Students encouraged to enter RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition

October 19, 2015

In celebration of the upcoming Black History Month, the Royal Bank of Canada is giving more to students by increasing the number of scholarships available through its Black History Month Student Essay Competition. Students can now earn one of 25 scholarships, including grand prizes of up to $5,000 that will help give their Someday a head start. The competition gives students an opportunity to learn about the contribution black people have made to Canadian history. The RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition asks students entering a Canadian university or college in the 2016/17 academic year to learn about and share their thoughts on how black Canadians have helped to define Canada's diverse heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions to the broader society. Essays should be 750 words or less, and must be submitted by December 4, 2015.

Vote today: 15 BC nonprofits in running for $10,000 awards

October 19, 2015

What do spawning fish, used clothing, kids on bikes and less-than-perfect cucumbers have in common? They're all key elements in videos, submitted by not-for-profit local groups across BC, that have been short-listed to be in the running in BC Hydro's Community Champions program. Fifteen semi-finalists are vying for five $10,000 conservation awards for 2015, and you can help determine the winners by voting today. Voting by the public opened on October 15, 2015 and runs through until November 30, 2015. So if you haven't already voted, please vote for a not-for-profit after viewing this year's semi-finalists on our Community Champions site. And if you're a student, a parent or a kid who wants to get involved, get a classroom in on the voting. Classes who choose a semi-finalist to support can receive a $1,000 award for their school conservation project. The three semi-finalists who get the greatest number of public votes at the close of the November 30 voting period earn $10,000 awards. And a judging panel makes the choice of the other two winners.

Funding available to support amateur ice hockey and other sports

October 19, 2015

The legacy of legendary philanthropist Doc Seaman lives on through the Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund, an endowment fund administered by the Calgary Foundation. In accordance of the Will of Daryl K. Seaman, grants from the Daryl K Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund will support all aspects of amateur ice hockey in Canada on a nation-wide basis and registered Canadian amateur athletic associations. As an endowment fund, only a portion of the income earned will be granted each year. In 2015, the total amount of all grants will not exceed $500,000. In addition to amateur ice hockey grant applications, proposals of interest include activities that encourage young people to learn about, enjoy and play amateur sport of all kinds as well as initiatives that increase equal access and promote participation in community-based amateur sport. Previous recipients of a Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund grant cannot apply until the prior grant’s activity is completed and the final report has been accepted. Proposals must be for activities taking place after the grant decision date of January 31, 2016. Retroactive activities and expenses cannot be supported. Applications must be sent by email to and received no later than noon MST November 12, 2015.

Teachers encouraged to apply for the RBC–Evergreen Watershed Champions Award

October 19, 2015

Evergreen’s Watershed Champions program is designed to inspire and equip elementary and intermediate classes across Canada to learn more about their local watershed. Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and an instinct to care for the environment. By teaching students about the dynamics of their local watershed and how to take care of it, schools can help maintain the vitality of the ecosystem. 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

Submit an online application form no later than April 8, 2016. Be sure to include all necessary attachments. Applications are accepted in English or French. It is not necessary to complete the entire application at once. You can save your work as you go. You will find instructions to fill in and submit the application in the online application. You'll be notified by e-mail when your application has been received. Award recipients will be announced in June.

Home Depot Canada Foundation now accepting applications for Orange Door Project grants

October 15, 2015

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is now accepting preliminary applications for The Orange Door Project grant program. This program provides grants of up to $50,000 to Canadian registered charities that support homeless youth. Projects must include repairs, refurbishments and/or modifications to an existing housing accommodation that benefits homeless youth and/or a facility in which supportive and/or life skills development programs are delivered to homeless youth. The deadline for preliminary applications is November 9, 2015. Canadian registered charities that are looking to complete small-scale affordable housing and community based improvement projects that benefit Canadians in need and encourage hands-on service through volunteer engagement may also apply for funding through The Home Depot Canada Foundation’s Community Grants program. Applications are accepted year-round for this program that provides grants of up to $5,000. Priority is given to initiatives that prevent and end youth homelessness. This includes funding for renovation and repair projects and programs that provide access to safe, stable shelter and support services.

