January 6, 2021
For Immediate Release
FALL 2020 GRANTS FROM THE CATHERINE DONNELLY FOUNDATION SUPPORT 30 ORGANIZATIONS OFFERING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN HOUSING, THE ENVIRONMENT AND ADULT EDUCATION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
2020 has been an extraordinary year. The pandemic has had an outsized impact on both marginalized communities and the agencies and nonprofits that work to support them. Amidst the crisis, however, there are signs that the inequities highlighted by the Coronavirus and global movements have awakened an insatiable desire for change.
Movements seeking true equity, such as Black Lives Matter, have gained mass recognition, while holistic and loving solutions to global human impacts, such as those voiced by Indigenous land and water stewards, are taking root.
In funding 30 organizations that work in the areas of housing, the environment and adult education for social change, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation has granted $618,072 to innovators that chose hope over despair and are boldly working to create a more equitable and just society.
The Black Leadership Institute on Social Action for Change, a project of Skills for Change, is among the Adult Education grantees. The Toronto-area Leadership Institute provides participants with the skills to address barriers faced by Black people and improve local lives. In Yellowknife, NT, Dene Nahjo’s on-the-land Hide Tanning Mentorship will advance social and environmental justice for northern peoples while promoting youth leadership along with Indigenous values, climate action and modern land claims.
Grants in our Environment stream aim to build up industries that generate green jobs and support resilient place-based, wellbeing economies that protect human rights and equitable wealth distribution, but also ensure those positive initiatives include communities and voices traditionally excluded from the work of building a new, low-carbon economy, including racialized, low income and Indigenous Peoples.
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation prioritizes work with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities to enhance their capacity and share their worldview of an interconnected relationship with nature as a foundation for building a sustainable future.
Among the organizations funded who work toward a clean and just recovery are Green Jobs Oshawa in partnership with CSJ Foundation for Research and Education, who link economic restructuring, the environment and jobs by converting closed manufacturing facilities to socially useful production, and Dogwood and the Institute for New Economics, whose Local Power campaign is building community-driven, clean electricity solutions in B.C. by working with First Nations, among other efforts.
Funding for Indigenous Clean Energy’s Bringing It Home project, meanwhile, recognizes an inseparable bond between nature, justice for the marginalized, a commitment to society and reconciliation with Inuit, First Nations and Métis people.
Helping create sustainable and affordable housing solutions for all Canadian residents and addressing the systemic causes of a lack of housing access is an important theme among Housing grants.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Political Economy of Rent initiative will support tenants across Canada to mobilize for more affordable and more secure shelter by examining the root causes of the current housing crisis. Investors for Affordable Cities, a project of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) in partnership with Columbia Institute, will address systemic imbalance in the financial system by encouraging institutional investors to implement responsible real estate strategies that support accessible and inclusive communities
Taken together, the work of these organizations is a reminder that the status quo is being disrupted and that today, we have an opportunity to build the future we need by being imaginative, collaborative, and just.
Find the complete list of Fall 2020 grants below.
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation opened its Spring grant round at the end of December 2020, with a deadline for letters of interest of February 10, 2021. Organizations are invited to apply for the Adult Education stream. The Environment and Housing streams will be closed for unsolicited applications. For granting guidelines please visit www.catherinedonnellyfoundation.org. We are committed to reducing barriers to grant applications and willingly work with organizations to accept proposals if issues arise.
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind • Sight Loss Advocacy in BC • Toronto, ON ($20,000) The CNIB will develop and deliver group training sessions on advocacy and human rights for members of the sight loss community in British Columbia. This project will use a train-the-trainer model to support, connect, empower and amplify voices to inform new accessibility legislation in British Columbia. https://www.cnib.ca/
The Centre for Civic Religious Literacy in partnership with Islamic Family & Social Services Association • Religious, spiritual, and non-religious understanding in rural Canada: A pilot project to promote social and economic well-being through religious literacy • Edmonton, AB ($20,000) This multi-year project aims to improve the social and economic well-being of the rural communities in Alberta and Temiskaming Shores, Ontario by applying religious and spiritual literacy and practices to support identities and reduce tensions. Learned lessons will be explored, adapted and applied in other communities. https://ccrl-clrc.ca/
Dene Nahjo (A Project on MakeWay’s Shared Platform) • Hide Tanning Mentorship – DehCho Delivery 2021 • Yellowknife, NWT ($25,000) An on-the-land program for Indigenous peoples will teach traditional Dene hide tanning techniques as well as instruction on how to manage a bush camp. Facilitated discussions will focus on decolonization, Indigenous resurgence, Indigenous leadership values, climate action and modern land claims. https://www.denenahjo.com/
Hives for Humanity Society in partnership with PHS Community Services Society • Empowering Leadership through the Culture of the Hive • Vancouver, BC ($4,000) This workshop series focuses on public speaking and group facilitation to build pathways to governance and leadership through an inclusive, creative culture of connection built around gardens and bee hives. Participants will identify social inequalities they experience and develop collective actions to share their voices with allies for social justice. https://www.hivesforhumanity.com/
John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights • Stride Forward: Restorative Justice and Community-Based Advocacy • Edmonton, AB ($20,000) Stride Forward will strengthen the Stride Advocacy Network by hosting meetings and workshops to build individual understanding of Indigenous-based/trauma-informed restorative justice practices. Workshops will build skills to use these practices in advocacy work with victims and offenders. www.jhcentre.org/stride-selfadvocacy
Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.• Heart Medicine Lodge • Winnipeg, MB ($30,000) Resources will enable the Heart Medicine Lodge adult education program to adapt programming to pandemic conditions. Embedded in the project are Indigenous cultural practices which define self and create pathways for reconciliation and facilitate the breakdown of systemic barriers. https://www.kanikanichihk.ca/
MABELLEarts • The Mabelle Avenue Project (MAP) • Toronto, ON ($20,000) MAP is a community-led, social and economic development program that seeks to revitalize existing communal spaces that are currently inaccessible to residents. Funding supports adult education, training and job development for community leaders. http://www.mabellearts.ca/projects
