The paper explores why donors should look beyond overhead proxies to help ask questions about why and how an organization is making a difference and what resources it needs to be successful. Organizations and donors will want to focus on the following key takeaways:

  • Don't assume that a high overhead ratio means money isn't going towards impact. Do your homework.
  • Think of your donation as a long-term investment in a not-for-profit's ability to grow its capacity to achieve its social mission.
  • Consider donation unrestricted funds to allow the not-for-profit's management team to allocate resources where they're needed most. They're the experts.
  • Ask questions about how a not-for-profit is collecting data (both qualitative and quantitative) that's reliable, relevant, consistent and comparable.
  • Make sure to consider and organization's narrative alongside its financial information. What is the organization trying to do and how are they measuring it?

You can download the full discussion paper here.

Nonprofits and charities included on this year's Best Diversity Employers list

February 24, 2016

Now entering its 10th year, the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes the nation's leaders in creating inclusive workplaces for employees from five diverse groups: women; visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Aboriginal peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples. Employers are selected by the editors at Mediacorp based on submissions to the annual Canada's Top 100 Employers project, published annually since 1999. The winners of this year's Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition were announced this morning and include a number of nonprofit organizations, universities and hospitals.

Most HR managers would welcome back a former employee, survey says

February 23, 2016

The majority (87%) of human resource (HR) managers interviewed said they would roll out the welcome mat for a returning employee who left on good terms, according to a survey from staffing firm Accountemps. But not all workers would feel comfortable returning. In fact, 70% of professionals polled said it's unlikely they would apply for a job with a former employer. Workers who were unlikely to return were also asked, "What is the primary reason you wouldn't apply for a job at a previous employer?" and their responses included:

  • I didn't like my job duties (21%)
  • I didn't like the corporate culture (20%)
  • I didn't like management (15%)
  • I burned bridges when I left (8%)
  • The company burned bridges when I left (7%)

Geek Squad Academy returns to engage Canadian youth in hands-on tech experience

February 23, 2016

Best Buy Canada, is proud to announce the return of Geek Squad Academy to Canada for the second year. Geek Squad Academy pairs nonprofit organizations and schools with local Geek Squad Agents from Best Buy stores to offer hands-on technology classes, at no charge, to youth ages 10-14 around topics including Digital Citizenship, Robotics, 3D Printing, and Digital Music. Through Geek Squad Academy, youth are introduced to a wide variety of roles technology might play in their future career opportunities in a fun and interactive setting. Applications for the 2016 season are now being accepted online until Thursday March 17, 2016. Schools and nonprofit organizations who share Best Buy Canada's focus of fostering technology-based education for youth are encouraged to apply.

CharityVillage unveils new Unsung Heroes video, The Energizer

February 18, 2016

CharityVillage has unveiled the newest video in their biography series called Unsung Heroes, which profiles Canadians who make sacrifices in order to live, breathe and work for change, without expecting anything in return.

We're honoured to introduce you to a young woman from British Columbia who has overcome tremendous personal adversity to become a committed volunteer for Mercy Ships Canada. Mercy Ships runs the world's largest charity hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, which delivers free surgeries and medical training to thousands of people in West and Central Africa. While the medical professionals who volunteer with Mercy Ships are often at the forefront of the organization's work, there is an Unsung Hero who toils behind the scenes in the kitchen to energize this hardworking team. We call her "The Energizer".

The Unsung Heroes project was conceived by Mary Barroll. A former TV journalist and presently an entertainment lawyer and television producer, Mary was inspired by the stories she discovered about the people behind Canada’s charitable and nonprofit sector when she joined CharityVillage as General Counsel and VP Media Affairs. “I love the idea of exploring the untold stories of secret heroes who live among us – real-life Canadian superheroes whose great works should be acknowledged and celebrated.”

Government of Canada funding available for projects that empower women

February 18, 2016

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, invited organizations to submit proposals for projects that increase women’s participation in the democratic and public life. This call for proposals is divided into two streams. Under the first stream, Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities, the Government of Canada will support projects that will strengthen the voices of Indigenous women on issues of importance to them and their communities. Projects under the second stream will focus on two themes. The first, Empowering Women for Political Action, will promote the participation of women in political life (e.g. addressing barriers to running for elected positions). The second, Empowering Women for Community Action, will include projects that improve conditions for women by amplifying women’s voices and enhancing their civic participation. The application deadline for Stream 1 is June 1, 2016 and the deadline for Stream 2 is April 20, 2016.

