Philanthropic Contest

What would you do with $100,000?

This year, we’re donating $500,000 to charities that work with people with disabilities and their communities.


The winners will be announced during the week of December 5!

4 grand prize donations of $100,000
8 donations of $10,000

At iA, we support and celebrate diversity and encourage inclusion. Our differences make us unique, and even stronger.

Our contest is focused on supporting Canadian charities that work in the health, education, environment or social services fields and have a mission, or a component of their mission, dedicated to supporting people with disabilities and their communities.

Enter by submitting your project! 12 charities will be chosen and submitted for a public vote.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Operate in the health, education, environment or social services sectors
  • Aim to improve Canadians’ quality of life
  • Demonstrate how your charity’s mission, or a component of its mission is dedicated to supporting people with disabilities and their communities.
  • Provide assistance to individuals – we are not looking for organizations that help other organizations
  • A submission that show integration could be considered an asset
  • Demonstrate that the donation would be used for concrete initiatives starting in 2023 at the latest
Contest Rules (PDF) 

Dates to remember

  • September 14 to October 14: Contest entry period
  • November 1 to 24: Announcement of the 12 finalists and opening of the public vote
  • Week of December 5: Announcement of the winners and the donations

Vote for your favourite projects!

Vote for your favourite charities. A $100,000 donation will be made to a charity in each of the four featured markets.

Quebec

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AQPA (Association québécoise des personnes aphasiques)

Friendly visit

A donation of $100,000 would help people living with aphasia to overcome the isolation they too often face due to their disability and re-enter community life. In effect, communication difficulties hide their still-intact abilities, and the public’s lack of awareness of the limits of their disability leads people living with aphasia to draw in on themselves by retreating as far as possible from contact with the outside world. The project being presented is the first step in a process of social re-entry. The project consists of one-to-one matches between individuals living with aphasia and volunteers who assist them with their daily activities in their community. Thanks to iA Financial Groupe, the AQPA will consolidate this activity, and funding will make it possible to structure this service as a permanent offering and serve a greater number of people living with aphasia.

Charity’s mission

AQPA is an organization that supports people with aphasia and their relatives by responding to their needs. Its mission is to create a community of belonging where people with aphasia receive services that promote their inclusion in society and where their loved ones receive assistance in their support role. The AQPA’s humane approach is characterized by its values of inclusion, respect, democracy, and solidarity.

www.aphasie.ca

L’Arche Lanaudière

The Social Squad

A donation of $100,000 would help bring people with intellectual disabilities out of their isolation by enabling them to contribute to the well-being of their community. As part of a mixed squad of workers, volunteers, and practitioners, people with disabilities perform a truly useful and rewarding task that focuses on their strengths, not their limitations. L’Arche Lanaudière offers this service in and around Joliette, but requests are coming in from all the municipalities in the region, from north to south. Examples of sites: youth centres, daycare centres, an equestrian centre, Moisson Lanaudière.

The people who receive support are adults with intellectual disabilities who live with their families and suffer from isolation. The Social Squad provides them with opportunities to leave home, feel useful, and develop friendships outside the family, in addition to offering respite to families. Through inclusion, participants contribute to breaking down prejudice and focusing on people’s abilities rather than their disabilities. With this donation, we plan to respond to requests in six other municipalities, three north and three south of Lanaudière.

Charity’s mission

L’Arche Lanaudière is part of a federation of 156 communities in 38 countries. It has two shelters and various day workshops. It offers programs that enable people with intellectual disabilities to get involved in their community. Our mission is to showcase the talents of people living with intellectual disabilities. Developing an inclusive community environment that meets the needs of our members. Committing ourselves to building a more humane society by working together.

www.larchelanaudiere.ca

Maison Lémerveil Suzanne Vachon

Fulfilling your potential every day

A donation of $100,000 would help provide more specialized daytime respite and tailored activities for children with severe illnesses and youths with multiple and severe disabilities (children under 5 years of age with multiple and severe disabilities or serious illnesses and young people over 21 years of age with multiple disabilities).

These services provide them with support throughout their life to ensure that they develop their full potential, explore their environment to the fullest, and feel fulfilled every day. These services are also a great help to the families, enabling them to pursue their professional life and get some well-deserved rest.

We expect to greet between six and eight children per day for stimulating activities geared to their particular conditions, thereby allowing their parents to pursue their professional activities with peace of mind. For the youngest among these children, we aim to awaken their senses and self-awareness, provide unique learning opportunities in keeping with their level of development, and offer accessible modes of communication. As for young adults, the service enables them to maintain their functional skills and fulfil their potential every day.