Multifaith Housing Initiative • Drawing Water: Divining our Power through Creative Writing • Ottawa, ON ($17,500) This project seeks to advance the leadership of racialized and immigrant/refugee women and build cross-cultural-racial, interfaith allyship through creative writing. Participants will explore the impact of colonization and racial injustice, along with other forms of marginalization. https://www.multifaithhousing.ca/
Skills for Change • Black Leadership Institute on Social Action for Change (SAC) • Toronto, ON ($20,000) The SAC initiative gathers members of the Toronto region’s Black community for leadership development. Participants will gain transferable skills to drive local change related to the intersectional barriers faced by Black people. https://skillsforchange.org/
VIDEA • Oskinîkiwak Askîy: Future World • Victoria, BC ($24,900) The Oskinîkiwak Askîy: Future World project will choose five Indigenous female, male and 2-Spirited youth leaders from communities from across Canada to create a media campaign highlighting Indigenous-led initiatives and teachings on the intersecting themes of environmental sustainability and gender equality. http://videa.ca/
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Ontario) • The Political Economy of Rent • Toronto, ON ($20,380) This project aims to support tenants across Canada to mobilize for more affordable and more secure housing by examining the root causes of the current housing crisis. A demographic portrait of Canada’s tenants and research on collective action by tenants will be included. https://www.policyalternatives.ca/
Logifem Inc. • Achieving sustainable housing for women and families leaving sheltered living by shifting to a systems approach • Montreal, QC ($29,410) Montreal-based organizations supporting women who experience housing instability, aim to shift from an emergency-only response model to a sustainable systems housing approach. The network will create, implement and evaluate housing supports and strengthen organizations working with women and children. https://logifem.org/
Partners for Youth Inc. • Mentoring for Mental Health and Wellness • Fredericton, NB ($12,500) This initiative addresses the service gap related to ongoing mentorship and support for youth who seek mental health treatment. This community-based initiative will support the mental heath of youth and recruit, train and assist volunteer mentors to provide education and employment supports. https://www.partnersforyouth.ca/en/
Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) in partnership with Columbia Institute • Investors for Affordable Cities • Vancouver, BC ($25,000) This project will mobilize actors in the financial system to address practices that are driving housing unaffordability. The initiative will encourage institutional investors to implement responsible real estate strategies and enlist policy makers to stop predatory behavior and promote housing investment that support inclusive communities. https://share.ca/
Siloam Mission • Exit Up! • Winnipeg, MB ($20,000) The Exit Up! program provides opportunities for Indigenous young adults who have left the care of Child and Family Services to develop skills for living interdependently. The program provides culturally safe and relevant opportunities to help participants achieve their goals. https://www.siloam.ca/
Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT) • Safe at Home • Toronto, ON ($24,772) Violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women and a lack of access to safe and affordable housing is a key barrier for women fleeing violence. This project will develop policies and practices to support women to remain in their own home or find independent accommodation when leaving a violent relationship. Knowledge will be shared with policy makers, community agencies and funders. http://www.womanact.ca/
Clean Energy Canada in partnership with Simon Fraser University • Amplifying the hopeful clean energy story in Canada • Vancouver, BC ($15,000) This project will amplify good-news stories about clean energy in Canada through polling, editorial board meetings and ongoing strategic media briefs, with a focus on profiling jobs, economic impacts, examples of change and success stories about renewable energy in Canada’s Indigenous communities. https://cleanenergycanada.org/
Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada and Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) • Supporting a Just Recovery for all Canadians • Toronto, ON ($25,000) Funding will help gather a spectrum of Canadian civil society groups interested in creating and implementing policy and programming for a clean and Just Recovery. The program will also support the development of transition strategies and campaigns covering a variety of investments and activities. https://climateactionnetwork.ca/
Community Forests International • Common Ground: Engagement Organizing for New Forest Relationships • Sackville, NB ($20,000) The project will mobilize citizen climate action in the Maritime region by amplifying common ground in land relationships among settlers and First Nations and by providing access to the emerging conservation economy. CFI will communicate shared knowledge and storytelling. https://forestsinternational.org/
Dogwood in partnership with Institute for New Economics • Local Power • Victoria, BC ($30,000) The Local Power campaign will remove obstacles to community-driven clean electricity in B.C. by surveying green recovery projects, partnering with First Nations to highlight Indigenous renewable power projects and helping draft clean energy legislation in the province. https://dogwoodbc.ca/
For Our Kids • Building a Parent Climate Movement • Duncan, BC ($40,000) For Our Kids is a network of parents/guardians and grandparents in Canada fighting for a green, equitable, and just world for our kids and grandkids. This grant will support efforts to expand the network across Canada and assist local advocacy. https://www.forourkids.ca/
Global Catholic Climate Movement – Canada a project of Faith & the Common Good • Ecological Catholic Impact Investment Initiative • Toronto, ON ($25,000) This project aims to facilitate the migration of Catholic-held capital (in pension fund, endowments and other investment vehicles) to alternatives that will build a more sustainable and just world. Activities include developing ecological investment alternatives for faith communities. https://www.faithcommongood.org/
Green Jobs Oshawa in partnership with CSJ Foundation for Research and Education • Environmental Conversion • Oshawa, ON ($25,000) This project for environmentally conscious conversion of manufacturing will work to build a popular base for converting closed facilities to socially useful production, encourage worker and community engagement and advocate for links between economic restructuring, the environment and jobs with dignity. https://www.greenjobsoshawa.ca/
Indigenous Clean Energy • Bringing It Home • Ottawa, ON ($20,000) Bringing It Home is a national initiative that will develop tools and resources, national financing solutions, and hands-on training to support Indigenous communities to implement energy efficiency projects. https://indigenouscleanenergy.com/
Iron and Earth in partnership with Institute for New Economics • The Prosperous Transition Campaign: Fossil Fuel Industry Workers Calling for a Green Recovery • Victoria, BC ($20,000) The campaign will generate worker support for prosperous transition principles and green stimulus initiatives, amplify worker-supported priorities and organize to win workers’ policy priorities.
