Decorative Side Bird


Toronto Foundation appoints Sharon Avery as President & CEO

July 21, 2016

The board of directors of Toronto Foundation announces today the appointment of Sharon Avery as president & CEO, effective September 7, 2016. Ms. Avery joins the Foundation after eight years as chief development officer at UNICEF Canada. During her tenure at UNICEF the organization more than doubled its investment in children in the last four years, transforming it on the international stage. Sharon Avery has built a 19-year career as a high energy fundraiser and passionate communicator. At UNICEF she led a pivotal fundraising campaign recruiting women philanthropists across Canada to embark on a four-year learning journey on maternal, newborn and child health in the developing world. In just 13 months $12 million was raised to support 3.8 million women and children in Namibia, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Indonesia. Prior to UNICEF Ms. Avery held senior roles at SickKids Foundation, Save the Children Canada and Tim Horton Children's Foundation.

Canadians love to give back, but find it overwhelming, study reveals

July 19, 2016

When it comes to giving back, Canada ranks as a top-five global leader in philanthropy, according to the World Giving Index. However, a new study called the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Family Pulse Survey reveals that while more than 75 per cent of Canadian parents and children feel it’s important to give to charity, they wish it was easier to do so. Between time, money and too many causes to support, giving can feel overwhelming. Released today, the survey identifies the biggest challenges to giving as:

  • Money: Nearly 70% of Canadian parents felt they did not have enough money to donate
  • Time: 46% of parents feel there isn’t enough time for their family to give back
  • Too Many Causes: 22% of parents feel there are too many charitable causes to support

Survey discovers most valuable characteristics required to get ahead in your career

July 19, 2016

What does it take to achieve an illustrious career? According to a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps, 31% of Canadian CFOs polled said the ability to adapt easily to change is the most necessary characteristic for getting ahead, followed by having a motivation to learn (29%) and strong interpersonal skills (23%). Perhaps a sign that change really is the only constant, these results are consistent with a 2002 study, when CFOs also cited adaptability to change as the key to success. Employees would be glad to know that only 4% of CFOs cited working long hours as a success strategy.

Government of Canada restores advocacy to scope of Status of Women Canada projects

July 18, 2016

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, announced that as of July 1, 2016, the federal government has restored the eligibility of advocacy activities for funding within projects supported by the Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada. Advocacy activities directed at federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal governments had been declared ineligible for funding consideration in 2007 under the previous government. The Minister made the announcement at a special event that featured a panel discussion with notable gender equality advocates, including Paulette Senior, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Canada, Diane O’Reggio, Executive Director, Women’s Legal and Education Action Fund (LEAF), Lise Martin, Executive Director, Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses, and Julie Lalonde, Manager, “Draw the Line.”

Online consultations now open to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation

July 14, 2016

The Government of Canada is leading a national consultation process to inform the development of legislation that will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility. Starting today, Canadians can participate in the online component of this national consultation process and share their ideas on how to improve accessibility and the inclusion of Canadians with disabilities. Canadians are encouraged to participate in the online consultation by completing a questionnaire available in English, French, American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise and in their preferred format such as digital, handwritten, video or audio submissions. Canadians can provide their input online or by telephone, mail, email, fax and TTY. The Government of Canada is seeking input to inform the development of this planned new legislation, including:

  • feedback on the overall goal and approach;
  • to whom it could apply;
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it could address;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced; and
  • what else the Government of Canada could do to improve accessibility.

In-person consultations, including roundtable and public sessions, will start in September across Canada. Canadians are also encouraged to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and to follow the hashtag #AccessibleCanada. The consultation process will run until February 2017.

Nonprofit sector employees tend to be more engaged, report finds

July 14, 2016

Employee engagement scores have remained stagnant since 2010 and in many cases are declining. A new study by The Conference Board of Canada reports that only 27% of employees in Canada are highly engaged. The report, Employee Engagement: Leveraging the Science to Inspire Great Performance, finds that employee engagement scores dropped during the recession of 2008-09 but have failed to rise since then in spite of improved economic conditions. The most engaged employees tend to be those in management, individuals who have been with an organization for less than one year, employees working in small organizations or the not-for-profit sector. Employees with a longer tenure and those who work for mid-sized companies, or in technical/skilled trades, or the federal government have among the lowest levels of engagement.

