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Better Toronto Coalition Hub

This is an outstanding city.
But you don't just take.
You've got to build.

Fran Deacon

Wife of the late Fraser Deacon,
Founder of Toronto Foundation

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Better Toronto Coalition Hub

The impacts of COVID-19 are not being felt equally. Thousands of Torontonians have lost their jobs. Many part-time and temporary workers are facing the impossible question of whether to pay for food or rent. Some are visiting a food bank for the first time ever. Those with mental health challenges have no doubt been triggered. Frontline workers supporting our most vulnerable are dealing with increased demands and stresses.

That’s why we created the Better Toronto Coalition to connect concerned residents directly with learnings from nonprofit leaders and help direct your support to where it’s needed most.

  • Since mid-March we’ve hosted 10 virtual gatherings featuring nonprofit leaders so concerned Torontonians could learn about the issues affecting the city’s most vulnerable. Links to all of those recordings are available below.
  • Because of your donations we have been able to make 183 grants to smaller organizations doing critical work in communities across the city.

We’re grateful to those of you who contributed to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund to make that possible and to those of you who gave directly to the organizations sharing their stories.

Thank you to Vancity Community Investment Bank, sponsor of our Better Toronto Coalition webinars and first contributor to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund, and to Green Shield Canada and all staff at Rally Assets  who also contributed a donation to the fund.

Over the summer we’re pulling together data and stories that will inform a fall report for donors. In the meantime, check out the content below, follow us on social or subscribe to our e-newsletter.





Donate Directly to Frontline Organizations

Please consider making an unrestricted donation now to the organization(s) you care most about. The entire sector has been impacted by this crisis – either because demand for their services has increased exponentially and/or they have had to re-imagine and retool how they work due to physical distancing. Many are experiencing extraordinary financial loss and need support to keep moving forward.


Past Toronto Foundation Grantees

Or, if you would like to follow our lead, check out these lists:


Pool Your Donations

If you would prefer to give collectively, please consider supporting the Better Toronto Coalition Fund and we will add your support to our effort.



Special thanks to Vancity Community Investment Bank, first contributor to the Better Toronto Coalition Fund. We’re pleased to announce that Green Shield Canada and all staff at Rally Assets have also contributed a donation to the fund.




Here we’re sharing analysis for philanthropists and the nonprofit sector on what we’re seeing as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, what we might see in the future and what it could mean for our city.




March 19Overview of the challenges the sector is facing to date during COVID-19

March 26The pressing issues facing local nonprofits and their clients (part 1)

April 2 The pressing issues facing local nonprofits and their clients (part 2)

April 9 – The growing crisis of women’s safety

April 16 – Race, Newcomers & COVID-19

April 30 – Mental Health & COVID-19

May 14 Precarious Housing, Homelessness & COVID-19

May 28 – Arts, Culture and Social Cohesion

June 11 – the Environment and a Greener, More Equal Recovery

June 25 – Resilience and Reconciliation: COVID & Indigenous Toronto
(Guest Moderator: Lindsay Kretschmer of TASSC)


COVID-19 and philanthropy

COVID-19 and the nonprofit sector

COVID-19 and equity

COVID-19 and Indigenous communities:

COVID-19 and women:

COVID-19 and safety:

COVID-19 and race:

COVID-19, housing, and homelessness:

COVID-19, work, and income:

COVID-19 and food security:

COVID-19 and technology:

COVID-19, mental health, and addictions:

COVID-19, urban resilience, and city building:

COVID-19 feel-good stories




  • Black Creek Community Farm – is partnering with FoodShare Toronto to provide food boxes to communities in Jane/Finch area and needs software help for collecting addresses and other info for those needing food baskets
  • Building Roots is assembling kits of home educational resources and games to families stuck at home in Moss Park, to go alongside weekly food provisions. Email Dustin
  • Canadian Blood Services – it’s safe to donate blood during COVID-19, and critical for patients
  • Community Head Injury Resource Services – is looking for board games. Direct inquiries to Hedy Chandler
  • Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Access Fund – ensures that the 183 Good Food Organizations and 13 Community Food Centres working on the front lines in 175 communities across Canada can quickly purchase food and supplies for those who need it most. For a limited time, Manulife will match your donation, up to a total of $150K
  • Daily Bread Food Bank – is in need of food donations and drivers. You can order food online through your favourite grocery store (chose a local small business if you can!) and have items delivered directly to their warehouse: 191 New Toronto Street, Toronto, ON  M8V2E7. If you want to volunteer and have a DZ license, please read more here
  • Friendly Neighbour Hotline – an initiative run through Toronto General Hospital, that was created during this uncertain time to facilitate the purchase and delivery of necessities to vulnerable seniors
  • Future Possibilities for Kids – resources to support kids during the COVID-19 crisis – for parents, guardians and families, from Future Possibilities for Kids, a leading child program charity for kids 9-12
  • Glad Day Lit – has an Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers
  • Indigenous Climate Action – COVID19 Resources for Indigenous Peoples
  • Kids Help Phone – is looking for 600 more volunteers as their phone lines get clogged with children looking for counselling
  • Kits for a Cause is accepting donations of basic home supplies and hygiene/personal care products to put into their kits for the homeless. Email for more information or to get involved.
  • Sanctuary Toronto – is accepting donations of new and used tents and sleeping bags to distribute to people on the street who are anxious about or unable to access shelter beds
  • Shopify – has created a list of global government relief programs (work in progress and will be updated as new programs come on board)
  • St. Stephen’s Community House needs donations of hygiene supplies (soap, hand sanitizer, towels, etc…) to help homeless individuals to stay clean and wash their hands.
  • Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) – member organizations need drivers to deliver resources to those in need. To help please email TASSC executive director Lindsay Kretschmer
  • Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is looking for donations of diapers, hygiene supplies, and food (for their food bank). To help, contact Darlene McGregor at
  • Toronto Drop-in Network – needs gloves, masks, takeaway meals, containers. Please drop off or send to Holy Trinity Church | 19 Trinity Square, Toronto, ON  M5G 1B1
  • Upside Foundation – has a list of Resources & Tools for Startups to Manage through COVID-19
  • Volunteer Toronto – is launching a dedicated resource to support volunteer-engaging organizations with their emerging needs. Reach out directly to for more information. AND There are some great virtual volunteer opportunities for teens to use their skills and creativity to help right now. They have volunteer advisors ( who can provide some help to get connected to opportunities by phone/email
  • The Workers Action Centre – helping workers learn about and apply for Emergency Support Benefits and Emergency Care Benefits – an important area for nonprofits to know about and help with. The Workers Action Centre is doing a lot of that vital work on EI education and support. Their hotline is still open
  • List of resources/ways to help complied by informal network of Torontonians


