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 lived experiences who are passionate about shaping their communities. Each year, the program brings togetheraround 30Fellows from different communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Get to know our Fellows Alumni.
Recruitment for the 12th cohort of DiverseCity Fellows is currently underway. Applications for the are open from Wednesday, June 16thto Friday, July 23rd, 2021.
What is the estimated time commitment of the program?
The DiverseCity Fellows program runs from September 2021 – July 2022 and includes over 100 hours of virtual and in-person programming throughout the year. The program is part-time and requires a commitment of approximately 10 hours every month (which includes two multi-day retreats and approximately 10 Fellows learning sessions over the course of the year).Fellows sessions are scheduled relatively equally across weekdays, evenings, and weekends and Fellows are expected to attend all of the mandatory sessions. In addition, Fellows are expected to meet with their mentor 4-6 times over a one-year period outside of the Fellows sessions. Successful candidates will receive a comprehensive schedule of the year at the first session in September.
Do I need the approval of my employer to participate?
No – the decision to apply and participate in the program 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 demonstrated history of leadership in their communities/sector (professional and/or volunteer)
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 from all ethno-cultural backgrounds, religions, genders, political viewpoints, 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 an updated CV and 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?
Applications are initially screened and scored by various program staff using a “blind recruitment” approach (meaning all identifiable information is not visible). Shortlisted candidates are then invited to attend a virtual interview where they are interviewed by various members of our Selection Committee who represent different sectors and communities in the GTHA. Final decisions are made by the Committee following the completion of all interviews.
If I’m selected as a Fellow, how much does it cost to be part of the program?
CivicAction does not charge any program fees to participants of the CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows program and meals are provided at each session. However, Fellows are required to cover the cost of their personal travel to and from sessions (all within the GTHA). If travel is a barrier to participation, please contact the Program Manager to discuss possible alternatives and/or accommodations.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the program or the recruitment process?
For more information or specific questions about CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program, please contact our team at email@example.com.
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 they support 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 personal or 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 can register to be an ELN Member?
Anyone who identifies as an emerging or aspiring leader in their career and/or community, whether through their day job, volunteerism or other involvement, and is passionate about building a better region is invited to join the ELN. We are always looking for new members who want to connect with other emerging leaders, grow their leadership toolkit, and create a more inclusive and prosperous region for all.
Does this sound like you? Then click here to join!
What does it mean to be an ‘emerging leader’?
We believe there is no ‘one size fits all’ model of leadership and the diversity of our membership demonstrates this. Some members identify as emerging leaders in their sectors, while others through their volunteerism and community contribution. ELNers are diverse in background, experiences, ages, sectors, and perspectives.
Whether you showcase leadership by volunteering with a community group, pushing for positive change through your workplace, or want to learn more about how you can make an impact, the Emerging Leaders Network is a place for you.
How do I join the ELN?
To join the ELN, simply fill out this registration form. From there, you will receive our monthly newsletter and be given first access to our free monthly programming. We also recommend joining our Facebook and LinkedIn groups and following us on Twitter to stay connected with the network.
What’s expected of me as an ELN member?
It’s totally up to you to tailor your ELN involvement- you can attend as many or as few events as you’d like, or focus your attention on sharing ideas through blogs and social media. With that being said, we believe as an ELN member, you get out of it what you put into it. Our most engaged members attend at least two events per year, stay up to date by reading our monthly newsletters, and share relevant city-building content in our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
We ask that all ELN members take a few minutes each year to fill out our annual Member Survey to help us reflect on our programming from the last year and make improvements for the year to come. The survey is typically sent to members towards the end of each calendar year.
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. The ELN is open to any individual living, working or volunteering within the GTHA that identifies as a rising leader in their field, sector 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.
Where can I get information/updates on the ELN?
The best way to stay informed about the ELN is through our monthly newsletter. To receive the newsletter, register as a member here. Stay connected with the network on social media by joining the ELN Facebook Group, ELN LinkedIn Group, and following us on Twitter.
