Evaluation is More Than Just Tracking. It Matters How We Use and Share It.

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Written by: Andrea N. Young, Evaluation Specialist

At the beginning of April, I released my masterpiece: the ‘2015 Annual Report on our Evaluation Findings.’ For most of you non-data-nerds, this 43-page document probably sounds like the utmost snoozefest. And often you’d be right: data reports can be oh-so-boring and pointless. I mean, who wants to read a jillion pages of technical jargon if it just ultimately makes you say “oh, that’s vaguely interesting” a couple of times, and then gets put on the shelf until you need some scrap doodle paper? Continue reading

We Are One

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Written by: Jennifer Sanford*, Propellus Consultant

Over the last few days, we have watched the wildfires in Fort McMurray gain international attention. The numbers are staggering: more than 80,000 people were evacuated, 1,600 homes and business have been destroyed, more than 50 million dollars in aid has been received by the Red Cross. And the true cost of this environmental event will take years to fully materialize. Continue reading

It’s Back! Transform Your Story 2016 Now Open

You heard correctly. The fund is back thanks to our partners at Chevron Canada. Check out the project page for all the details.

And here’s some videos of 2015 participants on how they’re implementing their organizations newly built capacity in areas of program design, business planning and culture.


 

Continue reading

Remember What’s Most Important in Recruitment Season

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Written By: Janet Rock, Design & Development

Well, it’s that time of year again. Spring means recruitment season for many organizations who have AGMs before June. To celebrate the change of season, we’re sharing some of the highlights from recent conversations with you, our members. These tips will help you focus on how to find the very best match in your new recruits! Continue reading

Does Your Organization Pass the On-Brand Test?

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Written By: Sarah G. Schmidt, Design & Development

A quick Google of “how do you know if you are on-brand?” and you will get a plethora of companies selling you services ranging from surveys to full on marketing support. It’s a bit daunting. Because it’s not a simple question, people (and businesses) are quick to suggest you need extensive professional support, and offer you a laundry list of possible solutions. Continue reading

Is a Joint Venture or Strategic Partnership right for my Organization?

 

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Written By: Jeremy Busch-Howell*, member of the Board of Directors

In an earlier post I discussed joint ventures, strategic partnerships and mergers as strategic alternatives that non-profits should consider as part of their strategic process, and how such strategic alternatives are particularly relevant in our current economic climate. In this post I will discuss certain matters that should be considered prior to entering into a joint venture or strategic partnership (for ease, joint ventures and strategic partnerships will be referred to jointly as “joint ventures”, recognizing that there are certain differences between the two). Continue reading

Q & A: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Organization Assessment Tool

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A conversation between Kelsey Merkeley, OAT Project Lead and Sarah G. Schmidt, Design & Development

Sarah: We’ve launched the tool and I was hoping you could tell me more about this project.

Kelsey: Sure, the Organization Assessment Tool (OAT) is an interactive tool that we developed for our members. It has two parts: Part 1 begins with the Organization Assessment Tool Questionnaire (OATQ), where members complete an 18-question self-assessment on the structure of their organization and the delivery of their organization’s programs. Part 2 begins after the member has completed their OATQ self-analysis. Continue reading

How Learning Keeps You Motivated During Challenging Times

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Written By: Janet Rock, Director, Design & Development

We all know times are tough in Calgary. Tracking the news can be depressing, but so can applying for a job or seeking a grant. We’re always looking for ways to keep ourselves motivated and engaged in our work when all of the bad news can be distracting. Continue reading

Fortune Favours the Bold: Unlocking Value during Tumultuous Times

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Written By: Jeremy Busch-Howell, member of the Board of Directors

Things appear grim in Alberta. While dwelling on our current economic uncertainty is more than a bit unpleasant, nearly every reputable bank or relevant government agency correctly predicted a mild recession for 2015 and, with the price of oil remaining incredibly low, are predicting a mild recession for 2016 as well. Continue reading

See our Guest Blog Posted on Imagine Canada: Succession Planning Made Easy

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Jamie Niessen, our former CEO, recently wrote about our CEO transition for Imagine Canada’s blog. Check out the post here. For more details on our transition, check out this post from the fall.

If you’re thinking about earning Imagine Canada’s charity and nonprofit accreditation check out their Standards Program for all the ins and outs. Good luck.

Common Fundraising Pitfalls

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Written By: Marlene Mulligan, formerly Design & Development

Most every organization and every cause feels they need more funding. Some may not be too urgent, maybe in a place where they could do more with more and some realities may be quite urgent and in a place of barley being able to keep up with demand and keep the lights on. Whatever your situation, if you are facing fundraising challenges, its possible your organization may have succumbed to some of these common pitfalls we see among our 500+ members. Continue reading

Reflections on Collaboration

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Doug Watson, President and CEO

I spoke about collaboration at the Propellus AGM so you know its something I care deeply about. I’ve noticed a number of publications have come out recently that have also touched on collaboration.  We here at Propellus see that there is a growing desire and need to embrace meaningful collaboration in the community.  We’ve even done our own research to understand what our members need, which will result in our own upcoming publication – stay tuned!  In the meantime, let’s just say that using the word doesn’t bring clarity to how our communities are working together. Collaboration means something different nearly every time its used.

There are some key elements that are required to make collaboration successful.  First and foremost being able to answer the question – to what end are we collaborating?  Second and most important ingredient, as expressed at our AGM, love needs to be present to create action – do we prefer the other person’s success before our own? When we say we want to encourage  or facilitate collaboration, we mean these two elements should be present.

Next time you hear the word ‘COLLABORATION’ ask yourself why is this happening and are the participants in it for everyone else’s benefit or their own?  Answer these for yourself and you’ll be able to judge accurately whether the initiative/project/opportunity will be a success and a true collaboration.

Something I said of interest to you? I’d love to go for coffee (tea) to discuss! Contact me at dwatson@propellus.org. Follow me at @nonprofityyc.

Big News: Crowdfunding Pilot Launched

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A key barrier in creating strong non-profit organizations is access to donor dollars to improve the skill level and infrastructure in an organization. This collaboration between our founding sponsor (The Margaret and Andrew Stephens Family Foundation), our members , and Propellus aims to address this challenge through crowdfunding. Continue reading

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