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Aviva Community Fund announces new funding category for young social entrepreneurs

July 5, 2017

2017 marks the ninth year of the $1 million Aviva Community Fund – Canada's longest running online community funding competition. In honour of Canada's 150th, Aviva Canada is proud to introduce a new Aviva Community Fund category: Community Legacy. The $150,000 prize for the Community Legacy category is in addition to the usual $1 million from Aviva Community Fund. Community Legacy is open to current or aspiring social entrepreneurs, aged 18 to 25, to submit an original solution to tackle the consequences of climate change. The Aviva Community Fund opens for submissions on September 13th. For more information on the current and new funding categories, and how to submit an idea, visit avivacanada.com/acf2017.



Volunteer Alberta's Serving Communities Internship Program now accepting applications

July 4, 2017

The Serving Communities Internship Program (SCiP) brings Alberta’s nonprofit organizations and post-secondary students together to make a difference in their communities. SCiP internships are meaningful, skill-based opportunities providing mutual benefit to both nonprofit organizations and post-secondary students:

  • Nonprofit organizations gain added talent and human capacity so that they can better achieve their missions.
  • Post-secondary students gain skills, experience, and networks, along with a $1000 bursary, so that they can better achieve their missions.

The next program year of the Serving Communities Internship Program (SCiP) begins August 1, and Volunteer Alberta will once again be accepting nonprofit internship opportunities, starting in the second week of July. Students will be able to apply for these positions at the beginning of August.



Nominations open for Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

July 4, 2017

The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards recognize extraordinary Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community and fellow community members. Six awards, two in each category of youth, adult and senior are presented annually on or around International Volunteer Day, December 5. Albertans, who meet the following criteria, are eligible for a Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award:

  • Exemplifies the spirit of community service
  • Demonstrates exemplary initiative, leadership and creativity in his/her service to others
  • Serves as a role model for others in his/her community
  • Inspires others to engage in volunteer service
  • Improves the overall quality of life of fellow Albertans and community as a whole

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2017.



Vancouver entrepreneur to donate $500,000 in matching funds for Variety - the Children's Charity

June 28, 2017

Victory Square Technologies founder and CEO Shafin Diamond Tejani has committed a $500,000 matching donation to Variety - the Children's Charity's Variety Kids Can campaign. The Variety Kids Can campaign, launched on March 28th of this year was kicked off by an initial $1M donation by the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation, with the goal of $2.5M raised. Introduced to Variety BC by Victory Square Technologies board member and Variety BC past president, Howard Blank, Tejani has long supported children's charities. Just this past week he won the 2017 Technology Impact Award for Person of the Year. The $500,000 he has committed to Variety represents half of $1M he has pledged to BC charities.



Young Canadians get creative to Make 150 Count

June 28, 2017

RBC today shared the results of RBC Make 150 Count, a Canada 150 initiative designed to empower young Canadians to make a difference in their communities, in their own unique way. Three thousand young people from every province and territory were selected to participate in the program. Participants, between the ages of 14 and 25, were chosen either by their local RBC branch or by submitting ideas using #Make150Count on social media.

Their stories show Canada's youth have a desire to make a deep social impact. Over 90% focus on those less fortunate in the community, supporting causes ranging from homelessness, to women's shelters, food banks and helping community members with special needs. Of this 90%, more than half used their $150 to raise even more money for their local projects (more than $35,000 to date). Nutrition is a topic that matters to the Make 150 Count participants. More than 25% of the projects involve food banks, breakfast clubs, groceries, vegetable gardens and meals for those in need. Other leading areas of focus include:

  • random acts of kindness with participants sharing more than 500 gift cards and more than 1,000 flowers.
  • animal welfare (16% of projects, involving than 112 animal shelter donations)
  • books and literacy (11% of projects and 1,200 books donated to schools, hospitals and libraries)
  • relief from the cold Canadian winter (10% of projects and 431 toques, 446 pairs of mittens and 221 blankets donated).

A large majority of participants (70%) combined their personal passion and talent for a good cause.