The Share Reuse Repair Initiative (a Project of MakeWay Charitable Society) • Catalyzing a Just and Green Recovery through Sharing, Reuse and Repair • Vancouver, BC ($25,000) This project will engage members of marginalized communities to chronicle how circular economy practices like sharing, reuse and repair show up in their lives, build shared understanding of a Just Recovery and-create a Strategy Brief that uses their voices and stories to advocate for change. https://www.sharereuserepair.org/
West Kootenay EcoSociety • Just Transition in Heavy Industry-Based Rural Towns • Nelson, BC ($25,000) This project will connect with rural audiences in heavy-industry communities to build support for a just clean energy transition by undertaking ‘deep canvassing’, amplifying positive rural solutions and building support among workers and politicians to transition industry to low-carbon energy solutions. https://www.ecosociety.ca/
World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) New Economy in Renewable Energy: Gjoa Haven Energy Coop Toronto, ON ($15,000) Funding will support the creation of the Gjoa Haven Energy Coop by finalizing the legal and financial structure and building a business case for the new venture. Gjoa Haven will enable energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to increase employment, energy security and Inuit ownership in Nunavut. https://arcticwwf.org/newsroom/the-circle/arctic-check-up/making-the-move-to-green-energy-in-nunavut/
For Immediate Release October 9, 2020
Anne Mark appointed Director of Programs at The Catherine Donnelly Foundation
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce that Anne Mark has been appointed to the newly created position of Director of Programs. Anne will be responsible for overseeing our granting streams as well as supporting the development of new partnerships and funding opportunities. The Foundation’s vision is to transform the lives of those most in need across the country by proactively supporting creative initiatives in the areas of housing, adult education and the environment.
“Anne’s time at the Foundation, combined with her experience working for progressive non-profits, offers knowledge and insight that serve the Foundation, our programs and partners exceptionally well,” said Board Chair Peter Hough. “We’re thrilled Anne will deepen her role working and building partnerships with our friends and allies,” said Claire Barcik, Executive Director. Anne starts her new position immediately.
“I am excited to move into a new role at the CDF and feel so fortunate that I get to do work every day that aligns so strongly with my personal convictions around environmental and social justice,” added Anne. “I look forward to continuing to grow and learn alongside excellent colleagues, philanthropic partners, and the countless non-profit and grassroots organizations working on the ground toward shared goals.”
Anne joined the Foundation as our Program Officer in 2017, after working for more than 15 years in the non-profit sector. Most recently, she was Executive Director of Planet in Focus – an environmental media arts organization that uses film as a catalyst for public engagement and action. She has experience writing countless grants, fostering creative collaborations, and working with others to encourage environmental and social justice. Anne has an Undergraduate degree in Film and a Masters in Environmental Studies, both from York University.
For Immediate Release June 15, 2020
Spring 2020 grants from The Catherine Donnelly Foundation support 20 organizations offering innovative solutions in housing, the environment and adult education for social change
The COVID-19 pandemic is demonstrating how marginalized communities are disproportionately vulnerable to health crises and economic shocks. This deeply challenging period has been especially difficult for those experiencing homelessness.
Outflow Ministry, which operates a men’s shelter and social enterprise programs in Saint John, NB, has seen their world turned upside-down. When public health rules were enacted in March, Outflow was forced to find a temporary building to house the shelter, erect plexiglass screens between socially-distanced beds and enact new health and safety rules. All within several weeks.
It was a massive undertaking for Executive Director Jayme Hall, and Outflow’s staff and volunteers, but one they met with determination and inventiveness. COVID-19 has demonstrated that Canada’s not-for-profit sector has flexible and effective solutions to assist communities, even under the most challenging of circumstances.
Understanding the resiliency and power of Canada’s caring not-for-profit sector is one reason The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is particularly pleased to announce Outflow Ministry and 19 other organizations will receive more than $600,000 to assist with their essential solutions for our most pressing problems.
Adult education, housing and environmental organizations from across Canada worked with the Foundation during the early stages of the pandemic to submit applications under difficult circumstances. We supported the process by individually connecting with those submitting applications, offering flexibility in how proposals were written and extending deadlines where necessary.
