I want to know more about the CivicAction Leadership Foundation
What is the CivicAction Leadership Foundation?
The CivicAction Leadership Foundation is a registered Canadian charity under the broader oversight of CivicAction, committed to advancing education for young, emerging and under-represented leaders in our communities through leadership training, seminars and associated activities.
With world-class programs and unparalleled access to the region’s most influential thinkers and doers, the Foundation will be the premier destination for rising civic leaders wanting to develop their networks, grow their minds, and transform their communities while helping build strong, vibrant and inclusive communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
What is the difference between CivicAction and the CivicAction Leadership Foundation?
CivicAction and the CivicAction Leadership Foundation are two connected yet distinct legal entities.
CivicAction is a non-profit organization that brings together leaders from all sectors to tackle challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The organization works to build partnerships and takes action through campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region.
As the charitable arm of CivicAction, the CivicAction Leadership Foundation has a more specific focus on developing and activating the next generation of civic leaders. This takes the form of award-winning fellowship programs, young professional networks, conferences, and new programs targeted at groups who face barriers including youth, women, and racialized individuals.
Both organizations have distinct Boards of Directors and staff teams but stay connected in a number of ways. This includes a shared Chief Executive Officer, shared communications and fundraising support, some shared board positions, and joint strategic planning between boards to ensure alignment.
Why is CivicAction not a registered charity?
In Canada, there are very specific requirements around what is deemed charitable and how charities advance their charitable purposes.
As a non-profit organization, CivicAction is better positioned to remain flexible around the issues it takes on and the types of mechanisms it chooses to impact change.
How is the CivicAction Leadership Foundation funded? How is CivicAction funded?
The CivicAction Leadership Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that is primarily funded through the incredible support of individuals, foundations, and the Ontario government. Funds raised support the Foundation in achieving its charitable purposes and objectives. To learn more about the Foundation’s supporters, please visit our Supporters page.
CivicAction is an Ontario not-for-profit organization that is funded primarily through private sector contributions and support from the Ontario government. Funds raised support the implementation of campaigns, programs and organizations that are working to transform our region. To learn more about CivicAction’s supporters, please visit the CivicAction website.
How can I contribute to the CivicAction Leadership Foundation?
When you make a donation to the CivicAction Leadership Foundation, you are making an investment in our region’s next generation of leaders.
For donations of under $500, please use the donation form on this page. Once your donation has been received, an email confirmation will be sent to you along with an electronic tax receipt.
For donations of $500 or more (or if you have any general donation inquiries) please contact Magda Hjartarson, Director of Partnerships and Development, at (416) 309-4480 x 513.
All donation tax receipts are issued in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency standards.
Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $25 or more.
How will investing in the CivicAction Leadership Foundation support the next generation of civic leaders?
Today’s rising leaders are tomorrow’s senior executives, politicians, and community leaders and they will be entrusted with our region’s long-term success. However, there is more work to be done to engage rising leaders in the civic landscape and level the playing field for those who face barriers to access (including young, emerging and under-represented leaders).
Civic leadership is an increasingly smart investment. Consider:
From infrastructure to climate change to mental health, todays challenges are bigger and more complex than ever before. Civic leadership transcends standard boundaries and in an increasingly globalized and decentralized world, tomorrow’s leaders need a different toolkit.
Canada’s labour force is changing and we aren’t keeping pace. Productivity, skills shortages and talent retention are real concerns, and millennials are now the biggest generation in the Canadian workforce, making up 75% of the global workforce by 2025
We live in the most diverse region in the world and our leadership still does not reflect that. Women account for 51.5% of the population in the GTA but hold only 32.5% of senior leadership positions. Similarly, visible minorities account for 53.7% of the GTA population but hold only 12.8% of senior leadership positions.
The world is watching how we address issues of diversity and inclusion. As a region with over 200 distinct ethnicities, more than 140 languages and dialects spoken, and close to half of our residents born outside Canada, we live in one of the most ethno-culturally diverse regions in the world and we have an opportunity to expand our reputation as leaders in this space and showcase how this cultural mosaic can work.
The readiness and effectiveness of our civic leadership, both now and in the future, will be a key determinant of success for our region across all sectors. This investment is a direct investment in the long-term health, wellness and vitality of the communities in which you live and work.
How will program delivery change under the Foundation?
The CivicAction Leadership Foundation will continue to deliver its current suite of high-impact programming, including the Emerging Leaders Network and the DiverseCity Fellows program.
Moving forward, the Foundation will also launch new programs aimed at new audiences including high-school and post-secondary students, and tailor programming to specific audiences such as women in leadership.
What is the best way to continue supporting the work of CivicAction?
Every four years, CivicAction holds a summit to identify the biggest issues facing the GTHA, then sets its agenda and launches initiatives and campaigns to make a measurable difference on those issues. Currently, CivicAction is working to effect change on five key areas: mental health, infrastructure, childcare, public space, and affordable housing, as well as our ongoing work on youth unemployment and supporting the region’s most vulnerable through our work on poverty reduction.
You can support the work of CivicAction in two key ways:
Core Donation: Core donations are general donations to CivicAction that broadly support and drive impact across all key areas of focus. This is our preferred method of gift since it allows us the most flexibility to allocate funds where they are needed most.
Program-Specific Donation: Where this is alignment or interest, we also welcome program-specific funding that is only used to support the program identified.
As a non-profit, CivicAction does not issue tax receipts for donations. However, donors will receive an invoice and an annual update documenting the important work that your donation contributed to and the impact it has made to date.
I'm curious about the DiverseCity Fellows Program
Who are the DiverseCity Fellows?
CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows are rising leaders from diverse worldviews, sectors, identities, and experiences who are passionate about shaping their communities. Each year, the program brings together over 25 Fellows from different sectors and communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Get to know our Fellows.
What is the estimated time commitment of the program?
The DiverseCity Fellows program runs from January to December and includes more than 100 hours of programming throughout the year. The program is part-time and requires a commitment of approximately 10 hours/month of programming (which includes one overnight retreat and approximately 10 Fellows learning sessions over the course of the year) and 5-10 hours/month for projects. Fellows sessions take place on weekdays, evenings, and weekends and Fellows are required to attend all of the sessions.
Fellows are also required to work on team projects to curate a day of experiential learning for their peers on an issues impacting our region and must be able to meet regularly with their project teams and complete related work. In addition, Fellows are expected to meet with their mentor 4-6 times over a one-year period. Project team and mentorship meetings take place outside of the Fellows sessions.
Do I need the approval of my employer to participate?
No – the decision to apply is completely yours. However, given the intensive nature of the program, as well as the scheduling of some events during work hours, we suggest that candidates obtain the support of their employers to participate in the program (if applicable).
Candidates who are currently experiencing a personal or career transition are encouraged to consider their capacity to meet all the program requirements and expectations.
What are the eligibility requirements for the DiverseCity Fellows program?
We are looking for candidates who meet the following criteria:
Talented and engaged individuals with a track record of strong leadership and/or community engagement and who have a minimum of 5 years professional and/or volunteer experience.
Creative problem-solvers who are ambitious, results-oriented, collaborative, empathetic and inclusive.
Rising leaders in all industries/sectors with a desire to make our region a better place to live and work.
Diverse individuals of all ethno-cultural backgrounds, religions, genders, and abilities from communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
How do I apply?
Interested individuals are required to complete an online application form and submit two recommendation forms using the templates provided.
The recommendation forms should be completed by your employer and/or a personal reference who can speak to your leadership competencies.
What does the selection process entail?
After each application is reviewed, shortlisted candidates are invited to attend an in-person interview about a month after the applications close. A Selection Committee of representatives from different sectors and communities in the GTHA participates in the interview and final decision-making process.
How much does the program cost?
The program is provided at no cost to participants, thanks to the generous support of our donors.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the program or the recruitment process?
If you have any questions, please contact Seher Shafiq – Program Manager, DiverseCity Fellows.
I recently started a new job and my new employer doesn’t know me well enough to complete the employer reference form, which is required for the application. What should I do?
Please have your former employer complete the ”employer” recommendation form if they can speak to your character, and have a conversation with your new employer to ensure that you have buy-in from them for the time commitment of the program.
I don’t have an employer because I am an entrepreneur, freelancer, or not working right now, but the application form asks for an employer reference. What should I do?
In lieu of the employer reference form, please submit any other professional reference (i.e. people you have worked with on boards, former jobs, volunteer activities, etc).
Tell me more about the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN)
Who should register to be an ELN Member?
ELN Members are residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area who identify as rising leaders in their community, sector and or field. They are diverse in background, experiences, sectors and perspectives and are ready to share energy and insights and show leadership with like-minded as well as diverse peers. ELN members are also interested in creating a more connected, inclusive and prosperous region for all.
Does this sound like you? Then click here to join!
How do I join the ELN?
To join the ELN, simply fill out this registration form. It provides us with a snapshot of who you are, what you’re interested in, and what you are hoping to gain from this network so that we can better tailor our programming to our members’ interests.
Is there an age requirement for joining the ELN?
No. There is no age minimum or maximum set for those wishing to join the network. This network is open to any individual living and or working within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that identifies as a rising leader in their sector, field and/or community.
Is there a cost associated with joining the ELN?
No. There is no cost associated with joining the ELN or attending any ELN events. We are committed to ensuring that all our events and programming are inclusive and accessible to all members. See more about how we’re ensuring accessibility here.
What do members do within the network?
ELN Members engage in the following through the network’s programming and supports:
Expand and diversify their network by attending monthly programming and events
Grow their leadership skills and competencies to become more collaborative and inclusive leaders
Engage in thought-provoking dialogue and exposure on topical city-building issues
Gain access to the region’s most influential thinkers and leaders through monthly events and opportunities
Where can I get information/updates on the ELN?
You can find relevant ELN information on the CivicAction Leadership Foundation website (where you are right now). You can also see what we’ve been up to by visiting our What’s New pages.
Members also receive a monthly ELN Newsletter and occasional email updates. Once you have registered to be an ELN member, you will receive this monthly newsletter that provides information on past and upcoming programming as well as regional/ city-building opportunities.
How will the recent launch of the CivicAction Leadership Foundation impact the ELN?
The Foundation is intended to further elevate and support the work of the ELN – however, members should experience no changes in programming or personnel as a result of the launch of the Foundation.
With the recent launch of the CivicAction Leadership Foundation, do I need to re-register as member of the ELN?
No. If you are already an ELN member you do not need to re-register under the Foundation.
With the recent launch of the CivicAction Leadership Foundation, will there be any changes to the elnonline website?
The elnonline.ca website is no longer active. All relevant ELN information will now be available on the CivicAction Leadership Foundation website and through the monthly ELN Newsletter.
With the recent launch of the CivicAction Leadership Foundation, will I be asked to donate as a member of the ELN?
The Foundation always welcomes gifts and donations but there is no expectation that members contribute financially.
Will ELN programming change under the Foundation?
No. The ELN is still led by the same staff team, volunteer ELN co-chairs, and executive committee, all of whom remain committed to providing regular programming that connects, activates and develops rising leaders across the GTHA.