HSBC donates $1 million to Breakfast Club of Canada in celebration of Canada's 150th

June 28, 2017

In celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary this year, HSBC Bank Canada is donating $1 million to Breakfast Club of Canada for breakfast programs in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto and Montreal to benefit 4,500 youth each year for the next three years (2017-20). In addition, 50 school kitchens will be equipped to prepare healthy breakfasts, and HSBC employees across the country will continue to participate in Breakfast Club of Canada's 'Adopt a School' volunteer program.



Newly released Canadian data confirms employee volunteer programs help attract and retain talent

June 27, 2017

According to a study by Volunteer Canada and Investors Group, 68% of Canadians polled by IPSOS Public Affairs said that, given the choice, they would choose a job with a company that has a strong volunteering culture over one that does not. Further, Canadians are looking to their employer to help them volunteer: 60% of Canadians would volunteer more if it was organized by an employer.

However, simply offering employees time off to volunteer for a nonprofit organization may not be enough. The poll also showed Canadians are involved in a wide range of activities that improve their community such as donating used clothing or raising awareness of an issue through social media. Volunteer Canada believes this points to a need for companies to reconsider traditional employee community engagement program parameters and expand their definition of what constitutes volunteering.



iA Financial Group launches philanthropic contest across Canada

June 27, 2017

As part of its 125th anniversary, iA Financial Group has launched a contest aimed at helping a Canadian charitable organization realize a project. The top ten projects will be presented to the public, who will then be invited to vote for the project that inspires them the most. The organization that receives the most votes will receive a donation of $125,000 to realize its project. The other nine organizations will each receive a donation of $12,500. To be eligible to enter, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Aim to improve the quality of life of Canadians
  • Operate in the health, education or social services sectors
  • Provide assistance to individuals – funding is not available for organizations that help other organizations
  • Propose a project to be launched in 2018

Project submissions will be accepted until September 30.



Fuelling Women Champions expands grant program to support amateur female sport

June 27, 2017

Canadian dairy farmers are helping break down barriers for amateur female athletes by launching the Champions Fund for the second year, and committing additional funding and grants to help even more young female athletes in 2017. Canada's dairy farmers are currently accepting applications for the $150,000 fund – up from $100,000 in 2016 – which will be distributed as 30 grants of $5,000 to help young female athletes pursue their sports dreams. For more information, to apply for the Champions Fund, or to get involved in the initiative, visit www.womenchampions.ca. The application period runs until September 20, 2017. Fund recipients will be announced in October 2017.



Apply now to be part of Hack for Good Toronto this September

June 26, 2017

Hacking involves volunteer software programmers applying creative problem solving to real life challenges and on Sept. 15-17 Hack for Good Toronto will be hosting a number of really smart programming volunteers to Code For Good. Here are some examples of the types of problems that they might work on:

  1. Activating volunteers by proximity. For example; a Toronto charity that helps children who are ill might need a volunteer to pick up a child from the hospital to drop them off at their grandparents, while their parents are at work.
  2. Tracking effectiveness of fundraising volunteers. Determine who is the A+ fundraiser and who is the F fundraiser. Then you can give the F fundraiser a different role in the organization and thus be more effective with the current volunteer pool.
  3. Managing volunteer recruitment and roles and events. Streamline sign in and sign out at an event and confirmation that they have completed their task(s).
  4. Volunteer management. How do you keep track of the number of times an individual has volunteered for you and who hasn’t. How do you weed out those who are not committed and how do you efficiently re-active engaged volunteers?

At the end of the event, a wrap-up session gives each group a chance to demonstrate their solutions. A number of sponsors will be providing prizes for the winning team. and also sponsoring a post event implementation period to ensure the winning solution is properly implemented for the charities which the event supports. If your organization has issues around volunteer involvement, engagement or utilization please fill out the online form. Let us know if your organization has other problems that might be solvable through the more effective use of technology. We'll be deciding on a select few in order to ensure the best outcomes. Click here for more information about the hackathon.



Government of Canada reducing barriers to inclusive employment through Call for Concepts

June 23, 2017

The Government of Canada launched the Call for Concepts for a program to help federally regulated, private sector workplaces break down barriers to employment for women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority communities. The Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity grant and contribution program will provide up to $500,000 a year to help make workplaces inclusive and diverse through partnerships and industry-specific strategies. The 2017 Call for Concepts will give preference to projects focused on Indigenous people or persons with disabilities, the two designated groups experiencing the greatest overall challenges in representation in the federally regulated private sector. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 4, 2017. Organizations whose project concepts are successful will be invited to submit detailed project proposals. Projects selected for funding will begin receiving funds in April 2018.



