Impact Conversations is a show about change makers getting things done. Sally Fazal and Lynn Fergusson of Social Impact Advisors talk to NGO leaders, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and environmental innovators about their goals and how they're reaching them.
Growing Business for Good…brought to you by the United Way
30:30In this episode, Mary Ellen Schaasfma, Director and Co-Founder of the Social Purpose Institute (SPI) at United Way BC, shares the concept of businesses having a social purpose as their reason for being, beyond profit. Over the last 5 years, SPI has been piloting programming to help businesses determine and implement their social purpose, in an effort to create a movement of businesses for good. While it’s more often that businesses support charities, Mary Ellen explains how it makes sense for United Way to support the business sector in having a societal purpose– social and/or environmental – at its core to best benefit the community, in fact, to create the thriving community that United Ways often aspire to. It’s also an opportunity for United Way to shift, changing not only its approach for impacting the community but how it engages corporations. This work has gained the attention of funders, interested in seeing this innovative model adopted across the country. We suggest it’s worth your attention too, whether as a funder, nonprofit or for profit organization. Have a listen. Resources Social Purpose Institute: https://socialpurpose.ca Social Purpose Innovators program: https://socialpurpose.ca/services/innovators/ Social Purpose Implementers program: https://socialpurpose.ca/services/implementers/ Mary Ellen Shaafsma: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryellen-schaafsma Coro Strandberg: https://www.linkedin.com/in/corostrandberg Hemlock Printers: https://www.hemlock.com GLOBE Events: https://www.globeseries.com/events/ Propelling Purpose Summit: Road to Purposeful Economy (discount code PAN-21): https://propellingpurpose.ca Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
25:46In this episode, Lynn Fergusson and Sally Fazal, Partners at SIA, share their thoughts on the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day is a federal statutory holiday in Canada, and SIA is also recognizing it as a day for reflection and learning. To quote our federal government’s announcement: “The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.” In this episode, Sally and Lynn talk about how SIA is learning more about reconciliation, and the legacy and trauma of the residential schools system. We talk about how the SIA team is developing our knowledge and practice to honour survivors and those lost and work toward a more equitable society in what is now called Canada. We talk about how our communications and approaches to strategy development are changing as we learn, how we are supporting learning in general, and share some examples of how our approach and language has changed. We are committed to continuing this learning journey and encourage our listeners to do the same. And we thank our Indigenous partners and friends for their patience and support. Please let us know how you are recognizing the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and how you are learning and growing as a partner in reconciliation. Resources: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf A conversation with Senator Murray Sinclair: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1470146258433/1559837409039 Carolyn King, Order of Canada: https://www.thespec.com/life/opinion/2021/02/07/carolyn-king-former-chief-of-mississaugas-of-the-credit-first-nation-inducted-to-order-of-canada.html Delivering on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1524494530110/1557511412801 Anti-Racist decolonizing framework: https://www.afsc.org/resource/anti-racist-decolonizing-framework-talking-about-and-describing-young-people?mc_cid=00bdbbac7b&mc_eid=2e03aa461a . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca
We need Radical Accountability in the social impact sector
28:33In this episode, Mojdeh Cox, Executive Director of London, Ontario’s Pillar Nonprofit Network, shares a new lens she is bringing to the organization: radical accountability. She believes the organization (and everyone) needs to first look at ourselves, and hold ourselves accountable for our roles in today’s hot issues including systemic discrimination, reconciliation, and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). She shares that we also need to take a hard look at the nonprofit or social impact sector itself, to see the role it plays in continuing to support systemic issues, such as through an ingrained belief in low overhead costs being worthy of celebration, even at the expense of our human resources not having retirement plans, benefits, competitive pay, and overall decent work. As Mojdeh points out, some of this may not be what funders and nonprofits want to hear, but that’s all part of radical accountability – calling out truths. Resources Mojdeh Cox bio: https://pillarnonprofit.ca/about-our-team/mojdeh-cox Mojdeh Cox on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mojdehcox/ Mojdeh shares her why: https://pillarnonprofit.ca/news/leadership-margins-executive-director-mojdeh-cox-shares-her-why Open Letter to the Sector: A Call for Radical Accountability in Social Impact: https://futureofgood.co/radical-accountability-in-social-impact/ . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca .
Social Robots are reducing seniors’ social isolation
28:40Lee St. James founded Social Robots to apply her tech background to a social issue, close to home. Not able to spend as much time with her father while seeing the effects of social isolation, she took action. Through this social enterprise, and with help from an Investment Readiness Program grant from the Community Foundations of Canada, through the Oakville Community Foundation, Lee is piloting the use of a friendly robot, complete with a tablet for interactive apps and photos, to engage seniors in retirement homes and long term care facilities. She’s addressing issues of social isolation and boredom while providing an interesting tool for Rec leaders to engage with their senior residents, and seeing positive results. With a heightened awareness of the issue of social isolation due to COVID-19, Lee is seeing growing interest, and particularly from post-secondary institutions looking to embed this in their curriculum to prepare the next generations for better supporting our seniors populations. Resources Social Robots: https://socialrobots.ca Investment Readiness Program through the Oakville Community Foundation:https://www.theocf.org/initiative/irp/ Lee St. James: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leestjames Sheridan College – Centre for Elder Research: https://www.sheridancollege.ca/research/centres/elder-research PARO Therapeutic Robots/Baby Seal: http://www.parorobots.com Pepper - Canada's first talking, dancing, emotionally sensitive robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6aDHtRFZJ0 . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca
Responding to Early Child Care Development Needs while Planning for Systems Change
33:53In this episode, Trevor McAlmont, Executive Director of the Macaulay Child Development Centre, shares the importance of providing affordable, universal child care to change the system in Ontario, and Canada. While directly serving 7000 children and 6000 parents through the multi-service agency, Trevor also invests in areas to strengthen the outcomes for these clients. He sees a need for nonprofits to be able to pivot to address emergency needs, as they did in providing food to their families through COVID, thanks to the emergency relief funds granted through United Way. Under Trevor’s leadership, the organization has also been setting the foundation for being able to measure impact – and identify areas for improvement to have better results for their families. We also talked about the importance of finding time for advocacy work, to ensure government and other decision makers could understand the implications on children and their families in making decisions. All of these investments are considered “overhead”, and require an organization to have flexible funding to be able to carry them out – an ongoing challenge for the sector. All of this and more in this episode. Have a listen. Resources Macaulay Child Development Centre: https://macaulaycentre.org Canada Early Learning and Child Care Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2021/04/budget-2021-a-canada-wide-early-learning-and-child-care-plan.html . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca .
How B Lab is leveraging business for climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economic system
30:46Kara Peck, Senior Director, Strategy + Partnerships, B Lab US & Canada shares their journey to strategic clarity for their organization and for making a real difference in the world. Leveraging a time of organizational and societal change, they have developed a Theory of Change, creating alignment around a new focus for the B Corp-certifying nonprofit, to support the business sector in taking collective action towards addressing racial equity, climate justice and stakeholder capitalism. Resources B Lab US/Canada Theory of Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og0iYy52ZjE B Lab: https://bcorporation.net/about-b-lab B Corp Impact Assessment: https://bcorporation.eu/certification?_ga=2.224228763.1436296932.1624646817-1194428511.1465581593 Kara Peck: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karapeck Sweet Livity: https://www.sweetlivity.com Revolution Foods: https://www.revolutionfoods.com . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal .
Inclusion and Connection at Community Living Oakville with Alexandra Hoeck Murray
19:44In this episode, Sally speaks with Alexandra Hoeck Murray, the new Executive Director of Community Living Oakville (CLO). Alexandra talks about the impact the organization and larger community is making in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. In our conversation, Alexandra talks about when the COVID crisis first started and how CLO addressed the potential isolation and disruption that the shutdown of their day services and central building could have caused, and how their rapid transition to online programming has kept people connected. CLOs employment team has been hard at work through the pandemic: Alexandra explains how CLO helped people find Pandemic Support Specialist work and other positions at the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital, and how the crisis helped CLO and the hospital forge a new partnership that will continue and be a model for the community of inclusion and the contribution people with developmental disabilities can make. The COVID crisis has forced some new thinking in inclusion and diversity. A new CLO program, funded by United Way Hamilton Halton Roots initiative, is working on systemic change, making links with business champions and institutions in the community, educating people about inclusion, and building and strengthening networks. Resources Website www.oakcl.org Community Living Oakville’s Newsletters www.oakcl.org/newsletters Xplore Employment www.xploreemployment.com Facebook @OakvilleCL Instagram @communitylivingoakville In The Loop Media (Community Living Oakville’s Media Team) Instagram @inthe1loop Facebook @intheloopmedia . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca
Guest Podcast: A Young Newcomer’s Perspective on Settling in Canada: from Together Project - Makeway
16:05We are happy to be sharing a podcast from an initiative whose work we admire. Together Project, on the MakeWay shared platform, connects refugee and immigrant newcomers and Canadians to build stronger, more integrated communities. Their podcast is gathering and sharing the stories of newcomers they serve. In this episode, Joudy, a young refugee woman from Syria, speaks with Natasha at Together Project about her experience coming to Canada as a young newcomer, continuing university and overcoming social isolation during the pandemic with the help of Together Project volunteers. Resources Show page: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/together-project-podcast/id1521291243 Episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/a-young-newcomers-perspective-on-settling-in-canada/id1521291243?i=1000517117384 Twitter @together_hello Instagram @together_hello Facebook @together.hello Linked In @together-project . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca .
Building Welcoming Community: An update from our friends at Together Project
26:51Our guests in this episode are Anna Hill and Andrew Lusztyk, co-directors and founders at Together Project, a charitable initiative on the Makeway Shared Platform. Together Project connects refugee newcomers and Canadians to build stronger, more integrated communities. Together Project is founded on the simple idea that social networks are an important factor for integration. We first spoke with Together Project back in 2019, about their strategy and goals for impact in community. Anna and Andrew introduce us again to the project and talk about how they adapted and innovated their welcome group program during COVID. Moving to largely online connections has meant a significant increase in connections made and has taught the team about the potential and challenges of online matches. As things open up again, Together Project will be able to offer both online and in person matches aligned with people’s interests, available time and comfort with technology. Resources: Together Project: https://togetherproject.ca/about-us/ Twitter @together_hello Instagram @together_hello Facebook @together.hello Linked In @together-project https://stories.td.com/ca/en/article/how-one-syrian-refugee-family-s-journey-ended-with-newfound-hope-and-community-in-canada https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-safe-flight-what-a-former-syrian-refugee-has-learned-to-love-about-his/ . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca .
Foundation for Black Communities and Generation Chosen: Breaking Through Together with Dr. Joseph Smith
36:02In this engaging conversation, Dr. Joseph Smith shares his expertise and passion for equity and inclusion and the emotional intelligence needed for productive conversations between people of diverse backgrounds. He talks about the work underway to close the gap in philanthropy in Canada, in which the needs and assets of Black Communities have been overlooked. Dr. Smith is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Generation Chosen which focuses on Mental health and Emotional Intelligence within underserved communities. He is a founding member of the Foundation for Black communities, a non-profit organization designed to adjudicate grants, develop policy and liaise with government and the philanthropic sector to serve Black-led and Black-serving non-profits and charities. The Foundation’s report: Unfunded, was a catalyst for $200 million in federal government endowment funding in Canada this year and has prompted a transfer of endowment funds from traditional philanthropic organizations to the new Foundation to better balance investment in Black Communities. Dr. Smith is also a project coordinator the Black Experience Project through the Environics Research Institute; works as a facilitator and consultant in the area of Anti-Black Racism and Emotional Health at LifeWorks; and sits on the board of Operation Black Vote Canada as the Director of Youth Outreach. In today’s conversation, we talk about how change can happen and is happening through understanding how we got where we are, how institutions and structures keep us from moving forward, and how intentional and generous action in how we live our lives- from who we engage, what we buy and how we spend our free time can lead to a better future. Resources Joseph Smith LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-smith-29b9a615b/ https://www.generationchosen.ca https://twitter.com/GEN_CHOS3N https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/01/02/torontos-black-non-profits-have-been-shortchanged-for-decades-these-are-the-people-fighting-for-change.html https://www.forblackcommunities.org/assets/docs/Unfunded-Report.pdf . Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal . Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca .