No one is untouched by the current circumstances, but the impacts of COVID-19 will not be shared equally. Some of our neighbours have seen their jobs disappear. Part-time and temporary workers may be facing the impossible question of whether to pay for food or rent. They may have to visit a food bank for the first time ever. Those with mental health challenges will no doubt be triggered. Frontline workers supporting our most vulnerable will face increased demands and stresses.
That’s why we’ve created the Better Toronto Coalition to connect concerned residents directly with learnings from nonprofit leaders and help direct your support to where it’s needed most.
On Thursdays at 8:00am EST we’re connecting interested Torontonians to the front lines – virtually – so we can learn together. Register now for the next webinar on Thursday April 9 when we’ll discuss the pressing issue of women and safety during isolation. We’ll hear from Pamela Hart, Executive Director of Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director of Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Heather McGregor, CEO of YWCA Toronto. Please check your inbox or junk mail for your confirmation email.
Special thanks to Vancity Community Investment Bank, sponsor of our Better Toronto Coalition weekly gatherings and first contributor to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund. We’re pleased to announce that all staff at Rally Assets have also contributed a donation to the fund.
READY TO DO MORE?
This is where you can find the nonprofits serving the most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re looking for guidance on where to direct your donations here are a few options:
- Donate directly to frontline organizations. That’s the top priority.
- Review lists of our current and past grantees for ideas on who we’ve funded.
- Pool your donation with other concerned Torontonians by giving to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund.
Donate directly to frontline organizations
Some support services are more critical in the early weeks of the pandemic. Our first and strongest recommendation is that you make an unrestricted donation directly to local organizations working on the frontlines to support our city’s most vulnerable.
The following links take you to lists of organizations grouped by membership in an umbrella organization or by sector – as curated by stakeholders.
Food security: TorontoCentral Healthline
Mental health: Toronto Drop-In Network
Shelter and housing supports for low-income people: Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness
Social supports for marginalized people: Toronto Neighbourhood Centres
Assistance for seniors: Toronto Senior Services
Urban Indigenous peoples: Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council
Women’s shelters: Toronto Central Healthline
Toronto Foundation Grantees
If you’re looking to see which organizations we’ve supported, read more about our current and past grantees. All of these organizations fight inequality in our city and are facing extraordinary pressures at this unprecedented time. Providing direct financial gifts to them would be enormously helpful.
Pool your donations: Better Toronto Coalition Fund
If you’re looking to increase your impact, we’ve established a vehicle for you to pool your donation with other progressive donors to support organizations on the front lines. All funds granted from this pool will be 100% unrestricted, so that organizations can use the money wherever it’s most needed. By supporting a coordinated effort we ensure that no one is left behind.
The first round of funding is in the process of being rolled out to eight anchor organizations that will divide the money up amongst smaller nonprofits in the sector – in some cases member organizations. Toronto Foundation is working on accessing more funding while finalizing a plan to support more high-impact organizations in the city.
With all that said, you do NOT have to contribute to the fund to be part of the coalition. Anyone can use our weekly gatherings to meet and hear from the small, but mighty organizations keeping our communities afloat. You can also give gifts directly to any number of vital organizations on the ground. We will be updating the lists of organizations included in Ways To Give for you to consider as our efforts unfold. We welcome contributions of time and treasure – working together we will weather this crisis.
Special thanks to Vancity Community Investment Bank, sponsor of our Better Toronto Coalition weekly gatherings and first contributor to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund. For partnership questions contact Nicola Hives, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada
- Teresa Vasilopoulos, Executive Director, WoodGreen Foundation
March 26 – The pressing issues facing local nonprofits and their clients (part 1)
- Susan Bender, Manager of Toronto Drop-In Network
- Leticia Deawuo, Director, Black Creek Community Farm
- Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank
- Lindsay Kretschmer, Executive Director, Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC)
April 2 – The pressing issues facing local nonprofits and their clients (part 2)
- Ekua Asebea Blair, CEO, The Massey Centre for Women
- Shelley Nicholls, Executive Director, Sistering
- Bill Sinclair, Executive Director, St. Stephen’s Community House with The Neighbourhood Group
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
- Black Creek Community Farm – is partnering with FoodShare Toronto to provide food boxes to communities in Jane/Finch area and needs software help for collecting addresses and other info for those needing food baskets
- Building Roots is assembling kits of home educational resources and games to families stuck at home in Moss Park, to go alongside weekly food provisions. Email Dustin email@example.com
- Canadian Blood Services – it’s safe to donate blood during COVID-19, and critical for patients
- Community Head Injury Resource Services – is looking for board games. Direct inquiries to Hedy Chandler
- Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Access Fund – ensures that the 183 Good Food Organizations and 13 Community Food Centres working on the front lines in 175 communities across Canada can quickly purchase food and supplies for those who need it most. For a limited time, Manulife will match your donation, up to a total of $150K
- Daily Bread Food Bank – is in need of food donations and drivers. You can order food online through your favourite grocery store (chose a local small business if you can!) and have items delivered directly to their warehouse: 191 New Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M8V2E7. If you want to volunteer and have a DZ license, please read more here
- Friendly Neighbour Hotline – an initiative run through Toronto General Hospital, that was created during this uncertain time to facilitate the purchase and delivery of necessities to vulnerable seniors
- Future Possibilities for Kids – resources to support kids during the COVID-19 crisis – for parents, guardians and families, from Future Possibilities for Kids, a leading child program charity for kids 9-12
- Glad Day Lit – has an Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers
- Indigenous Climate Action – COVID19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples
- Kids Help Phone – is looking for 600 more volunteers as their phone lines get clogged with children looking for counselling
- Sanctuary Toronto – is accepting donations of new and used tents and sleeping bags to distribute to people on the street who are anxious about or unable to access shelter beds
- Shopify – has created a list of global government relief programs (work in progress and will be updated as new programs come on board)
- St. Stephen’s Community House needs donations of hygiene supplies (soap, hand sanitizer, towels, etc…) to help homeless individuals to stay clean and wash their hands.
- Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) – member organizations need drivers to deliver resources to those in need. To help please email TASSC executive director Lindsay Kretschmer firstname.lastname@example.org
- Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is looking for donations of diapers, hygiene supplies, and food (for their food bank). To help, contact Darlene McGregor at email@example.com
- Toronto Drop-in Network – needs gloves, masks, takeaway meals, containers. Please drop off or send to Holy Trinity Church | 19 Trinity Square, Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
- Upside Foundation – has a list of Resources & Tools for Startups to Manage through COVID-19
- Volunteer Toronto – is launching a dedicated resource to support volunteer-engaging organizations with their emerging needs. Reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. AND There are some great virtual volunteer opportunities for teens to use their skills and creativity to help right now. They have volunteer advisors (email@example.com) who can provide some help to get connected to opportunities by phone/email
- The Workers Action Centre – helping workers learn about and apply for Emergency Support Benefits and Emergency Care Benefits – an important area for nonprofits to know about and help with. The Workers Action Centre is doing a lot of that vital work on EI education and support. Their hotline is still open
- List of resources/ways to help complied by informal network of Torontonians
RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS
- Bargain Groups/Kits for a Cause is offering hand sanitizer and to connect organizations looking for drivers with transportation companies. Contact Jodi by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-785-5655
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto is looking to partner with charities, non-profits, and individuals – as their littles are struggling mentally and physically right now. Email Sue Sheridan at Sue.email@example.com
- CapitalW is offering pro bono fundraising coaching sessions to help women’s organizations navigate the crisis . They can help organizational leadership stay connected to board of directors, donors and constituents, assess long and short-term financial needs, identify pockets of funding that may be available, coach fundraising teams on how to prioritize their work, coach teams on how to forge new partnerships. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cathy Mann – Fundraising consultant Cathy Mann is offering free fundraising “pep talks” – email email@example.com.
