4th Annual Partnership Conference

LIVE - September 21st & 22ND, 2022
The Carlu

The 4th Annual Partnership Conference

September 21st & 22nd, 2022

Live at The Carlu

444 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario

Agenda – 2022 Partnership Conference
Day One – September 21st, 2022


8:45 AM Welcome and Kick off

Brad Offman

Brad Offman
Spire Philanthropy

9:00 AM Opening Plenary

Phil Haid
Public inc.

5 Trends Shaping the Future of Impact

The world is in disarray. Global viruses. War. Environmental catastrophe. The list goes on. But humanity is also demonstrating incredible progress through the application of science and technology to issues of poverty, climate change and chronic disease. All of these issues and events are shaping the work of social impact. Join Phillip Haid of Public Inc., as he shares how to profit with purpose by showcasing the top 5 trends every organization needs to leverage to be successful.


09:30 AM MAIN STAGE #1

Lindsay Gruber
Lindsay Gruber
President & CEO
Saadia Malik
Johnson & Johnson
Manager for Johnson & Johnson’s Global Community Impact team

Engagement That Matters: Leverage Your Employees’ Skills Through Pro Bono Service to Help Strengthen Charities and Non-Profits

Now more than ever, as a society we count on charities and other non-profit organizations to play critical roles supporting our communities. And yet these same organizations are often unable to (or even prohibited from!) making the investments in their organizations’ infrastructure and leadership that are so essential to an organization’s ability to survive and thrive. Through pro bono service – leveraging skilled volunteers to help tackle key needs like marketing, HR, IT, finance and strategy – the Taproot Foundation envisions a world where one day, all organizations with promising solutions will be equipped to successfully take on urgent social challenges. Together, Johnson & Johnson and the Taproot Foundation have brought to life meaningful, scalable ‘Talent for Good’ programing engaging Johnson & Johnson employees in high-impact pro bono service for NGOs around the world. Through this session, you’ll have the chance to learn directly from these examples of corporate pro bono program design and dig into the win/win/win benefits to NGOs, employees and companies with thoughtfully designed pro bono service programs.


10:00 AM Break and Networking

10:40 AM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #1A

Catherine Brown

Rachel Hutchisson
Vice President, Global Social Responsibility

Catherine Brown
Krishan Mehta
Toronto Metropolitan University
AVP of Engagement
Paul Klein
Paul Klein
Founder and CEO

CSR Professionals in a Changing World: What’s on our minds and how you can help

Although change is constant, it feels like that saying is even more relevant today as we continue to manage through a global pandemic, issues surrounding racial equity, and political and social unrest. For both charities and corporations, understanding what’s on the minds of CSR professionals can help you unlock just how you can help provide solutions.

Breakout Session #1B

Catherine Brown
Janis Nixon

Head of Partnerships
Catherine Brown
Mona-Lisa Prosper

Director, Black Entrepreneurs
Catherine Brown
Mark Beckles
RBC Corporate Citizenship

Vice President, Social Impact & Innovation

RBC and Futurpreneur Stronger Together

Together, RBC and Futurpreneur are redefining the strategic partnerships model. Our strength as partners is not measured by the size of the investment, but rather the impact that addresses the needs of diverse young entrepreneurs across the country.

As one of Futurpreneur’s co-founders in 1996 (then Canadian Youth Business Foundation), RBC’s partnership with Futurpreneur has evolved and expanded to not only better prepare young entrepreneurs for their entrepreneurial journey through signature programs like Rock My Business and RBC Rock My Business Startup Awards, but also address the needs of young Black entrepreneurs seeking to access capital to build their dream businesses and contribute to inclusive economic prosperity with the launch of Futurpreneur’s Black Entrepreneur Startup Program, funded by RBC in March 2021.

RBC has played a pivotal role in creating Futurpreneur in its formative years, and RBC and the RBC Foundation have played a central role in strengthening Futurpreneur’s service offering through their steadfast support, funding of integral programs, and genuine commitment to championing aspiring, diverse young entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada.