Applications open for 2017 Community Philanthropy Fellowship

July 13, 2016

The Community Philanthropy Fellowship is a joint initiative of the Carold Institute and Community Foundations of Canada. Awarded annually to one community foundation professional, the fellowship offers a sabbatical time where the Fellow can build knowledge, enhance leadership skills, strengthen their organization, and advance the community philanthropy movement. The Community Philanthropy Fellowship is intended to be an immersive experience, giving fellows the opportunity to step away from their day-to-day work to pursue their own professional and personal development goals. The fellowship is open to paid full-time employees of a community foundation or affiliate organization in good standing (inclusive of community funds and organizations incubating a community foundation). Expressions of interest are currently being accepted for the 2017 fellowship. Those interested in this opportunity will need to submit an initial expression of interest that outlines their overall plans for the fellowship and confirm that they have the support of their sponsoring community foundation. The deadline for expressions of interest is September 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm EST.

Nominate your most inspiring peer-to-peer fundraising volunteer

July 12, 2016

Canada’s most inspiring peer-to-peer fundraising volunteer will be honored at the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Conference on November 1st in Toronto. If a participant in one of your programs has had an amazing personal journey, perhaps overcoming great adversity or raising an extraordinary amount of money, now’s the time to nominate them for the Cash, Sweat & Tears Canada award. The entry deadline is August 1st. A $1,000 donation will be made by Blackbaud to the nonprofit organization nominating the award winner. The winning fundraiser will be a guest of honor at the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada conference luncheon where he or she will receive a trophy and a chance to share their story. Nominating someone is free and takes just a few minutes. Every nominee will be sent a Certificate of Merit recognizing their outstanding contributions. For further information, please contact Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada at

Alzheimer Society asks Canadians - what research matters most?

July 12, 2016

With the growing prevalence of dementia which already affects over half a million Canadians, the race is on to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and the quality of life for those impacted by this disease. That's why the Alzheimer Society is inviting Canadians, whether they have the disease, are caregivers or health-care providers to have their say in what they think the research priorities should be by participating in the Canadian Priority Setting Partnership.

The Partnership is a study that is funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and is being led by Drs. Katherine McGilton, Senior Scientist and Jennifer Bethell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network. Its aim is to bring the voices of Canadians affected by dementia into the research conversation. Dementia research in Canada is largely research-driven. By involving people with lived experience, researchers will gain more insight into the kind of research Canadians need and want. The study results will be used to produce a list of the top 10 research priorities, which will guide researchers and the organizations that fund them. To participate in the study, simply click here.


Low-income cancer patients less likely to survive, according to new report

July 12, 2016

Lower-income cancer patients are less likely to survive the disease, according to new research from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer's annual Cancer System Performance report, suggesting they may not receive the same care as wealthier patients. For the first time, researchers were able to analyze cancer survival rates for breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers while removing the effect of other health risks. The difference in survival rates – a 10 per cent relative change in the case of colorectal cancer – suggests lower-income patients are not receiving equitable care. Lower-income individuals may not be screened for cancer, have symptoms recognized early or receive the most effective treatment.

Further study is required to understand barriers to lower-income individuals being screened for cancer and whether symptoms are being recognized early enough to provide the most effective treatment. To help drive screening participation, the Partnership has established a Screening in Underserved Populations to Expand Reach (SUPER) initiative that will explore opportunities to engage immigrants, low income or rural and remote residents in breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening. Previous Canadian and international research has shown that lower-income populations are:

  • less likely to have their cancer symptoms recognized and investigated early, resulting in a more advanced stage at diagnosis, when treatment is less effective and, ultimately, prospects for survival are poorer;
  • likely to have longer wait times between an abnormal screening result or the detection of symptoms and receipt of follow-up care or treatment;
  • less likely to have a regular family doctor who can refer them to screening or identify and investigate possible symptoms of cancer early when the chance for cure is higher.

