Canadian nonprofit organizations win awards for most admired corporate culture

November 23, 2015

Covenant House Toronto has been named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Culture of 2015. Winners are best-in-class organizations with cultures that have helped them enhance performance. The awards are presented to 40 qualified companies across four categories annually by Waterstone Human Capital. Covenant House’s award was in the Broader Public Sector category and the co-winners include:

  • Alberta Blue Cross (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Medavie Blue Cross (Moncton, New Brunswick)
  • Metrolinx (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, Ontario)
  • North York General Hospital (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Plan Canada (Toronto, Ontario)

Apply now for Ivey Connects Community Internship Program

November 23, 2015

The Ivey Connects Community Internship Program is designed to give business students greater awareness of how the community sector operates by giving them an opportunity to work over the summer for a not-for-profit organization in the Toronto or London regions. NPOs will gain strategic decision-making and implementation, and students will gain practical work experience.

The London Life Ivey Connects Community Internship Program began in 2005 and has funded 23 non-profit internships in London to date. In 2013, we were proud to announce the inaugural year of the Great-West Life, London Life & Canada Life Ivey Connects Community Internship Program in Toronto. More information.

Multimedia project explores history of social change in Canada

November 18, 2015

Canadians are getting schooled on their history thanks to digital magazine, SEE Change, with the launch of an innovative multimedia project: a complex portrait of 10 social movements in Canadian history and their key players. From Suffrage to Labour and Marriage Equality and from the Environment to Aboriginal Self-Governance and Human Rights, each movement is explored through digital stories and one-on-one interviews with activists, politicians and others who played seminal roles in effecting change. Folks like Prime Minister Paul Martin, Sid Ryan, Clayton Ruby, Greenpeace co-founder Bill Darnell, Roy Romanow, the Michaels, Olivia Chow, Aboriginal activist Tanya Kappo and environmentalist Tzeporah Berman. “Recent studies found Canadians know little of their own history; I wanted to change that,” says veteran journalist Elisa Birnbaum, publisher of SEE Change Magazine and producer of the Canadian History of Social Change. “A country is largely defined by its rights, freedoms and social conditions, as much by its achievements as by its struggles,” she adds. “So we cannot truly understand Canada’s rich history without examining social change.”

Research shows little progress in closing health gap between richer and poorer Canadians

November 18, 2015

Canada has made little progress in closing the gap between the health of richer and poorer Canadians, according to data released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). In fact, this gap has generally persisted or widened over time. To compare the health of richer and poorer Canadians, CIHI divided the population into 5 equal groups based on their income and measured indicator rates over time. CIHI looked at a number of important factors over time, including income and factors influencing health, such as access to housing and food, and rates of smoking and obesity. CIHI also examined rates of injury, chronic disease and other areas. For 3 indicators, the gap between rich and poor has widened over time:

  • Smoking — Adults in the highest income level smoked less over time, but there was no change among Canadian adults in the lowest income level.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Hospitalization for Canadians Younger Than Age 75 — Rates decreased for the highest income level but increased for lower-income Canadians.
  • Self-Rated Mental Health — The percentage of adults who rated their mental health as "fair" or "poor" increased over time in all income levels, except the highest.

These inequalities are associated with significant costs, both to individuals and to society, through direct health care costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity. For example, if all Canadians experienced the same low rates of hospitalization for COPD as the highest income earners, there would be more than 18,000 fewer hospitalizations a year, which translates into $150 million in health-sector spending annually.

Taking the pulse of community foundation food activity across Canada

November 18, 2015

As a follow up action to their national 2013 Vital Signs report Fertile Ground and with support from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada conducted a survey of their network in 2015 to better understand where and how community foundations support and provide leadership around food activity in their community. Key findings from the resulting report include:

  • Community foundations are heavily engaged in the food system. An overwhelming majority of respondents currently provide support and community foundation contributions to food totaled nearly $4M in 2014 alone.
  • Many community foundations go beyond charitable granting, funding the work of food policy councils, local food asset mapping, agriculture and sustainable food initiatives that help stimulate and support a local and just food economy.
  • Community foundations are leading the way locally. More than one-third of community foundations said they engage in knowledge development and leadership on everything from chairing local poverty and food initiatives to leading local food assessments and funder roundtables.
  • A small but growing number of community foundations have begun to provide investments such as loans and micro-finance capital for food-related businesses or social enterprises.

