Four Priorities for Action (Summit Themes)
Priority #1 Improved conditions for the attraction and retention of paid staff
Co-leads: Marlene Desboisbriand, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada / Miia Suokonautio (Young Leader), Phoenix Youth Programs / Bob Wyatt, The Muttart Foundation
With changing workforce demographics, the nonprofit sector is predicted to face increasing competition, with all sectors of the economy, for the best talent. How will our sector continue to find the right people for the right jobs?
Join this lively and interactive session to discuss opportunities and challenges in recruiting and retaining staff. Some areas that may be explored include: marketing your organization as an employer of choice, attracting diverse employees, providing needed professional development, compensating employees, providing and designing benefit packages, and preparing for departures. This session will include on-the-ground examples of how some subsectors and organizations are already working to address these challenges as well as opportunities to develop your own strategies moving forward.
Priority #2 More diversified and sustainable financing
Co-leads: Derek Gent, Vancity Community Foundation / Hilary Pearson, Philanthropic Foundations Canada / Adam Spence (Young Leader), SiG@MaRS
The charitable and nonprofit sector typically generates financial resources through a mix of earned income, fundraising strategies, and government grants and contributions. A structural shift is occurring as public funds become less available to the nonprofit sector and have more strings attached. Access to donations remains very competitive and recent evidence suggests that this source is declining as well. The sector needs to build capacity to understand and adapt financial models in response to structural shifts. It also needs to build capacity to secure more sustainable fund streams. How can we work together to develop and deploy the capacity to secure sustainable financing for operations and, where necessary, for growth?
Priority #3 Better understanding of the sector and its impact
Co-leads: Marcel Lauzière, Imagine Canada / Caroline Riseboro, World Vision Canada / Lee Rose (Young Leader), Ten Oaks Project
If we don’t start defining our sector and what we do, others will continue to define it for us. It’s time for us to reframe and shift the conversation to better convey our impact and contribution to society and to the economy. We care for millions of people in need, enrich the lives of all Canadians, foster strong communities, and create 2 million jobs, contributing 7% to GDP. Be a part of this shift. Join us and help shape the new narrative for our sector. It’s only through unison of voice that we will be able to amplify our message of impact!
Priority #4 Enhanced support for organizations to engage volunteers / external talent
Co-leads: Ilona Dougherty (Young Leader), Apathy is Boring / Wayne Helgason, Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) Board Chair & Volunteer Canada Board Member / Ruth Mackenzie, Volunteer Canada
Volunteerism is at a critical juncture as evidence suggests that traditional perceptions and models of volunteering may no longer resonate. It’s essential that we effectively inspire and engage future generations of volunteers.
Perceptions of volunteering need to move beyond a charity model of giver-receiver towards citizen engagement where everyone has the right, responsibility and opportunity to volunteer. Similarly if voluntary organizations are going to continue to benefit from the enormous contribution of time, energy and talent, it’s critical to expand from volunteers as service providers to integrate those who also want to lead the charge and affect change.
Be part of this discussion to reframe volunteerism to a model of active citizenship and develop strategies for organizations to integrate volunteers in a spectrum of ways from passive to active engagement.
How were the priorities for action determined?
Through more than 20 community conversations across Canada in 2009 and provincial and territorial events in 2010, more than a thousand of you told us what you thought was driving change in the sector and how we needed to work together to maximize our impact.
The draft Framework for Action, which sets out the challenges and opportunities facing our sector, provided fuel for these events, allowing sector leaders to think about, comment on, and contribute to, the shaping of a broad agenda for action for the sector.
From all the possibilities identified, the top four cross-cutting sector priorities for action were determined through the roll up and analysis of 2010 provincial and territorial events and extended community conversations (read the Final Report). It is important to note that these four priorities are not presented in any particular order of importance and that they encompass a number of the other major concerns we heard from leaders across the country.
How will we address these priorities for action?
Three co-leads have been identified for each of the priority areas, including one young leader as a co-lead for each priority to promote intergenerational leadership and engagement. One of the initial tasks of the co-leads for each priority area will be to determine what work can and needs to be done prior to the National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector in order to ensure the effective engagement of both Summit participants and those who wish to engage before and after the event.
Stay tuned for further updates in the months to come to learn how you can best contribute to the next phase of this collective effort, before, during and after the National Summit.