No sitting down on the job: New report shows how workplaces can promote healthy active living

December 1, 2015

Busy schedules, looming deadlines - the demands of today's workplace can make it challenging for employees to prioritize a healthy, active lifestyle, but it doesn't have to be that way. A new report, Moving Ahead: Workplace Interventions to Reduce Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour, produced by The Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care and issued with ParticipACTION, provides a model for how Canadian employers can help employees change their behaviour about physical activity. The Moving Ahead: Workplace Interventions to Reduce Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour report identifies two broad types of initiatives that employers can implement in their workplaces to effect change:

  1. Initiatives intended for the entire employee population such as awareness campaigns, education programs, and instructor-led activity sessions.
  2. Initiatives targeting the particular needs of specific, high-risk employees like health coaching or counselling and targeted activity sessions led by an instructor.

The report also highlights several organizations that have successfully put these types of initiatives into practice.

Ontario's EnAbling Change Program accepting funding applications

November 30, 2015

The EnAbling Change Program is an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) of Ontario. Through the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), the program provides financial support to incorporated nonprofit organizations, such as industry umbrella organizations and professional associations that have wide reach to help organizations comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The program funds a limited number of projects, such as targeted education campaigns across a sector or industry, to promote and distribute existing accessibility tools and resources. Organizations should demonstrate a commitment to accessibility and lead by example in their sector. In 2016-17 the EnAbling Change Program priorities are:

  • Promoting and distributing resources to help organizations with 2017 reporting deadline
  • Helping small and medium-sized businesses understand and comply with the Employment Standard
  • Promoting the business case for accessibility and a cultural shift towards greater inclusion

This year the EnAbling Change Program will fund projects that communicate the value of accessibility and help businesses realize the economic advantages that accessibility confers. The deadline for applications is January 20, 2016, 5:00 pm.

CharityVillage announces new contest celebrating the people of the nonprofit sector

November 27, 2015

At AFP Congress in Toronto this week, CharityVillage was proud to launch a new social media campaign that celebrates the people working and volunteering in Canada's nonprofit sector. To showcase these amazing people, we encouraged attendees of the event to snap a photo of themselves and post on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #IamNonprofit. The entries came rolling in and we're pleased to announce four winners who will each receive a $50 CanadaHelps gift certificate, which they can use to make a donation to their favourite charity. The winners are:

  • Shannon Williams
  • Deanna Codner
  • Tatiana Slobodcicov
  • Shonnie Benaroch

We're also excited to announce that, starting December 1, we'll be opening this contest to nonprofit professionals and volunteers across Canada! Photos can be of yourself or a colleague at your desks, selfies of you working out in the field, a portrait of your brand new employee or volunteer on their first day, or an action shot of you volunteering in your community - whatever you think best celebrates the incredible work that you and your staff and volunteers do every day. Use your imagination, get creative and don't forget to post on social media with the hashtag #IamNonprofit. We'll choose one lucky person who posts in December to win another $50 CanadaHelps gift certificate. We can't wait to see all of your smiling faces!

Congratulations to the winners of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter's 2015 Philanthropy Awards

November 25, 2015

On November 25, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter hosted the 2015 Philanthropy Awards Luncheon. CharityVillage was proud to have Mary Barroll, host of the Unsung Heroes video series, present the Outstanding Group or Foundation Award to the Rogers Foundation, who made a $130 million gift to the University Health Network, SickKids, and the University of Toronto to establish the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research in honour of their late father. The first of its kind, the Centre will bring together research, education and innovation in individualized genomic medicine, stem cell research, bioengineering and customized treatment focused on heart disease. The Rogers Foundation funded the Centre in a manner that encourages a shift beyond traditional approaches to health research, embracing instead an outlook that welcomes the synergy created when science is combined with an entrepreneurial spirit.

We'd like to congratulate the Rogers Foundation on their award, as well as rest of the award winners who were recognized at the event:

  • Peter Gilgan (Outstanding Philanthropist)
  • Salah J. Bachir (Outstanding Volunteer)
  • Hatch (Outstanding Corporation)
  • Madi Vastone (Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy)
  • Amici Camping Charity (Mo Davies Small Organization for Excellence in Fundraising)
  • Darrell Louise Gregersen, FAHP, ICD.D, President & Chief Executive Officer, CAMH Foundation (Outstanding Fundraising Professional)

Click here to read full profiles on all of the winners.

New report explores concept of "decent work" in the nonprofit sector

November 25, 2015

ChangeWork is a collaborative project being carried out by ONN, Toronto Neighbourhood Centres (TNC), and Mowat NFP, with the support of the Atkinson Foundation’s Decent Work fund. Its goal is to generate a broad discussion about how our sector can promote decent work practices in our workplaces, our communities, our sector, and our society. As part of the first phase of the ChangeWork project, a new report has been released that highlights the choices that people can make about how they collectively structure their organizations, community networks and policy systems. There are choices that any organization or government can make to improve working conditions for employees. It is up to the nonprofit sector to decide how it can best champion these efforts. This new report is meant to engage nonprofit boards, executive directors, staff and funders in discussion about the value of decent work for the sector and how nonprofits can lead the decent work movement, both within the sector and in society at large.