Charity’s mission

Provides youths living with multiple disabilities and children with severe illnesses with respite care and pediatric palliative care throughout their life. The right to self-fulfilment is advocated, despite the complexity and severity of the disability or illness.

www.mlsv.ca

Ontario

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Hydrocephalus Canada

FamiliesChangingLives

A donation of $100,000 would support a multi-tiered program that provides direct support and resources to individuals and families impacted by hydrocephalus and spina bifida and extends these services to new communities across Canada. These services include providing guidance for parents who have received a prenatal diagnosis of one or both conditions, parents with school-aged children with learning disabilities associated with the conditions, and one-on-one support for impacted adults who are looking for resources on topics such as employment, mental health, and financial and digital literacy. Resources include a helpline, peer networking services, a scholarship and bursary program, community outreach, an online resource centre, and more.

HC will ensure that all individuals impacted by the conditions will have access to all the programming available, regardless of location. This will provide individuals in remote locations with the ability to connect with others and gain access to community-specific resources.

Charity’s mission

Hydrocephalus Canada (HC) was incorporated 49 years ago in 1973 with a mission to empower individuals impacted by the complex neurological conditions, hydrocephalus and spina bifida, to ensure they experience the best life possible. We work tirelessly to establish environments that support and enhance the lives of those living with these conditions or at risk of developing them. We initiate, facilitate, and collaborate on awareness, education, support, and research initiatives to help those who are impacted thrive.

www.hydrocephalus.ca

March of Dimes Canada

Tech for Impact at MODC

A donation of $100,000 would go towards the purchase of, and training on, key accessibility tools for people with a disability who are experiencing financial challenges. Through the Tech for Impact Fund, we support the costs of accessibility apps, tablets, stands, wearable artificial intelligence (AI), smartphones, switches, smart-home devices, text readers, and more. Our trained assistive technology specialists will then provide one-on-one training to participants in the use of their technology to meet their particular needs. These essential assistive devices contribute to individual and family health, safety, quality of life, and community participation.

Today, more than 1.5 million people with a disability have an unmet need for an aid or device. For 66% of respondents, the reason for this gap is financial. This submission is aimed at that 66%, or the 1 million people, who have a disability but cannot afford the devices and technology that they need to live their life to the fullest.

Charity’s mission

March of Dimes Canada (MODC) is a leading national charity committed to championing equity, empowering ability, and creating real change that will enable the more than six million people living with disabilities across Canada to unlock the richness in their life. Our mission is to be Canada’s leading service provider, resource, and advocate, thereby empowering people with disabilities to live and thrive in their communities nationwide.

www.marchofdimes.ca

The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation

Accessibility @ The Table

A donation of $100,000 would go towards helping us remove barriers to the hungry people who access our facility on a weekly basis. We own our building and need to ensure that people with walkers, wheelchairs and other challenges are able to access our space. We need automatic door openers, an accessible bathroom and a commercial chair lift for guests to reach the 2nd floor. Due to an increase in food costs and weekly visits, any money we had in our budget will have to be allocated to meet the direct food needs of our guests.

The people that we seek to help with this grant are those who come with visible or invisible disabilities. A lot of our guests are seniors who are struggling with rising costs and our building needs to be upgraded to meet their accessibility needs. We have many guests who have walkers or wheelchairs and struggle to access our building without the assistance of our staff.

Charity’s mission

Our mission is to serve the hurting, hungry, and homeless people in our community who are dealing with food insecurity, illness, disabilities, addictions, and chronic unemployment. We offer a weekly Food Bank, Soup Kitchen, Exchange Clothing and Household items store, and a Men’s Shelter. We provide all of these for free through fundraising efforts that attract corporate and individual contributions.

www.thetablefoundation.ca

Western Provinces

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Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation

Unlocking their Potential

A donation of $100,000 would go towards unlocking the potential of children and youth living with physical and developmental disabilities. The funds would be directed to covering the cost of a wide range of therapeutic and recreation programs offered nowhere else, including Camps, Music Therapy, and an Active Living Centre that help develop life skills, provide social interactions, and improve mental and physical health. A donation from iA Financial Group would also be dedicated to funding adapted, customized, and leading-edge equipment, such as bikes, strollers, and communication devices, which will provide children and youth with greater independence.

The population served is made up of diverse children and youth aged from birth to 21 years living with a vast array of physical and/or developmental disabilities, from Manitoba and surrounding areas, including Nunavut, who access services through the Rehabilitation Centre for Children. This is an underserved population that is often isolated from its peers.

Charity’s mission

Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (CRF) raises funds to improve the lives of children and youth living with physical and developmental disabilities living in Manitoba or Nunavut who access services through the Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC). CRF funds vital programs, services, and specialized equipment assisting children in achieving their goals and participating in their communities. Youth living with disabilities deserve the same opportunities as other children to realize their abilities, attain independence, learn, play, and grow.

www.crf.mb.ca

CNIB Foundation

CNIB Accessible Education

A donation of $100,000 would go towards providing students living with blindness with the adequate supports they require to keep up with their classmates and succeed in school to build independence, future employment skills, and a better quality of life. This donation would provide access to resources, supportive technologies, and training for classroom teachers, parents, and Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs). These supports will improve employment outcomes for students living with blindness, enabling them to contribute taxes and rely less on social assistance as they graduate and enter society.

