Evenings & Weekends Consulting is a values-driven consultancy in Toronto, Ontario.
We work to advance equity, justice, and social impact through our collaborations with non-profit organizations, grassroots groups, charities, activists, leaders, and policymakers across North America.
Our team brings together incredibly diverse skill sets with consultants, facilitators, researchers, creative designers, fundraisers, content strategists, accountants, and project managers available to provide comprehensive solutions to our clients.
From long-term strategic planning services to one-off coaching sessions and workshops, we seek to connect our expertise with the leadership that already exists within organizations and their communities so that we can work together to make good change happen.
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve always been deeply curious about what drives people. At parties, I’m usually asking complete strangers about their dreams and aspirations. So naturally, I began my career as a journalist, working with outlets like VICE, The Toronto Star, The Grid, and Refinery29.
I loved being able to dive into topics that were totally new to me and to meet people who were doing innovative things within their areas of focus. But I was also a bit disillusioned by the industry and what I perceived as its limitations. I was looking for a way to translate my skills—writing, interviewing, storytelling, and content strategy—into work that aligned more closely with my values.
So I shifted my focus to explore opportunities with community-based nonprofits and within progressive political campaigns. I wanted to support emerging leaders to connect their ideas and values to the audiences that could aid them in making good change possible.
Over the past 12 years, I’ve worked with dozens of organizations to translate their missions, visions, and values into communications that inspire people to engage more deeply with social, environmental, and economic issues and take action to support more equitable futures. I can’t imagine a better line of work: every day, I get to meet people who believe we can change the world, and I get to think creatively and collaboratively about how to tell their stories.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
When you’re in the right environment—working on the right projects with the right people—things will flow. I’ve been in so many workplaces where it felt like I was swimming upstream, where the culture prioritized appearing busy, reinforcing existing hierarchies, and perpetuating artificial urgency. As a result, the days often felt draining, and I was insecure about my ability to create the work that I already knew I was capable of.
My imposter syndrome evaporates once I align with people who approach challenges with curiosity and a collaborative spirit. So my advice is simple: when doing your best work feels difficult in your current environment, it’s time to find a new place to thrive.
What problem does your business solve?
Charities and nonprofit organizations have always existed in a state of pressure and evolution, but the last decade has ushered in a particularly challenging new landscape. The interlocking crises of the pandemic, racism, colonialism, climate change, and skyrocketing inflation and costs of living are seriously harming our clients, their teams, and the communities they serve.
As a result, many organizations struggle with feelings of scarcity—particularly with staff retention and financial pressures. They’re often unsure about how to balance their big ambitions to support their communities with the many resources required.
That’s often where we come in: our consultancy team works with organizational staff and leadership to find sustainable solutions. We listen deeply to their concerns, challenges, and opportunities and use what we hear to create innovative and effective strategies that are tailored to their specific needs.
Whether it’s a culture and compensation audit, a fundraising strategy, a strategic community and advocacy plan, or training on anti-racism and anti-oppression, we support organizations to open up space and resources for them to do their best work and meet their bold ambitions.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our founders, Paul Taylor and Laetitia Eyssartel, first collaborated on the senior leadership team at FoodShare Toronto. With the support of other members of the leadership team, they advanced critical conversations about justice in the food sector (a field that was notoriously resistant to change), and their leadership on decent work issues was consistently recognized for inspiring the adoption of equity-focused people policies and practices in organizations well beyond their own.
Evenings & Weekends Consulting is a continuity of this important work. Paul, Laetitia, and our larger team are always looking to identify the resistant beliefs that can make organizations—and entire sectors—stuck in our thinking and to co-create strategies that support staff, volunteers, and community members to thrive.
What is your magic sauce?
The consulting sector is also prone to some outdated, yet highly resistant, practices and beliefs.
Our team seeks to challenge the traditional notions of expertise in the consulting field by sharing opportunities among people who’ve been denied representation in consulting spaces and disrupting ideas on whose knowledge is valued. We are committed to equity and justice as a core value, and we help clients analyze and address internal and external sources of oppression to create more inclusive and effective operations.
We’re also unique in how we do this work: we seek to centre joy, courage, and honesty in our interactions with clients, and we prioritize moving carefully and thoughtfully in our work together—resisting the cultures of urgency that are so prevalent in our sectors.
We’re also mindful of our position as consultants, and we continually seek ways of making our work more accessible: We give back to the communities we serve by moving five per cent of our consultancy fees to the Circle on Philanthropy (www.the-circle.ca), an organization advancing Indigenous-led solutions for systems change, and we allocate five per cent of our billable hours each year to providing pro bono support and coaching to emerging leaders and under-resourced groups.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want to continue supporting our sector and its workers to thrive while dreaming about what’s possible for society at large. We’re building our capacity to promote decent work, including through our own practices, and will continue to interrogate and challenge the traditional notion of how consultants operate within the sector. This work is always shifting and changing in response to what’s happening in our communities, and so we’re excited to see what the next five years will bring.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Many people have had previous traumatic experiences from bringing consultants into their organizations. Without proper planning and care, consultants can replicate the same structures that are causing harm in our society. Navigating these negative expectations when engaging with the social impact sector requires us to work collaboratively to build trust.
How can people get involved?
Reach out to us! We’re always excited to meet new people in our sectors who share our visions and values.
If you’re interested in collaborating on your next project, visit www.eveningsandweekendsconsulting.com, and follow us on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/85416711), Instagram (www.instagram.com/eveningsandweekendsconsulting), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/Eves_N_Weekends).