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Growing support for financial empowerment in Canada

26 February 2015
As concern mounts over the growing financial vulnerability of Canadians, more and more leading edge funders are investing in financial empowerment initiatives as a way to boost the impact of traditional  poverty reduction approaches. In particular, TD Bank Group, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and Meridian have all made major new investments.  

TD Bank Group commits $3 million to support the Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy

In November 2014, TD Bank Group renewed and expanded its commitment to the Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy with a gift of $3 million. Flowing over the next three years, these funds will help the Centre to build the financial capability of 1 million vulnerable Canadians by 2020. If you missed the announcement, take a minute to read the media release or view the announcement video to learn more about how we plan to reach our goal. 

J.W. McConnell Family Foundation grants $300,000 to support financial empowerment across Canada

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is also investing $300,000 over the next two years to support Prosper Canada’s national financial empowerment scaling strategy. This grant will enable us to access financial empowerment technical assistance, training and program resources from the U.S. Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and to partner with leading community experts here to adapt these for use in Canada. Working together, our goal is to develop a complete suite of program methodologies, tools and resources that community organizations can use to deliver the following supports to their clients:   
  • Financial education
  • One-on-one financial coaching
  • Assistance with tax filing and accessing other benefits
  • Help opening RESPs and RDSPs
  • Basic banking supports.
The funding will also support our efforts to build a national financial empowerment agenda in partnership with members of ABLE (Asset Building Learning Exchange), taking advantage of the ABLE 2015 conference coming up this November in Toronto.  Finally, some resources will be used to develop enterprise activities that will provide a more sustainable revenue base for our work going forward.

Meridian pledges $45,000 to train over 60 community financial literacy educators

Finally, we’re very excited to be partnering with Meridian over the next year to provide financial literacy training to over 60 frontline staff in community organizations across Ontario. Held over 2-days, this training will equip participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to provide quality financial literacy programming to the clients they serve. Training sessions will be conducted in partnership with selected host organizations, but will be open to participants from other organizations in their region as well.

The financial empowerment approaches we are working to scale have been proven to measurably improve the financial wellbeing of people living on low incomes and to improve other important social outcomes like mental health, employment, and housing stability.  We’re grateful to organizations like TD Bank Group, the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation, Meridian and others that are taking the lead in supporting solutions that will enable more Canadians to prosper.