First started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001, Vital Signs is now a global program that has engaged more than 100 communities in Canada and around the world to mobilize the power of community knowledge for greater local impact.
Vital Signs is locally led by community foundations and used by residents, businesses, community organizations, universities and colleges, and government leaders to learn about community needs, take action and direct resources where they will have the greatest impact.
Community foundations participating in Vital Signs conduct research on a broad range of community issues to measure the vitality of their community. Vital Signs is responsive to topics of interest and concern at the local community level, and topics will vary between communities.
Community foundations use Vital Signs to learn more about their community to ensure they are responsive to vital community needs and incorporate the knowledge gained through Vital Signs into the strategic direction of the foundation. Vital Signs allows for evidence-based decision making and can be used to track community progress over time.
With an eye on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda for 2030, there is an opportunity for community foundations around the world to engage in a shared measurement framework through the Vital Signs program.
Current and past publications of international Vital Signs reports are available on our International Vital Signs report page organized by year and community.
How to get involved
Community foundations interested in exploring how to get involved in the Vital Signs program may contact Alison Sidney, Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives with Community Foundations of Canada.