- Children’s Book Bank is looking to partner with food security organizations to distribute free books to families. Please email Mary.firstname.lastname@example.org
- CityShare Canada is a real-time, crowdsourced platform that houses resources, tools, and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19.
- David O’Leary – The firm of Toronto Foundation fundholder David O’Leary, Kind Wealth, has 5-6 financial professionals who are offering free financial consultations for small nonprofits or the most financially vulnerable, email@example.com
- Human Resources Professionals Association is offering free HR resources for the non-profit sector
- Layoff guide created by a newly laid off nonprofit HR professional
- Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN) is an immediate, grassroots, pro bono response network to help Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations (big and small) deal with what is coming at them during this crisis. If you need help at this time in strategic decision-making, crisis response, financial analysis, board direction, relationship mediation, HR management, systems change or inspirational leadership, LEAN on us!
- Supporting deliveries to seniors – UHN OpenLab has created the Friendly Neighbour Hotline and recruited over 400 volunteers just for this crisis. Email Tai Huynh at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mental Health resources list created by a psychiatrist working at North York General Hospital
- Rumie learning technology solution is helpful for organizations with learning programs that are forced to go remote on short notice today. They are making it freely available to those organizations that are looking urgently for remote learning delivery solutions. Email Alison, email@example.com for more details.
- Vancity Community Investment Bank can provide Prepaid Visa cards, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, for community groups, foundations, or other nonprofits looking to distribute emergency relief funds to members of the community. For more information, contact James Dawe – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteer Toronto – is the central hub in the city to find and post volunteer opportunities. They are waiving fees for nonprofits to post needs.
- 211 is asking human service organizations across the province to use this form to quickly let them know about any changes to services listed on 211Ontario.ca, especially those meeting basic needs (e.g., financial aid, food security, and shelter) and emerging COVID-19–related community supports. Please also direct people you service to 211 Ontario for the latest information on new and changing social and community services. This will help free up 911, 311, and Telehealth Ontario so they can focus on health and municipal services inquiries.
COVID-19 and philanthropy
- Philanthropy and the pandemic, thephilanthropist.ca.
- 6 Steps for Grant Makers to Take Now to Ensure Nonprofits Recover From Coronavirus Spread, philanthropy.com.
- COVID-19—Seven Things Philanthropy Can Do, FSG.
- The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Prove Why Donor-Advised Funds Serve Society Well, philanthropy.com.
- A COVID-19 Statement from CFC, PFC, EFC, and The Circle on supporting grantees, Community Foundations of Canada.
- COVID-19 relief lessons from the fastest rapid response fund in the world, Future of Good
- This is how Canada’s foundations should respond to COVID-19, Future of Good.
- How Philanthropists Are Helping During the Crisis, the New York Times.
COVID-19 and the nonprofit sector
- COVID-19 and the charitable sector, Imagine Canada.
- Nonprofits on the front lines of COVID-19, Ontario Non Profit Network.
- When ‘Cancel Everything’ Means Disaster for the Arts, CityLab.
- Resources to help nonprofits adapt and respond to COVID-19, Ontario Nonprofit Network.
- Community-based COVID-19 relief could be more effective. Here’s how, Future of Good.
- COVID-19 is accelerating our move to digital — charities must act now to keep up, Future of Good.
- Charitable Sector Gradually Adjusting to a New Regulatory World that Allows Unlimited Engagement in Public Policy Dialogue, The Philanthropist.
- What Canada can learn from global tech non-profits pivoting to address COVID-19 needs, Future of Good.
COVID-19 and equity
- We need to urgently consider equity in our coronavirus response, Op-Ed by Kwame McKenzie, The Toronto Star.
- Tiny Virus, Big Picture, The Tyee.