Survey finds disabled workers often facing a perfect storm

February 17, 2016

Canadians off work due to a disability are facing a perfect storm - they need time to recover, but instead of focusing on their health, they're often dealing with the financial stress of trying to make ends meet and the emotional stress of being away from work. According to the 2015 RBC Insurance disability survey:

  • Three-quarters of Canadians (78%) said finances were tight when off work
  • More than 80% said they were upset about not being able to work
  • Nearly half (48%) said they were not financially prepared to be off work

Being off work takes an emotional toll on the whole family that many people are not prepared to handle. Seventy-six percent said the situation was stressful for their household, and 50% said that their family relationships were strained. Nearly one in three (31%) said that their able partner had to find extra work to make ends meet. Missing work due to a disability can also put enormous strain on finances. Of those surveyed, 29% said they had to dip into savings to pay for expenses, 17& had to take on more debt, 17% borrowed money from family and friends, and 9% cashed in their RRSPs.

Raising the Roof releases comprehensive report on child and family homelessness in Canada

February 17, 2016

Raising the Roof has released a comprehensive report on child and family homelessness in Canada. The report, titled Putting an End to Child & Family Homelessness in Canada, is the cumulative result of three years of research into this unique demographic of the homeless population, including 139 interviews with community agency staff and families who have accessed services from across the country. The report focuses on three key areas for addressing child and family homelessness: Primary Prevention, Systems-Based Response, and Early Intervention. It points to the challenges currently facing Canadian families, including a lack of affordable housing, child care, income support, as well as underlying factors such as discrimination, poverty, and food insecurity. Most importantly, it discusses the unique needs of children and families that are often at odds with a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. 

Less than half of Canada's employers have a mental health strategy, report finds

February 17, 2016

Mental health is often cited as a top reason for disability leaves of absence in Canadian workplaces, and previous research by The Conference Board of Canada has shown that the prevalence of mental illness was high among working Canadians. However, according to a new Conference Board survey of Canadian employers, less than half of Canada's employers have a mental health strategy in place. Employers in the public sector were significantly more likely (47%) than organizations in the private sector (33%) to have indicated implementing a mental health strategy in their workplace. A little over 30 per cent of employers cited a lack of knowledge on how to address mental health as a reason for not having implemented a mental health strategy. Those employers who have not implemented a mental health strategy reported that this is due to:

  • limited financial resources, human resources, or time (56%);
  • a lack of knowledge on how to address mental health (32%);
  • mental health strategies are not a legal or legislative requirement (23%); and
  • mental health is not an issue in their workplace (31%).

In addition, the report finds that although 72% of employers believe their programs effectively supported an employee experiencing a mental health issue; only 56% believe that their programs proactively help employees maintain their mental health.

More than half of Millennial workers plan to make a career change in 2016

February 17, 2016

A new poll of working Canadians, the ADP Canada Sentiment Survey, reveals that 55% of workers ages 18 to 34 would like to change jobs, start a business or return to school this year, versus about 30% of all workers. Additional highlights of the ADP Canada Sentiment Survey include:

  • 25% of employed Canadians are seeking a pay raise, 14% want to take on more responsibility, 12% are seeking a promotion, and 11% want to work more.
  • 15% of employed Canadians would like to find more flexible work hours, 14% want to work less, 8% hope to work remotely and 3% would like unpaid time off.
  • 18% of employed Canadians would like to learn a new work-related skill, 15% say they'd like to get more training, 11% would like to get a certificate, degree or diploma, and 4% would like to job shadow someone else.

Rio Tinto and Indspire launch $2 million award program for Indigenous students in Canada

February 17, 2016

Rio Tinto has partnered with Indspire through a $1 million contribution to establish the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students. Rio Tinto's contribution is being matched by the Canadian government, for a total of $2 million. The Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous students is designed to offer financial support to Indigenous students who are enrolled or would like to enrol in post-secondary studies. It gives young people the chance to obtain a diploma, degree, certificate, academic upgrading, or apprenticeship program with financial assistance. The award prioritizes students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines but is also available more broadly to students in any discipline including trades and is available to students of any age pursuing post-secondary education including adult learners. There are three application deadlines for the award: February 15, June 1, and November 1, 2016. Successful applicants are eligible for the funding upon completion of high school.

Grants now available to help cover the cost of sports programs for people with a disability

February 17, 2016

The Canadian Paralympic Committee invites Canadian sport organizations and clubs to apply, starting today, for the 2016-2017 granting round of the System Development Fund. The System Development Fund targets initiatives connected to the various stages of the Canadian Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Framework, helping develop athletes from playground to podium. Funding amounts of between $2,500 and $10,000 will be available. Funds may be used towards recruitment initiatives, coach or volunteer training, equipment, coaching and more. Funds can also support the creation of a new program, or go towards the expansion of an existing successful initiative. Funds will have an increased focus on recruitment in sports that are part of the Canadian Paralympic Committee's long-term strategy around podium potential sports and targeted sports for the Paralympic Games. To be eligible, initiatives must clearly show programming in the specific LTAD stage targeted by the application. The deadline for applications is March 18, 2016.