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Purchase discounted media space and help raise money for literacy programming

April 23, 2015

The ABC Media Sale is an online sale of advertising space that is donated by leading magazines, newspapers, websites and outdoor media from across the country. Since 2000, more than $1.9 million has been raised for literacy programming, making the ABC Media Sale our largest and most successful fundraiser. The donated media is sold at 65% off the rate card value with all funds raised going towards ABC Life Literacy Canada's work to inspire Canadians to increase their literacy skills. Funds raised will extend our reach to more communities across Canada, encouraging those with reading, writing and math challenges to seek help. The sale will kick off on May 4, 2015.

2015 M+R Benchmarks Study examines effectiveness of online fundraising and advocacy

April 22, 2015

The 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study has just been released and is available as a free download. This year's guide to nonprofit industry standards for online fundraising, advocacy, and list building is based upon data gathered from 84 nonprofits. Key findings from the report include:

  • Net email list growth was 11%, with email list churn at 18%
  • Response rates from fundraising emails have dropped 12% since 2013, while response rates from advocacy emails have dropped 18% in the same time period
  • The nonprofits included in the study saw a 13% increase in online revenue and a 13% increase in the number of online gifts, with 20% of their gifts coming from first-time donors
  • Only 0.8% of website visitors actually made a donation
  • For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits have 285 Facebook fans and 112 Twitter followers

New report explores the software purchasing habits of nonprofits

April 22, 2015

A new report from Software Advice analyzes uncovers nonprofit software buyers’ most common pain points and their reasons for purchasing new software. Key findings of the report include:

  • 41% of buyers are replacing nonprofit software in 2015: a moderate increase over 2014, when 30% were replacing an existing system.
  • For the highest percentage of buyers (32%), the main motivation for replacing software is to acquire additional functionality, thereby increasing operational efficiency.
  • Buyers most frequently request constituent and donor tracking functionality (cited by 72%), followed by outreach and communication tools (39%).

  • Nominations Open for the 2015 Social EnterPrize Awards

    April 21, 2015

    Created by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2011, the biennial Social EnterPrize Awards celebrate Canadian social enterprises that demonstrate best practices, impact and innovation. Social enterprises are organizations, for-profit or not-for-profit, that blend financial success and social impact by using markets to solve social problems. The 2015 edition of the Social EnterPrize will honour four of Canada’s leading social enterprises. Each of the recipients will receive:

    • $25,000 prize money
    • $5,000 in consulting services from the Business Development Bank of Canada
    • A video profile
    • An in-depth profile in a case-study done by a Canadian post-secondary institution
    • Travel, accommodation and registration for Canada’s leading social finance gathering, the Social Finance Forum, in Toronto November 12-13, 2015
    • Participation in a 2015 Social Enterprize recipients’ dinner with four of Canada’s leading social finance experts (the private dinner will be held at the Social Finance Forum, in Toronto November 12-13, 2015).

    The awards will be formally presented during a luncheon on November 12, 2015 at the Social Finance Forum in Toronto. Completed applications must be submitted by May 29, 2015.

    Alzheimer Society of Ontario launches #SeedsofHope campaign

    April 21, 2015

    Gardening is about hope and optimism. It's about knowing that after winter's cold, spring will arrive and flowers will bloom again. To celebrate the season, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario is inviting all Ontarians to order free Forget Me Not flower seeds and plant them on Saturday, May 16 as part of its second annual #SeedsofHope campaign. The Forget Me Not is the official flower of the Alzheimer Society, a gentle reminder to never forget those who have been lost to the disease and remember for those who cannot. The Alzheimer Society of Ontario will send free Forget Me Not flower seeds to anyone who requests them. It's an act of belief in a better tomorrow and an inspiration for others of a future without dementia.

