#PolicyTalk 3: Doing Things Together - September 21, 2023

It’s time to continue the work we began at #PolicyTalk in June and continued in August, identifying the policy issues that matter to us, and collaborating to have them represented in London’s developing multi-year budget. And we’d like you to join in, whether or not you attended the June or August events.

There were two big takeaways from our August gathering: 

  • A strong desire to build our capacity for collaboration and collective action; and

  • A need for knowledge and specific resources that will guide and strengthen our advocacy to decision-makers and future partners.

In the words of one participant, the way to build our capacity for collaboration is to start "doing things together.” So, let’s do that!

In #PolicyTalk 3, we’ll work together on the resources we need to build our knowledge and capacity, including:

  • A brief for nonprofit board members that explains why advocacy is allowed and necessary (review an early draft here);

  • A visualization of the City’s processes around the multi-year budget; 

  • A template to help people and organizations identify areas of opportunity for advocacy (review a draft here);

  • A toolkit for municipal advocacy based on work begun by the Urban League of London (review here); and

  • A plan for sharing these resources with our colleagues, the network, and the community.

Pillar is committed to developing drafts of these resources and working with participants to make them meaningful, impactful, and empowering so that we can, together, have a positive impact on this year’s multi-year budget.


This is an especially important workshop for nonprofit CEOs/EDs, managers, board members, and advocates, but everyone is welcome to attend who wishes to build nonprofit advocacy for thriving communities. If there is more than one person in your organization whose work touches on public policy and advocacy, please consider bringing them all. This is work we need to do together.

If you missed either or both of the first two sessions you are more than welcome to join in now. We would encourage you to review reports of the first two meetings: 


Public policy touches on every aspect of private and public life, and policy change can make real changes in people’s lives ─ for better or for worse – and directly affect the ability of nonprofits to serve their communities and achieve their missions. Pillar seeks to support social purpose organizations to engage productively in public policy, to amplify their insights, and build their own capacities for advocacy. 

In this moment, some of our work is at the local level, convening conversations about how social purpose actors can build on successful advocacy in the development of the City of London’s Strategic Plan to have meaningful influence on the development of the City’s multi-year budget. We are continuing these conversations on Thursday, August 10 in person at Innovation Works London, when we’ll convene issue-based working groups, and we invite you to join.


  • The public sector, including our City, relies on nonprofits and social purpose enterprises to deliver on government priorities but doesn’t necessarily understand the impact, urgency, or full costs of our work. A strong, mutually supportive nonprofit network can inform policy-makers and help them support thriving communities and sustainable development. 
  • The earlier we engage in any process, the bigger impact we can have. At the local level, there’s no better time to get organized than the development of the multi-year budget. 
  • Time and again it’s been identified that the nonprofit sector needs to ‘build its policy muscle.’ We’re in if you’re in.
  • Building our policy muscle and collaborating with the City and organizations in the nonprofit sector sets the stage for more robust and ongoing engagement in future years beyond the multi-year budget period.


Pillar is genuinely curious to hear what the community needs most from us now. We’re arriving with:

  • A commitment to help in co-designing our next steps as a policy community;
  • Capacity to track and share key opportunities for advocacy and intervention in public policy;
  • Network connections to sector advocacy at the regional, provincial, and national levels;
  • An understanding of broad nonprofit sector-wide issues that may be felt differently across sub-sectors and micro-sectors;
  • Expertise in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other frameworks for connecting our goals, missions, and visions;
  • Expertise in community development and engagement; and
  • Space for this work to happen.


Thank you to our 2023 Learning & Development Sponsors:

Western Continuing Studies and Fanshawe Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services/Corporate Training Solutions


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