Join us for this discussion to learn more about how we are making an impact, together.

11:20 AM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #2A

Catherine Brown

Chris Baylis
The Sponsorship Collective
President & CEO

Sponsors on Demand

Having a reliable system that produces sponsors is more important now than ever before. In this workshop, you will learn how to install the three systems needed to grow your sponsorship revenue.

We will focus on how to create a system that produces:
• Leads everyday
• Meetings every week
• Sponsors every month

Breakout Session #2B

Catherine Brown

Debbie McDowell

Director of Social Impact & Communications

Catherine Brown

Salma Dhanani
Senior Manager of Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)

Building Impactful Partnerships

Join Sephora Canada as they share their journey of evolving their social impact program through expanded and focused partnerships. Learn how Sephora has identified key partners – taking them from recipients of funds to equity partners, resulting in more meaningful and impactful opportunities and outcomes. 

12:00 PM LUNCH and Networking BREAK

1:15 PM Main Stage #2

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer

When and Why to Consider Evolving Your Impact

In April 2021, TOMS marked its 15th anniversary with the introduction of a new impact strategy and visual identity. After diligent research and evaluation, TOMS swapped out its iconic One for One model that has been adopted by countless other brands, with a commitment to give at least one-third of annual net profits for grassroots good working with passionate, informed leaders within the communities they serve. The new model of giving opens the door to contribute to causes and support solutions designed to address a community’s unique needs, making them scalable and sustainable. Come listen to Amy Smith, Chief Strategy and Impact officer at TOMS to learn how the brand evolved and what that might mean for how you think about impact within your company.


2:00 PM Main Stage To The Point

Amy Smith
Laura Janes
IMI International

Vice President

Accelerating Your Organization through Cause Partnerships

Sponsorship engages, excites and drives purchase. There is tremendous power in pairing properties & brands to drive impact on behavior, attitudes & emotions.

So where do CAUSE partnerships fit into this space? This session will leverage consumer insight to demonstrate the ability of the not-for-profit space to drive meaningful partnership impact that both accelerates your organization AND drives brand growth. Learn the proof-points needed to accelerate your cause or to drive insight driven, strategic conversations with partnership opportunities!

2:15 PM Main Stage #3

Amy Smith
Valerie Chort
RBC Foundation
Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, Executive Director

Deepening partnerships and collective impact through measurement

The evolution of philanthropy has led to an unprecedented focus on impact measurement, with the aim of understanding the social return on investments and how to do more with less. However, most approaches to impact measurement are theoretically complex, difficult to implement, and often result in more administrative overhead for charitable organizations rather than better decision making and continuous improvement.

Impact measurement has been proven to help charitable partners enhance programming and RBC maximize its social impact through insights informed strategic planning, better funding decisions and the ability to tell a compelling story about our impact, all backed by data.

In this session Valerie Chort will discuss why RBC believes impact measurement is critical to achieving its impact objectives, how we design and implement the RBC Impact Measurement Framework, and how we use technology to balance standardization and flexibility while creating value for RBC and its partners. We have succeeded by building strong relationships with our partners based on trust and collaboration, which will be illustrated with examples.


2:45 PM Break and Networking

3:15 PM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #3A

Brittany Hill
Brittany Hill
CEO & Founder
Diversifying Corporate Philanthropy in a Tightening Economy

With the myriad of issues facing our world in recent years, a recession on the horizon is no surprise. How can we best prepare for these economic shifts in order to maintain thriving social impact partnerships? Join Accelerist Founder & CEO, Brittany Hill, to discuss what to expect in a recession, the importance of diversifying your corporate philanthropy, and best practices for point-of-sale fundraising and employee engagement.

Breakout Session #3B

Catherine Brown
Shannon Craig
Chief Marketing and Product Officer

How Companies & Brands are Leveraging Causes to Make Deeper Connections with Younger Customers and Employees

In this session we delve into data and insights about younger donors and change makers and how they engage with the causes they care about. We look at ways that companies and brands are responding by integrating cause advocacy into their brand values and storytelling to build long-term affinity. We also take a deeper look at strategies for maintaining relevance and deepening connections in the face of current news and events such as the pandemic, social justice issues and the GivingTuesday movement.

