July 2009

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In June, Stats Canada released the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP). Side note: as a reformed American, I just love the name of this federal office, like it’s “all stats on all subjects all the time”. A smorgasbord of information – love it! I don’t know if the US has one, but they should.

This report assesses volunteerism across Canada and also breaks those stats down into provincial overviews. And I have to note that the statistics we’re discussing are based on data collected in 2007. Not sure what that time lag is about in this age of real-time information, but...

Just a quick entry to let everyone know that I'll be blogging at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference that takes place July 15-17 in Palm Springs. The Alliance is a US-based association for organizations and consultants that build capacity in the not-for-profit sector. I'm one of very few Canadian attendees, so I'll try and represent!

I'm joined by fellow bloggers  John Brothers, Heather Carpenter, Scott Bechtler-Levin and probably some others, too. Stay tuned for our posts about the conference. Also, follow our updates on twitter - follow me @3manypuppies and look for hashtag...

Let me start by saying it is really REALLY hot in Palm Springs. I'm not sure my brain can actually function in this type of heat. I am now more convinced than ever that Vancouver is, actually, heaven on earth. At least you can walk outside during the day, anyway. But other than that, I am enjoying the annual Alliance Conference very much, though it's just getting going.

Yesterday I attended the pre-day for those who work at MSO's (Management Support Organizations). Basically, that's organizations whose missions are to build capacity in the sector through training, education and consulting...

So the conference is wrapping up and I have enjoyed myself immensely. Except for the aforementioned heat. But anyway.

One aspect of this conference that is both interesting and different than other conferences I've attended is the backdrop of the economic crisis. 

This context is changing the way all capacity builders do their work with organizations. And its affect on the workshop titles would be funny if it weren't. Presenters have added some version of "In These Times..." to every title. The conference's attendance is also lower than in past years. Now that's not just the effect of the...

Somewhere in my meanderings through the internet today, I came across an incredibly thought provoking post by Sidney Hargro on the future of the not-for-profit sector and how we should react to the recession in positive ways. Hargro poses three critical questions we as a sector should be contemplating:

  1. What services and systems are most crucial to the long-term health of our community and therefore should be lifted up for community support and held harmless to the best of our ability?
  2. How can we streamline, restructure, and prepare these services and systems (with no sacred cow operations) for...


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