Blog


The groundwork for leadership that includes the new generation

09

Feb 2017

The groundwork for leadership that includes the new generation

Have we been here before? Last year, inequality, challenges to democracy, and labour force reform weighed on the minds of many nonprofit workers. Past generations were no strangers to similar problems, albeit under different conditions. Some of us may take comfort in seeing patterns in history to help understand how and why we repeat, recycle, or renew them. We would be remiss if we did...

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Can a pizza party be evaluation, too? Updating mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

07

Feb 2017

Can a pizza party be evaluation, too? Updating mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

Last year, we put out a resource to help clarify the different ways in which the term evaluation gets used (or misused) in Ontario’s nonprofit sector. Since then, we have heard some great ways nonprofits are promoting critical reflection and learning that didn’t quite fit into our original analysis. So, here’s a resource refresh to reflect what we’ve learned and heard from the sector since....

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Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

06

Feb 2017

Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

Evaluation… Impact Assessment… Reporting… Simple in concept, but capable of causing severe challenges for your organization if not properly managed. So, why are many nonprofits missing this important piece? In the private sector, where my experience lies, measurement and evaluation is relatively straightforward: Return on investment. Profitability. Efficiency and effectiveness. In the nonprofit world as I’m learning, however, measurement and evaluation is much more complicated....

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The perils of recipe thinking in the not-for-profit sector

30

Jan 2017

The perils of recipe thinking in the not-for-profit sector

If you stuck me in a kitchen without a recipe book, I wouldn’t know where to start. When you are inexperienced or lack confidence, a recipe is an amazing thing. It breaks up a complex task into simple steps.  It minimizes the risk of making a mistake. It allows you to achieve things you couldn’t otherwise do. Skilled chefs use recipes, of course, but they...

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Evaluation: Expanding design learning

30

Jan 2017

Evaluation: Expanding design learning

Late last fall, ONN’s evaluation project took me to the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to present alongside Andrew Taylor, ONN’s Resident Evaluation Expert. For me, it was an important professional development opportunity (one of the seven elements of decent work) and, thinking back, it was a bit of a surreal experience. Never did I think I would be in Atlanta at...

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Can charities and nonprofits help heal social division?

12

Jan 2017

Can charities and nonprofits help heal social division?

The world of democracies seems to be an uneasy and unpredictable one these days. Voters have chosen to support candidates and policies that threaten to upend the status quo, from the election of Donald Trump in the US to the support of Brexit by British voters, to the recent result of the Italian referendum. People who have voted this way are not necessarily ideological radicals...

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Decent Work: Could harassment be lurking in your collaborative workplace culture?

09

Jan 2017

Decent Work: Could harassment be lurking in your collaborative workplace culture?

One of the many wonderful things about the nonprofit sector is its hallmark of being values-driven – admirable values like integrity, respect, openness – the values that draw us to work in the sector in the first place. Compare this with the stats about workplace harassment: – For Personal Support Workers in Ontario, 20% experience harassment or violence on-the-job – 50% of workplace harassment victims...

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How the federal charity reform process can be enriched by provincial and regional nonprofit networks

04

Jan 2017

How the federal charity reform process can be enriched by provincial and regional nonprofit networks

Big changes may be coming to how Canada regulates charities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau specified in his mandate letter to the minister of national revenue to “modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors” and to clarify the rules governing “political activity,” proposing that “a new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process”. It is easy to understand why national...

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Clockwise starting on the left: Lynn, Kate, Ben, Kim, Liz, Zabeda, Tara, Sarah, Amisha, Cathy

20

Dec 2016

Building traction and being determined for 2017: Thoughts from ONN

As a team on the go, we don’t often make the time to reflect on our work and, instead, we keep moving to the next policy file or the next project task. As I’m sure many in our network also experienced, we had full to-do lists, and lots of reacting to developments in government and more. But as we close 2016, we’re stopping for a moment...

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Time to roll up our sleeves and lead

19

Dec 2016

Time to roll up our sleeves and lead

As with many in the nonprofit sector here in Canada, over the last month our team has watched our US nonprofit counterparts struggle with what the new administration will mean for their organizations, their communities and the role of the nonprofit sector in the country. As public benefit organizations, we are closely connected to communities with an ear to the ground – seeing firsthand when...

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