4:00 PM Main Stage #4

Amy Smith
Tania Little
Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health

Chief executive Officer
Amy Smith
Martina Ambiri
Impakt Foundation

Executive Director
Amy Smith
Janine Manning
Anishnawbe Health Foundation/Laidlaw Foundation

Manager, Annual Giving Donor Relation/Chair
Amy Smith
Mobeen Lalani
Emerging Youth Consultancy

Founder, Principal Youth Consultant

Inclusive Partnership Design – Putting Beneficiaries at the Centre

Social impact partnerships are often collaborations between NFPs and companies. Inspired by Kelly Small’s book, The Conscious Creative, this thought-provoking panel will examine how to maximize success, inclusion, and impact to put beneficiaries at the centre of our work and design processes. Moderated by Tania Little, interim CEO of Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health, we will unpack this topic with an impressive roster of panelists. Explore case studies, lived experience, and the benefits to companies who put inclusive design methods into practice.

4:30 PM Cocktail Reception

Agenda – 2022 Partnership Conference

Day Two – September 22nd, 2022

8:00 AM Breakfast

8:30 AM Welcome and Day Kick off

Brad Offman

Brad Offman
Spire Philanthropy

8:35 AM Meridian AND Kits for A Cause

Amy Smith
Nicole Mitchell
Director, Brand & Social Commitment
Amy Smith
Jody Steinhauer
Kits for a Cause
Founder, President & Chief Bargain Officer

Kits for a Cause is a Canadian-founded social enterprise that creates meaningful engagement for groups looking to give back while providing non-profits with essential supplies they need. Kits does so so by building a wish list registry that companies, individuals and charities can use to build an essential item list of things such as, toques, mittens, socks, toiletries (you name it, they can customize a wish list of items as required)
Kits for a Cause connects individuals and companies to local charities and provides them with a tailored team building activity and or employee or corporate giving program. They make it fun, easy and accessible and ensure that the experience is turnkey, down to the handpicked essential items for the partner charity.

9:10 AM Opening Plenary

Amy Smith
Josee Thibault
MaRS Discovery District
Director of Philanthropy
Amy Smith
Cheryl May
London South Bank University
Consultant and Doctoral Researcher
Amy Smith
Shawna Peddle
The Co-operators Group, Ltd.
AVP Corporate Citizenship
Amy Smith
Stacey Kline
Otto Intelligence
CEO and Co-Founder
Amy Smith
Alejandro Mayoral
Indigenous Friends Association
Executive Director and Founder

The Future of Corporate Purpose

Our society is transforming before our eyes, and business is navigating increasingly complex waters. Companies increasingly recognize that they need to earn and maintain their social license to operate, and that means making real commitments and building genuine relationships with the communities in which they operate. Authenticity, dialogue, and transparency are key pillars to business leading with purpose. But it’s not easy. Since our inception in 2000, MaRS has brought divergent thinkers together for convergent action. In a 45 minute panel with some of our most impactful corporate partners, we’ll explore how companies are navigating purpose and the triple bottom line. We’ll also speak to experts in the field to highlight how that work reflects larger trends.

9:40 AM Walmart

Amy Smith

Gaurav Gupta
Walmart Canada
Director, ESG

Amy Smith

Jennifer Barbazza
Walmart Canada
Senior Manager, Sustainability

Progressing Sustainability through Partnerships

On its journey to becoming a Regenerative company, Walmart Canada takes a multi-stakeholder approach to advancing sustainability. Across the pillars of Climate, Nature, Waste and People; Walmart will talk about the internal and external partnerships it creates with industry groups, not-for-profits, government entities, suppliers, innovation hubs and other retailers towards a more sustainable and equitable planet.