Outflow Ministry received funding to help develop a response to COVID-19 for those experiencing homelessness during and after the pandemic and to educate politicians, bureaucrats and the public in order to reduce regional barriers to housing. Promoting solutions that encourage systemic change is of urgent concern for the Foundation.
Grants also recognize those working to empower individuals to build more equitable communities. The Child Welfare League of Canada’s Learning Community on Reconciliation will assist organizations supporting families, children and youth to work creatively and respectfully with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, while Toronto and Vancouver’s Park People’s Sparking Change Learning Project will support community leaders within marginalized neighbourhoods through peer learning.
Additional funds in the area of adult education for social change are targeted to secure greater equity for women and to provide marginalized communities with the skills to participate in neighbourhood planning. Breast Cancer Action Quebec’s Workshops to Reduce Social Inequalities of Health empowers recent immigrants by creating skills to navigate the healthcare system, while Equity Planning Toolbox, a project of Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre, builds understanding and participation in the Toronto land use and development process.
We are particularly pleased that a number of the projects support innovative financial solutions to promote affordable housing projects. A grant to the Jubilee Fund in Winnipeg will assist in their work offering bridge financing to housing projects which can’t access traditional support, while a grant to The Circle Community Land Trust will help the team prepare for an innovative solution by assuming ownership of more than 700 homes currently owned by Toronto Community Housing.
Grants to groups helping the environment include assistance for Wellington Water Watcher’s People’s Water Tribunal, an event highlighting the impact in Central Ontario of extracting local water for bottled water, and support for Future Majority’s work to increase youth turnout during elections to encourage greater action on climate change, among other issues.
Find a complete list of Spring 2020 grants here.
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will open its fall grant round in June 2020, with a deadline for letters of interest in early August. For granting guidelines please visit www.catherinedonnellyfoundation.org. We are committed to reducing barriers to grant applications and willingly work with organizations to accept proposals if issues arise.
For Immediate Release March 12, 2020
A Note to Catherine Donnelly Foundation Partners and Programs regarding COVID-19
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories globally and the sustained risk of further spread.
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation recognizes many of our partners work on the frontlines of their communities. We’re grateful you do. We also understand that operating in the current environment is adding additional stresses and may mean the events and initiatives you’ve planned so carefully for over the past months or years may be disrupted, delayed or even cancelled.
Be assured we will be supportive of decisions you make and if you have particular questions or concerns, please contact us. We wish you well and are in solidarity with you as you navigate the challenges ahead.
For Immediate Release December 10, 2019
Fall 2019 grants from Catherine Donnelly Foundation supports 15 organizations offering innovative solutions to critical problems
During the past two years, the Halifax Refugee Clinic has witnessed a two hundred percent increase in clients – especially refugee children, youth and their families – needing shelter in a city plagued by a rental crisis and a lack of affordable housing.
The Clinic’s unique solution to the problem is to develop The Community Action on Eliminating Housing Barriers project, which seeks to secure permanent housing solutions through education, community collaboration and direct, needs-based and client-centred support.
“Through this initiative, we can ensure that no one who comes through our doors, fleeing persecution and seeking protection in Canada, is forced into homelessness or separated from family members,” says Clinic Executive Director Julie Chamagne. “We recognize that trauma, displacement and precarity are all already part of the refugee experience and access to safe and affordable housing is a basic human right.”
The Halifax Refugee Clinic is one of 15 organizations who together received nearly $500,000 to address critical issues through innovative approaches during Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s latest round of grants in the areas of adult education, housing and the environment.
The Foundation chose to support the Halifax venture because it addressed immediate need, but also because it promoted networking and coordinated activity to create large-scale social, structural and environmental change – a theme that unifies many of our grants.
Grants also recognize Canadians in urban and rural areas need support to address common problems that nevertheless demand unique regional solutions. That’s why we renewed funding for the National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness to extend capacity and create resources to assist individuals and organizations in less populous areas of our country.
We are particularly pleased that six of the projects support Indigenous peoples and communities. CDF is committed to integrating an Indigenous-influenced perspective while moving towards a decolonized approach to our grant making. Among the projects is an initiative to promote Mi’kmaw laws for ecological governance among lawmakers.
Find a complete list of our Fall 2019 grants here.
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will accept funding applications in the Adult Education and Housing streams in February 2020. For granting guidelines please visit www.catherinedonnellyfoundation.org. We are committed to reducing barriers to grant applications and willingly work with organizations to accept proposals if issues arise.
For Immediate Release – December 3, 2019
Catherine Donnelly Foundation and MJ Sinha profiled as impact investing leaders
The impact investment work of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and Director of Finance & Investment MJ Sinha is featured in a November 2019 leadership profile by Foundation Investing 2.0.
CDF was among the first Canadian foundations to adopt socially responsible investment strategies ranging from divesting extraction-industry stock from our portfolio to subscribing to social impact bonds that supported health and education programs. From the very beginning, CDF was attracted to responsible investment due to our belief that our financial resources should be aligned with our values. Today, we investing 10% of our capital in impact investments.
In the profile, Sinha details CDF’s approach to investing as well as the thinking behind those decisions. “Foundations need to distinguish themselves from thinking like an investment fund,” Sinha says in the profile. “Foundations exist to have an impact on the problems at the core of their missions – they don’t exist just to make investment return. So, what sort of intentional impact you’re having on the problems you exist to solve, has to be a more important consideration than investment return.”
