Twelve Women-Serving Social Purpose Organizations to Grow their Impact through Unique Partnership

The Canadian Women’s Foundation and LIFT Philanthropy Partners are joining forces with support from the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program  

Toronto, ON — The Canadian Women’s Foundation and LIFT Philanthropy Partners (LIFT), with funding from Employment and Social Development Canada, are pleased to announce the launch of a partnership that will strengthen women-serving social-purpose organizations (SPOs) in this crucial moment for women and girls in Canada.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting partnerships, like this one between LIFT Philanthropy and the Canadian Women’s Foundation, that increase opportunities for underserved members of our communities. This support provided for women-serving social-purpose organizations will contribute to creating a more fair and equitable Canada,” says the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Together, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and LIFT will provide training on managing and measuring social impact to a cohort of 12 women-serving SPOs. The training will bolster their ability to measure their impact on their communities, which will in-turn increase economic opportunities for women, and reduce gender-based violence and poverty.

“The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for women and girls and gender diverse people,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

“We are so excited to be partnering with LIFT, because they understand how women-serving social finance organizations can help us to develop new ways of meeting needs in this uncertain time. Too often, incredible women-serving organizations are discounted by investors because they don’t have the tools to measure their impact. The finance sector and the women’s sector must work together, and this partnership will help us get there.”

Funded by the Government of Canada, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports SPOs as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada. The Canadian Women’s Foundation received $3 million in June 2019 from Employment and Social Development Canada to support women-serving organizations become investment-ready.

As an IRP expert service provider, LIFT developed a suite of capacity building investment readiness modules which are delivered to cohorts of SPOs. LIFT’s cohort delivery method supports SPOs interested in working together to better address society’s most pressing challenges while also leveraging the benefits of collective learning. The cohort taking part in this training program was chosen from the group of women-serving investees who earned funding through this ground-breaking program.

“There is significant demand from SPOs for support with key capacity-building areas such as impact measurement and revenue diversification. In a pandemic, the demand is even more acute,” says Sheryl Lee, Chief Impact Office of LIFT.

“The Canadian Women’s Foundation knows that when we work together, we are much more effective at solving these deep-rooted gender-related issues. We are very pleased to partner with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and 12 women-serving organizations from across the country to improve their investment readiness and impact measurement capabilities.”

The leaders in this cohort are committed to building sustainable solutions and preparing to access new forms of social finance to further catalyze women-developed solutions to gender-based challenges. The ability to concretely measure social impact is imperative for participation in the social finance market.

“With the new tools acquired, we are now able to measure the social impact DAWN Canada has on the lives of women and girls with disabilities and deaf women and girls in Canada, through our different activities – research, education, advocacy, policy,” says Karine Myrgianie Jean-François, a cohort participant and Director of Operations at the DisAbled Women’s Network Canada (DAWN).

In this way, the Investment Readiness Program is prioritizing capacity building as a means to encourage future investment.

“The impact measurement sessions have… been invaluable in helping us further develop and shape our vision,” says Candace Simon, another cohort participant and Director of Community Partnerships and Social Innovation for the Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities at The Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network.

“The opportunity to work in Indigenous communities, and foster social innovation to support sustainable, cultural programming is an amazing opportunity and one that we do not take for granted.”

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Kate Hawkins, Manager of PR and Online Engagement, Canadian Women’s Foundation, 416-365-1444 ext. 258


The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, the Foundation works to achieve systemic change that includes all women. By supporting community programs, the Foundation empowers women and girls to move themselves out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership.

Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With the support of donors, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million and funded over 1,900 programs across the country. These programs focus on addressing the root causes of the most critical issues, and helping women and girls who face the greatest barriers.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation aims to be inclusive of diverse people across gender and sexuality spectrums. We focus our efforts on supporting those who face the most barriers and have least access to relevant services. This includes people who identify as women, girls, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, and 2SLGBTQI+.

In response to the pandemic, the Canadian Women’s Foundation launched the Tireless Together Fund: a national emergency fund to provide critical support to women and girls through the COVID-19 crisis. It will help vital services to reach women and girls now and continue to support them in the coming months.

Those who wish to contribute can do so online at Funds raised are flexible, designed to be used by service providers in every province and territory to meet greatest needs, and ensure programs at risk of closure and interruption can continue.

To learn more, visit, sign up for the e-newsletter, and read the blog. Follow the Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Editor’s Note: When referring to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, please use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.


LIFT Philanthropy Partners is a national, non-profit organization that believes vulnerable and at-risk Canadians deserve access to the tools and opportunities they need to thrive in society.

LIFT’s innovative and proven model mobilizes public and private sector resources to provide strategic, governance and managerial support to social purpose organizations (SPOs) so they can deliver greater, scalable, sustainable, results-based impact for vulnerable Canadians faster. Our difference is applying business discipline to SPOs that are already impactful and bolster their capabilities so they can do even more.

LIFT was formally launched in 2011 to build the capacity of social purpose organizations (SPOs) across Canada. LIFT’s team in Vancouver and Toronto work across the country with SPOs from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories. By providing hands-on management and pro bono contributions from its national network of leading experts and businesses, LIFT supports SPOs to improve their operations, accountability and measurement practices, so they can deliver meaningful, lasting impact in Canada.

Through partnerships with SPOs, LIFT is giving more underserved Canadians access to the foundations of a prosperous life: health, education and skills development leading to employment. This benefits everyone by creating a stronger inclusive economy and community.

To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.