10:15 AM BREAK

10:45 AM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #4A

Catherine Brown
Olumide Akerewusi
Founder & CEO
Catherine Brown

Helena Shimeles
RBC Corporate Citizenship
Director, Initiatives and Implementation,
Social Impact & Innovation

Catherine Brown
Batool Nawab
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada
Senior Manager, Social Impact & Sustainability

Justice and Equity in the Corporate Community Impact Profession

Across the globe there has been a vast awakening on issues of systemic anti-racism and anti-oppression. For many companies, this has prompted an unprecedented philanthropic response, with more funding going to Black and Indigenous groups in the last two years than than the previous two decades. At the same time there is a long overdue reflection on the practices within companies and in Canadian communities that often contribute to inequities.

In this thought provoking session, Mide will share highlights from a recent Imagine Canada study on JAIDE (Justice, Access, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) within the corporate community impact profession, done in collaboration with AgentsC and RBC Foundation, and will ask a panel of experts: How do we advance equity when those that sit in positions of power in a partnership do not represent or understand the communities they seek to impact?

During this panel experts will candidly discuss the current realities and challenges of corporate community impact and philanthropy in Canada, and will share ways for companies and nonprofits to collectively move forward, in service of a more equitable social good sector, and more impactful partnerships.

Additional panelists to be announced!

Breakout Session #4B

Catherine Brown

Trevor Loke
Co-Founder & CEO

What philanthropy can learn from dating apps

Partnership prospecting is broken for grantors and grantees alike. Relying on narrow financial criteria and the usual discovery drill of mining established networks and engaging in time consuming processes has entrenched systemic inequities, and failed to distribute funds evenly and equally to those best placed to do the work.
What if it was possible to use relationship science and frontier technology to make finding excellent partners faster, cheaper and more equitable. If Tinder could revolutionize dating, can similar match-making technology make partnership prospecting affordable, easy and more equitable? Hear from Orgmatch co-founders Trevor Loke and Tim Chipperfield about how dating app technology will be used to change the face of partnership prospecting for both funders and nonprofits alike.

11:30 AM MAIN STAGE #5

Amy Smith
Vinod Rajasekaran
Future of Good
Publisher & CEO
Amy Smith
Shawna Peddle
The Co-operators Group, Ltd.
AVP Corporate Citizenship
Amy Smith

Susan Henry
Alterna Savings
Director, Community Impact & Financial Inclusion

Amy Smith
Marco Di Buono
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities
President of Jumpstart Charities

Corporate partnerships for social justice

COVID-19 blindsided the world with its global scale, speed, as well as social and economic turbulence. Social challenges like food and housing affordability, systemic racism, aging with dignity, digital disparities, mental health, and precarious work were highlighted and exacerbated. In addressing these challenges, the pandemic revealed the importance of centring social justice in partnerships and collaborations, especially among corporates. There are numerous examples of how corporates have centred social justice in their work with communities, and this panel will highlight a few partnerships, key learnings and learnings, and how it reimagines the corporate – social sector relationship.

12:15 PM Main Stage To The Point

Amy Smith
Mira Soullen

Chief Marketing Officer

Localizing cause sponsorship projects: Multiplying impact and joy by inspiring your employees and customers to support the local charities of their choice.

Learn how supporting hyper-local causes influence the giving behaviour of the contributors and multiply their impact. Corporate teams that are in charge of cause sponsorship programs often shy away from supporting a variety of local causes, as they fear overburdening their management and coordination capacity. As a result, the support goes to national or international organizations. In this session, we’ll discuss how your organization can multiply impact by organizing, communicating and launching a social-cause sponsorship project that enables people in different locations to select and give to causes that are local to them. With the right strategy and technology, this vision can be a reality — and a lot easier than you might think.


12:30 PM LUNCH

1:30 PM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #5A

Mark Sabourin

Sarah Matsushita
Ontario Non Profit Network
Director of Communications and Engagement

Mark Sabourin
Krista Slade
Canadian Mental Health Association (National Executive)
National Chief Philanthropy and Partnerships Officer

How corporate partners can amplify nonprofit advocacy

What’s the role of corporate partners in supporting the advocacy of its nonprofit partners? How can companies support and amplify the policy work of nonprofits and charities by leveraging their connections and influence through government relations, media, public relations, and more? This session will explore ways corporate partners and nonprofits can work together beyond event and program sponsorship, to help move the needle on advocacy and public policy to better serve communities.