The Kent Hehr Leadership Award accepting nominations in Calgary

June 22, 2017

Established in 2016, The Kent Hehr Leadership Award celebrates and recognizes an individual’s personal resiliency and transformative ability to turn a vision into reality. The award will be given to an individual that works towards building an inclusive Calgary where everyone belongs. The Kent Hehr Leadership Award will be presented at Dinner for Doors, Accessible Housing’s annual fundraising evening on October 12, 2017. Dinner for Doors is an experiential evening that strives to elevate levels of awareness of accessibility challenges, and inspires compassion and generosity for people in need of adequate housing. The evening offers guests a truly unique experience as they navigate the room in a wheelchair, walker, vision-limiting glasses and other assorted mobility aides. The deadline for nominations is August 4, 2017.



Canadian organizations' rewards and recognition programs don't match millennial workforce realities

June 22, 2017

Long-service recognition is the most prevalent type of rewards and recognition program in place in Canadian organizations. However, a new Conference Board of Canada study suggests that these programs may not appeal to younger generations who typically have shorter tenures. Previous research by the Conference Board has indicated that millennials could have an average of five different employers over a 10-year span. Given this, most millennials would not be at an organization long enough to be eligible for most long-service recognition. This may explain why only 37% of responding organizations agreed that their rewards programs consider the multiple generations in the workforce.

Almost 90% of responding organizations have some type of formal rewards and recognition program in place. In 2016, Canadian organizations spent, on average, $139 per full-time employee (FTE) on rewards and recognition. These programs are more prevalent in the public sector compared to the private sector, however spending on rewards and recognition in the private sector ($161 per FTE) is also almost double that in the public sector ($84 per FTE).

Among these organizations, long-service recognition is the most common at 96%, followed by retirement recognition at 64%. Performance-based rewards and recognition programs, which includes manager-to-employee, peer-to-peer, and corporate recognition are also prevalent. The most common rewards provided as part of peer-to-peer recognition programs are non-monetary such as e-cards or handwritten notes. In fact, just over one-third (37%) of organizations report this is the only type of reward given in their peer-to-peer program.



Nonprofit organizations organizations recognized with inaugural Employee Recommended Workplace Award

June 22, 2017

The winners of the first Employee Recommended Workplace Award were announced today. The Employee Recommended Workplace Award recognizes excellence in achieving a healthy, engaged and productive workforce. Employees were asked to complete a short confidential survey that includes questions about their physical and mental health, as well as aspects of their work and life – all elements of Total Health that impact employee engagement and productivity. On completion, they received a personal assessment that identified potential areas for improvement and provided them with resources to help them take action. Organizations received a summary report of their workforce that highlighted positive results and outlined opportunities for improvement, which they could use for Human Resources planning. CharityVillage would like to congratulate New Brunswick Association for Community Living, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Cégep Garneau for winning the not-for-profit or government categories.

Enrolment for the 2018 Employee Recommended Workplace Award program is now live. For more information on the Employee Recommended Workplace Awards and to register online, please visit employeerecommended.com/register.



Casual dress codes can cause confusion, survey finds

June 19, 2017

Casual dress codes may cause clothing confusion for many professionals, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows. Although 63% of Canadian workers surveyed said they prefer to wear more relaxed work attire, more than a quarter (28%) admitted they're at least sometimes unsure about whether clothing is office-appropriate. Nearly four in ten (39%) would choose to eliminate uncertainty altogether by donning a uniform.

Additional findings include:

  • Those ages 18 to 34 (45%) have the greatest preference for formal dress codes. They’re also most commonly unsure if their clothing is appropriate (36%) and the age group with the largest number of respondents interested in wearing a uniform (33%).
  • More men (49%) prefer formal attire than women (25%).
  • Most employees (77%) reported they like casual dress codes because they can wear more comfortable clothing.
  • About two in five respondents (39%) said their company policy isn’t always clear about what attire is acceptable.



The National Gallery of Canada receives $2M gift for Canada 150th

June 15, 2017

The National Gallery of Canada today announced a gift of $2 million from Fred and Elizabeth Fountain of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. $500,000 is earmarked for the Gallery's National Outreach program. Through this program, the Gallery can better share the experience of great visual arts coast-to-coast-to-coast. The remainder of the funds from the gift will go to the Gallery's Art for the Nation 150 priority initiatives including over $1 million into the General Endowment at the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, providing enhanced support to the Gallery's art programming and its ambitious engagement as a pre-eminent art museum. In recognition of the Fountains' gift, the National Gallery of Canada will name the garden court, within the recently unveiled Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, the Jardin FRED & ELIZABETH FOUNTAIN Garden Court.



iA Financial Group launches Canada-wide philanthropic contest

June 15, 2017

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, iA Financial Group is launching a Canada-wide philanthropic contest with the purpose of helping a charitable organization realize a project that will help it grow and shine. Recognized charities from across the country have until September 30th to submit a community project that is close to their hearts and enter for a chance to win a boost of $125,000. To be eligible for the contest, charities and their projects must meet certain criteria*. They must:

  • Be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Aim to improve the quality of life of Canadians
  • Operate in the health, education or social services sectors
  • Provide assistance to individuals – we are not looking for organizations that help other organizations
  • Propose a project to be launched in 2018

All projects submitted, big or small, will be reviewed. At the end of the submission period, in the fall, ten projects will be selected by the jury and presented to the public, who will then be invited to vote for the charity that has submitted the most inspiring project. The winning charity will receive a donation of $125,000 and the nine remaining finalists will each receive a donation of $12,500. The winning project will be announced on December 11th.



Less than a third of Canadians feel confident asking for a raise

June 15, 2017

Public speaking has long been thought of as a recipe for anxiety, but it's a one-on-one conversation that makes workers feel even less sure of themselves: asking the boss for a raise. According to a new study from Robert Half, over a quarter of Canadian professionals (28%) feel confident when asking for a pay increase, compared to 48% who feel self-assured when public speaking. The discomfort around these conversations is further reflected in the percentage of survey respondents who – rather than ask for a raise – would prefer to clean their house (39%), look for a new job (10%), get a root canal (3%), or be audited by the CRA (3%). The insecurity around asking for a raise is not new but has changed slightly over time, according to the three-year study: Last year, 31% of professionals felt confident when asking for a raise; in 2015, the percentage was 35%.



New UNICEF report: Poor health, violence at alarming rates among Canada's kids

June 15, 2017

A new UNICEF report released today highlights the challenges that high-income countries like Canada face in meeting global commitments for children. Canada does comparatively well in some aspects of child and youth well-being, but lags farthest behind other countries in concerning indicators of child health and violence. In Oh Canada! Our Kids Deserve Better, the Canadian Companion to the global report, UNICEF digs deeper into the data around child well-being in Canada, busting many of the myths commonly held about what it's like to grow up in Canada. Canada has the fifth-highest rate of bullying at 15 per cent, ranking 27th out of 41 countries. Unlike many of its peers, Canada has been unsuccessful in bringing bullying rates down over the past 10 years. Canada's child homicide rate is higher than average, ranking 33rd out of 41 countries. Canada also ranks 31st out of 41 for teen suicide.



Government of Canada matching eligible donations with Famine Relief Fund

June 14, 2017

More than 20 million people in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are at risk of starvation as a result of severe drought conditions or intensifying conflict. In order to address this unprecedented humanitarian situation, Canada launched the Famine Relief Fund on May 29, 2017. For every eligible donation made by individuals to registered Canadian charities between March 17 and June 30, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Famine Relief Fund. The government will use the fund to support experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations using established Global Affairs Canada channels and procedures. The Famine Relief Fund is separate from the funds raised by charities and is administered separately by the Government of Canada. This means a charity does not receive a matching dollar from the Government of Canada. To be counted toward the Famine Relief Fund, donations must be made by individuals, not exceed $100,000 per individual, and must be:

  • monetary in nature;
  • made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to these humanitarian crises;
  • specifically earmarked in response to the crises;
  • made between March 17 and June 30, 2017; and
  • be declared by the registered charity receiving the donation to Global Affairs Canada by July 7, 2017.



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