Funding available to grow and care for urban forests

October 14, 2015

With the launch of TD Green Streets 2016, Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) invite municipalities and Aboriginal communities nationwide, as well as Business Improvement Associations in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, to submit proposals for innovative projects aimed at growing and caring for their urban forests. Twelve qualifying projects will be selected to each receive a grant of $25,000. The deadline to submit an application for a 2016 TD Green Streets grant is November 30, 2015. Recipients will be announced in February 2016. Grant recipients will be selected by a panel of representatives from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Tree Canada, and regional urban forest practitioners.

Canada’s top retailers raising funds and consumer engagement at the till

October 14, 2015

Sixty percent (60%) of Canadians report having made a donation to a charity at the checkout counter, the most frequently cited way Canadian brands are helping consumers make a social impact, according to a new study by Ipsos Marketing and Companies & Causes Canada. Thirty percent (30%) report making a point of sale donation within the past 30 days. Only 7% of the 1000 Canadians surveyed cited peer pressure as the reason they donate at checkout. Almost half of Canadians (47%) reported “my budget at the time” as the reason they give while 30% say, “the cause is personal to me”. “Checkout charity” is one of the key topics Jessica Avery, Vice President of Ipsos Marketing, will cover when premiering the ‘How-To Guide for Marketing Causes to Canadians’ study at the Companies & Causes Canada conference on October 22nd in Toronto. Avery will also share insights on preferred causes, communication strategy and consumer attitudes.

Canada Council for the Arts accepting funding applications for Elder & Youth Legacy Program

October 13, 2015

The Canada Council for the Arts is accepting funding applications for their Elder and Youth Legacy Program. Through this program, Aboriginal arts organizations can help Elders pass on the many art forms being practiced to the next generation. The program will also increase the Canada Council’s capacity to serve Aboriginal Elders of this country, giving them opportunities to work with youth and pass on their legacy of artistic practice. Generally, projects should be designed as follows; the organization will choose the Elder who will work with their youth. That Elder will then help to decide the number of young people he or she will work with, and will help to select them. Strong applications will demonstrate a clear link between the Elders, participants, the artistic practice being shared, and the expenses to be covered by the grant. Requests of up to $20,000 will be considered and the application deadline is November 15, 2015.

Environmental organizations encouraged to apply for EcoAction Community Funding

October 13, 2015

Since 1995, Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program has provided financial support to community-based, nonprofit organizations for projects that have measurable, positive impacts on the environment. The Program encourages action focused projects that will protect, rehabilitate or enhance the natural environment, and build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future. In keeping with Environment Canada's national environmental priorities, the Program supports projects that address the following four themes:

  • Clean air: to reduce emissions that contribute to air pollutants
  • Clean water: to divert and reduce substances that negatively affect water quality or to focus on water conservation and efficiency
  • Climate change: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change or to deal with the impacts of climate change
  • Nature: to reduce biodiversity loss, protect wildlife and plants, and protect and improve the habitat where they live

The application deadline is November 1, 2015 and more information on eligibility and how to apply can be found online.

Call for proposals for upcoming volunteer management conference in Nova Scotia

October 13, 2015

The 2016 Conference Committee of the Association of Volunteer Management Professionals of Nova Scotia (VMPNS) together with Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC) is inviting you to participate in their upcoming conference. This year’s conference theme is ‘Beyond the Waves: the Potential of Volunteer Management.’ This conference is about exploring new ideas, sharing tools and techniques, and gaining new perspectives. The committee is currently inviting presenters to submit a proposal, including the following information to be considered for the conference. If you answer yes to the following questions then they would like to hear from you:

  • Do you have something innovative to share?
  • Have you engaged volunteers in innovative and interesting ways?
  • Have you discovered tools, technology or templates to help make your work more effective?
  • Do you have some outcomes you are proud of?
  • How are your programs reaching the potential of volunteer management?
  • How will you make your presentation/workshop interactive?

The conference will be held on May 25-28, 2016 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. All proposals must be submitted to by November 15th, 2015.