Canadian executives still slow to embrace cloud computing

November 18, 2015

The majority of Canadian business decision-makers (52%) said they are working toward harnessing the power of the cloud, according to new research from Microsoft Canada Inc. This represents a huge leap from just a year ago, when 90% of senior Canadian executives surveyed said they were not familiar with the real meaning of the term "cloud computing". That said, 85% of Canadian businesses recognize that they are failing to thoroughly utilize the benefits of new technology, even though roughly half of the 700 senior level business decision makers surveyed believe such investments help their business stay competitive. The study also found that while Canadian executives are starting to see the benefits of storing their data in the cloud, concerns about security persist: 52% of those surveyed said they had concerns about data security in the cloud, with only 35% saying they feel their data is safer in the cloud. This is an improvement from 2014, when 65% of respondents said they would not feel secure sharing sensitive information in the cloud.

Pacific Blue Cross asks British Columbians to #sharethecare in support charities

November 17, 2015

Until December 6, Pacific Blue Cross is asking British Columbians to Share the Care and help give $75,000 to five organizations improving health and wellbeing in British Columbia. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Pacific Blue Cross asked members of its Health Foundation to vote from a list of nonprofit organizations who have received past funding. The vote led to five finalists being chosen for a video storytelling campaign. In each video, a volunteer shares a personal connection to their organization. Pacific Blue Cross has promised each organization a $5,000 donation for participating. British Columbians are now invited to #SharetheCare and encourage voting for their favourite videos. The two videos with the most votes at the end of the campaign will have their donations increased to $50,000 and $10,000 respectively. British Columbians are encouraged to vote online at the Pacific Blue cross website.

Economic struggles push food bank use higher in 2015

November 17, 2015

Food bank use has increased for the second consecutive year, and continues to hover at record levels, according to a national study released today by Food Banks Canada. The HungerCount 2015 report shows that 852,137 people – 305,366 of them children – accessed a food bank in March this year. Food bank use is 1.3% higher than in 2014, and a troubling 26% higher than in 2008, when the economic downturn started. This means that 175,000 more people each month are seeking assistance, compared to 2008. The national increase was strongly influenced by the province of Alberta, where food bank use rose by a shocking 23% in the past year. The HungerCount 2015 report makes policy recommendations that will increase people's capacity to succeed in the labour market, and that will increase supports for people who are unable to work. These include:

  • Investing in affordable housing;
  • Helping Canadians get the skills they need for the well-paying jobs of today;
  • Increasing northern Canadians' access to traditional and store-bought foods, to address the extremely high levels of food insecurity in the north.

You can download a full copy of the report online.

GivingTuesday Interac OnlineĀ® donation matching is back for 2015

November 17, 2015

On GivingTuesday, December 1st, 2015, online charitable donations made through or (powered by and paid using Interac Online, will be matched by Acxsys Corporation. The organization will match up to $25 per donation made using Interac Online, up to a maximum total of $10,000 in matching dollars. To be eligible, donations must be made on December 1st 2015, from 9:00am ET until 11:59pm ET, towards any federally registered Canadian charity or nonprofit organization listed on The matching dollars will be granted on a first come first served basis, according to the date and time the donations are received at, until the maximum of $10,000 is reached. If the maximum matching amount of $10,000 is not reached by 11:59pm ET on December 1st, the organization will extend the donation deadline for an additional 24 hours, until December 2nd at 11:59pm ET. For more information on how the funds will be distributed, please visit the GivingTuesday website.

$25 million gift to create new trail and cultural spaces under Gardiner Expressway

November 17, 2015

The City of Toronto, together with philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews and Waterfront Toronto announced a $25 million partnership that will create a new public landscape beneath a section of the Gardiner Expressway. The Matthews' gift will fund the creation of more than four hectares (10 acres) of new public space and 1.75 kilometres of multi-use trail beneath the elevated expressway from just west of Strachan Avenue to Spadina Avenue. This philanthropic partnership represents a new, collaborative model for building high-quality public spaces in Toronto. The initiative, temporarily called Project: Under Gardiner, will transform the areas beneath the expressway into vibrant community spaces that will play host to a range of cultural programming – creating a new outdoor living room for the use of the 70,000 residents in nearby neighbourhoods and for visitors who use the many amenities and attractions in the area.

