Changing the Community through Coaching
In the first-ever program of its kind, the ICF Toronto Chapter launched Coach Connect, an initiative to gift pro bono professional coaching services to community nonprofit organizations. The program connects ICF Toronto Chapter Members with local nonprofit and volunteer causes that align with their values. ICF Toronto was recognized by the ICF Foundation for its inspiring program with the 2018 Gift of Coaching Portfolio award, which recognizes ICF Chapters that have multiple pro bono initiatives.
Through Coach Connect, ICF Toronto Coaches empowered coachees, helping them see beyond a situation, no matter how bleak or hopeless; regain control of their lives; rebuild careers; launch businesses; and strengthen communication, interpersonal and management skills.
In its inaugural year, the Chapter partnered with the following organizations:
- Up with Women: Exists to help women permanently break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing high quality, customizable services for at-risk women to maximize their personal and career potential and build sustainable pathways out of poverty
- Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter (EWS): Is an organization run by women that provides support and shelter for women and children escaping violence. It assists women and their children in rebuilding their lives by providing interventions and holistic support services
- Bethell Hospice: Supports individuals and their families with life-limiting illnesses by providing exemplary hospice and palliative care. It also offers community programs including grief counseling and bereavement support. There are no fees for its services
- Tropicana Community Services: Provides youth, newcomers, people of Black and Caribbean heritage and others in need with opportunities and alternatives that lead to success and positive life change. Its mission is achieved through culturally appropriate programs such as counseling, childcare, educational and employment services, and youth development
Through its governance, Coach Connect ensures that the pro bono initiatives are aligned with each partner client’s mission and vision. Potential nonprofit partners are screened through a rigorous application process. Once chosen for the program, organizations participate in regular check-ins and surveys with ICF Toronto to ensure that the agreed upon mission-aligned objectives are being successfully achieved.
This includes a first quarter program review, mid-point survey, and final coaching survey. These assessments ensure that the partner organizations follow similar processes, and it allows for best practices to be recognized. As a result, organizations indicated they were somewhat likely to very likely to continue to utilize coaching in their organizations after the initiatives completed. This exposure will help leaders understand what is possible, allowing the organizations to make informed decisions with their future budgets.
The ICF Foundation presented ICF Toronto with the award at the 2019 ICF Global Leaders Forum in Dublin, Ireland, on March 22, 2019.
The Gift of Coaching Awards program celebrates ICF Chapters with impactful pro bono coaching initiatives that make a difference in their communities and in the world. The Gift of Coaching Awards program represents the mission of the Foundation, intended to leverage the excellent work ICF Chapters are already doing to increase awareness of and better their communities through professional coaching. If you would like to learn more about the Gift of Coaching Awards, visit https://foundationoficf.org/giftofcoaching/.