  • Bargain Groups/Kits for a Cause is offering hand sanitizer and to connect organizations looking for drivers with transportation companies. Contact Jodi by email or by phone at 416-785-5655
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto is looking to partner with charities, non-profits, and individuals – as their littles are struggling mentally and physically right now. Email Sue Sheridan at
  • CapitalW is offering pro bono fundraising coaching sessions to help women’s organizations navigate the crisis . They can help organizational leadership stay connected to board of directors, donors and constituents, assess long and short-term financial needs, identify pockets of funding that may be available, coach fundraising teams on how to prioritize their work, coach teams on how to forge new partnerships. Email
  • Cathy Mann – Fundraising consultant Cathy Mann is offering free fundraising “pep talks” – email
  • The City of Toronto has launched the BusinessTO Support Centre to provide one-on-one support for Toronto businesses, including not-for-profit organizations, during this crisis.
  • Children’s Book Bank is looking to partner with food security organizations to distribute free books to families. Please email
  • CityShare Canada is a real-time, crowdsourced platform that houses resources, tools, and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19.
  • David O’Leary – The firm of Toronto Foundation fundholder David O’Leary, Kind Wealth, has 5-6 financial professionals who are offering free financial consultations for small nonprofits or the most financially vulnerable,
  • Garthson Leadership Centre is offering free Zoom, Skype or phone calls with not-for-profit board members, senior managers and leadership teams who are are seeking governance support for their charity or community organization, including for new situations arising due to the COVID-19 crisis. Email Jane Garthson at to set up a time for an initial conversation.
  • Human Resources Professionals Association is offering free HR resources for the non-profit sector
  • has launched a hub of mental health resources to help you take care of yourself and look out for the people you love during this challenging time.
  • Kits for a Cause has donors looking to give back through donations of PPE and hygiene/personal care supplies. Please reach out to if you are in need of supplies.
  • Layoff guide created by a newly laid off nonprofit HR professional
  • Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN) is an immediate, grassroots, pro bono response network to help Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations (big and small) deal with what is coming at them during this crisis. If you need help at this time in strategic decision-making, crisis response, financial analysis, board direction, relationship mediation, HR management, systems change or inspirational leadership, LEAN on us!
  • Supporting deliveries to seniors – UHN OpenLab has created the Friendly Neighbour Hotline and recruited over 400 volunteers just for this crisis. Email Tai Huynh at
  • Mental Health resources list created by a psychiatrist working at North York General Hospital
  • Mike Prosserman (Founder of Unity Charity and current CEO of EPIC Leadership) is offering free weekly non-profit Executive Directors & senior leaders sharing sessions on Zoom to share wins, challenges & practices that are working in response to COVID19. If you’re interested in joining, you can email Mike directly at – Sessions are being offered every Wednesday from 12:00pm-1:30pm until the end of April.
  • Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) (in partnership with Imagine Canada) is offering a free webinar series to support nonprofits and charities.
  • Rumie learning technology solution is helpful for organizations with learning programs that are forced to go remote on short notice today. They are making it freely available to those organizations that are looking urgently for remote learning delivery solutions. Email Alison, for more details.
  • Vancity Community Investment Bank can provide Prepaid Visa cards, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, for community groups, foundations, or other nonprofits looking to distribute emergency relief funds to members of the community. For more information, contact James Dawe –
  • Volunteer Toronto – is the central hub in the city to find and post volunteer opportunities. They are waiving fees for nonprofits to post needs.
  • 211 is asking human service organizations across the province to use this form to quickly let them know about any changes to services listed on, especially those meeting basic needs (e.g., financial aid, food security, and shelter) and emerging COVID-19–related community supports. Please also direct people you service to 211 Ontario for the latest information on new and changing social and community services. This will help free up 911, 311, and Telehealth Ontario so they can focus on health and municipal services inquiries.