Organizational Capacity Building

By strengthening our agencies we strengthen our communities

Valuable training for young social services leaders

training young leaders

“The CITY Leaders program provides the opportunity to build and network with fellow young people working in the sector. I can gain training that my employer would not have the capacity to give me, and the forums, information sessions and online resources made me believe that the program would address issues and needs young leaders in the sector are facing today.”

—Dahab Hagos, CITY Leaders participant.

Capacity building assists United Way Toronto funded agencies to develop knowledge to increase their capacity to serve clients and the growing needs of communities. We offer free or low-cost training courses providing learning opportunities for staff and board members to enhance their skills and individual knowledge development as a means to achieve organizational development.

In addition to an ongoing slate of learning opportunities for agencies, United Way Toronto has also developed a number of special programs:

  • CITY Leaders (Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young Leaders), a partnership of youth-led groups, academics, funders, and nonprofit organizations, is a training and mentorship program for young people in the social services sector. It connects individuals aged 18 to 33 currently working in or aspiring to work in the Toronto social service sector with experts in the profession. The program consists of 13 modules delivered over five months supported by a web presence that allows the group to stay connected through group discussions, chats and information sharing. The program also pairs participants with experienced mentors. Post-training, all participants are supported through alumni networking activities. Participants were chosen from small and large organizations across Toronto and bring a diverse range of experience and roles that include frontline workers, program coordinators, managers and executive director staff. United Way Toronto joined 17 partners to realize CITY Leaders: youth-led groups, academics, funders, and nonprofit organizations.

Partnering to create capacity-building opportunities

United Way Toronto’s Building Agency Capacity program, offered in partnership with the Maytree Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, provides support to agencies across the city to help them serve the needs of the community effectively and efficiently. One such program, the Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI), undertaken with the City of Toronto, works to improve agency effectiveness in delivering programs that address homelessness in the community.

Entrepreneurship training was provided to participants from 15 different agencies in Start-Up: Planning to Start a Small Business, a five session training program for staff and volunteers of United Way funded and community agencies. The program was developed in partnership with United Way Toronto and ACE George Brown, a member of Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE). Once the training sessions are completed, participants may become involved in Stay-Up, a one-to-one coaching option where ACE George Brown students will provide advice on various aspects of starting a small business or social purpose enterprise.

Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1987, dedicated to teaching and igniting young Canadians to create brighter futures for themselves and their communities. ACE partners with Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a global, not-for-profit organization that empowers students to create economic opportunity in their communities by teaching others about market economics, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics. The Start-Up program was awarded first runner up in two categories at the annual national SIFE challenge in May 2008.

Organizational capacity-building training courses

United Way Toronto is pleased to offer free or low-cost training courses providing learning opportunities for staff and board members to enhance their skills. Our strategic direction of offering supports through the Organizational Capacity Building (OCB) Unit focuses on individual knowledge development as a means to achieve organizational development.

The main focus of the United Way’s OCB training strategy has been to assist funded agencies to develop knowledge to increase their capacity to serve clients and the growing needs of communities.

For further information contact Linney Lau at 416-777-1444 ext. 289.

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