Government of Ontario accepting public input on province's culture strategy

October 13, 2015

People, passion and ideas – it’s what culture is all about. But what does it mean to you? The Government of Ontario would like to hear about what you value — and how you would strengthen arts and culture to build healthier, more vibrant and prosperous communities. Your ideas will help us design Ontario’s Culture Strategy, which will set a vision for arts and culture, define priorities and guide support for the sector in the years to come. You can submit your comments online or attend an in-person meeting in your community. This is part of Ontario's Open Government commitment to engage citizens and gather public input before policies are made. In winter 2016, the province will report back about what they heard, before posting a draft strategy for public input.

Toronto Foundation’s Vital Ideas grant stream now open for 2016

October 8, 2015

The Toronto Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2016 Vital Ideas grants, which are focused on capacity building to support taking great ideas to the next level. Vital Ideas grants increase the effectiveness of high-impact initiatives in Toronto through one-time strategic grants. This capacity-building funding is awarded to organizations that have a solid track record of success. Its purpose is to help increase the effectiveness of an organization or a program, to position it for even greater impact in the future. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 30, 2015 at 5pm.

Alberta organizations encouraged to apply for Time to Think grants

October 7, 2015

In Alberta, as in the rest of Canada, nonprofits are re-thinking the way they operate to ensure that they are able to solve the province’s toughest social and environmental challenges over the long term. ATB Financial knows that time to reflect, plan and strategize is very important if nonprofit organization are to develop innovative, long term strategies in tandem with the very busy day-to-day work of meeting their missions. The goal of the ATB Time to Think grant is to give the staff, board and members of nonprofits in Alberta time to build skills or develop strategies that will help their organizations to change and improve. This grant is open to eligible nonprofit organizations, charitable organizations (including social enterprises operated by a charity or a nonprofit organization) or collectives. Your organization can only apply for the grant once. Previous winners of a Time to Think grant are ineligible. To apply for ATB's Time to Think grant you must submit your complete application by Monday, November 23rd at 5pm.

Join CharityVillage in celebrating GivingTuesday on December 1, 2015

October 7, 2015

This year, on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, CharityVillage will be helping to celebrate GivingTuesday, a new national movement dedicated to giving and generosity. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, imagine a day dedicated to giving back, around the world, across Canada and in your own community. Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season. Want to get involved at your charity or nonprofit organization? Here's how you can be a part of this year's GivingTuesday celebrations:

  • Sign up for free partnership at - partners receive free tools including webinars, toolkits, logos and videos. Mass participation from charities, nonprofits, businesses and individuals is essential to helping to make an impact.
  • Plan an activity or celebration in your organization or community. If you already have something planned for December then you can simply use GivingTuesday as an opportunity to amplify your impact.
  • Follow the movement on twitter @GivingTuesdayCa and share your activity using the #GivingTuesdayCa hashtag. Follow GivingTuesday on Facebook, share the videos and tell Canada your ideas on how to give back for GivingTuesday!

GivingTuesday provides a platform for all charities and nonprofits to rally volunteers and raise money for their cause. Get involved and help make this giving season the best yet!

CAMH survey shows over half of workers with depression do not recognize need for treatment

October 7, 2015

More than half of workers who reported symptoms of depression did not perceive a need for treatment, according to a study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. The study investigated barriers to mental health care experienced by workers and the resulting impact on productivity. Nearly 40% of participants were experiencing significant depressive symptoms and, of that group, 52.8% did not recognize a need to seek help.

As part of the study, researchers also developed a model to help employers identify key barriers to treatment. Strategies could be targeted to these barriers to increase the use of mental health services among workers with symptoms of depression. Researchers calculated that by removing the barrier caused by the unrecognized need for treatment, there would be a 33% decrease in work productivity loss. In addition to treatment need, researchers also assessed attitudinal and structural barriers to accessing mental health services. Attitudinal barriers include stigma of mental illness and belief that treatment is ineffective. Structural barriers include financial limitations and difficulty accessing appropriate mental health care. When all three types of barriers were removed, researchers found that loss of work productivity would be reduced by nearly 50%.

