How Canadian Tire became the nation’s top corporate citizen

publication date: Oct 22, 2014
author/source: Janet Gadeski

When Companies & Causes Canada asked 100 corporate citizenship executives which Canadian corporate citizenship/cause marketing effort they most admired, one-quarter of them named Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart. How does a corporation achieve such distinction? And how do their efforts fit with charities already addressing the issues?

Janet GadeskiKrista Shaw of Charlottetown, executive director of that city’s Boys & Girls Club, is thrilled with the club’s partnership with Jumpstart. “We were able to ensure that 60 children were able to participate in our Summer To Swim program here at the Boys & Girls Club,” she enthuses.  “Each child got two hours of pool time each week, all of whom would not have had the opportunity if not for this program.”

Every child supported

Canadian Tire regional manager Charles Woodford points proudly to the program’s record in PEI. “Every child in PEI that has ever applied for Jumpstart funding has had their application approved and been given the opportunity to play in the sport of physical activity of their choice,” he states. “With the help of the Canadian Tire family of companies and the Government of PEI’s support, no child has been turned away. “

The province’s government and Recreation PEI are involved as well, making sure that every child who needs help to access recreational activities can benefit from the program. The government hired a fulltime staff person to manage the online application process. Recreation PEI and the Boys & Girls Clubs assist with funding applications, help to identify and evaluate individual applicants, and create local programs that align with Jumpstart’s mission of helping children participate in physical activities.

Thousands of people involved

That model of community partnership creates a formidable critical mass to support children in everything from swimming to martial arts, circus training to dance lessons. Canadian Tire’s dealers and employee volunteers, plus civic leaders and concerned citizens, are organized into 330 local chapters covering every province and territory. Members meet throughout the year to support, guide and help administer Jumpstart activities in their local area. That unique chapter approach allows Jumpstart to operate as a national charity with a commitment to local communities.

Other partners include 3,100 community agencies such as Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA/YWCA, hundreds of Canadian Tire employees who contributed 55,000 hours in 2013, the federal government and four provincial governments, Canadian Tire vendors, and high-profile athlete ambassadors – all working together to ensure that everywhere in Canada, as in PEI, no child wanting to participate in physical activities is held back by disability or financial need.

To find out how your agency can benefit from the Jumpstart program, visit the website, or

For more information, Candice Bruton, 416.480.3180 or by email. To learn about Companies & Causes Canada's first ever cause marketing forum in Canada, visit here.

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