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Funding available to help communities at risk protect themselves from hate-motivated crimes

November 28, 2016

To help reduce hate-motivated crimes in Canadian communities, Public Safety Canada will open calls for proposals for a renewed Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP) on December 1st. While the program has been in place for a number of years, improvements announced today represents a renewed commitment to make the program more responsive to the needs of communities at risk for hate-motivated crimes. A wider range of costs will now be considered eligible, allowing communities to implement security measures both inside and outside of their facilities, and all not-for-profit organizations linked to a community at risk can apply, not just those who have been victimized. Changes ensure that funding decisions are provided to applicants within four months of the close of each call; and include a more efficient application process. Interested organizations representing places of worship, provincially and territorially recognized schools, and community centers can apply through Public Safety Canada's Web site, to obtain the application kit and related information. Public Safety Canada will also reach out to eligible communities to ensure those who need this support are aware of the program and its applications process. The deadline for this round of applications in January 31, 2017.



.ART is the first internet domain dedicated to arts and culture

November 28, 2016

.ART, the first domain created exclusively for the global art community, is pleased to announce that more than 60 world-renowned museums and arts organisations will launch dedicated websites on the new top-level domain, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Centre Pompidou, Fondation Beyeler, Fondation Cartier, Guggenheim Museum, Hauser & Wirth, ICA Miami, LACMA, MAXXI, Tate and Walker Art Center, among others. As early adopters of .ART, these organisations have exciting plans to activate their new domains, some of which include fully migrating or consolidating their existing websites to .ART, while others are launching new dedicated websites to showcase unique content from their artists and/or collections. Beginning in February 2017, .ART domain names will be available for registration to professional members of the art world, ensuring that key stakeholders are given the opportunity to secure their desired domains first.



Failed hires a matter of mismatched skill set, survey says

November 28, 2016

Recent research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting reflects a continuing trend: Aside from poor performance, failed hires are a result of a mismatched skill set. Nearly half of CFOs interviewed (47%) responded this way, up 18 percentage points from a similar survey conducted five years ago. Another 29% of financial executives think unclear performance expectations is the top reason new employees don't work out. 



Over half of Canadians prefer to receive gift of charity this holiday season

November 28, 2016

The holiday season is a time for celebrating with friends and family and, for many, giving and receiving gifts. However, gift giving can be a source of stress. According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross, nearly 30% of holiday shopping is done at the last minute, and over half of Canadians worry those last-minute gifts they purchase will disappoint. While Canadians are feeling strapped for time for seasonal shopping, charitable gifts are becoming an increasingly popular option. Nearly 60% of Canadians say they receive trinkets and traditional items like socks they'll never use, while 64% would prefer to receive a charitable gift that would help someone else. Additional survey findings reveal that Canadians are willing to "pay it forward" this time of year:

  • Six in ten Canadians plan on donating to a charity or volunteering their time this holiday season.
  • Nearly 60% of Canadians agree that purchasing a charitable gift online is a convenient way to buy someone a present.
  • Half of Canadians would be more likely to donate to a specific cause if they saw a friend or family posting on social media about giving to that charity.



Three sports grants of $50,000 available from Just Energy Foundation and MLSE Foundation

November 24, 2016

MLSE Foundation believes that all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. There are currently three grants of $50,000 available to organizations looking to grow the game of hockey/skating, basketball or soccer. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC Community Action Grants presented by Just Energy Foundation will be awarding one grant of $50,000 to each sport. The application period closes January 13, 2017. To find out more about the grant program, workshops availible and to apply, click here. Please direct all inquiries to FoundationGrants@MLSE.com.