Voting is now open for the Aviva Community Fund

October 6, 2015

Aviva Canada is pleased to announce that voting for the 2015 Aviva Community Fund competition is officially open, with more than 300 fantastic ideas for positive change in communities all across Canada. The ideas each fall within at least one of the three categories: Community Resilience, Community Health, and Community Development, as well as two funding levels: under $50,000 and between $50,000 and $100,000. Voting for Aviva Community Fund ideas continues until October 23 at 4 pm EST. In prior years, ideas had to go through two rounds of voting to make it to the finals; this year there is only one round of voting. After the voting round the top 30 vote getters (five from each idea category in the two funding levels) will be evaluated by a panel of judges, using key criteria including impact on the community, sustainability, submission quality and creativity. Winners of the Aviva Community Fund will be announced on December 2.

National Vital Signs report explores Canadians' sense of belonging and connecton to community

October 6, 2015

One-third of Canadians feel a weak sense of community belonging due in part to the persistence of discrimination and social isolation, says a new national report from Community Foundations of Canada. A majority of Canadians also don’t feel things are getting better. Belonging: Exploring connection to community, released today as part of Community Foundations of Canada’s national Vital Signs program, highlights how connected people feel to their communities and how much they feel they belong to the country. Among the report’s key findings:

  • Supportive interactions between people are one of the strongest factors found to increase community belonging.
  • People who feel they belong to a community are more likely to contribute with others for the common good.
  • As newcomers spend time more in Canada, their sense of belonging to community and country grows.
  • Visible minorities are more likely to identify with a new national identity if they feel their ethnicity is publicly respected.
  • Aboriginal communities that have maintained more elements of their culture and a greater level of self-governance feel more individual identity and community connection.

Belonging: Exploring connection to community features responses from a national survey conducted in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute in August 2015 on Canadians’ sense of belonging and connection to community. Some of the findings that appear throughout the national Vital Signs report include:

  • Only 17% of Canadians are optimistic that things are getting somewhat or a lot better in Canada. 83% of Canadians believe that things are staying the same (39%) or getting worse (44%).
  • Half of Canadians (50%) think that being involved in community events or activities is either not very important or not at all important in their day-to-day lives; and 38% don’t feel like they have a stake in their local community.
  • Canadians believe that affordability (40%), public safety (38%) and employment opportunities (36%) are among the most important factors in what makes their community a good place to live.

Vital Signs is a national program led by community foundations that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action towards improving our quality of life. More than 70 communities across Canada and around the world use Vital Signs to mobilize the power of community knowledge for greater local impact. Twenty-six community foundations across Canada launch their own local reports today at

Canadian Association for Mental Health releases first-ever international study on workplace wellness

October 5, 2015

A joint US-Canada study, supported by The Faas Foundation on workplace wellness, shows corporate offices in both countries are rife with workplace bullying. The cross border survey of 2000 respondents by Mental Health America (MHA) and the Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH) reveals that 67% of respondents reported that they feel their company might fire them at any time. Because of unhelpful or hostile work environments, 80% report that they tend to work alone. Despite the difficulties they face, 41% of people in unhealthy work environments report that rarely or never miss work due to work related stress.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure raises more than $21 million

October 5, 2015

Thanks to the contributions and efforts of 115,000 participants and volunteers, an estimated $21.5 million was raised in more than 60 communities across Canada for breast cancer research and to help support the 25,200 Canadian women and men who will be diagnosed in 2015 as well as their families. Since 1992, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure has been the largest, single-day, volunteer-led national event in support of creating a future without breast cancer.

Many Canadians not using their full vacation days, survey finds

October 2, 2015

Each year, the Vacation Deprivation Survey reveals the number of unused vacation days Canadians have accumulated. According to this year's survey, Canadians will receive an average of 17 vacation days from employers – an increase of one additional day over 2014 – but will take only 15.5 of those days. That represents close to 10 million unused vacation days by Canadians this year alone. For nearly a third of Canadians (32%) work schedules topped the list of reasons for leaving vacation days on the table, followed closely by saving for other obligations such as a house, tuition, or paying off debt (29%), and personal and family schedules ranked third at 24%. The survey also revealed that more than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.