    Metcalf Foundation releases new report mapping working poverty in Toronto

    April 20, 2015

    A new report from the Metcalf Foundation examines the continued upward creep of working poverty in Canada's wealthiest city. The report compares Toronto to a total of 16 other Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in Canada, including the ten largest. Of the 17 CMAs, Toronto has the highest incidence of working poverty: 9.1% of the working-age population in the Toronto Region and 10.7% of the working-age population in the City of Toronto. The Working Poor in the Toronto Region: Mapping working poverty in Canada's richest city, written by Metcalf Innovation Fellow John Stapleton, focuses on the years 2006 to 2012. It builds on Stapleton's 2012 report on the working poor that analyzed the years 2000 to 2005. From 2006 to 2012, the rate of working poverty grew in Markham by 26%, in Brampton by 22%, and in Richmond Hill by 21%. Between Highway 401 and Steeles Avenue only one census track showed a reduction in working poverty while over forty showed increases. North York and Scarborough have the highest rates of working poverty (13.1% and 12% respectively). In contrast, the area south of the Bloor-Danforth corridor showed more than fifteen census tracts with reduced working poverty and only four with increases.

    Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards now accepting nominations

    April 14, 2015

    To mark National Volunteer Week, the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada, is announcing the launch of the call for nominations for this year’s Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards. Through these Awards, all Canadians have the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of deserving individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are volunteering their time and making a difference in their communities. The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards: two national awards and 15 regional awards – three awards for each of five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia and the North). Awards recipients have the opportunity to identify an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award). Nominations will be accepted until June 30, 2015.

    Nominations open for 40th anniversary human rights project in Quebec

    April 14, 2015

    The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse is launching a special project to honour 40 human rights defenders to mark the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. A special website under the theme "Une Charte, mille combats" was launched today which allows the public to nominate people who are making a difference and advancing human rights in Québec. There is also an interactive quiz, allowing young and old to test their knowledge of the Charter. The work and contribution of the 40 human rights activists will also be featured on this special website. Anyone who defends rights and freedoms in Québec on a regular basis and who works actively towards the advancement of those rights can participate. A person can submit his or her own candidacy or submit someone else's and the deadline is June 30, 2015. To obtain an English-language form or for more information, please contact Jean-François Gagnon at

    Canadian kids rank protecting animals from extinction their number one environmental issue

    April 13, 2015

    Today Earth Rangers announced the results of an Ipsos Reid study on Canadian kids' awareness, attitudes and behaviours towards environmental issues. The number one environmental concern for all kids across the country is protecting animals from extinction, with 69% of kids considering this issue very important, ahead of litter (63%), air pollution (61%), water pollution (61%), energy waste (49%) and climate change (39%). There is a high level of awareness amongst kids for key environmental issues such as litter, animal extinction, energy waste, and air and water pollution with more than two-thirds of kids aware of these issues. Additionally, 80% of kids believe they can make a positive difference for animals and the environment and the majority have participated in environmentally-friendly activities in the past year: 86% have used reusable water bottles; 77% have saved water by not running the tap too long; 75% have picked up litter; and 50% have recycled batteries. Kids are also having an impact on those around them, with 84% reporting having influenced the environmental behaviours of their parents.

    2014 State of the Canadian Web Nation report sets benchmarks for Canadian charities

    April 9, 2015

    Good Works has released 2014 State of the Web Nation: Website Benchmarks for Canadian Charities, a report that compiles responses from 500 charities from across the country of all different sizes and from a variety of sectors. Findings from the report include:

    • Only 27% of respondents say their charity has a web strategy in place.
    • 60% of respondents say web is not valued by organizational leadership.
    • Half of respondents are embarrassed by their charity’s website.
    • Most respondents indicated challenges in using and integrating different web tools, such as social media, search engine optimization, and data collection.
    • The number one website challenge faced by organizations is capital investment and cultural buy-in.

    The report includes some good news as well, showing that charities are already doing some things right:

    • Almost 2/3 of respondents say they use some kind of open source content management system for their site. This means a large portion of charities are already using adaptable, open and lower-cost solutions for managing their website.
    • Over 50% of charities are using custom-built or customizable web donation forms, which means built-in ability to respond quickly to online donors.
    • 50% of charities are using social media, and 1 in 3 have integrated these platforms into their websites.