COVID-19 and Indigenous communities:
- Indigenous communities are vulnerable in times of pandemic. We must not ignore them, Globe and Mail.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous communities, Government of Canada.
- COVID-19 resources for Indigenous people across Canada, Canadian Roots Exchange.
- List of First Nations communities that are qualified donees, Canada Revenue Agency.
- Ottawa response for COVID-19 outbreak in Indigenous communities troubling, Canada’s National Observer.
- First Nation leaders say $305M not enough as MPs greenlight COVID-19 relief measures, APTN.
- Northern Ontario communities doing what they can to keep COVID-19 out, APTN.
COVID-19 and gender:
- Why women will feel the societal impacts of coronavirus more intensely, Future of Good.
- GTA domestic violence groups brace for ‘perfect storm’ as abused women stay home amid COVID-19, Toronto Star.
- What does feminist leadership look like in a pandemic?, Medium.
- “A Lot of That Joy Has Been Taken Away From Me”: New Moms on Having a Baby During a Global Pandemic, Mother Jones.
COVID-19 and race:
COVID-19, housing, and homelessness:
- Homeless vulnerable to COVID-19 need help from governments: advocates, CTV.
- Tenants, landlords on edge as pandemic forces thousands out of work, CBC.
- Coronavirus is forcing Toronto to confront the rental housing crisis like never before, NOW.
- City of Toronto acquires hotels, rental buildings for homeless in response to coronavirus, CityNews.
- 7 Reasons the Homeless Need Your Help to Survive COVID-19, Fred Victor.
COVID-19, work, and income:
- Unemployment claims reach nearly one million as businesses battered by coronavirus pandemic, The Globe and Mail.
- Two million Canadians could soon be out of work — and women and low-wage workers will be hit the hardest, Toronto Star.
- COVID-19 disruptions could send many Canadian households into a financial tailspin, The Globe and Mail.
COVID-19 and food security:
- On the Food Bank Frontlines, The Local.
- Impacts of COVID-19 will drive up costs of vegetables, baked goods: Researchers, CTV News.
- Let people on ODSP, Ontario Works shop on Tuesday, urges Guelph social worker, CBC.
COVID-19 and technology:
COVID-19 and mental health:
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health.
- The pandemic of loneliness, the Toronto Star.
- ‘Social distancing’ is a misnomer: we should be physically distancing, but remain as social as ever, The Globe and Mail.
- That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief, Harvard Business Review.
- Coping with Fatigue, Fear, and Panic During a Crisis, Harvard Business Review.
- Yale’s massively popular ‘happiness’ course is available free online, CNN.
COVID-19, urban resilience, and city building:
- What a Coronavirus Recovery Could Look Like, CityLab.
- The NIMBYs of the Coronavirus Crisis, CityLab.
- Alone Together, in Community Resilience, CityLab.
- In the coronavirus crisis, who gets to be outside?, Curbed.
COVID-19 feel-good stories
- Coronavirus: Kind Canadians start ‘caremongering’ trend, BBC.
- Confined to their homes, Italian neighbors sing together to boost morale, CNN.
- The need for parks: In a time of sickness, we all need to take a breath, Globe and Mail.
- Stuck at home? These 12 famous museums offer virtual tours you can take on your couch, Hello Giggles.
- Experience the AGO from Home, Art Gallery of Ontario.
- What It Looks Like From Space When Everything Stops, Bloomberg Green.
- Wild goats take over Welsh town amid coronavirus lockdown, CNN.
- It’s the only supermarket in town — and volunteers are helping it stay open, TVO.
- Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.
- Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villaneuva.
- Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better by Rob Reich.
- New Power: How power works in our hyperconnected world, and how to make it work for you by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.
- The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
- Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count by Phil Buchanan.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence.
Here we’re sharing analysis for philanthropists and the nonprofit sector on what we’re seeing as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, what we might see in the future and what it could mean for our city.