The short-term results include an immediate sense of inclusion and ability to collaborate with fellow students in the classroom. It will also result in enhanced future employment opportunities and quality of life in the blind community.

Charity’s mission

To change what it is to be blind through innovative programs and powerful advocacy that enable Canadians impacted by blindness to live the lives they choose.

www.cnib.ca

Food Stash Foundation

Rescued Food Box Delivery

A donation of $100,000 would go towards Rescued Food Box deliveries supporting food-insecure Vancouverites with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses that make it challenging to leave home. Food Stash rescues healthy surplus food – whole fruits and veggies, dairy and substitutes, meat and alternatives – that would otherwise go to waste. We carefully package customized weekly boxes, which are delivered by zero-emission e-bikes to more than 100 households per week. This program fights food waste, helps the environment, and provides dignified access to healthy and delicious food, at a time when high food costs and inflation are worsening food insecurity.

Rescued Food Box member households include about 40 children, and among members surveyed, about 57% are persons with disabilities, 40% have a chronic illness, 23% are seniors, and 10 to 13% are newcomers or refugees. Some members cannot leave home, and others face multiple barriers to accessing conventional emergency food services.

Charity’s mission

Food Stash reduces food waste and food insecurity. We rescue over 80,000 pounds of surplus food per month (for example, imperfect produce and surplus dairy) from retailers, wholesalers, and farms. We deliver weekly customized boxes of healthy food to 110 food-insecure households with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities. We run a “pay-what-you-feel” Rescued Food Market open to all, serving more than 100 people a week. We deliver food to 35 charitable partners collectively serving more than 14,000 people a week.

www.foodstash.ca

Atlantic Canada and Northern Canada

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Alzheimer Society of NB

Dementia Friends NB

A donation of $100,000 would go towards creating dementia-friendly communities in New Brunswick. A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia, their families, and care partners feel included and supported. It’s a place where people are educated on dementia and can interact with people living with the disease in a helpful and understanding way. It also involves physical changes to a space to make them more accommodating to the needs of people living with dementia. Through small, but intentional changes, we can help reduce the stigma that people living with dementia experience every single day.

Our project will help people living with dementia and their circle of care by making their community more inclusive of their needs. We anticipate that the short-term results will be the hiring of a Dementia-Friendly Community Coordinator and the creation of provincial program materials.

Charity’s mission

The Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick exists to alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through the provision of support, education, and advocacy and to promote the search for a cause and a cure.

www.alzheimer.ca/nb

LakeCity Works

Helpers Expansion

A donation of $100,000 would go towards expanding LakeCity Helpers, an inclusive, multi-service social enterprise staffed by individuals living with mental illness that provides lawn care and home-support services, with a sliding-scale rate for low-income individuals. We have identified service gaps in short-term rental cleaning, move out/move-in cleaning, junk removal, painting/staining, pressure washing, and snow removal. Funding would allow us to scale this initiative both through the numbers of participants engaged and the breadth of activities available. In accordance with our understanding of the additional barriers of intersectionality, we are also committed to proactive outreach to marginalized groups that report additional challenges to securing employment.

We work with individuals living with mental illness, through on-the-job training, employment services tailored for our clients, supported employment, and job coaching. Our clients come from many marginalized groups, including Physically Disabled, Indigenous, African Nova Scotians, Newcomers, and LGBTQ2+.

Charity’s mission

LakeCity Works supports people living with mental illness to build on their strengths, take on responsibilities, and access work experience, education, and employment. LakeCity Works offers support-based programs and services designed to assist people living with mental illness, based on the belief that employment represents a crucial step in recovery. LakeCity Works was an early adopter in the use of social enterprise to bring innovation, opportunity, and employment to our community.

www.lakecityworks.ca

Upper Valley Autism Resource Centre Inc.

Sensory Needs on the GO!

A donation of $100,000 would go towards a sensory-equipped vehicle. We would be able to make sure children, youths, teens and adults with autism have the resources they need delivered to them. We would pick up and drop off resources to families that can’t travel to us. We would be able to visit other communities more often and set up sensory-friendly activities. It would be amazing to be able to bring awareness, acceptance, and education to rural communities, including First Nations communities and the low-income areas that we serve, and to visit schools, homes, and community events.

Our goal is to serve the autism community within our support areas that are made up of small communities in rural western New Brunswick. People are learning more about sensory issues in their children, youth, teens, and adults that can cause anxiety through being over-stimulated and not getting the sensory input their bodies need to help them get through their day. Our population is made up of individuals who may not be able to afford the resources or get to any resources for help.

Charity’s mission

Our mission is to support individuals, families, caregivers, and professionals with autism in rural New Brunswick. We have a large support area that is made up of more than nine small communities. We offer activities, programs, and events for children, youth, teens, and adults with autism and for small, inclusive common-interest afterschool groups.

www.uvarc.ca