    New UK report shows women are more likely to be involved in supporting causes

    April 9, 2015

    Just under half (48%) of British men fail to support good causes or get involved in social action in a typical month, say figures released today by the Charities Aid Foundation. Men are much less likely than women to be involved in supporting causes across all types of giving, including volunteering, donating money and sponsorship, says UK Giving, the annual report on giving behaviour across the nation. Over three fifths (63%) of women get involved in some way during a typical month, compared to 52% of men. Women are also nearly twice as likely to donate to a charity shop, 27% gifting their items in the four weeks prior to interview, compared to 15% of men. Younger people are also less likely to be involved with supporting good causes, nearly three fifths (58%) of those aged 16 – 24 doing none of the charitable or social actions listed in a typical month. Those aged 45-64 are the most likely to be involved, 63% having done something for a good cause in the previous month.

    New prize celebrates Canada’s young mental health researchers with annual award of $100,000

    April 9, 2015

    The Royal has received a $1 million gift from The Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada to establish a new prize to recognize excellence in mental health research in Canada. The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will award $100,000 annually to an early-career researcher (or team of up to three researchers). The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will support Canadian early-career researchers with a focus in the area of mental health and encourage them to continue to pursue their research in Canada. The prize will recognize those with a demonstrated track record of excellence in clinical research, innovative thinking, collaboration, imagination and originality. The competition will occur once a year for the next 10 years, providing $100,000 of undirected funds to the recipient. The competition for 2015 is now open and the deadline for applications is July 15. Researchers can view the prize criteria and submit their applications at The first recipient of The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will be announced in Ottawa this Fall.

    New report shows Canadians value companies that support the arts

    April 9, 2015

    Business for the Arts (BftA) released an in-depth report revealing high levels of engagement in the arts by Canadians and a commitment from business to invest in arts and culture. The report found that Canadians are heavily engaged in the arts; in fact they are more likely to choose arts and culture events over sports. Businesses are taking notice; since 2008, business investment in the arts has increased by 49%. The findings suggest an overwhelming belief by Canadian businesses that the arts can produce societal benefits, including:

    • 82% believe engagement with the arts leads to good health and well-being
    • 95% say arts education assists in the intellectual development of children
    • 88% believe youth engagement with the arts helps reduce youth crime and alienation

    However, the report also shines a light on the complex interworking of arts funding in Canada. While Canadian businesses are increasing their investment in the arts, those surveyed emphasize that government support of the arts is essential and only 23% of large companies stated that they would increase support if government cuts occur.

    Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia now accepting funding applications

    April 7, 2015

    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. The Foundation strives to fund programs that are developed by Nova Scotians who are passionate about changing the way people think about mental illness. More information about eligibility and application requirements can be found on the Foundation's website. The second quarter call for applications has just been announced, and all applications for consideration must be received in the office of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia by close of business day, 4:00 pm, Friday, May 22nd 2015.

    Women Give 2014 report offers insight into giving patterns of younger single women

    April 7, 2015

    In America today fewer individuals are affiliating with organized religion; in fact, one-third of Americans under 30 have no religious affiliation. For those concerned that the falling rate of religious affiliation will have an adverse effect on individual charitable giving, the Women Give 2014 report published by the Women's Philanthropy Institute, finds encouraging results. In an important shift in patterns, the standard religiosity-giving story does not apply to younger single women who are religiously unaffiliated – the “Nones.” Younger single women who are Nones give roughly two times larger amounts to charitable organizations than women who are affiliated but who infrequently attend religious services. The report also highlights that younger single women "Nones":

    • give roughly two times larger amounts to not-religiously identified organizations (NRIOs) than they do to religiously identified organizations.
    • give roughly two times larger amounts to charitable organizations than do young men.
    • give more than two and a half times larger amounts to charity than middle-age and older women who are Nones.

