Skills Exchange For Good

Skills Exchange for Good

About the Program

The Canadian government has embarked on a bold plan over the next decade, which will remove 530,000 families from housing need, cut chronic homelessness by 50% and change the face of housing in Canada forever. The National Housing Strategy isn’t just about policy change. It’s about people working together across sectors to build better lives, create stronger communities and lend a helping hand to people in need. The Skills Exchange for Good program is doing just that. 

Since 2020, Volunteer Canada has been testing a model of skills-based volunteering. The pilot project, formerly called the Business Advisory to Support Affordable Housing, connected the skills of companies with the needs of non-profits addressing affordable housing, culminating in a two-hour virtual expert consultation that provides business advice to a specific organizational issue. CIBC, Enbridge, and Meridian Credit Union took part in the pilot by providing funding and engaging their own skilled employees in projects. 


Program Goals

In 2023, with the generous support of the Community Housing Transformation Centre and corporate partners, Volunteer Canada is expanding the program and its impact across Canada. The Skills Exchange for Good program will now be open to non-profits addressing affordable housing across the country. There will be a total of 24 projects that take place between March-May 2023 for non-profit organizations who may benefit from a 2-hour advisory session with skilled volunteer professionals.

How it works?

* Timelines are subject to change 

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Non-profit organizations whose mission or programs addresses affordable housing in the community.

Companies who are looking to sponsor and participate in an exciting initiative that builds capacity in the affordable housing sector while engaging their employees in skills-based volunteering.

Volunteers who work at sponsoring companies who want to use their skills for good.

Potential Areas of Support

Communications/Marketing
Financial Management/Operations
Facilities and Maintenance
Strategic Sourcing/Procurement
Reviewing Management systems, processes, and services
People Management
Data Management/Analysis
Risk Management

*Please be advised that this list is not exhaustive and may be expanded depending on corporate partners and non-profit needs 

How to Apply?

Applications for non-profit organizations who provide affordable housing or have programs that address affordable housing are now open until January 13th, 2023.

Apply Here

Stories of Impact

Through the program, Volunteer Canada connects individuals working in community housing with a small group of expert corporate volunteers to discuss a business-specific issue. For Laurie Macintyre, Jaycees Brantford Non-Profit Housing Corp’s property manager who had just embarked on a major new build, this meant being able to tap into expert advice and best practices related to project management. The knowledge she gained in the two-hour session was “something we never would have been able to afford otherwise,” Laurie said, and it allowed her to have a better idea of what she might expect as her project unfolds. And, after the session, the enthusiastic corporate volunteers were a phone call away when Laurie reached out with an issue she needed to troubleshoot. Laurie is enthusiastically awaiting the next phase of this program, and she would “100% recommend” it to others working in her sector.

Brian Sibley, Executive Director, Kiwanis Homes has participated in phase 1 and 2 of the pilot. Kiwanis Homes provides deeply affordable homes to families in Brantford and Hamilton and is committed to creating 1,000 new units by 2028. They were encountering resistance from community groups concerned about the impact of affordable homes in their neighbourhood and utilized the program to help overcome the challenge. Learn how the pilot helped them pivot their message to gain community support with the help of skilled Enbridge volunteers.

“This is an outstanding way to unite different expertise from people who are passionate to help and serve”  

– Peter Jurgeneit, Director, Transmission Compression and LNG operations,
Enbridge Gas


Webinar: Skills-based Volunteering to Support Affordable Housing, presented in November 2022 with Ian McCann, Manager, Community Investment & Partnerships, Meridian Credit Union and Brian Sibley, Executive Director, Kiwanis Homes Inc.

Hear from Past Participants

Examples of Past Projects 

FAQ's 

Supporters

Want to get involved?

Contact Maddie Kingston, mkingston [at] volunteer [dot] ca