Link to the complete leadership profile here
Foundation Investing 2.0 is a project of Rally Philanthropy and the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) to help Canadian foundations explore or expand opportunities to invest their capital in ways that bring about positive social and environmental change and more closely align their investment portfolios with their vision. You can find more about their work at their website.
For Immediate Release – October 8, 2019
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Looks Forward to Welcoming Claire Barcik as New Executive Director
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is very pleased to announce Claire Barcik as our new Executive Director, effective November 19, 2019. Claire has extensive experience leading the development and growth of organizations engaged in building stronger, more equitable and more collaborative communities.
Most recently, Claire was Executive Director of the CRC | Regent Park Community Food Centre, a multi-service agency with innovative solutions to building skills, food security, economic development and housing in a diverse, low-income community. During her four-year tenure, CRC was recognized for its commitment to community building with a United Way Bhayana Family Foundation Team Award for Excellence.
In previous work as Director of Community Services at Yonge Street Mission and Executive Director at the Neighbourhood Centre in Toronto’s Crescent Town, Claire worked alongside community and government stakeholders to provide transformative social change for at-risk children and youth, marginalized and street-involved adults, seniors, refuges and newcomer women and their families.
“Across this country, non-profits bring astounding energy and creativity to moving the needle on critical social issues,” says Claire, who is excited to bring her operational experience to the grantmaking realm. “At a time when affordable housing, climate change and building community connections and investments are foremost on the national agenda, I’m very excited to join the CDF team to support collaboration on innovative housing, ecological and social solutions.”
Claire holds a B.A. and a Master’s in Theology and Social Justice from University of Toronto as well as an LL.B. from the University of Ottawa.
For Immediate Release – June 26, 2019
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Welcomes New Communication & Policy Officer
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto, is pleased to be welcoming Steve Brearton in his new role as Communication & Policy Officer.
Steve will work to communicate the foundation’s transformative commitment to social and ecological justice and collaborate with partners, grantees and other organizations to amplify their voices and share their progressive practices in the public and philanthropic space.
He began his career at Maclean’s magazine and has spent the subsequent years writing, researching and packaging information for Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers. During that time, he prioritized work with organizations involved in environmental education, food security, community health and sustainable transportation.
“Exploring and sharing important issues relating to poverty, equity and justice is what first motivated me to become a writer,” notes Steve. “Working with the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and other organizations committed to those goals feels like a return home.”
Connect with Steve at: email@example.com
For Immediate Release – January 21, 2019
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation releases our Biennial Report 2016-17: Power Disrupted in which we share the learning that is emerging as we participate in community-driven coalitions and as we grapple with integrating an Indigenous-influenced perspective into our granting. We seek to disrupt the “business as usual” approach to philanthropy and recognize that in doing so we must be prepared to relinquish power. Read the full report.
For Immediate Release – Dec 5, 2018
TORONTO — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent one-year project funding recipients for the 2018 fall grant cycle which saw $358,338 go to 13 organizations across Canada.
For Immediate Release – Dec 4, 2018
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Welcomes New Director of Finance & Investment
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto, is pleased to be welcoming Mritunjay (MJ) Sinha in his new role as Director of Finance & Investment.
Earlier this year the Foundation adopted its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and so put in place an exciting multi-year body of work, that in the area of finance and investment, is building on achievements to date and encouraging the Foundation to go forward and be as imaginative, daring, and innovative as possible in the use of its capital for social good. By bringing MJ on in a full-time role, the foundation has increased its capacity to achieve finance and investment strategic goals.
A social entrepreneur-operator and an investor, MJ helped build a multi-million dollar micro-loan portfolio in rural India and worked with women entrepreneurs helping create a co-operative of over 200 members. For the last few years, MJ has been working with impact investors. He supported the team at Grand Challenges Canada – Canada’s leading impact investor. Thereafter, he has been working with asset owners and asset managers helping them understand the difference they can make with their endowments. MJ’s passion for social change is complemented by his experience in Capital Markets and Corporate Strategy, and his degrees in Engineering and M.B.A.
MJ is assuming the role previously held by Desmond Wilson. Desmond will work with MJ between now and the end of the year to help with the transition and to introduce him to as many of our partners and collaborators, as possible.
Connect with MJ at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release – Aug 29, 2018
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Welcomes New Finance Administrator
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto, is pleased to be welcoming Shorna James in her new role as Finance Administrator.
Shorna James has over eleven years of experience in Non-Profit financial management and worked for over thirteen years in the social justice sector. She has a penchant for accounting and finance. As the mother of a young adult with a disability, she particularly gains satisfaction from contributing to organizations that support our most vulnerable. She approaches life with justice and compassion. Shorna is currently pursuing a degree in Specialized Honours BCom at York University, is a candidate in the CPA PEP program, and holds a diploma in Accounting – Business, with honours, from Humber College.
Connect with Shorna at: email@example.com
On May 25, 2018 the CDF hosted a recognition ceremony to celebrate Anna McNally, SOS who has recently retired from the board. A commemorative tree and plaque were planted in the garden to honour Anna’s vision and commitment to guiding and creating the Foundation over the last 15 years. In Anna’s heartfult speech she noted that “We, as a community, envisioned that a new form/vehicle needed to be created for us to continue in mission in our latter years. It was at that time, the seed was planted to establish the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, to honour the legacy of the Sisters of Service.”
The plaque reads: Our role in life is to bring the light of our own souls to the dim places around us – Joan D. Chittister, OSB. Dedicated to Anna McNally, SOS for shining her light and guiding the growth of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation.
