As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Vic Murray
Current role in the sector: Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: 37 years.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
Other than occasional volunteering as a youth, my first “real” involvement in the sector arose when I was invited to become a board member for a professional association. I was completely naïve and ignorant about what that involved and so were most of my fellow board members. Luckily the organization survived in spite of us. The experience awakened in me a great curiosity about the value of boards and what makes them effective.
Describe your desk/workspace.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
I am a regular follower of several listservs that keep me more or less abreast of what is happening in the sector; for example those of the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, the Association for Research in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Board Source and the Nonprofit Quarterly. The journal Nonprofit Management and Leadership and those of ANSER and ARNOVA are also important for me to read.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
I am still concerned about the relative lack of awareness of our sector in Canada and especially in the eyes of those at all levels of government who shape the policies that affect it. I also wish I could see more cooperation and collaboration among nonprofit organizations with similar interests at both local and national levels. And, of course, I remain fascinated with the question of what shapes and changes the governance of nonprofit organizations.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org