Canada’s vital non-profit sector: Too important to be ignored!

From the Wellesley Institute:

“Canada’s non-profit sector is big (more than 160,000 organizations) and non-profits make a major contribution to Canada’s economy, they employ more than a million people and non-profits help to create healthy communities. The Wellesley Institute’s Michael Shapcott delivered a presentation to the leadership conference of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada today that examined the challenges facing Canada’s non-profit sector including a growing administrative burden, the urgent need for collaboration and innovation, and financial resiliency. He urged the public service leaders at today’s conference to help Canada catch up to other countries – such as the UK and US – that have modernized non-profit legislation and regulations, and urged them to work with the sector to create the conditions for more vibrant non-profits.”

Click here for access to presentation

Collaboration: a way of life for the sector

“Rumblings about transformative partnerships in the charitable and nonprofit sector are resonating across the country. These range from organizations more narrowly interested in collaboration as an immediate means of adapting to the current economic upheaval to others that see the current upswing in interest as part of a more general trend toward increased collaboration over the coming decade.

Given the widespread interest in the topic, Imagine Canada’s latest Sector Monitor in­cluded a battery of questions designed to explore the issue of collaboration.  The aim of this exploration was to try to establish some basic benchmarks: how many organizations are collaborating, how common some key forms of collaboration are, and the current scale or intensity of collaboration as measured at the level of the individual organization. This article presents some of our initial findings.”

click here for full article 4 pgs in pdf

Compensation in the nonprofit sector

From the HR Council, a recently released report on the results of an April 2010 survey on compensation in the Canadian nonprofit sector.

“Compensation in the nonprofit sector is continually identified as an area of concern. The HR Council’s 2008 Labour Force Study revealed that 67% of employers who had difficulty recruiting employees identified that “the salary offered is too low” as a top reason for these recruitment difficulties.”

Click here to access full report

Stop Sign: Competition and Collaboration

From Creating The Future:

“If this is the sector that was supposed to change the world, how come the world has not changed?

This week’s Stop Sign on the Road to Changing the World is the one we all blame: Money. Or more to the point, not enough money. Or even more to the point, having to compete for that not-enough-money.”

Click here to read the full post

Ethics in the Nonprofit Sector

Audio clip discusses US nonprofit context but principles are broadly applicable

“In the United States, massive moral meltdowns, as seen in scandals such as the Enron crisis, have led to an outpouring of discussion about ethics in business. But what about ethics in the nonprofit sector, where some argue “doing the right thing” occupies a central position? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode considers some of the temptations to which nonprofits have succumbed, resulting in the public’s shaken trust in charities. She discusses the kinds of pressures that can get in the way of ethics—particularly in areas such as the use of funds—and influence peddling, and she suggests ways to ensure ethical behavior and accountability among nonprofit leaders.”

Click here to access audio - approx 46 mins

Musings of a Muttart Fellow

Bob Wyatt of the Muttart Foundation has just released Letters to (not always of) Joy. A series of his musings about the Sector – where we have come from, where we are and where he thinks we should be going.

The  actual letters to Joy are a vehicle through which the author Bob Wyatt (Muttart Foundation E.D.), documents his observations from an international journey to understand the context of the sector in Canada. He poses  the question “Is there a sector?” off the bat on pg.7. The framework he presents discusses several challenging issues: laws and political drivers, funders’ perspectives, sector cultural perspective, public opinion  and regaining control of our own agenda.

Click here to download the document for free - in pdf format

The Unexpected Pleasures of Sector Switching

One ‘sector-switchers’ story:

“Time flies when you enjoy what you do. I’ve been working in the nonprofit sector for almost two years now, after decades spent in the for-profit world, and I’ve learned a few things.

Working for a nonprofit requires as much of an emotional commitment as an intellectual one. Leading a nonprofit requires managerial acumen and intellectual horsepower, but even more important, you need to be personally invested in the mission. Seeing how your efforts can strengthen an organization and the effects your work is having on people’s lives can be emotionally satisfying. Improving a child’s experience in public schools, for instance, requires innovative thinking, sure, but also the tenacity and resourcefulness to overcome the many hurdles embedded in the nation’s education system. Intellectual engagement alone isn’t enough.”

See full post here

Resource – Benchmarks of Excellence for Voluntary Sector

A practical document authored by Linda Mollenhauer.        

“Benchmarks of Excellence for the Voluntary Sector is an education, evaluation and planning tool that can help organizations measure themselves against the characteristics that distinguish excellent voluntary, not-for-profit organizations. It offers the chance to rise above the day-to-day demands and look at the health of the whole organization. It also provides Boards, volunteers, and staff with a process that encourages them to raise the bar and aim higher.        

Specifically, the Benchmarks of Excellence for the Voluntary Sector can help organizations:   

            • Generate meaningful dialogue about the whole organization       

            • Celebrate areas of strength within the organization to build confidence       

            • Identify areas of weakness that could be a hidden barrier to higher performance    

• Gather the valuable information needed to sell the organization as a good investment        

• Provide a catalyst for productive change      

• Kickstart a strategic planning process by reviewing the “big picture”.  

View full document here        

 

 

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