Pictured from left to right: Mary Corkery, Anna McNally, SOS and Valerie Lemieux.
For Immediate Release – June 14, 2018
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Welcomes New Grants and Office Coordinator
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto, is pleased to be welcoming Shanjitha Rajasingam in her new role of Grants and Office Coordinator effective immediately. Shanjitha is being promoted from her previous role of Administrative Assistant.
Shanjitha Rajasingam is very passionate about social change, equity and inclusion. She is excited to be working with the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. She has previously worked for the Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative as an Administrative Assistant. She has completed her Honours Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at the University of Toronto and a postgraduate certificate program at George Brown College in Digital Media Marketing.
Connect with Shanjitha at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release – June 6, 2018
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent one-year project funding recipients for the 2018 spring grant cycle.
For Immediate Release – June 5, 2018
Together with other leading Canadian foundations, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation is a proud signatory of Foundations-20 joint statement calling on G7 leaders to enact climate change solutions and lift barriers to progress. This is being released ahead of the upcoming G7 summit in Charlevoix, QC (June 8-9, 2018).
Read the full press release
For Immediate Release – April 23, 2018
Caritas Internationalis, three leading Catholic banks with balance sheets totaling approximately €7.5 billion, several dioceses, and an international coalition of Catholic institutions are announcing their divestment from fossil fuels. Read the full Catholic divestment press release
For Immediate Release – December 7, 2017
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent one-year project funding recipients for the 2017 fall grant cycle.
For Immediate Release – November 28, 2017The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the Impactful Investment, Capital as a Force for Good: Moving from Theory to Practice report. The purpose of this report is to share the Foundation’s findings, learnings, successes and failures of our impact investment journey.
Read the Press Release
Read the Impactful Investment Report
For Immediate Release – June 14, 2017
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Awards $339,200 in Project Funding to 13 Charitable Organizations
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent one-year project funding recipients for the 2017 spring grant cycle.
For Immediate Release – March 15, 2017
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Welcomes New Program Officer
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto is pleased to be welcoming Anne Mark in the role of Program Officer effective immediately.
Anne is passionate about social and environmental change. She is excited to be joining the Catherine Donnelly Foundation team to foster the work of organizations across Canada engaging in initiatives to accelerate this change. She has 15 years of progressive experience working in the non-profit sector, much of which was with Planet in Focus – an environmental media arts organization that uses film as a catalyst for public engagement, discussion and action through an annual film festival, touring, and educational programs.
Given her past experience, Anne understands the many challenges and opportunities facing non-profit organizations and looks forward to engaging from a “funding” perspective.
Connect with Anne at: email@example.com
For Immediate Release – February 17, 2017
Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action
Mary Corkery, Board Chair and Valerie Lemieux, General Director were pleased on behalf of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation to finally put “pen to paper” earlier this month. The Declaration is a call to action inviting others to join in moving forward in an atmosphere of understanding, dignity and respect towards the shared goal of reconciliation. The Foundation was pleased to sign electronically in the spring of 2015 and to reaffirm our commitment at a PFC meeting highlighting the history of the Declaration and what further actions the philanthropic community could engage in to further reconciliation in Canada. Thank you to Wanda Brascoupe-Peters from The Circle for this kind invitation.
For Immediate Release – December 19, 2016
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Awards $374,000 in Project Funding to 15 Charitable Organizations
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent one-year project funding recipients for the 2016 fall grant cycle.
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For Immediate Release – December 2016
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will Invest in Northern Leadership Programming for the Next Three Years
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation (CDF) has recently approved a $60,000 grant over the next three years to a program meant to foster and cultivate a new generation of leaders and community builders in the Yukon, Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut.
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For Immediate Release – December 16, 2016
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Renews Commitment to End Youth Homelessness in Canada
(TORONTO, ON) — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation (CDF) is pleased to announce a renewed multi-year commitment to the fight against youth homelessness by partnering and working together with A Way Home Canada over the next five years.
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For Immediate Release – December 6, 2016
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation Presents New Funding Priorities for Housing Stream
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation has just released new funding priorities for applicant organizations interested in applying to its Housing granting stream. For over ten years, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation has been supporting the work of organizations committed to building a more just society across Canada working in three key sectors: Adult Education, Environment, and Housing.
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For Immediate Release – November 22, 2016
Original Source Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)
Ground-breaking Social Finance Pilot Assists Unemployed Canadians
OTTAWA — Canada has achieved an important milestone in its commitment to social financing for public good. The Government of Canada, private investors, and colleges and institutes are pushing the boundaries of social innovation and impact investing by implementing the first social finance project of its kind in Canada.
“The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is proud to be a formative part of this innovative venture, which is expanding the frontier of Social Finance in Canada. The Foundation believes a just, sustainable and equitable future is possible if Canadians deliberately wield the power of our capital as a force for good.” – Jason Dudek, Outgoing Board Chair, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation
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For Immediate Release – July 4, 2016
Original Source Ecojustice
Ecojustice receives multi-year grant from Catherine Donnelly Foundation
TORONTO — The Catherine Donnelly Foundation (CDF) has awarded Ecojustice a five-year, $750,000 grant to fund efforts to advance the legal recognition of every Canadian’s right to a healthy environment.
“Charter recognition of our basic human right to a healthy environment will be life-changing for Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast,” said Devon Page, Ecojustice executive director. “The Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s generous support will help Ecojustice, its partners, and thousands of Canadians shift the conversation around environmental rights in Canada from a question of ‘if’ to ‘when’.”
