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  • Charities and Nonprofits a Strategic Component to Canada’s Success | Imagine Canada
    talent skills and education will be Canada s most important resource But information and knowledge services and talented people are highly mobile they can find a home anywhere in the world Talented people will move to the places that allow them to make a meaningful contribution to their own lives and to others In other words to lead lives of value that make a difference in a country that offers not only economic opportunity but a high quality of life In this view of the future charities and nonprofits are not case by case responses to social cultural and environmental problems that come up from time to time Rather they are a systemic part of the fabric that makes Canada a country in which it is highly desirable to live and to make a contribution This is why the sustainability of charities and nonprofits is important for governments and citizens The sector s strategic value will increase as business government and charities continue to develop and nurture mutually supportive and creative relationships Equally the value of the sector to our quality of life depends on the extent to which charities and nonprofits can rise to the challenge of keeping pace with a rapidly changing modern world This will mean demonstrating to increasingly sophisticated donors volunteers governments and businesses that charities and nonprofits are indeed making a difference in the communities they serve It requires these organizations to keep pace with business models that are changing rapidly and to create jobs that provide the quality of work experience which allows people to be successful throughout careers in which change will be the norm In this vision governments citizens and businesses will together provide funding and a supportive environment for charities and nonprofits which in turn provide an essential contribution to a robust economy and quality of life The result a country in which Canadians will continue to be happy and productive and proud to live Continued Commentary from the Chief Economist This post is the first entry in a new Chief Economist Commentary blog series by Imagine Canada focusing on economic issues affecting the charitable and nonprofit sector in Canada It is intended to be one element in Imagine Canada s expanding work on economics and public policy The sector is an important one in terms of it contribution to economic activity and jobs In Canada more than 165 000 organizations work in areas ranging from healthcare to sports the arts social services education international development and the environment yet the true impact and contribution of the charitable and nonprofit sector 8 1 of GDP and 10 5 of the labour force remains under represented in the public policy arena This means economics and economic policies are increasingly important to charities and nonprofits Thus the role of the Chief Economist is to measure the impact of the sector bring economic issues facing charities and nonprofits to the forefront of public policy decision makers analyze and provide advice about related policies programs

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/charities-and-nonprofits-strategic-component-canada%E2%80%99s-success (2014-10-22)
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  • Trust in Charities. We need to talk. | Imagine Canada
    for me How often have I heard that this new generation is simply not interested in the work of charities that they see us as old hat and unresponsive to the needs of contemporary society Well these numbers certainly go counter to that view I was also quite pleased to see the high level of support for charities engaging in business activities to further their mission 86 This is a strong sign of support for the important work that we do to serve Canadians in communities here and around the world But the news is not all good While the trust levels in charity leaders are still very good in comparison with those of most other sectors only nurses and doctors do better than we do the level of trust has gone down from 80 in 2000 to 71 today And the percentage of Canadians who feel that charities are honest about the use of donations while still quite high at 70 has decreased from 84 in the 2000 As for operational costs while the good news is that more Canadians appear to recognize the need to spend on these we still have more than a third of Canadians who feel that it is not appropriate to have some of the money raised go to cover operating costs With regard to fundraising costs over the past decade Canadians have been saying that information on this front is very important while the percentage of those surveyed that are telling us that we are doing a good job has decreased This is a problem Canadians are sending us important messages We will need to show that we are listening and we will need to figure out how to give them better answers Marcel Lauzière Now some of these less favourable numbers can be put on the back of a generally more cynical society where most institutions are less trusted than they used to be I am quite certain that this partly explains some of the results we are seeing But we would be very wrong to believe that all of this is due to contexts and we would be remiss to sit on our laurels because we appear to be doing better than most other sectors Canadians are sending us important messages here that we need to acknowledge There are issues of trust and confidence that need to be addressed Canadians are increasingly asking hard questions about how we conduct ourselves and how we use our resources We will need to show that we are listening and we will need to figure out how to give them better answers The results of this survey will I hope strengthen our resolve to do a better job at connecting with Canadians in a new to way to better explain our role and contribution to society and to the economy what we do why we do it and why it matters so that we can also improve our communications about why we actually need real

