Vital Signs is an annual community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our cities, identifies significant trends, and assigns grades in at least ten areas critical to quality of life. Vital Signs is based on a project of the Toronto Community Foundation and is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada. The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation provided critical support for the national expansion of the Vital Signs program.
Each city’s report card data is a compilation of numerous research sources, much of it local, that help communities make connections between issues and trends in different areas. The findings are presented in a reader friendly format to make them as accessible as possible.
Community foundations are well-suited to this kind of work because of the broad role we play in our communities. Community foundations work with a wide range of community groups – not just one charity or sector. This gives us a comprehensive view of local issues and the ability to make connections between various needs and issues.
Measuring the vitality of Canadian communities in critical areas will help community foundations:
- Increase the effectiveness of our grantmaking
- Better inform our donors about issues and opportunities in the community
- Assist us in making connections between individuals and groups to address those issues