The Matching Initiative: Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation

Founded in 2017, the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation (CCLF) was created to raise awareness on the importance of early literacy, promote and develop children’s literacy initiatives, champion literacy partners, and empower people to build literacy skills in their homes and communities. The CCLF is the only national charity dedicated exclusively to children’s early literacy and works to ensure all children in Canada are equipped with the literacy skills they need to reach their full potential.

Ariel Siller joined the CCLF as CEO in July 2019. With the organization poised for expansion, Ariel sought to formalize the CCLF’s human resources (HR) framework, ensuring that policies were codified and could be scaled accordingly as the organization grew.

To ensure the organization had a strong foundation for sustainable growth, Ariel was looking for someone to work with the CCLF to establish best-in-class hiring, performance management, and talent development practices that were equitable, inclusive and reflective of the CCLF’s values and ambitions.

When Ariel applied to the Matching Initiative, she was paired with Reagan Nuss, a Learning and Organization Development Specialist from the Canada Medical Association (CMA). With extensive experience in HR, Reagan lent her experience to reviewing existing job descriptions, performance plans, current HR policies and onboarding procedures.

“Reagan was a joy to work with,” Ariel remarked. “Drawing on her vast experience working with other leading organizations committed to advancing the well-being of Canadians, she was able to bring her unique perspectives and insights to the development of our HR policies. The assistance she provided was at the level and value of top-notch paid-for consulting services.”

Reagan tackled Ariel’s goals item by item, making a conscious effort to understand how CCLF works and where there were opportunities for growth. Both women met every couple of weeks to discuss progress, give feedback, and determine priorities.

Having Reagan work as a volunteer meant that the CCLF could focus its existing staff resources on the pursuit of other strategic goals, such as program growth and expansion. “This support and experience proved to be invaluable,” explained Ariel. “The Matching Initiative’s custom matching program allowed us to meet our organizational goals for sustainable growth.”

The organization has already begun a new round of hiring and is continuing to grow its internal team, confident that new team members are being onboarded with best-in-class practices. The volunteer work plan is ongoing.