Toronto training organization, co-founder, Jessica Bell, awarded Toronto Community Foundation Vital People grant


(Toronto) - Tools for Change’s co-founder and coordinator, Jessica Bell, was awarded a Vital People grant from the Toronto Community Foundation. The Vital People grant program recognizes valued leaders who are making outstanding contributions working at not-for-profit organizations. Grants are awarded in support of continued training and professional development of the selected leaders.

A project of Earthroots, OPIRG Toronto, and Greenpeace, Tools for Change provides skills-building training to Toronto’s volunteer, activist, and non-profit sector.  The program hosts 20 workshops a year.  Jessica Bell co-founded Tools for Change in 2010.

Jessica Bell will use the Toronto Community Foundation grant to complete courses in conflict resolution and mediation at York University.

“I’m delighted to be awarded a Vital People grant from the Toronto Community Foundation,” said Jessica Bell. “Investing in the personal development of leaders in the non-profit-sector helps the sector as a whole thrive.  In fact, we founded the Tools for Change training program for similar reasons.”

“Each year, our Vital People grant recipients inspire us with the quality of their work with not-for-profit organizations helping to shape Toronto into the city we all want,” said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, Toronto Community Foundation, President & CEO. “The Community Foundation is proud to recognize these exceptional community leaders and support their leadership growth.”

Vital People are selected for their ability to take initiative, make a contribution, and demonstrate leadership in the not-for-profit sector. Grants of up to $5,000 are funded through the Community Foundation’s  Vital Toronto Fund and awarded to support the formal training or other informal development opportunities that best enable not-for-profit leaders to build their skills and knowledge or apply their experience in different ways to enhance their leadership contributions. Grants are available to those just taking on new leadership challenges as well as those with many years of experience.

Since 2004, the Toronto Community Foundation has invested almost $400,000 in the professional development of 83 leaders.  This year, with an additional gift from the Honey Family Foundation at the Toronto Community Foundation, Vital People grants were awarded to eight leaders for a total of investment of $37,235.

For a complete list of the 2013 Vital People grant recipients, please click here.


About Tools for Change

A project of OPIRG TorontoEarthroots, and Greenpeace Canada, Tools for Change helps you develop skills to champion social change.  Tools for Change organizes 20 workshops a year and teaches a range of useful skills for people active in Toronto’s non-profit, volunteer, and activist sectors. Workskhop topics include how to get media attention for your cause, campaign planning, resolving conflicts, and best practice meeting facilitation.


About the Toronto Community Foundation

With more than 340 endowment funds and assets under administration of more than $250 million, the Toronto Community Foundation is one of Canada’s largest public charitable foundations. Our mission is to connect philanthropy to community needs and opportunities, all with a vision to make Toronto the best place to live, work, learn and grow, through the power of giving.


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For more information, please contact:


Jessica Bell

Co-founder and coordinator, Tools for Change



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Simone Dalton

Manager, Media Relations & Communications

Toronto Community Foundation

416-921-2035 x 218

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