The Canada Revenue Agency revokes the registration of the ACTLAP Children's Foundation

July 11, 2016

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will revoke the registration of ACTLAP Children’s Foundation (A.C.F.), a charity based in North York, Ontario, effective July 9, 2016. On May 3, 2016 the CRA issued a notice of intention to revoke the registration of the ACTLAP Children’s Foundation (A.C.F.) as a charity, in accordance with subsection 168(1) of the Income Tax Act (The Act). The letter stated, in part, that:

“The audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revealed that the Organization operated primarily for the non-charitable purpose of furthering a tax shelter donation arrangement, the Pharma Gifts International Inc. program. The Organization agreed to accept alleged gifts of property from participants and to act as a receipting agent for this donation arrangement. For the period of June 16, 2012 to June 15, 2014, the Organization improperly issued receipts totalling over $64 million for purported donations of cash and pharmaceuticals, which were not legitimate gifts. Of the $1,724,814 in cash contributions it received, the Organization paid $1,289,385 to the promoters of the tax shelter. Of the $62,315,818 million [sic] worth of tax receipts issued for the gifts of pharmaceuticals, the CRA determined that the Organization significantly over-reported the value of the alleged property, resulting in grossly inflated tax receipts to participants.

The audit has shown that the Organization has failed to comply with several requirements set out in the Act. In particular, the Organization issued donation receipts for transactions that did not qualify as gifts, issued receipts otherwise than in accordance with the Act and its Regulations, did not devote all its resources to charitable activities and failed to maintain proper books and records. For all of these reasons, and for each reason alone, it is the position of the CRA that the Organization no longer meets the requirements necessary for charitable registration and should be revoked in the manner described in subsection 168(1) of the Act.”

Kids 8-14 create apps to solve Toronto problems

July 7, 2016

On Friday June 24th from 11-4pm, Toronto’s top 60 young coders from Hatch Canada, ranging in ages from 7-17, competed at Google Canada headquarters, located in downtown Toronto, in an all day hack-a-thon to create apps that solve real-world problems the residents of Toronto face in their daily lives. From over 700 GTA Hatch Canada students, the top 60 kids were hand-picked, and invited to participate in an all-day hack-a-thon. The students were divided into teams of 5-6 members and each team was paired with a Google Canada and Hatch Canada mentor. The objective of each team was to create an app or game that offered the best solution to problems Torontonians face. The kids were tasked to build an app that solves any of the following problems:

  • Racoon Nation: how to prevent raccoons from getting into Toronto’s garbage.
  • Cottage Life: how to tackle mosquitoes and bears at the cottage.
  • Public transportation: how to improve Toronto’s transportation.
  • Toronto Transit Commission Apps: Create an app that would assist Toronto transit commuters.

Congratulations to the Coding All Stars Summer Edition winning team, Cupcake Kids: Julius, Julia, Joshua, Evelyn, Andrew, and Charlie. The winning team students ranged in ages from 7-12 and they beat out older competitors as old as 14. The winning team was a mix of students that did not know each other prior to the Coding All Stars Summer 2016 hack-a-thon Competition and had never worked together before. The team was compiled of students from the Hatch Canada Toronto center as well as students from the Hatch Canada school programs.

For more information about the event and the projects that the various teams worked on, please click here.

Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia accepting third quarter funding applications

July 6, 2016

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia administers a Community Grants Program to support individuals and organizations province-wide to undertake programs or services that will benefit the mental health of individuals throughout Nova Scotia. They are now accepting applications for 3rd quarter Community Grants until August 19. The Foundation strives to fund programs that are developed by Nova Scotians who are passionate about changing the way people think about mental illness. Please visit their website for full criteria and frequently asked questions.

Comox Valley Airport Commission seeking submissions for the 2016 Art and Culture Program

July 6, 2016

The Comox Valley Airport Commission and Comox Arts Council are seeking submissions for the 2016 Art and Culture Program at the Comox Valley Airport. This year's exhibition entitled: THE ELEMENTS will run for six months from November 2016 to May 2017. In this call for submission, the airport is seeking two and three dimensional art pieces that highlight one of the seven basic Elements of art-marking: lines, shapes, forms, values, colors, textures, and space. Artists are asked to submit a short description of how their piece uses THE ELEMENTS as a double entendre: the basic elements of art-marking, along with a link to the elements of life on Vancouver Island. This could be the people, the places, the environment or whatever interpretation the artist chooses to describe an artistic elemental connection to the Island. Artists living in the northern Vancouver Island area are encouraged to submit their work for consideration for this exhibition. Eligible artists may reside as far south as Parksville, Port Alberni and Ucluelet and as far east as Powell River (including Texada, Denman, Hornby, Quadra, Cortes, Alert Bay and Sointula). Artwork may be in the form of paintings, original prints, photography, mixed media, textiles and/or sculpture. Submissions must be made online and entries will be accepted until August 31, 2016. Applicants are encouraged to review the guidelines carefully before making a submission.