You can also visit the ELN webpage on the CivicAction Leadership Foundation website. If you have specific questions about the ELN, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I signed up for the newsletter, but I don’t seem to be getting them. Help!
The newsletter may be getting sorted into your spam or promotions folder. To remedy this, you can search your spam/promotions folder, drag the previous couple ELN emails over to your primary inbox and mark them as not spam. Future newsletters should then get sorted into your primary inbox.
What is CivicMatch?
Diverse perspectives lead to a higher return on investment for businesses, initiatives that are inclusive, policies that are reflective of all society, and laws that are rooted in equity. Now more than ever, we need diverse rising leaders who can move our cities forward.
CivicMatch leverages the power of networks to advance Indigenous, Black, and racialized rising leaders across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
Who can participate in CivicMatch?
To ensure this program directly supports the communities it was designed for, participants must meet the following criteria:
Identify as a Indigenous, Black, or racialized rising leader
Live and/or work in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area
Be looking to explore new connections & leadership opportunities
How often do CivicMatch sessions occur?
CivicMatch rounds occur quarterly, with different CivicMatch Hosts announced each round. Each quarter, approximately 15 established leaders will host discussions and spaces will be available for approximately 60 rising leaders (3-4 rising leaders per discussion).
When and where can I sign-up for a CivicMatch discussion?
When a new CivicMatch round launches each quarter, participants are notified in advance through the CivicMatch Registrant mailing list. Complete this from to join.
Notice is also sent to CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) mailing list. If you’d like to be on the ELN mailing list, you can sign-up here. Members are prompted to register for CivicMatch if interested.
All registrants will then be notified of the date when the next round of CivicMatch discussions will be available to book. On the designated date, rising leaders can book discussion spots on a first come, first served basis. Participants may sign up for a maximum of one discussion per session.
How are CivicMatch hosts identified and selected?
CivicMatch Hosts are established leaders from across CivicAction’s stakeholder network who represent a wide range of sectors, backgrounds and interests but share a commitment to building inclusive cities and contributing to addressing issues of racism. Canada’s senior leadership continues to lack broad representation and diversity. And there is additional and unfair expectation that diverse leaders educate others on how to breakdown systemic barriers, including racism and sexism. With these realities in mind, we remain committed to continuously expanding the representation of our Hosts and encourage you to check back regularly for updates.
I’m an established leader interested in hosting a CivicMatch discussion. How do I get involved?
Thank you for your interest in building better, more inclusive cities by being part of the CivicMatch program. Please contact email@example.com and someone from the CivicAction team will be in touch.
Do connections I make through CivicMatch continue past the initial discussion?
While we hope that the professional relationships created through CivicMatch continue to grow past the initial discussion, ongoing connection depends on the alignment, comfort, and capacity of both the established and rising leader. As CivicAction does not continue to play a convenor role past the initial discussion, it is up to the participants to initiate ongoing connections. While some connections may lead to an ongoing mentorship or sponsorship relationship, CivicMatch itself is not a sponsorship or job search program. The commitment for both CivicMatch Hosts and attendees is one small-group discussion.
What role does CivicAction play in delivering CivicMatch and supporting participants?
CivicAction plays the role of convenor and connector, bringing together our vast network of established and rising leaders and organizing the discussion dates. CivicAction aims to support program participants by providing informative program guides, a preparatory Lunch & Learn for participants and briefing for Hosts, and post-program evaluations.
Why is connection important in addressing systemic racism?
There is a growing fact base of data that tells us connection and access to networks is increasingly important. Consider the following:
85% of all open positions are filled through networking and relationships yet Black Canadians are 30% less likely to be in the candidate pool.
Black job seekers who used social networks & connections to apply for jobs were 8.9% less likely than white job seekers to know someone working at the company to which they applied.
In a survey of Black, South and East Asian Canadians, approximately 40% of women of colour and 38% of men of colour report being on guard against racial/ethnicity bias in their workplaces.
I have a question about CivicMatch that isn’t answered here. Who can I contact?