Illustration of diverse women

The Matching Initiative: Equality Fund

BY Susan Hamilton |
Mar 14, 2022 |

Kickstarted by a historic $300 million contribution from the Government of Canada in 2019, the Equality Fund was founded with the goal of building the largest self-sustaining fund for gender equality in Canada and around the world. The Equality Fund aims to return the investment to women-centric causes and provide flexible funding to non-profit organizations and charities.

To reach this goal, the Equality Fund needed its operations to be sustainable for the long term, but the organization was being held back by its accounting system. With serious inefficiencies and a user experience that left something to be desired, the Equality Fund needed a new system. However, as is the case with many small organizations, time was not in abundance, so the team looked externally for support and found it in the Matching Initiative.

Godyne Sibay, one of The Prosperity Project’s Founding Visionaries and Co-Chair of the Initiative at the time, recommended the Matching Initiative to the Equality Fund. Once approved, the organization was connected with a small group of female technology consultant volunteers at PwC Canada with expertise in finance and technology. The Equality Fund and the consultants established the goal of identifying the optimal accounting system for the Equality Fund.

“We were so grateful the team of Matching Initiative volunteers were willing to share their time and expertise, but even more so that they shared our passion for gender equality in Canada and globally,” commented Carol Devenny, the Chief Financial Officer of Equality Fund. “The volunteers even changed their processes to incorporate a gender lens into what they do.”

The volunteers were meticulous and organized. They began with an organizational assessment to better understand the Equality Fund’s needs. They then launched into the process, starting with the development of a checklist to assess options, followed by a market scan and interviews and workshops with Equality Fund team members.

The Matching Initiative volunteers evaluated 32 accounting packages and narrowed down the options. The volunteers and the Equality Fund team presented their findings to the Equality Fund Finance and Audit Committee in September, and they have now selected a vendor.

“We could not have done this without them,” said Carol when asked about the match. “They learned from us, and we learned from them as well. It was a gold medal match.”