|Many times one might say, "this past year was like no other," but this time it would be very true for March of Dimes which has had enviable growth for almost 30 consecutive years. There was no growth in some years and in 2010. Last fiscal year’s experience of losing the Workers Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) Labour Market Re-entry Program assured us of a diminished operation in the current fiscal year, 2011-2012. This made fiscal 2010-2011 the biggest challenge we have had in at least two decades, and produced greater stress than during the 2008 recession. We have, however, put plans in place to manage this, and it won’t be news when we report at the end of the next fiscal year that we mitigated loss, both by restructuring the Employment Services program and creating new operating relationships with the WSIB and other funders.
We began preparing for the transition immediately after receiving news in June, 2010 of the WSIB’s decision, and significantly revised plans and forecasts. All other programs delivered well on their goals and sustained or increased budgets. Much credit is due to the Employment Services team for moving expediently to address the new reality, to upgrade staffing, reduce space, redeploy resources, bid on and win new contracts, and seek overall efficiencies. Fundraising exceeded their plan for the first time in four years and so the department’s staff will be overjoyed to see an "A" rating in this year’s report. All staff put in a great effort and for this, we are very appreciative. We are pleased to present a chart on the opposite page that illustrates our achievements this past fiscal year.
This report also celebrates our 60th Anniversary and our ongoing commitment to independence for people with disabilities. In this report, we rate our services and departments, introduce some of our clients and staff, and for the first time will use social media technology to be super-friendly and approachable. Our goal is accountability to our donors, funders, partners, clients, staff and volunteers.