The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive social and economic disruption for individuals and communities around the world. As the world looks toward reopening, we believe that timely investment in targeted expertise has the potential to help build long-term resilience for our communities.
Recognizing a unique challenge created by the pandemic, the 2020 TD Ready Challenge put forward a bold and ambitious ask for organizations to focus on addressing existing social inequities that have been made worse by the pandemic.
The final 15 organizations that were selected to receive grants under the 2020 TD Ready Challenge , are located throughout Canada and the United States. Grant amounts range from $350,000 CAD to $1-million CAD ($269,500-$770,000 USD) for a total of $10-million CAD ($7.9-million USD).
Projects include a culturally responsive educational program for Canadian grade-age students and a program developed by a Florida organization that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help create policies for low-to-moderate income families.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health crisis, but also a social, economic and environmental one," said Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group.
"The TD Ready Challenge is our way to identify and support new ideas and solutions that can be key to helping communities emerge resilient, inclusive, vibrant and ready for the continually changing future. I want to thank all the participants of this year's Challenge and look forward to hearing positive reports concerning the solutions that the 15 final grant recipients are working on to help address these issues."
The TD Ready Challenge seeks to help meet urgent needs of the day
TD launched the TD Ready Commitment in 2018 to provide $1-billion CAD ($775-million USD) by 2030 towards community giving. As part of the TD Ready Commitment, each year, the TD Ready Challenge acts as a catalyst for change by inviting the non-profit sector to respond with grant solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing modern-day society.
In previous years, TD Ready Challenge grants were given to organizations focused on a specific, pressing issue – from increasing financial well-being to addressing health care inequalities. But in 2020, COVID-19 exposed many varying community needs and inequalities, and so this was the first year that the Challenge was re-focused on solutions to help address the issues raised by the pandemic as well as the first time that the Challenge offered grants for various amounts.
"We are honored to help support community organizations who are working to bring innovative and inclusive solutions to life," said Shelley Sylva, Head of U.S. Social Impact, TD Bank.
From 2018 to 2020, the TD Ready Challenge has granted a total of $30-million CAD ($23.7-million USD) to 35 non-profit and community-based organizations.
Innovation is the key
The TD Ready Challenge was established as a springboard to help support innovative ideas. Innovation is at the heart of all 2020 TD Ready Challenge grant recipients. For example:
- Start2Finish Canada, Brainworx! Learning Enhancement Program. This nationwide organization aims to provide culturally responsive educational programs to help underserved students develop resiliency and become independent learners.
- The Urban League of Broward County Inc. in Florida received support for LYNX: Service Integration Model for Family Resiliency. This program includes a component that uses AI to help provide data used to create policy and practices for economically disadvantaged families.
You can learn more about the other 2020 TD Ready Challenge Grant recipients listed here.
- The University of British Columbia: UBC's Remote Communities Drone Transport Initiative (DTI) British Columbia
- Canadian Feed The Children - The TD Indigenous Forest Fund: Reimagining Food Forests – From Food Security to Food Sovereignty, Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Women's College Hospital Foundation, Women’s Virtual, Ontario
- Per Scholas, Inc., Per Scholas Alumni Upskilling Initiative, New York
- Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Save Your Biz Philly Program, Pennsylvania
- University of Saskatchewan, Transforming Emergency Response in First Nations and Métis Communities in the times of COVID-19, through Gender and Cultural Safety, Saskatchewan
- CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, Black Canadian Communities - Recovery, Healing & Resilience (RHR), Ontario
- Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador, COVID-19 Mental Health Recovery Program, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Interligne, Be There for You, Québec
- Clinica Esperanza Hope Clinic, Responding to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, Rhode Island
- McGill University Health Centre Foundation, Making Telemedicine Accessible to More Canadians, Québec
- Port Discovery Children's Museum., Supporting Baltimore's Children: A COVID-19 Response, Maryland
- Penquis, The Rural Maine Financial Coaching Collaborative (RMFCC), Maine