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Inclusion in products and services means equitable access

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

As social enterprises and social impact organizations often have members, clients, supporters, or audiences that have different abilities and different capacities, we need to think a lot about how we make our products and services accessible to the people we’re aiming to support and serve.

And equitable access means different things in different contexts. Vancouver’s transit agency, Translink, is currently in the process of demonstrating exactly what inclusion doesn’t mean as they launch their faregate turnstile program called “Compass Card.” If you’re launching a social impact product or service, you need to make sure that it’s equally accessible to all. Read More

Do onboarding well: increase your impact

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

The Globe and Mail recently ran an article about Vancity Credit Union’s onboarding sessions – the immersion program that the credit union offers to all of its staff and even its Board of Directors when they join the organization. From a read of that article, it seems like an awesome program. I’ve been involved in some activities around it, and I can echo many of the impactful statements that were made.

There’s a key takeaway that you can get from this short but informative piece. How you bring people into your organization matters – it’s first impressions, but on an important new level. When it comes to bringing people into social impact organizations, you can be build a culture for impact, if you do your onboarding well. You can even increase your impact by building a culture of engagement and empowerment. Read on to find out how. 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

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

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

Should the Government of BC revise their view of the sharing economy?

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

We’ve been writing a lot about the “sharing economy” lately – mostly about the shifting definitions at play. But it seems that the governing party in British Columbia is thinking about supporting Uber and AirBNB as prime examples of the sharing economy – and we think that they need to revise their views if that’s where they’re ending up. Read More

Benefit your startup by doing more than just “aligning” with a cause

By | Marketing, Social Enterprise, Social Impact, What we're reading | One Comment

Paul Polizzotto on Entrepreneur.com has an interesting post. He suggests there’s 4 ways your startup can benefit by aligning with a cause. We’d suggest that you can benefit more than just your startup if you go beyond and make a cause your own. Or go further: benefit society by building a social purpose into your startup. Read More