Archive for 2010

New Voices from the Voluntary Sector book features McGill-McConnell grads

Voices from the Voluntary Sector is a new publication featuring a selection of more than two dozen papers written by graduates of the McGill-McConnell Master of Management for National Voluntary Sector Leaders program.

Edited by Frederick Bird and Frances Westley, who led the McGill-McConnell program and who is currently the J.W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo, Voices from the Voluntary Sector contains reflections by practitioners on some of the significant challenges faced by today’s not-for-profit organizations in Canada. Broad in scope, these essays present a rich, multidimensional set of vignettes that as a whole express the vitality and humanity of the voluntary sector.


“LIGHT A SPARK” showcases girls that are fierce, smart, powerful, and free

Girls Action Foundation has recently produced four videos as part of “LIGHT A SPARK,” their national ad campaign. The campaign aims to build a strong base of support for girls and young women across Canada and to raise awareness about Girls Action Foundation’s mission and work.

All four of the videos, featuring girls who are “Fierce, Smart, Powerful, and Free,” can be found on the LIGHT A SPARK YouTube channel.

McConnell grantee Girls Action Foundation addresses issues specific to young women aged 10 to 18, such as physical and mental health, violence, victimization, barriers, and discrimination.

Roots of Empathy featured on CNN series on bullying

Roots of Empathy (ROE) was featured on CNN’s American Morning’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” series last week. In the story, ROE’s founder, Mary Gordon, speaks of the train of thought that led to the creation of the organization: “There’s something so engaging between watching the love between a parent and a baby, and since that relationship of attachment and attunement is how we develop our empathy, I thought, well, why not bring the teachers in, the tiny teachers?” Gordon said. “And I just knew in my gut — it was a by-golly approach — but now we have a scientific evidence of impact.”

McConnell grantee Roots of Empathy has garnered a lot of press coverage across North America in 2010. The organization has been featured in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, and The Globe and Mail.

Tyze is now accepting expressions of interest for The Belonging Fund

Created in partnership with the Foundation, The Belonging Fund makes Tyze’s online networks available to Canadian charitable organizations that work with those who are at risk of suffering from isolation. Expressions of interest from qualified charities are currently being welcomed.

“No one should have to face disability, chronic illness or caregiving alone,” says Vickie Cammack, President and CEO of Tyze. “Our secure networks coordinate involvement and provide a practical service to help families, friends, neighbours and professionals develop a private, connected network of care. We are committed to building the information and technology bridges between formal and informal caregivers that we know can improve the well being of Canadians.” (source)

Learn more about The Belonging Fund from Tyze’s website.

See Vickie Cammack speak about Tyze at a June 2010 symposium on social innovation here.

ALLIES now accepting grant applications

ALLIES is currently accepting applications for their funding program, focusing on three granting areas: Start-Up Grants, Resource Grants, and Innovation Grants.

The objective of the ALLIES funding program is to advance the appropriate employment of skilled immigrants by seeding local immigrant employment councils; strengthening the capacity of existing and viable local immigrant employment councils; and finding new and creative solutions and partners to further ALLIES’ cause.

ALLIES is joint initiative between the Maytree and McConnell foundations.

Learn more about the ALLIES funding program here.

The Task Force on Social Finance releases groundbreaking recommendations report

On November 30, The Task Force on Social Finance[1] (TFSF) released a report outlining recommendations for financial institutions, foundations and governments to participate in building a market for impact investing in Canada.

The groundbreaking report, Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good, is a 37 page document that outlines seven actions that Canada needs to undertake, in parallel, to mobilize new sources of capital, create an enabling tax and regulator environment, and build a pipeline of investment-ready social enterprises. The recommendations aim to benefit non-profits, charities, co-operatives, and for-profits that achieve their primary social or environmental mission using business methods.

Access the final report and the summary report here, and follow the report’s progress on


Jamie Oliver visits The Stop

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver visited McConnell grantee The Stop Community Food Centre last week. Oliver, British chef and television star, has become a spokesperson for healthy eating practices in the UK and North America, winning the TED Prize for his wish to create a movement to combat obesity and food illiteracy.

During his visit, Oliver hobnobbed, prepared food, and dined with twenty children from The Stop’s after-school program, and Nick Saul, Executive Director, took Oliver on a tour of The Stop facilities.

Learn more about the visit in The Star article here.

Image from Good Food Revolution.

Girls Action Executive Director recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women

The Foundation joins Girls Action Foundation in congratulating Tatiana Fraser, co-founder and executive director of Girls Action, who has recently been named one as one of Canada’s most powerful women for 2010.  The Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards recognizes the country’s highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Tatiana is one of the five recipients in the Champions category. Learn more about her achievement here.

Cindy Blackstock to receive 2011 National Aboriginal Achievement Award

Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of McConnell grantee the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS), has recently been selected to receive a 2011 National Aboriginal Achievement Award, an award that celebrates excellence in the Aboriginal community. She will be receiving this award for her efforts in public service.

“Every year the jury selects an extraordinary group of recipients who reveal such outstanding talent and dedicated service,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. “I know that by honouring their achievement we will continue to inspire many others waiting to demonstrate their potential.” (from the NAAF website)

Cindy Blackstock, who has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years, is also a SiG fellow.

Read more about the upcoming award ceremony here.

Tim Brodhead interviewed by the Policy Research Initiative

Tim Brodhead was recently interviewed by the Policy Research Initiative for Horizons, their online magazine. In the article An Innovation Agenda for Canada’s Community Sector?: A conversation with Tim Brodhead, Tim argues that Canada’s community sector needs to think through what its innovation agenda ought to be in light of a fast-evolving environment.

“We need a society that is both caring, that is, nurturing, generous, and inclusive, and also creative, that is, enterprising, innovative, and focused on solutions.”

Tim’s interview was posted as a preview of the January 2011 issue of Horizons, entitled Innovative Communities: Agents of Change. Read the interview in The President’s Corner or on the Policy Research Initiative website.