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Let’s get some radical doing done.

By | Social Enterprise, Social Impact | No Comments

This past Tuesday, I started something exciting – and now it’s time to get some radical doing done.

I was recently names as a Fellow with the RADIUS SFU Fellowships in Radical Doing. This is an exciting, innovative program that takes people who are working on innovative projects and helps connect them to networks, resources, mentors, and boost their projects to a new level of success.

It’s tremendously exciting, for a number of reasons: Read More

How are you going to fund your social enterprise or nonprofit?

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

So you’ve decided you’re going to build a social enterprise or nonprofit organization. You’ve developed your goals around the value and impact you want to make with your organization. You’re getting a team together, and you’re jazzed up. It’s time to launch and make that impact!

Wait a second. Have you thought about the capital you’re going to need to launch your organization? Where will the initial funds come from that will cover your operational expenses?

This question might puzzle you. If so, you need to read on – so that your project isn’t a disaster from the outset. Read More

Social enterprises should be creating jobs for women, people of colour, and youth

By | Social Enterprise, Social Enterprise, Social Impact, Social Impact, What we're reading | No Comments

The International Labour Office recently released a report that showed that young people and women face some terrific barriers to employment. This isn’t good – barriers to employment entrench divisions based on gender and age and build increasingly unequal societies.

This doesn’t need to be the case – and I think that social enterprises, nonprofits, and other cause-based organizations are uniquely positioned to create jobs for women, people of colour, and youth. We’re positioned to make impacts in society, and this is an impact that needs to be made. Read More

Make the best possible decisions with a free strategic decision template

By | Dare to Begin: Organisational Resources, Governance, Strategy and Advice | No Comments

Making decisions can be one of the most complex things you might do as a social enterprise or nonprofit organization. And for many nonprofits and social enterprises, one of the most challenging things you can do when you’re making decisions is try to keep them strategic – keep them aligned with your strategic plan. It’s hard to do this because it’s hard to sometimes get enough distance from a really exciting opportunity to carefully analyze it for fit with your organization, fit for your strategic plan, and fit for your social purpose.

And sometimes, if you can’t make these kinds of decisions strategically, you can end up going down the wrong path, ending up in a place where you don’t want to be.

So how do you avoid this? Good news – we’ve got a completely free template you can use to analyze your decisions. Read on to learn about the template, how to use it, and links to a copy you can put to use now.  Read More

Don’t let your nonprofit’s positive statements become a joke

By | Communications, Marketing, Social Impact, What we're reading | No Comments

There’s a pretty good comedic post floating about the nonprofit sector right now – from the Nonprofit with Balls blog (pardon the name) – that “translates” commonly used nonprofit terms intended to describe positive aspects of organizations that tend not to. An example: Lots of opportunity: It literally could not get any worse.”

While this post is a good read and a good laugh, it resonates with a lot of us because we see the contradictions in what we are trying to do (build better communities, serve those around us who aren’t being served, make a difference in our neighbourhoods) with the ways in which we do it (chase grants, cut corners on benefits, work unpaid hours, and more). I’ve written here in the past on the importance of making your employees your brand ambassadors – this funny blog post weighs in with the importance of making sure your organization’s positive statements aren’t a joke, and this goes well beyond just your employees. But how do you do make sure you’re not going to end Read on. Read More

Diversity makes social enterprise stronger

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

For many social enterprises and membership organizations, this time of the year means it’s prep time for annual general meetings and – for many groups – elections of boards of directors. These annual elections are crucial for your organization’s success, because you want to have the best people you can have in leadership positions to help your social enterprise, nonprofit, or membership organization succeed.

While organizations have different strategies to recruiting and selecting candidates for leadership, we want to share with you one strategy that can be demonstrated to generate success: diversity on your board. So, as you enter into the 2016 board recruitment adventure, think diversity. Read More

Strategic planning – find your path to social enterprise success

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

It’s January – that fresh beginning to the new calendar year – and for many organizations, it’s also time to start up their strategic planning processes. Strategic planning can be incredibly powerful and catalyzing for social impact organizations and nonprofits – or it can be a chore that you endure.

We don’t want that second option. We want strategic planning to help you find a path to social enterprise success. If you want that for your organization, we’d be thrilled to help you out. We’ve got some tips and tricks we love to share about strategic planning, and I want to share some here. Read More

Communicating your social impact

By | Social Enterprise, Social Impact, Social Media, Strategy and Advice | No Comments

I’m guilty of using big words when little ones suffice. And that can be a barrier to communicating social enterprise – complex terms can block our messages from reaching the very people we want to reach, and telling the stories we want to tell.

So how do we communicate our social impact? My suggestion: through communicating our values. And more. Read More

Social impact: it’s what your next biggest demographic wants

By | Building Success, Impact Technology, Marketing, Social Enterprise, Social Enterprise, Social Impact, Social Impact, Strategy and Advice, What we're reading | No Comments

There’s much that’s been said and written about millenials – that demographic cohort that followed Generation X and has been roughly defined as being born sometime from the 1980s to the 2000s – but what is incontrovertible is that they are the next biggest market for any business, nonprofit organization, or social enterprise. Which is where Deloitte’s Millenial Surveys come in useful. And what’s interesting is that the surveys indicate that the vast majority of millenials want business success to be defined by more than just profits – instead, they want it defined by values and by social impact. Read More

Intent matters in social enterprise

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I’ve been writing a lot about the sharing economy and social enterprise lately – mostly to encourage us to change our use of the term ‘sharing economy,’ or to comment on interesting government interventions in the space. Given that I’ve been relatively critical, I think it’s time to put forward a (short) positive vision of social enterprise.

In short, I think we can really build something positive with social enterprise. But we need to focus our efforts on consciously designing organizations and businesses that put social impact first – and that build social capital, connections, and communities. And how we intend to do that really matters.

How? Let’s get at it. Read More