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For Immediate Release – June 20, 2016
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation Announces New Funding Stream focused on Climate Justice/Climate Change Solutions
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is inviting charitable groups across Canada with a commitment to climate justice and climate change solutions, to submit a Letter of Inquiry for our new one-year environment project grants. The Foundation is calling on organizations making meaningful contributions and impacting public engagement on issues related to climate change.
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For Immediate Release – June 14, 2016
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Grants to provide $ 203,000 to 10 Charitable Organization
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is announcing its project grant recipients for spring 2016. The grantees represent a range of charitable organizations from across Canada and were thoroughly vetted and approved by Catherine Donnelly Foundation board members and expert advisors. The Foundation continues to live its mission of supporting groups that seek to bring radical social change and empower marginalized communities in Canada. This funding will ensure organizations are able to take on issues that are at the forefront of policy discussions, strengthen ways to bring about solutions and build community support in our strategic program areas.
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CANADIAN FOUNDATIONS JOIN GLOBAL FOSSIL FREE MOVEMENT:
Divest-Invest Philanthropy announces first Canadian members before Environmental Grantmakers’ Network annual meeting
TORONTO, June 7, 2016: Leading Canadian foundations announced today they would divest their portfolios of planet-heating fossil fuels and invest instead in climate solutions. As Canada works to meet its climate change targets, leading foundations are throwing their weight behind the message that the transformation of our energy system is urgent and a great investment opportunity.
Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and Comart Foundation became the first Canadian signatories to Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a global alliance of foundations committed to accelerating the clean energy transition.
“Avoiding dangerous climate change requires that foundations, as well as government, private sector, and citizens, invest in low-carbon solutions now,” said Toronto Atmospheric Fund CEO Julia Langer. “Early-adopters have demonstrated that divesting and investing reduces carbon risk to the portfolio, generates financial returns on investment, and achieves carbon reduction.”
150 foundations with over $12 billion in assets have taken the Divest-Invest Pledge. Members agree to drop existing investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies and invest at least 5 percent of their portfolios into climate solutions, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technology and clean energy access, within a five-year period.
“The Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s decision to divest from fossil fuels is motivated by a strong financial logic as well as a deep concern for environmental stewardship,” said Donnelly Foundation Chair, Jason Dudek. “As governments and global accords debate various restrictions on the fossil fuel industry, we feel these investments are becoming increasingly risky while the green energy sector continues to demonstrate excellent potential.”
Experts on fiduciary duty say fossil fuel divestment ultimately may be required by law. “Trustees are increasingly expected to look beyond portfolio performance to the intentional management of systemic risks and rewards, reflecting the longer term interests of their beneficiaries. Over time, this will likely become an enforceable obligation,” said Ed Waitzer, Professor and Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.
Divest-Invest Philanthropy was launched in January 2014 by the Wallace Global Fund to support the wider divestment movement pushing churches, cities, universities, pension funds, insurers and other institutional investors to invest morally in a time of climate change. Today, institutions and individuals pledging some form of divestment control assets of more than $4 trillion.
“The global divest-invest movement was a primary driver of success at the climate talks in Paris last December, where the world’s governments agreed to ambitious action to be carbon-free by mid-century,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC. “But governments cannot do it alone; the private and nonprofit sectors also have a critical role to play in shifting markets and accelerating the transition to clean and safe energy. This is business as urgent.”
The movement is catalyzing changes in financial markets, as investors increasingly demand fossil free investment strategies. In Canada, Genus Capital Management has worked with the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, and Clayoquot Biosphere Trust on tailored divestment strategies.
“As investment community leaders, Canadian foundations and family offices have the power to choose investments that will support a just transition to a low carbon economy and fossil free energy systems,” said Wayne Wachell, CEO of Genus Capital Management. “Genus is proud to be a leading provider of investment tools for Divest-Invest signatories across Canada.”
A global coalition, Divest-Invest Philanthropy includes iconic foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Velux Foundations, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and the Mary Robinson Foundation. In April, 2016, the signatories of Divest-Invest Philanthropy received the 2016 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy from CIVICUS, a global civil society NGO.
Clara Vondrich, Director, Divest-Invest Philanthropy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Desmond Wilson, Chief Financial Officer, Catherine Donnelly Foundation, email@example.com
Catherine Donnelly Foundation Launches Redesigned Website and Online Grant Application
For Immediate Release – January 11, 2016
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable grant-making foundation located in Toronto, has recently launched a redesigned website, as well as an online grant application portal. The Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s website is intended to provide information to prospective and past grantees, sector and foundation partners, and others. The launch of the new website, found at www.catherinedonnellyfoundation.org, offers simple access to information on past Catherine Donnelly Foundation grants, application guidelines and biases, and an overview of the Foundation’s history and founders. The website provides detailed, easy to find information on the functions of the Foundation.
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Catherine Donnelly Foundation to Provide Over $275,000 to 11 Charitable Organizations
For Immediate Release – December 23, 2015
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is announcing their bi-annual funding round project grant recipients for fall 2015. The grantees represent a range of charitable organizations from across Canada. The projects were thoroughly vetted and approved by Catherine Donnelly Foundation board members and advisors. In keeping with the Foundation’s commitment to social and ecological justice, these one-time grants will address a diverse range of issues, including creating a roadmap for the creation of an Environmental Bill of Rights in Alberta, building a national youth network of social and environmental change agents, and settling refugee claimants in Metro Vancouver.