Tree Canada's Edible Trees program sprouts up again in 2016

November 24, 2016

Tree Canada today is pleased to announce the return of one of its most popular programs, Edible Trees, which offers funding of up to $4,000 and other resources for community-based projects that provide residents with access to fresh fruit and nut trees while making a positive difference to the Canadian environment. Since its inception in 2012, Tree Canada's Edible Trees program has helped plant almost 8,000 fruit and nut providing trees and shrubs in communities across Canada. The deadline for submission is February 24, 2017, and funding is available, but not limited to, community gardening groups, community housing projects, schools, parks and arboretums. Tree Canada will consider projects which meet the following criteria:

  • Increases equitable access to healthy food;
  • Strengthens communities by empowering neighbors to share in the harvest and care of city-grown food resources;
  • Benefits the local community by providing access to the trees and their fruit by the public (i.e. food banks, volunteers, community kitchens);
  • Meets the needs of the community and includes creative plans for the produce grown;
  • Takes place within a geographic area suitable for growing fruit and nut trees;
  • Protects and preserves the Canadian environment;
  • Assists residents in understanding and participating in environmental activities in local communities.



Deadline extended for online consultation on political activities in the charitable sector

November 23, 2016

Further to Minister Diane Lebouthillier’s announcement on September 27, Ottawa has been added as a location for in-person consultations with representatives from the charitable sector about political activities. As space at these in-person consultations is limited, the CRA encourages all charities that have not received an invitation before November 29 to participate in the online consultation, to ensure their views are fully considered. The deadline for submissions to the online consultation has been extended to December 14. For more information on the consultation process, click here.



Deadline approaching for Spring 2017 pro bono consulting in Toronto

November 23, 2016

Endeavour Volunteer Consulting for Non-Profits is accepting applications for their Spring 2017 consulting projects. Bringing together volunteer teams of consultants to work with nonprofits during a six-month engagement, Endeavour provides innovative pro bono (without charge) management consulting. Their skills-based teams develop practical solutions for Non-profit challenges in four key areas: strategic planning, marketing effectiveness, operational efficiency and organizational strength. Endeavour helps small and mid-size nonprofits in the Greater Toronto Area that are dedicated to social good and have limited resources, to build their capacity, impact and sustainability. The deadline to apply to become a Client for Endeavour's Spring 2017 consulting projects is Wednesday, December 7, 2016.



New holiday gift guide launches in support of community

November 23, 2016

Each gift you buy this holiday season can have significant impact on your community. Thanks to the newly launched Social Enterprise Gift Guide, extending the impact of your gift giving is now easier than ever. The Guide features a wide variety of products created by Canada's diverse social enterprise sector, representing for-profit and nonprofit organizations, cooperatives and B Corps. The Social Enterprise Gift Guide includes a broad range of products and is fully searchable by product type, price range, region and other categories. For example, you'll be able to purchase calendars or greeting cards from Options Mississauga Print and Office Services, beer from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company, meals cooked by Syrian refugees from Newcomer Kitchen, Inc. and order a gift basket of local preserves made by Youth Opportunities Unlimited in London.



GivingTuesday offers donors the opportunity to vote on cancer research projects

November 21, 2016

The Canadian Cancer Society is challenging Canadians to support pioneering scientists as part of GivingTuesday, which marks the start of the holiday giving season and rallies people to support their favourite causes and think about others. This year, the Society’s GivingTuesday campaign includes an added twist – the ability for donors to vote for the cancer researcher they think should win the honour of receiving the $200,000 Great Canadian Innovation Grant, which supports scientists who are taking unconventional approaches in the hope of making unexpected discoveries that could change the way we prevent, diagnose or treat cancer. Donors can vote for their top choice from November 22 to 29. The winner will be announced in early December.



Millennial and GenX women are as generous as previous generations

November 21, 2016

Young women donors today are holding their own when it comes to charitable giving, bucking the trend of Millennials and Gen Xers being less generous than their predecessors, according to the newest report in the Women Give series released by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Conventional wisdom says younger generations —Millennials and Gen Xers — are less generous than their predecessors. However, a closer look reveals that giving by young single women Gen Xers/Millennials is holding steady compared to their counterparts 40 years ago; giving by single men and married couples, on the other hand, has dropped. The Women Give 2016 report investigates how charitable giving has changed across generations, given that women’s roles within the family and within society have changed. To do so, this study compares young adults across two generations: the pre-Boomer generation, also known as the Silent generation, when they were young adults four decades ago; and Generation Xers/Millennials, who are young adults today.