Canadians expected to donate approximately $5 billion this holiday season

November 25, 2015

This holiday season about 60% of Canadian adults are expected to donate approximately $5 billion between now and the end of the year, according to Imagine Canada. This annual tide of generosity is essential to thousands of charities and the communities they serve. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians give just under $13 billion annually to charities and nonprofits, meaning that approximately 40% of all donations take place in the last six weeks of the year. Statistics Canada identifies “compassion for those in need” as the top reason Canadians donate (89%), followed by “personally believe in a cause” (85%) and “contribute to our communities” (79%). Six-in-ten (61%) are motivated by being personally affected by the cause.

Canadian workplaces stepping up to protect employees who are victims of domestic violence

November 25, 2015

The Conference Board of Canada has released a new report about the impact of domestic violence on Canada's workplaces and how employers can support employees who are victims of abuse at home. Traditionally considered a personal or family situation, Canadian organizations are now seeing an increasing impact of domestic violence issues on their workplaces, such as higher absenteeism rates, productivity losses and, in some cases, safety concerns for both the victim and co-workers. Based on a survey of members of the Conference Board's Leadership and Human Resources Research executive networks, the report finds that 71% of employers reported experiencing a situation where it was necessary to protect a victim of domestic abuse. Given these situations, it is not surprising that 63% of employers reported having implemented a domestic violence policy that is either stand-alone or a subset of a broader workplace policy. The report, Domestic Violence and the Role of the Employer, identifies the important role organizations can play to support their employees in this time of crisis.

New UNICEF report: Children will bear the brunt of climate change

November 24, 2015

More than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence and 160 million in high drought severity zones, leaving them highly exposed to the impacts of climate change, UNICEF said in a report released ahead of the 21st United Nations climate change conference, known as COP21. UNICEF's report, Unless we act now: The impact of climate change on children, analyzes how children the world over are uniquely at risk due to climate change and zeroes in on the heightened survival risks for the most vulnerable. Additional key highlights of the report include:

  • Of the 530 million children in the flood-prone zones, some 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty – on less than $3.10 a day.
  • Of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.

Movember Foundation launches new social innovation challenge

November 23, 2015

The Movember Foundation launched the Social Innovators Challenge in October to help address the hidden issue of men’s social isolation. The Challenge calls upon anyone with a passion for innovation, providing them with the opportunity and funding to bring their ideas for creating social change to life. The Foundation is launching this international challenge to test and prove the best ideas to help increase the level of social connectedness among men. A total of $5.2M CAD is being invested over the next 2.5 years to support a multi-phased innovation program across three countries (Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom) that looks to move ideas from inspiration to testing to expansion (nationally or internationally). The Movember Foundation is proud to challenge the creative and forward thinking people of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom to propose innovative concepts that could lead to game changing products or services and increase levels of social connections and feelings of belongingness for men. Eligibility and submission details are available online and the deadline for submissions is December 9, 2015.

New HRPA Human Resources Awards celebrate achievements of designated HR professionals

November 23, 2015

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Great Place to Work are pleased to announce the 2016 HRPA Designation Excellence Awards — a new awards program that celebrates HRPA-designated HR professionals (CHRPs, CHRLs and CHREs) who have architected people-driven business strategies that add quantifiable value to their organizations. The HRPA Designation Excellence Awards recognize individual HR excellence at three HRPA designation levels:

Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) Designation Excellence Award recognizes outstanding work at the foundational level, including adding value to meet organizational priorities; business knowledge and partnering; and innovative thinking.

Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) Designation Excellence Award recognizes an individual who has excelled within the HR function and across the organization by partnering with other business functions to achieve bottom-line performance.

Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) Designation Excellence Award recognizes an HR executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership including creating and implementing a people-driven strategy that quantifiably contributes to the achievement of the organization's objectives.

Nominations for the 2016 HRPA Designation Excellence Awards close on conclusion of the 2016 HRPA Annual Conference, January 22, 2016 and HRPA members will choose winners by voting for their choice of the CHRP, CHRL or CHRE professional of the year.

More than two in five employees say performance appraisal process isn't effective

November 23, 2015

The performance review is getting mixed reviews from workers, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. Although over half (65%) of human resources (HR) managers interviewed said they schedule these meetings at least annually, more than two in five (41%) employees feel the assessments do not help improve their performance. This contrasts with 95% of HR managers who believe their organization's performance appraisal process is at least somewhat effective. Thirty-nine percent of companies hold reviews at least twice a year, a 19-point jump from a similar survey in 2010.

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.