These are unprecedented times. Going forward, corporate community investment will play a key role in our overall response to the virus threat, and even more, to how we collectively keep our communities safe and have a stable foundation to build and repair from. Below we’ve highlighted a few examples of corporate response to COVID-19 that we’ve seen so far.
ENMAX is donating $50,000 in community response funding to their partner community service agencies including Distress Centre Calgary, Aspen Family and Community Network Society, and the Bissell Centre. In addition to that initial donation, ENMAX has also recently announced they are contributing $100,000 to the United Way of Calgary’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
RBC is committing $2 Million to their COVID-19 community response efforts. Donations will be directed to communities dealing with the global health challenges posed by COVID-19 and will be used for programs serving at-risk populations, addressing food insecurity, scaling mental well-being support access; as well as, providing other necessary services.
TELUS’ Friendly Future Foundation has announced a $10 million commitment to help support and enhance public healthcare capacity and community response across Canada. This new funding will go toward new medical technology and equipment; as well as, increased support for food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives.
Shaw has pledged $1M to Community Food Centres Canada. The donation will ensure CFCC can keep providing food and resources to the most vulnerable and impacted Canadians. Shaw is also offering free internet to all community food centres that use their business services, to ensure CFCC can focus on supporting those in need and stay connected to their community.
Bell Canada has announced an increase in its Bell Let’s Talk funding by $5 million in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, donating to Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, Kids Help Phone, Revivre and Strongest Families Institute. Funding will enable these organizations to enhance their efforts to support Canadians confronting isolation, anxiety and other challenges during the crisis.
To help meet immediate and emerging needs of communities in Atlantic Canada due to COVID-19, Emera Inc. is contributing $500,000 to the United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund and its operating company Nova Scotia Power will donate $500,000 to the Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund.
TD Bank Group
In collaboration with the Association of Community Health Centres of US and Canada, the TD Ready Commitment is donating $1M to support services being delivered around COVID-19 including screening, testing and referral efforts; education and outreach; transportation, case management and addressing social isolation health risks.
At the forefront of Nutrien’s Community Support Plan is helping those in need right now through:
- Local Food Solutions – Allocated $1M to help keep local food programs running
- Expanding their volunteer program for 2020 so employees can take up to five paid days to volunteer, including virtual opportunities.
- Grow our Community Program matches up to $5,000 for each employee’s personal donations.
- Multiple in-kind donations, based on local need
Take a look at other Canadian corporate and non-profit examples in articles by the Business Council of Canada, Andrea Donlan and Hilary Pearson. Pearson’s article in particular draws attention to the need for a Canadian “Pledge for Action” similar to that of the Ford Foundation in the United States. The pledge advocates for changed practices among foundations, and commits foundations to 8 principles for funding and relationships with community partners and grantees1. She asks, “what stops us from creating (or adapting) and signing a similar pledge? What stops us from considering how to act collectively not only to support short term emergency response to community need but also to re-evaluate practices for the long term?”2
Our friends at Imagine Canada and Benevity have also hosted town halls and webinars about how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting companies and their community investment efforts, and what those companies are doing to influence the trajectory and impact of COVID-19 going forward.
We want to hear from you! Do you want to see a Canadian pledge for action? Or do you know of other corporate examples of COVID-19 response that you would like to share? What is your company doing? Let us know so that we can acknowledge actions taken and encourage others to go further.