Results of the first ever National Youth Homelessness Survey released today

November 17, 2016

The Home Depot Canada Foundation, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada today announced the results of the first ever National Youth Homelessness Survey in Canada. According to this ground-breaking new survey, Youth homelessness can begin as young as age 13, and if not addressed can lead to years on the streets. More than 6,000 youth don't have a safe place to sleep every night, making youth homelessness one of the most urgent social issues in Canada. Without A Home – The National Youth Homelessness Survey finds that understanding the causes and conditions of youth homelessness are vital to implementing the right supports to help create successful futures and break the cycle of youth homelessness.



Canadian employees want flexible work schedules and generous vacation time

November 17, 2016

Are employers and workers on the same page about juggling personal and professional priorities? Apparently so. More than one-third of senior managers (34%) surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said their company is very supportive of its employees' efforts to achieve work-life balance, and a similar number (30%) of staff agree. Which perks do employees value most? Flexible work schedules (42%) and generous vacation time or sabbaticals (21%) topped the list. This differed slightly from what staff said are the most common work-life benefits at their organizations: 46% noted their company offers paid parental leave, followed by 37% who reported having options for flexible schedules. When asked about health and wellness benefits, employees cited ergonomic evaluations and equipment, such as standing desks (26%), and access to fitness facilities or programs (25%), as the most valuable.



New national study released on the state of childhood in Canada

November 16, 2016

Canadians are living under a misconception that the kids are alright. That's according to a new report from Children First Canada, a national nonprofit organization that launched today in Toronto. The report, based on a survey co-funded and conducted in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) in October, highlights a significant gap between the public's perceptions about how Canada measures up for our children's wellbeing and the harsh realities that children face. While public opinion polling in the ARI report presents a generally encouraging picture of life for youth in Canada, additional empirical data from Children First Canada reveals a more dire reality. More than two-thirds of Canadians think Canada ranks as either a top-five or 10 country in the world for children's wellbeing. The reality is that Canada ranks 17th out of 29 affluent nations for children's wellbeing based on a global index by UNICEF. And we place near the bottom when it comes to measuring child poverty and children's health and safety.

The national study released today reveals some of the biggest issues facing young Canadians:

  • The top three concerns for young people are bullying (40%), cost of post-secondary education (37%), and mental health, depression and/or anxiety (32%)
  • 58% of adults and 45% of children say they would like to see more support for young people's mental health
  • More than half of respondents (58%) believe Canada is not doing enough to help its poor people
  • 64% of adults say that more programs are needed to prevent child abuse and neglect



Mental health claim rates can be reduced with specific management practices: Salveo Study

November 16, 2016

Following five years of data analysis, the Salveo researchers have identified five management practices that can help companies lower mental health and disability claim rates in their organizations. These following practices can help prevent mental health issues, reduce claim costs and improve productivity in the workplace: 1) Job design based on employee skills and interests has a 87% probability of reducing claims; 2) work-life balance opportunities has a 77% probability of reducing claims; 3) employee recognition has a 74% probability of reducing claims; 4) promotion of physical activities has a 69% probability of reducing claims; and 5) implementing strategies to help employees maintain a reasonable workload has a 64% probability of reducing claims.

Since 2011, Professors Alain Marchand and Pierre Durand, co-leaders of the study at the Université de Montréal, with the participation of Université Laval and Concordia University, and in partnership with Manulife, have interviewed over 2,100 workers from 63 organizations of all sizes. They analyzed 63 management practices to identify risk factors triggering mental health disorders and provided employers with recommendations on management practices that could help reduce mental health claim rates.



