PwC has been working with community stakeholders to find out how we can achieve greater social impacts through our business operations.


Over the course of this year, we concentrated our efforts in four key areas:

  • engaging our people in meaningful community experiences that help build capabilities
  • developing strategic relationships across sectors (e.g. public, private, government, not-for-profit)
  • demonstrating how we are a responsible business
  • sharing our community engagement journey

Heather Burnett shares how her non-profit benefitted from PwC’s leadership grant initiative.

During FY15, we will reflect on our key priorities and engage our stakeholders as part of a visioning exercise with the PwC Canada Foundation to look at the next ten years of its evolution. Part of this process will include developing a Theory of Change process to help refine our input, output, outcome and impact measurements related to the PwC Canada Foundation’s work.

We will engage not-for-profit, public and private sector leaders as a part of roundtables aimed at identifying, discussing and addressing emerging community-based issues and opportunities. One of our key collaborative endeavors will be to explore the development of shared measurement platforms for foundations and not-for profits to assist with grant review processes.

Making a difference through volunteering
During FY14, 2,211 of our people participated in 315 firm-led team volunteer initiatives, contributing 16,583 total volunteer hours back to the community. These results were consistent year over year and represented an employee engagement rate of almost 40% of our firm’s total population.

Over the course of the year, we used our Volunteer Continuum to help expand the ways our volunteer program enhances the leadership skills of our people, while simultaneously maximizing our firm’s total commitment and effectiveness within the charitable sector. We continued to embrace our network-wide definition of skilled volunteering:

“Skilled volunteering involves the use of an individual’s professional skills but in an informal way that does not involve the delivery of a service for which the firm is responsible. This could include but is not limited to mentorship, coaching or financial literacy training”.

As a part of this focus, we increased the number of skills-based volunteer experiences from 89 in FY13 to 142 in FY14, representing a year over year proportional increase of total activities from 29% to 45%. This exceeded our FY14 goal of achieving a 40% ratio. Some examples of how our people shared their skills included mentoring youth in financial literacy and coaching executive teams on strategic planning processes.

During FY15, we will aim to increase this ratio to 50% and continue to look for new ways to maximize our people’s skills while out in the community.

During FY14, we also made headway on finding ways to strengthen our volunteer management systems to enhance internal controls and reporting capabilities. New program innovations included refining our pre and post employee and not-for profit feedback forms to better measure employee hours spent in the community, and streamlining administrative processes to better educate our people on how to enhance their personal impacts in the community and report their experiences back to our firm. During FY15, we will use this information as part of a Theory of Change process to continue to ensure strong data integrity related to our community initiatives.

Our National Volunteer of the Year Award was fully integrated into our National CEO Awards as a ‘Communities’ category during FY13. This was an important step in helping us to integrate volunteer and community activities into our business strategy. As a part of this award process, we received 27 nominations in FY14, compared to 33 in FY13. This year it was observed that nominations better reflected the many ways people contribute to their communities, with nominations highlighting how our people are going well beyond traditional volunteering to give back to their communities. For example, nominations included people’s work supporting industry associations, building relationships between businesses and communities, and developing social ventures. We hope to build on these results during FY15.

In addition to our Communities CEO Award, we also provided 144 volunteer grants of $300 each, for a total of $43,200. These grants were provided to charities to recognize the time our people spent volunteering outside of work hours.

The number of volunteer grants increased in FY14 compared to FY13, when 131 grants were provided. As part of our stakeholder engagement efforts in FY15, we will seek feedback regarding the volunteer grants program so that we can evaluate how to further improve and extend its impact.

Strengthening not-for-profit board governance
Providing our people and community stakeholders with training and development opportunities related to not-for-profit board governance remained a top priority for us during FY14. We delivered 15 webinars related to the duties and responsibilities of a not-forprofit board director and the role of a not-for-profit board treasurer. We also provided in depth governance training to five external community boards to help them strengthen governance, reporting and communications strategies. Additionally, we met our FY14 goal to develop a new training module focused on board diversity and inclusion. We completed this module and will be launching it during FY15.

In FY14, 451 PwC employees from across Canada served on boards for not-forprofits or registered charitable organizations, or were members of related board committees. Together, they held a total of 506 directorships (including individuals who held multiple postings). The number of our people sitting on these types of boards saw a 23% increase – from FY13, when 368 individuals held directorships. Results are based on each individual’s unique experience and commitment to the boards they are on; however, this increase can also be attributed to our continued dedication to a board match program in collaboration with Altruvest Charitable Services. We launched this program during FY14 to help match our people with community boards. These results show our strong progress toward a goal we made during FY13 to help match 200 additional employees with community boards over a three year period. We will report back on our progress next year and continue to build on our momentum.

Making a difference when the unexpected happens
During FY14, PwC contributed almost $70,000 to organizations providing disaster relief in response to Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the Alberta Floods. When the super typhoon passed over the Philippines, PwC Canada made a donation to the Canadian Red Cross to help those most affected. The Government of Canada pledged to match all contributions to registered charities as part of relief efforts, including our own. Here in Canada, over 100,000 individuals were seriously affected by the flooding in Alberta. Floodwaters from several rivers submerged streets and homes in the communities of Exshaw, Bragg Creek and High River, before pouring through the heart of downtown Calgary – close to the steps of our Calgary office. During this devastation, our people quickly stepped up to help their colleagues and their communities. Our people participated inTeam Volunteering events at nine organizations between July 2013 and February 2014, focused on helping different communities get back on their feet. The stories that came out of the floods, like the one outlined on the next page, were inspiring.

Sharing our expertise to be catalysts for change
In FY14, we continued to strengthen our commitment to Innoweave – a collaboration spearheaded by the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation to help community organizations learn about, assess and implement new approaches to achieving social impact. In line with our efforts in FY13, we provided funding for 10 organizations to develop a Theory of Change process. We also hosted training sessions on the topic of Collective Impact (i.e. a commitment to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem that is made by a group of organizations from different sectors). These training sessions allowed each organization to develop a clear and rigorous impact statement that it will be held accountable for achieving. Organizations involved are now implementing changes that came out of the process, and are using the outcomes and products they generated to help make strategic decisions.

During FY14, Innoweave won a Tides Top 10 Award, which honours Canada’s most innovative social change initiatives. Recipients of this award demonstrate innovation, creativity and impact while working in fields where social, ecological and economic considerations intersect. We’re pleased to celebrate Innoweave’s success and plan, during FY15, to develop a case study on this collaborative initiative that we are involved with in order to help promote and inform other funder collaborations across sectors.

Focusing philanthropic initiatives on capacity building
During FY14, PwC awarded a total of $225,000 in leadership grants to 50 registered charities across Canada to support leadership and professional development activities – an increase of $25,000 year over year. The Leadership Grant program is a PwC Canada Foundation initiative that is offered once each year by way of a request for proposals process. In FY14, our Foundation received a total of 336 applications, up from 204 in FY13. While total funding increased, our grant to grantee ratio decreased slightly (i.e. FY14 from 22% in FY13 to 15% in FY14). We will work towards a 25% ratio in FY15 to help reduce declines, and will also look for other ways to support applicants (i.e. through our team volunteering and board governance initiatives).