Ontarians more likely to do business with socially responsible companies, survey finds

November 17, 2015

A survey conducted by DUCA Financial Services Credit Union and ValidateIT, a market research company, reveal that the vast majority of Ontario adults expect business to be socially responsible and that this influences their buying decisions, it was announced today. Ontarians over 18 years of age were asked about their views of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Results showed that four out of five people have a positive perception of a company that demonstrates social responsibility, and 75% would be more likely to purchase a product or service from a company that they believe is socially responsible. Key findings from the What Corporate Social Responsibility Means To Ontarians Survey include:

  • Overall, nearly half of Ontarians over 18 years of age are familiar with the term Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • The vast majority of Ontarians, four out of five, say they have a more positive perception of a company that demonstrates that it is socially responsible.
  • Three quarters say they are more likely to purchase a product or service from a company they believe is socially responsible.
  • Less than half of those surveyed said they trust a company that claims to be socially responsible.
  • Women are more likely to trust a CSR company than men. Fifty-one percent of women who responded to the survey say they find CSR claims to be somewhat or very trustworthy. Only 38% of men surveyed felt the same.
  • Senior citizens can be the most skeptical of CSR claims. Twenty-eight percent of people over 55 years of age who responded to the survey said they find CSR claims to be somewhat less trustworthy or not trustworthy at all.

Michener Award and Fellowships recognize public service journalism

November 17, 2015

The Michener Awards Foundation is encouraging news organizations and journalists to consider entering the competitions for the annual Michener Award and two fellowships that will be offered next year. Russell Mills, the foundation president, urged news organizations whose journalism has achieved results for the public good this year to enter the competition for the prestigious Michener Award. He also urged qualifying journalists to apply for two Michener-Deacon Fellowships, one for investigative reporting, the other for education. Both offer $30,000 and $5,000 in expenses. The deadline for both the award entries and fellowship applications is February 19, 2016. The Award was established in 1970 by the late Right Honourable Roland Michener to honour public service journalism. Judges are required to take into account the resources available to the news organization to produce the reportage. As a result organizations large and small, including weeklies and periodicals, have won awards and citations.

New report explores successes and challenges of grantseeking organizations

November 17, 2015

Altum is pleased to share the results of the eleventh semi-annual PhilanTrack State of Grantseeking survey. This US report analyzes responses from over 2,400 grantseeking organizations about their grantseeking activities, successes, and challenges. Key findings from the report include:

  • Private foundations continue to be the most frequent funding source, the largest total source of funding, and the source of the largest single grant for most organizations. Organizations with budgets over $25 million, however, rely more heavily on Federal government grants;
  • While lack of time and staff is the most frequently cited greatest challenge to grantseeking (19%), competition for grants has increased 267% as the greatest challenge since 2012;
  • While most grants include some indirect or administrative cost funding, 44% of Federal government grants and 51% of non-government grants included indirect rates of 10% or less;
  • While 89% of organizations reported that some or all of their funders require outcomes reporting, 34% reported that those funders never cover impact measurement costs.

The full report is available as a free download.

Have a graduate degree in psychology? The CPA wants to hear from you in a new survey

November 16, 2015

The Canadian Psychological Association is calling on everyone across the country that has ever completed a master’s or doctoral degree in any area of psychology to complete their new survey - whether you completed your studies in Canada, completed your studies outside of Canada, and/or now work in Canada or work outside of Canada. You don’t have to be a registered psychologist; you don’t have to work in a psychology related area; you can be unemployed, retired, at home or on parental leave. As long as you have completed a graduate degree in psychology, you are eligible to complete the survey. The survey will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and all responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. As a thank you for your participation, the CPA will be holding multiple prize draws. Anyone who completes the survey by 12pm midnight (PST) November 30, 2015 will be eligible to enter their name in a draw for a $100 Air Canada gift card and a $100 Chapters gift card. On December 2, 2015, all respondents who completed the survey since it opened in April will have their name entered to win the grand prize: an iPad mini. The survey closes on December 1, 2015.

GoodLife Kids Foundation is giving $100,000 to charities helping Canadian kids have a healthier life

November 16, 2015

Win 4 Kids is a contest giving you the opportunity to tell GoodLife Kids Foundation (GLKF) about an organization or program in your community you’d like to receive financial support. There’s $100,000 to be shared among 10 organizations/programs across Canada getting kids ages 4 - 14 physically active. Help make an impact in your community and nominate an organization by December 14, 2015. Submit your nomination online today.

