Do Canada’s internationally focused charities operate in an enabling environment?

This article is the fourth in a series on Canadian Charities Working Internationally. SUMMARY: Julia Sanchez, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, outlines the three basic elements of an enabling environment for international charities: dialogue to include organizations in designing and implementing development processes; funding to allow them to play diverse…

The Problems with Direction and Control

This article is the second in a series on Canadian Charities Working Internationally. ABSTRACT: Canadian charities working internationally are subject to regulations that are intended to boost accountability and ensure that charitable dollars flow to genuinely charitable activity. Recently the Canada Revenue Agency has stepped up audits of these same charities. Increased accountability demands are…

Book Review

Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together In Chaotic Times, by Paul Born, San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.; 2014 isbn 978-1-62656-097-0 Summary: Deepening Community is Paul Born’s fourth book and his most personal reflection to date on people, relationships, and what constitutes community in today’s “chaotic” society. Born, the co-founder and President of Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement,…

Learning To Tango On A Tightrope: Implementing A Collective Impact Approach

Cynthia Gates, Translator Summary:  For the past 20 years, Lyse Brunet has been at the heart of collaborative community development in the province of Québec through her work at Centraide of Greater Montréal and as the first Executive Director of Avenir d’enfants, a $400-million philanthropic partnership between the Québec government and the Lucie and André…

Point / Counterpoint: Collective Impact

Resolved: That Collective Impact is simply a re-branded and codified model of longstanding collaborative approaches that is too rigid to encourage genuine innovation and social change. Summary: Paul Born, President of Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement, and Don Bourgeois, Barrister & Solicitor and former editor of The Philanthropist, face off on the question of whether…

Collective Impact: Venturing On An Unfamiliar Road

Summary: In 2010 Hilary Pearson wrote in The Philanthropist about the emerging trend of creating Funder Collaboratives to address the challenges of the 2008/2009 economic downturn. In this update, Pearson looks at the emergence of Collective Impact from a funder’s perspective, exploring whether this new approach can help address perennial questions of effectiveness and impact and…

The Promise And Peril Of Collective Impact

Summary: On the one hand, Collective Impact is deceptively simple: a clearly defined framework with three pre-conditions and five conditions and a growing body of experience about how such an approach can effectively address complex social issues. But as is often the case, the devil is in the details, and Liz Weaver provides a detailed analysis…

Evaluating Collective Impact: Five Simple Rules

Summary: Since the 1960s, the field of evaluation has struggled to develop concepts and methods that are useful for the complex work of community change. The ambitious nature of the latest iteration of community change approaches, Collective Impact, amplifies this challenge. This article describes five simple rules that have emerged out of 50 years of trial…

Innoweave And Collective Impact: Collaboration Is Just The Beginning

Summary: Innoweave, an award winning collaborative capacity building program designed and delivered by J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, SiG, and over 150 partners from all sectors across Canada, has added new workshops and resources to help groups of community organizations develop Collective Impact initiatives. Drawing from this experience, the authors describe why Innoweave added a Collective Impact…

Voluntary Social Service Organizations Working On The Determinants Of Health: Cause For Concern?

Introduction Most of what influences our health comes from outside the formal health care treatment system (Raphael, 2009; Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003). There is also general recognition that the well-being of communities depends on numerous actors– especially nonprofit organizations—operating in many environments (Health Council of Canada, 2010). Unfortunately, there are significant health inequities that persist…