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2015 Federal Election – Vote with nonprofits in mind

Canada flagEarlier this year, we encouraged Albertans to go to the polls in the Provincial Election. Once again we are calling on all Albertans and Canadians to vote, and to vote with nonprofits in mind in the Canadian Federal Election on Monday, October 19.

After all, we are all impacted by the work of nonprofits. The nonprofit sector includes social services, religious institutions, university and colleges, libraries, hospitals, environmental organizations, health research, cultural associations, legal aid, theatre and the arts, recreation and sports, advocacy, professional associations, and more.

For this reason, we have put together a list of resources to help you vote, to help you mobilize others to vote, and to show why the nonprofit sector is so important this election:

Vote!

Mobilize Others to Vote

#elxn42 Sharing your priorities, concerns, and voice during this election is important – Join the conversation about the upcoming election on Twitter with #elxn42.

#NPVote CCVO has created the first-ever Calgary Nonprofit Democratic Challenge. Join the challenge on Twitter by using the hashtag #NPVote and share the creative ways your organization is encouraging your staff, patrons, members and/or clients to vote. Challenge other nonprofit organizations to participate as well.

Vote Nation Voting is contagious — we know this. If you tell your friends and family you’re voting, they’re more likely to vote too. Add ‘I Will Vote October 19’ to your profile picture with this site. No matter what you are sharing on social media, your message of civic engagement will be included in every post!

Pledge to Vote Try out this CBC election engagement and interactive mapping tool to pledge to vote, share what you care about, and see why other Canadians are pledging to vote as well. Once you have pledged, share the call to action on social media.

Apathy is Boring Apathy is Boring is committed to getting young and first time voters out on Election Day. Visit their website for infographics, information, and tools to better engage these demographics – especially if you or your organization work with young people, immigrants, or marginalized groups.

Nonprofits and the Federal Election

Nonprofits Step Up! The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and Samara Canada have created an excellent infographic outlining how nonprofits can play a crucial role in strengthening our democracy. Read more about why they are asking nonprofits to start conversations about: what role does (and should) nonprofits play in democracy? How can the nonprofit sector build a healthier democracy?

Election 2015 Hub Imagine Canada has created this hub to keep charities informed and involved this election with information and resources. Find out why and how this federal election offers an excellent opportunity for charities and nonprofits to promote civic engagement and to talk bold about issues important to Canadians and our communities!

2015 Federal Election Resources CCVO has compiled a thorough list of information, resources, and link to support nonprofits, their staff and volunteers, and their clients with their election engagement strategies. Find it on their website.

Nonprofit Advocacy during Elections Check out Charity Village’s tips for engaging in advocacy this election. As long as your organization’s advocacy efforts are issue-based and non-partisan, elections offer unique and important opportunities for your nonprofit!

Sam Kriviak
Volunteer Alberta

Guest Blog: How to get to WOW – Exploring the Volunteer Alberta identity

Guest Post from The Met Agency 


 

The 86-year-old design legend Milton Glaser, creator of the identity below, once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

NY logo

The big question is, how do you get to wow?

When The Met Agency approached the challenge of the Volunteer Alberta identity, it was after an extensive research project where we learned many things about the organization, uncovered some fascinating insights, and helped guide the VA of the future.

One thing stood out. In order for Volunteer Alberta to be successful, they must be at the forefront of change. They need to be branded as visionaries.

What was required was a visual identity that reflects VA’s renewed reality as a future focused, vibrant nerve centre of information and resources—an organization with a core purpose to help other organizations build strong and engaged communities of the future.

The Met Agency follows a four-step identity process that identifies the vision of an organization, helps articulate it in a roadmap, develops creative concepts, then executes the final concepts in the form of logos, stationery, and a brand book. Want to see an excerpt from the new Volunteer Alberta Brand Book? Download it here.

VA

The VA identity was created using a single continuous line, the letters V and A are connected providing a sleek and modern look.

VA long

And the logo can expand to create a ripple effect that is symbolic of the VA influence on the organizations they serve. It’s about the future, and the role of VA as connector and influencer.

It is about wow.

Read more about the rebrand by visiting our website

James Morrissey is the principal of The Met Agency, a full service advertising and design studio in Edmonton.
Visit: www.themetagency.com
Contact: morrissey@themetagency.com

From the Vault: The Learning Journey

Tomorrow, we will be convening with change makers from all sectors at interCHANGE. In the spirit of multi-sector collaborating and collective impact, we are sharing this blog from the vault on building understanding in a partnership, originally posted Oct 13, 2015: 

blogI just spent the large part of the last two weeks at two very interesting and dynamic professional development opportunities; the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) and the Tamarack Communities Collaborating Institute (CCI). These opportunities have filled my head with a lot of ideas, tools and have built new connections and many new possibilities. It is hard to summarize what I have learned and thought about throughout the last two weeks but one idea that has stuck with me was introduced by Adam Kahane at the CCI.

Adam Kahane talked to us about a “learning journey” as a tool to build a greater understanding between players in a complex system so that social systems change becomes possible. As Mr. Kahane described it, a learning journey is when individuals who are from different parts of a system or community go and visit the system together to learn more about each other, their perspectives, and how they are impacted by, and contribute to, the community. It is a literal walk together that Mr. Kahane has seen as an essential component in orienting people towards working on complex problems together. It is a tool to build shared understanding between members within a diverse group, community or society.