New study explores success factors of major gift fundraising

November 12, 2015

Bloomerang, DonorSearch and Support Center have released a new study into the critical success factors that enhance major gift fundraising. The study contains data collected from a survey of 662 nonprofits, all of whom raise under $10 million annually (with most raising less than $1 million annually). Among the key findings to emerge from the study are the following:

  • For survey respondents involved in raising major gifts, the mean donation was $24,555, the median was $5,000, and the modal gift was $1,000.
  • Individuals who have been in their jobs for longer periods are more successful at generating major gifts.
  • Most boards do not play an active role in fundraising and the various departments of organizations do not work together as well as they might to facilitate and ensure fundraising success.

The full study is available as a free download.

Nearly four in ten Canadian professionals volunteer time outside of work

November 12, 2015

With the holidays approaching, many people may be looking for opportunities to give back. What they may not realize is how their community service also could be helping their careers. In a Robert Half survey, nearly four in 10 (37%) Canadian professionals said they volunteer outside of work. Respondents said their philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (58%), develop new skills (48%), expand their network (47%), and enhance their company's visibility (14%). The research also revealed demographic differences: More female (38%) than male professionals (35%) said they volunteer outside of work. Greater numbers of workers ages 55 and over (47%) reported donating their time than colleagues ages 35-54 (39%) or 18-34 (30%).

More than four out of five Canadians believe their employers are responsible for supporting their health

November 12, 2015

New findings from the 2015 Sun Life Canadian Health Index indicate that an overwhelming majority of Canadians (more than four in five) believe that employers are responsible for supporting their employees' physical and psychological health. When the results are looked at by age group, almost two out of five Gen Y respondents believe their employer has a significant responsibility for their employees' physical health (38%), as well as for their psychological health (37%), which was higher than any other age group. The 2015 survey also found that there is a clear relationship between health and employee productivity among those surveyed. More than one-third (35%) of Canadians say that their productivity at work has been negatively affected by their physical or mental health in the last six months. Gen Y respondents were most likely to report that experience: 47% said their health had negatively impacted their work productivity in the last six months, compared with 30% of Late Boomers and 26% of Early Boomers.

New report encourages increased collaboration between private and humanitarian sectors

November 10, 2015

A study released today by The Conference Board of Canada confirms the greater collaboration between humanitarian and private sector organizations would contribute to more effective and efficient responses to international disasters. The research took place in conjunction with consultations held in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). The report, Enhancing Collaboration in International Disasters, recognizes the vital role humanitarian aid plays in saving lives. In fact, more than 70% of private sector respondents indicated they had supported at least one international humanitarian disaster relief effort in the past five years. However, relationships between Canadian companies and humanitarian organizations are limited. The Canadian Corporate Community Investment Benchmarking Report, by the Conference Board of Canada, demonstrates that $1.8 million of the $710 million contributions by corporations as community investment went to international disaster relief – less than a quarter of a percent. Equally, aid agencies responded that advance planning is the key to unlocking the potential of private sector partnerships, as in times of crisis they are completely engaged in the response itself and cannot focus energies on new partnerships. The Humanitarian Coalition plans to pursue some of the recommendations in the Conference Board report in order to promote long-term sharing and cooperation between the sectors.

New research shows trust in UK charities falls to lowest level in nine years

November 10, 2015

The latest wave of nfpSynergy research in trust in charities and other public institutions in the UK shows that the summer of media coverage and newspaper revelations have taken their toll. The number of people from a nationally representative sample of the UK public of 1,000 who said they trusted charities ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ has fallen from the spring of this year, from 53% to 48%. This decrease means that charities are now less trusted than supermarkets, TV & radio stations and the Royal Family, and means that the sector is now at a nine year low in trust. The decline in trust for charities is not part of a wider trend with, for example, trust in the police, schools and the royal family all showing either increases or stability over the same period. In terms of age, trust in charities has broadly risen and fallen among all the age groups at the same time. Nonetheless younger people tend to trust charities the most with 61% of 16-24 year olds trusting charities a great deal or quite a lot, compared to the over 55s which has trust of around 42%.