Greater transparency would spur charitable donations: Survey

November 15, 2016

Transparency and sound management are the top considerations when deciding whether to support a charity for 86% of Canadians, according to a new survey. The study, which was commissioned by Imagine Canada to explore familiarity, trust and confidence in Canadian charities, shows a clear need for greater transparency to enable donors to become more knowledgeable about their operations and the societal value they create. Nearly three quarters (72%), for example, said they were more likely to trust and have confidence in charities that have achieved third-party accreditation. Half indicated that they would be more likely to give to a charity that had achieved rigorous accreditation standards and that percentage rises to 85% among the strongest advocates of accreditation. Disturbingly, the survey found that knowledge of how charities operate is low. Only 25% of Canadians said they were highly or very familiar with charities and their activities. Those who expressed a high degree of familiarity were also significantly more trusting and likely to donate.



Toronto organizations can now apply for Project Winter Survival kits

November 15, 2016

Over the past 17 years, Project Winter Survival has been a partnership of corporate volunteers, donors, and social service agencies that together successfully pack and distribute Winter Survival Kits to those in need in our communities. These kits contain over 30 desperately needed items such as a sleeping bag, winter accessories, food, and personal care products. If your organization or program services the homeless that live on our streets and these kits would help them survive the harsh winter months, please apply. The goal this year to pack and distribute 3,000 Winter Survival Kits; unfortunately, the demand for these kits greatly exceeds the supply, so please be considerate and conservative. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 25, 2016. Please note if you have multiple programs within your agency each program may apply. Please share this information with any fellow agencies you know that may need these Winter Survival Kits. The kits will be distributed by volunteers on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 890 Caledonia Road, Toronto. Your organization must be available to pick up your donations on this day, so please mark your calendars now. Unfortunately, no donations can be held. Click here to apply.



New national report shows increasing use of food banks

November 15, 2016

The number of people accessing Canadian food banks increased for the third consecutive year in 2016, and is now 28% higher than before the 2008-2009 recession, according to a national study released today by Food Banks Canada. In total, 863,492 people received food from a food bank in March 2016; 307,535 were children – more than one-third of all people accessing the service. Food banks in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia led the national increase. These provinces each experienced jumps of 20% in the number of people accessing food banks in March 2016 as compared to 2015. For a full copy of the HungerCount 2016 report, click here.



Canada's Volunteer Awards now accepting nominations

November 15, 2016

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced today on National Philanthropy Day, that the call for nominations for Canada’s Volunteer Awards is now open and will run until February 3, 2017. This is the chance for all Canadians to nominate an exceptional volunteer, a not-for-profit organization that helps to find innovative solutions to social challenges, or a business that demonstrates social responsibility in their community. This year, 21 awards will be presented, and award recipients will have the chance to identify a not-for-profit organization of their choice to receive a $5,000 or $10,000 grant. Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • One (1) national award – Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Emerging Leader, for young volunteers aged 18 to 30.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Community Leader, for individuals or groups of volunteers.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Business Leader, to recognize businesses that demonstrate social responsibility.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Social Innovator, to recognize the contributions of not-for-profit organizations.

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Emerging Leader category will be expanded from one national to five regional awards in order to recognize young volunteers’ contributions to their communities. Nominate a volunteer, a not-for-profit organization or a business today! For more information and to submit a nomination, visit Canada.ca/volunteer-awards.



Imagine Canada issues call to action on CRA’s political activities consultation

November 10, 2016

Imagine Canada convened a working group of 33 organizations of all types, from across Canada, to identify recommendations on political activity regulation. They are sharing the results, and inviting you to join them in making this submission to CRA. Among the recommendations, they are advocating for the following:

  • Consider changing the Income Tax Act to focus on charitable purposes
  • Clarification of the existing guidance especially as it pertains to the concept of indirect partisan activity
  • Extensive outreach to charities to ensure clarity in what they can and can not to do.

This consultation gives the charitable sector an opportunity to contribute towards positive policy change in the area of political activities regulation. To help you get involved, Imagine Canada has detailed information, including a sample template letter, on how to submit your ideas and help spread the word about the consultation. The deadline to be involved is November 25, 2016.



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