It is so simple, going on a walk together, but how often are we asked or interested in walking with someone we don’t understand, have an opposing view point with, or can’t identify with? I find that in professional circumstances the risk for these types of conflicts are high and are also avoided. We go into meetings knowing we may not agree and are unsurprised when we leave without a shared understanding of what needs to change. I have found myself thinking that for community or society to improve we just need to take a “walk in the other person’s shoes” however, I think what the learning journey approach suggests is that we should seek to listen to how someone else lives in their “own shoes”. It’s not about switching places, rather it is about experiencing that same place together and sharing perspectives.

More information on Adam Kahane’s approaches to social change and dealing with complex societal challenges can be found in his three books; Solving Tough Problems, Transformative Scenario Planning, and Power and Love and at REOS Partners.

Annand Ollivierre, Program Manager

Guest Blog: Building Successful Partnerships

The following blog is written by ECVO and originally appeared on their website on August 18, 2015.

Coffeeshop meetingThere is a growing demand worldwide from all sectors for greater competence in scoping and managing the partnering process, especially as many of the partnerships we are seeing evolve are non-traditional, cross sector collaborations.

Many of these partnerships are as a result of complex societal issues that cannot be tackled by one agency or sector in the traditional sense, and nor should they!! Thriving communities are dependent on all sectors working together to move the needle on these issues.

When we look at successful partnerships, we see that they are usually dedicated towards achieving common goals, with all members of the partnership working towards the same end. However, agreeing on a common goal does not necessarily mean that all members of the partnership expect to benefit in the same way. Different entities have different expectations about what they will gain. Ultimately reaching a shared understanding of those expectations is the first step toward finding the common ground necessary for effective collaboration.

Another characteristic of a successful partnership is frequent and effective communication that is ongoing, and honest. In the initial stages of developing a partnership, members need to be very forthright about their needs, what they can contribute to the partnership, and what their expectations are. Goals and objectives need to be specific and clearly communicated. Communication needs to be a priority between agencies as well as within agencies.

In building successful partnerships we often look for additional resources to help advance the process and this is where a partnership broker could help.  Partnership Brokers often act as managers of the partnering process by helping to initiate, develop, maintain, review, revise and support multi-stakeholder collaboration through a deep knowledge and understanding of what it takes to collaborate effectively. Skilled brokering can make all the difference to the effectiveness of complex networks, non-traditional alliances and consortia as well as partnerships.

An effective partnership requires an investment. It takes work but it’s worth it. We can do far more together than we can alone.

 

Interested in collaboration as a means of addressing complex social issues? Join Volunteer Alberta for interCHANGE on September 24th – a one day, multi-sector event offering a unique experience for government, business, and nonprofit attendees to share our knowledge and discover how we can collaborate better, together.

For more on partnership brokering, attend Partnership Brokers Level 1 Training offered by ECVO on October 26th-29th. Gain greater competence in managing the partnering process in a multi-stakeholder partnership – especially when working across sectors. interCHANGE attendees receive a $100 discount on Partnership Brokers Training.

 

Guest Blog: Time for Art

Interested in alternative ways to recruit volunteers? Learn more about Timeraiser in this guest blog post by Timeraiser Edmonton:

ArtistDoes art have value? We think it does – especially for nonprofits.

Timeraiser uses art as a way of bringing together volunteers with organizations in need of people power. It’s a silent art auction with a twist, asking attendees to bid their time to nonprofits in exchange for art that has been purchased from emerging Edmonton-area artists.

It’s a win-win scenario: artists are paid fair market value for their work, and nonprofits find the human capital they need.

The 2015 Edmonton Timeraiser is seeking local nonprofit organizations to participate in this year’s event.

Organizations will be given the chance to connect with potential volunteers in a fun and engaging atmosphere. Attendees can find out more about the work an organization does in the community as well as what types of roles are available. Nonprofits can learn what skills are available and whether a volunteer might make a good fit for their team.

VolunteersAfter the matchmaking is done, participants pledge up to 100 volunteer hours to the nonprofits of their choice in an attempt to out-bid other guests for a selected piece of art.

Last year’s Timeraiser helped raise more than 4,000 volunteer hours for the nearly 30 nonprofits in attendance. This year’s event, the 7th Edmonton Timeraiser, is on track to be just as successful and will feature 20 nonprofits from a variety of sectors.

Nonprofit selections will be 50% curated by Edmonton Timerasier and 50% selected by jury. The jury will consist of individuals that are involved in Edmonton’s nonprofit and volunteer communities.

The 2015 Edmonton Timeraiser will take place Thursday, November 5, 2015 in the lobby of the new EPCOR Tower. This volunteer fair and silent art auction will also feature music and entertainment from local performers and culinary delights to fuel the fun.

Calls for nonprofit applications close on Monday, September 14, 2015.

Apply today and let Timeraiser help you build your volunteer force!


Interested in Timeraiser’s approach to volunteer recruitment and want to learn more? Read the previous Volunteer Alberta blog on Sam’s experience with Timeraiser Edmonton.

Not in Edmonton? Learn more about Timeraiser Calgary and Timeraiser Wood Buffalo.

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