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/trust-charities-we-need-talk (2014-10-22)
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  • grants | Imagine Canada
    Access denied You must log in to view this page grants Insights on Grantseeking Part One Wednesday August 31 2011 For our inaugural issue of Grantseeker Monthly we sat down with Kelly Meighen President of the T R Meighen Family Foundation Established in April 1969 with a gift from the founder Mr Theodore Roosevelt Meighen the Foundation has granted close to 20 million dollars over the past 41 years Continue

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/tags/grants (2014-10-22)
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  • The Who, How, What and Why of Corporate Community Investment in Canada | Imagine Canada
    Gayle Longley Director of Community and Cultural Marketing at RBC Foundation It s not enough for companies to implement the do no harm principle or use rhetoric to tell their impact they are now expected to demonstrate their actions through concrete results Corporate Donations Post Recession Within the last two decades charities and nonprofits have seen a significant increase in revenue from corporations Data from the Business Contributions to Communities research initiative indicates that Canadian businesses have a strong commitment to giving However the data from this study was gathered in 2007 and 2008 prior to the economic downturn The good news for businesses and charities alike The recent economic recession did impact corporate giving in Canada Steven Ayer explains however although corporate donations decreased during the more difficult months of the recession they have now recovered to pre recession levels Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when contending for support from Canadian businesses 1 Connect the Dots Understand the connection between your organization and the community investment strategy of your potential corporate donors Identify which businesses have objectives that link to your organization s mission An online resource like the Canadian Directory to Foundations Corporations can help you identify the Canadian corporations with priorities aligned with your funding needs 2 Be Creative Think about the other resources a business may contribute to your cause beyond cash donations Although a business may not have the capacity to provide monetary support they might be positioned to contribute through sponsorship a cause marketing campaign an in kind donation or employee volunteer engagement Steven also reminds us that 98 of Canadian companies are small businesses Although they are harder to identify and have less defined processes in place most of them do donate says Steven 3 Be Realistic The

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/who-how-what-and-why-corporate-community-investment-canada (2014-10-22)
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  • Building Your Prospect List: What Makes a “Good” Funder? | Imagine Canada
    encouraged to note and follow up on these connections A lack of tracking can lead to lost funding opportunities Interest Look to online resources like the Canadian Directory to Foundations Corporations to grow your list Initially structure your search around geographic criteria as well as funding interests As you evaluate prospects ask yourself these questions to uncover additional links between funder interests and your particular funding need Geographic region Is the funder open to supporting projects nationally or locally If they prefer to fund locally does the funder have an expressed interest in supporting the communities you work with If looking at corporate funders does their business have operations in your vicinity Priorities Based on the funder s purpose or mission statement what population and or issue are they interested in funding and can this be linked to your work Who have they given to in the past Have they funded organizations like yours or ones that you have a relationship or partnership with If it is an institutional funder like a large foundation or corporation do they have various programs or funding streams Support preferences Is the funder interested in providing the kind of support you need Will they fund ongoing program costs or do they prefer to fund time limited projects These questions will do more than build your prospect list By tracking these details you will be ready to compare these criteria when deciding who is best to approach and be ready to build a targeted case for support Track this information and its sources in either print or electronic format Although access to a prospect management database may help you can be equally successful using spreadsheets or developing your own system Professionals like Marcia find success tracking much of their information in good old excel spreadsheets Capability As you build your list of prospects determine the capacity of each funder How large are their grants How large is their asset base If the information is available make note of the number of organizations they support The knowledge that a funder gives a hundred grants versus five will be helpful in determining the likelihood of receiving support Remember that these questions also apply to large institutional funders such as corporations and major foundations Keep in mind that large funders receive thousands of requests each year To efficiently handle the sum of requests they receive these funders usually develop policies for giving including the maximum size of donations Qualifying your Prospects Before you decide which funders to solicit you ll want to apply the connection interest and capability criteria much more rigorously to your list of prospects This is often referred to as qualifying prospects To qualify their prospects many advancement researchers utilize a scoring or rating system Centrepoint provides samples of rating methodologies for evaluating prospects with LAI linkage ability and interest Marcia and her team hold meetings to work through the broader list of prospects and assign them to lists A B or C based on

