Race to $100,000: Halifax charity in the running

Anti-bullying organization asks for citizens to vote in contest

A national charity based in Halifax has been shortlisted for a $100,000 donation in a Canadian philanthropic competition.

No Time For That (NTFT) was the only charity from Nova Scotia of the 12 finalists for the prize. An insurance company, iA Financial Group, released the shortlist on Nov. 4, guaranteeing each of the finalists at least $10,000.

NTFT hosts presentations involving performers and motivational speakers for schoolchildren to spread awareness about bullying prevention, mental health awareness, and youth empowerment.

The organization’s founder, Elsie Morden, said she believes it is a huge opportunity for the organization to represent the province. 

“This means the absolute world to us,” she said. 

NTFT founder Elsie Morden poses with schoolchildren at a tour for her charity’s anti-bullying campaign.   Elsie Morden

Donations totalling $500,000 will be made at the end of public voting that ends Nov. 30. The top four teams would receive $100,000 with the other eight receiving $10,000 each.

While Morden thinks that $100,000 would help them increase their impact “exponentially,” even the smaller prize of $10,000 would go a long way in helping NTFT. 

“It will help us reach more schools and impact more youth right across the country with our virtual tour,” Morden said.

In six years, the organization has reached out to 617 schools across the country. With major expenses like travel and vehicle costs, NTFT’s financial report from 2020 showed a loss of $17,886. Morden said that when people think of charities to support, they miss out on small organizations like them and the financial burden has been a struggle.

“We are too national to receive provincial funding but then we are not big enough to receive federal funding. So, we fell through the cracks even with funding for the pandemic,” she said. 

In a news release on Sept. 15, iA Financial Group CEO Denis Richard said, “We are very proud to help Canadian charities that contribute in various and amazing ways to the welfare of the young people in our society.” 

Souls Harbour, another Halifax-based charity, received $100,000 grants from a different competition run by insurance company Aviva, winning in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Souls Harbour spokesperson Melanie Hack said the grant had a big impact, adding that organizations get good exposure from these contests as well.

Workers at Souls Harbour distribute food at its kitchen facility on Cunard Street in Halifax.   Shlok Talati

“It would be easier if they just gave us $100,000 if we did a grant application,” she said.

In such contests from Aviva and iA, shortlisted organizations have to ask for votes through their social media to win the donation. Hack said that every time they posted about the contest, Aviva got traction too.

“If that’s what it takes for organizations to practice philanthropy, then that’s great too,” Hack said. 

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