Majority of Canadians would consider changing jobs for retirement benefits: ADP survey

July 6, 2016

As the federal and provincial/territorial governments begin planning for the roll-out of an enhanced Canada Pension Plan, the latest ADP Canada Sentiment Survey reveals that retirement benefits such as pensions or a group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) can be a deciding factor in a job change. According to the survey, over three quarters of Canadian workers (77%) say they would consider jumping ship if, all other things being equal, another employer offered retirement support. Additional highlights from the survey include:

  • Employees in B.C. are the most likely to consider leaving their job with 88% saying they would consider making a change if retirement saving support or pensions were offered elsewhere.
  • Those who reside in Quebec are also less likely to say they'd consider leaving their current job if they were offered retirement benefits elsewhere (69%) versus the national average (77%).
  • There was no significant difference in willingness among different age groups, with almost 78% of Millennial workers saying retirement benefits would prompt a job change

Apply now for free student consulting from the University of Toronto

July 4, 2016

The Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG) pairs University of Toronto’s best students with not-for-profit clients in a free pro-bono consulting service. Teams help clients define and solve challenging problems to help nonprofit organizations serve their clients better. Students are trained and guided by high-calibre industry consultants. VCG has more than 12 years of experience in developing students to serving the community by solving key organizational and strategic issues. If your organisation is interested working with a student on a free consulting project, please fill out this form:

Ontario's Health Technologies Fund now accepting applications

July 4, 2016

Ontario's $20 million Health Technologies Fund (HTF) is open for business! The Fund will support the development of leading, market-ready, made-in-Ontario health technologies by accelerating prototyping, evaluation, adoption and diffusion in the Ontario health care sector. The Fund is being delivered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS). The first priority area for the HTF is Better Care Closer to Home. It will support Health Innovation Teams from across Ontario to work on projects related to home and community care through virtual, digital and mobile health-care technologies. he Fund will support projects that reflect priority areas of the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care to provide patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that's sustainable for generations to come. Application information is available through OCE's Health Technologies Fund website.

The annual Consultative Group to Assist the Poor photography contest is now open for submissions

June 29, 2016

The 11th Annual CGAP Photo Contest is now open for entries; the deadline for submissions is September 7, 2016. Amateur and professional photographers are invited to share original and powerful images that capture the importance of access to basic financial services for people around the world. Digital innovations, including the growing use of smartphones, and new financial products that better meet the needs of customers are making it easier for poor and rural customers to manage their daily finances, grow a business and respond to an emergency. However, 2 billion people still lack access to basic financial services such as savings accounts and credit. Closing this gap can help to reduce extreme poverty and increase prosperity. Against this background, this year's Photo Contest calls for photographs that reflect the following four themes:

  • Mobile money and innovations in digital finance
  • Women's economic empowerment
  • Resilience
  • Small businesses

Submissions may represent a range of products, institutions and approaches within these themes and touch on a broad variety of social, economic, developmental and technological issues. Entries are welcome from all regions, in both rural and urban settings.

Office politics are alive and well in the workplace, according to Canadian professionals

June 29, 2016

In a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps, 80% of Canadian professionals said they believe office politics are alive and well in the workplace. Sixty-six percent said politicking is somewhat or very necessary for career advancement, a slight five percent decrease from a similar 2012 survey. More than half of workers (54%) said they take part in office politics, with 10% describing themselves as "active campaigners" and 44% self-identifying as "occasional voters." Respondents also noted the most common forms of office politics are gossip (50%) and gaining favour by flattering the boss (23%).

UNICEF releases the State of the World's Children flagship report

June 28, 2016

Based on current trends, 69 million children under five will die from mostly preventable causes, 167 million children will live in poverty, 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school, and 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals – unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, according to a UNICEF report released today. The State of the World's Children, UNICEF's annual flagship report, paints a stark picture of what is in store for the world's poorest children if governments, donors, businesses and international organizations do not accelerate efforts to address their needs and the inequities they face.

The report notes that significant progress has been made in saving children's lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty. Global under-five mortality rates have been more than halved since 1990, boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries, and the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was in the 1990s.

But this progress has been neither even nor fair, the report says. The poorest children are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday and to be chronically malnourished than the richest. Across much of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, children born to mothers with no education are almost three times more likely to die before they are five than those born to mothers with a secondary education. And girls from the poorest households are twice as likely to marry as children than girls from the wealthiest households.

For more information and to read the full report, click here.

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