Many are shocked to learn that there are over 170,000 registered non-profits in Canada — over 86,000 of which are registered charities. Canadian corporations provide over $4 billion dollars in corporate giving annually in support of their charities of choice. But how do corporations determine which organizations to support? Imagine Canada’s recently released “Corporate Giving in a Changing Canada” highlights how corporations are continually refining their approach to corporate giving. Some of the key findings include:

Deeper Relationship between companies and causes. Companies are increasingly directing their support to charities that align with their vision, mission and values. Our partners often comment that Threads of Life’s vison and mission aligns with their approach to workplace health and safety.

Threads of Life’s Vision:
To lead and inspire a culture shift, as a result of which work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths are morally, socially and economically unacceptable.

Threads of Life’s Mission:
To help families heal through a community of support and to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.

Lorne Jacobson, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, TriWest Capital Partners shares;

“A few years ago the partners were looking for a way to share the success of TriWest and give back to the community in a meaningful way. While they contemplated supporting many different worthwhile charities, it seemed like the most appropriate focus was on workplace health and safety, given the heavy industrial environment in which TriWest portfolio companies typically operate. Everyone knows someone personally who has been touched by a tragic workplace accident, and we have even experienced such losses within our own portfolio companies…We have been very happy with our sponsorship of Threads of Life that we are achieving our goal of helping individuals in need in a time of personal crisis, and also helping to raise awareness of the importance of workplace health and safety.”

Companies are being more strategic. Not only are companies providing financial support to their charities of choice, they are also mobilizing other assets for support. When Threads of Life reaches out to our corporate partners we ask for their support to:

  • Grow awareness of Threads of Life. Our ultimate goal is that every family in Canada who is experiencing a life-altering workplace injury, illness or death becomes aware of Threads of Life and the programs that are available to them at no cost. Our partners often mobilize their considerable reach and distribution channels to help Threads of Life grow our awareness.
  • Grow our Volunteer network. We currently have hundreds of corporate volunteers providing their time and energy to Threads of Life. This is often through their volunteer support of our Steps for Life community walks.
  • Grow participation in Threads of Life Events. Threads of Life speakers shared their story at over 132 corporate events in 2018. In addition, we had over 5,500 walkers participate in our 2018 Steps for Life walks.
  • Grow our Financial Support. Threads of Life was founded in 2003 and every year since then we have grown. More and more families are finding Threads of Life and the programs that are available to them at no cost. As recently reported by one of our corporate partners, Canadian Occupational Safety, workplace tragedy is not decreasing.

Corporate Giving and Community Investment has become more sophisticated. As reported by Imagine Canada, 95% of companies that employ over 500 workers now have policies that guide their corporate giving. Companies are looking for their charities of choice to use a best practice approach to achieve success. Threads of Life is proud to share that we recently received our second five year accreditation through Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. We are one of approximately 250 organizations that have been accredited. The accreditation program requires compliance with 73 standards across five foundational areas: board governance, financial accountability & transparency, fundraising, staff management, and volunteer involvement. (Just as an FYI, if you are looking for our name on Imagine Canada’s website, it is under our legal name: Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support.)

Thank You. The corporate support we receive is critical to our success. Together we are achieving Threads of Life’s mission: To help families heal through a community of support and to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.

For more insights into the state of corporate philanthropy in Canada, read Imagine Canada’s “Corporate Giving in a Changing Canada”.

The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support – Threads of Life.

Scott McKay