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A Way Home: New National Coalition Works Together to End Youth Homelessness
Coalition sets a 10-year mandate to end youth homelessness in Canada
For Immediate Release – October 29, 2015
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – In an unprecedented example of collaboration, six national organizations have come together to commit to one bold goal: putting an end to youth homelessness in Canada. Called A Way Home, the coalition will work collectively to support communities and governments to effectively plan and implement strategies to prevent, reduce and ultimately end this crisis, which currently affects 35-40,000 youth across the country each year.
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Catherine Donnelly Foundation invests in Zooshare Biogas Cooperative
For Immediate Release – April 15, 2015
TORONTO – The Catherine Donnelly Foundation Board recently invested in a $100,000, seven-year Community Bond issued by Zooshare Biogas Cooperative (www.zooshare.ca).
The funds being raised will assist in the development of a 500kW electricity generation facility at the Toronto Zoo. This is a $6 million project to construct North America’s first zoo-based biogas plant including a primary digester, two storage tanks and a generator connected to the local distribution grid and sold to the Ontario Power Authority. Fuel for the plant is 14,000 tonnes of inedible food waste from a major grocery retailer and 3,000 tonnes of animal manure from the zoo.
Considered complementary to the Foundation’s environmental focus, this attractive waste recycling, sustainable energy project is in keeping with the Foundation’s commitment to seek out companies investing in renewable energy, other low-carbon fuel sources, energy efficiency and other environmental initiatives that otherwise satisfy the Foundation’s investment quality standards.
For more information contact: Desmond Wilson, Director of Finance firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Donnelly Foundation celebrates Global Divestment Day
For Immediate Release – February 10, 2015
TORONTO – February 13th and 14th 2015 mark the first Global Divestment Day, an international day of collective action for the divestment from fossil fuels. The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is proud to participate as the first Canadian charitable foundation to publicly divest from fossil fuels. In late 2014, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation (CDF) Board unanimously agreed that it would no longer hold investments in any of the 200 global, publicly-traded companies with the largest coal, oil and gas reserves as listed in the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s “Unburnable Carbon” report. The CDF is happy to announce that, as of February 13th 2015, it has completed its divestment of the aforementioned companies.
The Foundation believes the growing green energy sector presents an excellent alternative to oil and gas investments, and will be seeking out companies investing in renewable energy, other low-carbon fuel sources and energy efficiency that satisfy the CDF’s rigorous investment quality standards. CDF has recently added several alternative energy companies, purchased in the traditional financial markets, to its portfolio (representing approximately 5% of the Foundation’s portfolio at this time). The CDF Board has also allocated 10% of the Foundation’s portfolio for impact investing, where the Foundation is looking to invest privately into corporations that will directly and profitably further its charitable purposes. In April 2014, the Foundation took its first step with a bond purchase in an Ontario solar power cooperative, Solar Share.
Jason Dudek, Chair of the Foundation, stressed that
“the Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s decision to divest from Fossil Fuels is motivated by a strong financial logic as well as a deep concern for environmental stewardship. We believe that governments, markets and the Fossil Fuel industry itself will soon have to face the ramifications of ever-intensifying climate change. As governments and global accords debate various restrictions on the Fossil Fuel industry, we feel these investments are becoming increasingly risky while the green energy sector continues to demonstrate excellent potential.”
For more information contact: Desmond Wilson, Director of Finance email@example.com
Catherine Donnelly Foundation to Divest of Fossil Fuels Investments
For Immediate Release – December 9, 2014
TORONTO – At a recent meeting, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation Board unanimously agreed that it would no longer make direct investments in any of the 200 global, publicly-traded companies with the largest coal, oil and gas reserves as listed in the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s “Unburnable Carbon” report.
In keeping with its commitment to stewardship and ecological and social justice, the Foundation will seek out companies investing in renewable energy, other low-carbon fuel sources, energy efficiency and other environmental initiatives that otherwise satisfy the Foundation’s investment quality standards.
While the Foundation has used an engagement approach in the past, the board determined that a “business as usual” approach is not sustainable and that divestment is the best strategy to break the stalemate on climate action.
Jason Dudek, the newly elected Chair of the Foundation, said that
“the Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s decision to divest from Fossil Fuels is motivated by a strong financial logic as well as a deep concern for environmental stewardship. We believe that governments, markets and the Fossil Fuel industry itself will soon have to face the ramifications of ever-intensifying climate change. As governments and global accords debate various restrictions on the Fossil Fuel industry, we feel these investments are becoming increasingly risky while the green energy sector continues to demonstrate excellent potential. The Catherine Donnelly Foundation views environmental sustainability as a key financial consideration and we hope others join us in this enlightened investment logic.”
At a time when humanity continues to add CO2 emissions to the atmosphere at unsustainable levels, it is appropriate that the Foundation adds its name to the divestment movement.
For more information contact: Desmond Wilson, Director of Finance firstname.lastname@example.org
CDF Wins AFP Award for Outstanding Foundation
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is honoured to have been chosen as the 2013 recipient of the AFP Award for Outstanding Foundation. The Foundation is committed to serving those most in need by sharing our resources, by choosing to be part of the great work of transformation taking place in our time.
The foundation would also like to congratulate David Love for receiving the 2013 AFP Lifetime Achievement Award. David has been an inspiration to his fellow board directors at the Catherine Donnelly Foundation
Watch the video on YouTube: Here