    Since 2013 launch, TD Volunteer Network logs 114,000 volunteer hours and donates $300,000

    April 1, 2015

    The benefits of creating a culture of giving back and offering employees a world-class volunteer program extend far beyond the charities a company supports. It can also have a tremendous impact on employees’ skills and morale, and the business as a whole. As part of its commitment to giving back and to make it easier for employees to get involved with their communities, in September 2013, TD Bank Group launched its own formal employee volunteer program – the TD Volunteer Network. Aimed at connecting employees with their volunteering interests and local charities with TD employees, the TD Volunteer Network introduces the benefits of volunteerism, including skills-based development and networking, and encourages employees to build volunteering into their personal and professional growth plans. In just over a year, the TD Volunteer Network has already seen success. More than 11,000 employees have registered and 114,000 volunteer hours have already been logged. Almost $300,000 has also been granted to Canadian charities as part of the TD Volunteer Grant, which provides grants of $500 to an organization after an employee logs 40 hours in a year with that charity.

    More than half of employees say illness was not a factor in recent work absence

    April 1, 2015

    Fifty-two percent of employees responding to a Morneau Shepell survey said the main reason for the last time they missed work was not because of illness. At the same time, 33% of employers responding did not list illness as one of the top three reasons why their employees are absent. The findings were part of the company's recent survey of employees, employers and physicians across Canada. The survey also indicated that 81% of employers address the issue of absenteeism with performance management (e.g. issuing warning letters, etc.), and the majority indicated that unscheduled time off is a serious or extremely serious issue for their organization. Employees in the survey who reported time off work due to non-medical reasons were more likely to report higher work-related stress.

    Scouts Canada challenges Canadians to take part in 6th annual Good Turn Week

    April 1, 2015

    Kindness begets kindness and increases feelings of happiness and health. Fostering happier and friendlier communities is the goal for Scouts Canada's 6th annual Good Turn Week challenge. From April 25 – May 3, Scouts Canada is challenging Canadians to perform a Good Turn for someone else, whether a neighbour, friend, family or community member. Studies have shown that performing an act of kindness has the power to create feelings of happiness, both with the giver and recipient. It doesn't take an extraordinary measure to make a positive impact. A Good Turn can be as simple as holding a door open for someone or buying a coffee for the next person in line. Scouts Canada is asking Canadians of all ages to join in. All that's required is doing a Good Turn for someone else and asking the recipient to pay it forward, creating a ripple of positivity and goodwill from coast-to-coast. 

    Global study connects levels of employee productivity and well-being to office design

    March 31, 2015

    The Human Spaces report The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace has revealed that employees who work in environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, are 6% more productive and 15% more creative overall. The study of 7,600 office workers, in 16 countries, examined the impact of the physical office environment on employee well-being. Despite city dominated lives, the research found workers have an inherent affinity to elements that reflect nature and lack of natural light was linked to increased levels of employee stress. Yet, globally, nearly half (47%) of office employees have no natural light in their working environment, and almost two thirds (58%) have no live plants in their workspace.

    New report finds that nearly 75% of charities met their fundraising goals in 2014

    March 31, 2015

    The latest survey by The Nonprofit Research Collaborative finds that 73% of charities met their fundraising goals in 2014, the best result since the group began asking the question in 2010 and a marked increase over the 63% that met goal in 2013. Canadian organizations in the survey were less likely to report meeting their fundraising goals and less likely than American charities to see growth. Even so, using both measures, Canadian charities fared better in 2014 than they did in 2013. Two-thirds (66%) of Canadian respondents said they met fundraising goals in 2014, markedly above the 52% of responding Canadian organizations that met fundraising goals in 2013.

    One method in giving—social media—showed a dramatic shift from prior NRC surveys. Among the 46% of organizations that reported using social media for fundraising, 79% reported an increase in the amount received. Typically, only about half of organizations using social media experience an increase.

    Seventy percent of participating arts charities reported an increase in gifts received in 2014, compared with 2013. This is the first time since NRC began collecting data in 2010 that more than 55% of arts organizations have seen growth in charitable gifts. The arts subsector was the most likely of all subsectors to see growth in the amount received in 2014. Just 56% of health charities reported an increase in gifts received in 2014, a marked decline from the 65% that reported growth in 2013. This subsector was the least likely of all studied in 2014 to see a growth in the amount received.

    Approximately 60% of bequests are from known, consistent donors. Among surveyed organizations, on average, 41% of bequests received were from people who had made three or more gifts in the prior five years; and an average of 17% came from estates of people who had made one to two gifts in the prior five years.

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