YWCA Accelerator Program
This program was the result of a collaboration between SmartSAVER and YWCA Canada. The program has made information about the CLB available to people in plain language directly in the communities where they live. Eight YWCAs in municipalities across the country hosted information sessions with families, with the overall goal of increasing their financial health and, in particular, encouraging sign-ups in the CLB.
- YWCA Cambridge
- YWCA Halifax
- YWCA Lethbridge & District
- YWCA Metro Vancouver
- YWCA Muskoka
- YWCA Saskatoon
- YWCA St. John’s
- YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island
Community Incentive Program & Future Saver
Through the eight YWCAs named above, as well as community organizations Momentum in Calgary, New Circles Community Services in Thorncliffe Park, Toronto, and the Ottawa Community Foundation, we tested various incentive amounts of up to $500 per CLB-eligible family that applied through our site. We found that large cash amounts did not greatly accelerate the pace of RESP and CLB sign-ups in a cost effective manner. We refocused our efforts on supporting streamlining the RESP and CLB online application and speeding up the delivery of the incentive amount.
In April 2017, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced The Winnipeg Promise, a plan for his city to increase participation in the Canada Learning Bond. Along with the mayor, philanthropic partners including the McConnell Foundation pledged to work on the Promise. “The Winnipeg Promise is of particular relevance to Indigenous children who are under-represented in receiving this benefit and we hope it serves as a model for the rest of Canada,” said the then-president of the McConnell Foundation, Stephen Huddart. That month, it was announced that thanks to the local community partner SEED Winnipeg, over 1,000 more children in the north-end neighbourhood of Point Douglas had been signed up for the CLB. This represented a transfer of potentially $2 million into the community from the federal government into the community.
In North-end Winnipeg, home to numerous modest-income families, over 1000 children were signed up for the CLB between 2013 and 2015.