Canadian charities, particularly smaller ones with minimal infrastructure, are being devastated by operational restrictions, economic uncertainty and funding disruptions due to COVID-19. At a time when so many women need access to skills development, training and employment pathways, charities are losing their resources. The Matching Initiative will assist registered charities in addressing immediate and strategic priorities in order to identify new ways forward.
The Matching Initiative will focus specifically on registered charities that serve women in the areas of skills development, training, employment pathways, crisis counselling and mental and physical health. The Matching Initiative is innovative: it will introduce professionals, with specific skill sets, as volunteers to the staff and existing boards of the charities in order to complete 40-160 hour engagements free of charge for the charities. A specific goal will be agreed to in advance which is based on the volunteer’s area of expertise and the charity’s needs. Assistance and support will include reviewing and revising budgets, analyzing required operational changes, changing and pivoting service delivery models and capacity building. The program will bolster staff resources and capabilities and help address resource gaps.
The Project applies intersectional identities and inclusivity lenses to serve women who also identify as, Indigenous, women of colour, refugees, persons with disabilities and/or LGBTQ2+. The Project recognizes that different approaches are required to meet the distinct needs of all Canadian women including First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and acknowledges the unique needs of women of colour. The Matching Initiative will engage marginalized communities as these communities are at the heart of The Prosperity Project. We will then amplify leading practices we help develop so that other charities and stakeholders can incorporate these promising practices to identify new ways forward.
Each volunteer will be certified on a complimentary basis thanks to the generosity of our Partner, Respect in the Workplace. We are recruiting volunteers in accordance with our non-gender diversity targets which reflect Canada's population according to the 2016 Census: 22.3 % of Canadians self-report as Visible Minorities including 3.5% Black; and, 4.9% self-report as Indigenous. We will ensure we meet these targets through a voluntary self-identification survey, which will ask volunteers to self-report on a voluntary basis. We will also ask volunteers to voluntarily self-report on gender identity.