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/building-your-prospect-list-what-makes-%E2%80%9Cgood%E2%80%9D-funder (2014-10-22)
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  • Grantseeking Insights: Part Two | Imagine Canada
    more interactive than a simple application let s say there is some interest there is an intersection of our abilities we ve got some money and here s something that looks interesting Then what happens is I ll ask one of our staff or one of the members of our board to start making some inquiries and setting up a meeting and getting more information To be competitive among thousands of worthy causes tailor your solicitation to meet the criteria of the funder Grantseekers should be able to explain why the money we might give them is going to make a difference and that s where our criteria come in Kelly explains They should be able to justify and explain how our criteria are going to be met And how else does the Foundation weigh the merits of a grant request Well the organizations should know who they are and know who they re not They have a good well founded strategic plan they know where they are in the granting cycle If a funder requires a letter of inquiry or a proposal visit the Foundation Center Short Course on Proposal Writing for a walk through guide for help constructing these documents Remember to research the requirements of the funder to identify if any additional documentation is required with your proposals Stay tuned for our next issue of Grantseeker Monthly which will take a closer look at proposal writing Effective Stewardship Stewardship is central to ensuring the sustainability of your fundraising efforts Kelly describes it as keeping the Foundation appraised of what their money is accomplishing A positive experience with you will likely make the grantmaker more open to future requests from your organization The good news is that a large budget isn t required for effective stewardship There is

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/grantseeking-insights-part-two (2014-10-22)
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  • The Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society: Arts and culture reflect, communicate and celebrate the spirit of the Cariboo | Imagine Canada
    society with a mandate not only to administer this function but also to serve the many existing independent cultural organizations and events and to facilitate the development of arts and culture in the region The Society takes seriously the notion of assisting the development of the arts not simply supporting the status quo and one important means of doing this is our administration of an annual small project grants program In three years this initiative has seen a number of innovative ideas bear fruit We also oversee the annual Canada Day Celebrations and Performances in the Park events and we recently developed the Central Cariboo Art Route a year round self guided studio tour of the Central Cariboo region In a related initiative the City of Williams Lake together with the Regional District redeveloped its old fire hall as the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in the city s downtown Managed by the Society this facility provides studio space to tenant groups Williams Lake Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists Guild the Cariboo Potters Guild and the Cariboo Art Society and contains performance and meeting spaces for the broader arts community Building use has increased markedly since its opening and we now host a rich variety of activities and events and are delighted to see frequent drop ins from the community and beyond The Society is currently working with the city and the Regional District to revise and renew the way they allocate operating funds to arts and culture organizations We see this as an important step to ensure we can work effectively within the local government context and continue to serve the cultural enrichment of the Central Cariboo region To learn more about the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society visit their website Back to Blog Retour au blogue Add new

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/central-cariboo-arts-and-culture-society-arts-and-culture-reflect-communicate-and-celebrate (2014-10-22)
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  • The Skinny on Fundraising Consultants: In Conversation with Susan Storey | Imagine Canada
    fundraising consultant Susan tells us that you should have a clear picture of your organization s strengths and weaknesses and a willingness to evaluate this with your consulting partner Use these to outline key objectives for your potential partnership Having a good sense of your funding priorities or a process to define them is important to enable your consultant to work with you to prepare a clearly articulated value proposition for donors including short and long term goals We recommend you have a clearly defined organizational decision making process which will help organizations optimize their consulting relationship During your initial meeting with potential consultants Susan recommends an exploratory conversation Keep the meeting as grounded as possible to avoid any future problems I am very candid during these initial conversations and will help the charity settle on objectives I will at this point also advise them of any obstacles and opportunities to build ownership of the outcomes such as ensuring board and staff engagement Know what to expect and it isn t immediate results For a partnership with a fundraising consultant to be successful time must be set aside to discuss expectations early and often This includes not only expectations of revenue outcomes but expectations of risks your involvement and timelines Susan tells us that some revenue generation initiatives have a longer term horizon and require time and investment Engaging a consultant may not decrease your workload and charities should plan for a period of time until financial results become visible The right team for your organization At KCI a variety of factors influence how individuals would be assigned to working on your project Most notably are the specific functions required e g research marketing etc and the industry experience of the available team members For example Susan works frequently with

    Original URL path: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/blog/skinny-fundraising-consultants-conversation-susan-storey (2014-10-22)
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