Breakout Session #5B

Mark Sabourin
Jackie Lee
KPMG in Canada

National Social & Environnemental Impact Lead
Mark Sabourin
Samuel Ajobo
Alliance of Black Employee Experience &
Leadership (ABEEL) Foundation

Founding Member and CEO
Mark Sabourin
Lissa Mitchell
KPMG in Canada

Director of Operations, Canadian Strategic Alliances
Mark Sabourin
Tamika Mitchell
KPMG Black Professionals Network,
KPMG in Canada

Senior Manager, Enterprise & Co-chair

Empowering social justice through partnerships

KPMG started sponsoring Alliance of Black Employee Experience and Leadership (ABEEL) Foundation’s Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program this year. The beneficiaries of this program are predominantly high school students of Black heritage descent. Through various interpretations including but not limited to poem, music, dance, painting and other multimedia platforms, the students express their views on a world without discrimination. Not only will the winning teams be awarded with a scholarship, but they will also have a chance to experience the business world through mentorship and internship opportunities.

Despite the recent sponsorship, KPMG’s partnership with ABEEL started early on. Lissa Mitchell and Tamika Mitchell supported the transformation of EllisDon‘s Black professional community program into a standalone non-profit organization which is now known as ABEEL.

This panel will feature a unique partnership between KPMG and ABEEL. Audience will learn more about ABEEL’s impressive work with the youth, KPMG’s Social Impact vision and specifically the firm’s anti-Black racism directions through its Black professionals network. The panelists will highlight the uniqueness and replicability of the partnership.

2:15 PM Breakout Session

Breakout Session #6A

Mark Sabourin
Surabhi Jain
Toronto’s Workforce Funder Collaborative
Executive Director
Mark Sabourin
Adriana Beemans
Metcalf Foundation
Inclusive Local Economies, Program Director
Mark Sabourin
Bruce Lawson
The Counselling Foundation of Canada
Mark Sabourin

Nation Cheong
United Way Greater Toronto
Vice President, Community Opportunities and Mobilization

Mark Sabourin

Tracey Robertson
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Lead for Partnership Investments – Innovation

Toronto’s Workforce Funder Collaborative: At the intersection of philanthropy and workforce development

Come to this presentation to hear about the origins story of the Funder Collaborative and how family foundations, corporation foundations, and a quasi-government organization came together to focus on systems change in workforce development for GTA so there are better opportunities for workers, job seekers, and employers. The presenters will share the “why” and “how” of the organization along with “what” the Funder Collaborative is focused on. It will be an opportunity to hear about how and why such partnerships are successful and what keeps them together.

Breakout Session #6B

Catherine Brown
Jordan Kerbel
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Director of External Relations

Employee Empowered Giving

What happens when employees are placed at the core of deciding what organizations receive corporate donations? This session will follow examples of how Allstate Canada has incorporated its people in creating social impact locally and nationally over the past two years. It will delve into some key learnings that can benefit CSR professionals and non-profits alike.

3:00 PM Main Stage #6

Amy Smith

Liban Abokor
Reimagine LABS

Foundation for Black Communities

Amy Smith
Bridgette Estrela
MLSE Foundation & MLSE Social Impact
Managing Director
Amy Smith
Marco Di Buono
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities
President of Jumpstart Charities

Getting to trust

This session will look at the necessary conditions and values like trust that partners must exhibit to get from shared objectives to shared action. We will look at how humility, acknowledging our constraints, and a shared commitment to justice and racial equity helped forge an extraordinary relationship between the Foundation for Black Communities and two long-standing Canadian institutions, MLSE and Canadian Tire. We will provide an unvarnished perspective on the context, challenges and opportunities that helped us make this relationship possible.


3:45 PM Closing Remarks

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