As we look back on 2022, the Pillar Nonprofit Network team sends deep gratitude to each of you for your support of, and partnership with, our organization over the past year. In another year of unprecedented trials and challenges, we're grateful for all the ways you have showed up for us, for community, and for each other. We will continue to amplify and support you in the network.
As we begin a new year, we can’t help but look back on all of the stories shared in 2022. Below is a round-up of stories of program participants and the ways in which we supported the network and amplified the work of others. We encourage you to take the time to read through each of these articles and learn more.
2022 Story Round-Up List:
A JUST ONTARIO FOR ALL - PILLAR’S PROVINCIAL PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION
“Can’t stop. Won’t stop.” Pillar staff had the opportunity this week to attend and observe the AGM of a member organization, and these were the words of its executive director, a firm commitment to move forward relentlessly in the face of extraordinary challenges.
Can’t stop. Won’t stop. It’s how we feel about advocating for our sector, our member organizations, our team and the communities and people that all of us serve.
Today, Pillar made a written submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs with six priority areas and 24 specific policy recommendations. Read more here.
WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES: PILLAR’S WRITTEN SUBMISSION IN ADVANCE OF FEDERAL BUDGET 2022
Last week, Pillar Nonprofit Network made a written submission for the pre-budget consultation in advance of the upcoming federal budget. In alignment with policy priorities identified by our members, Pillar’s strategic plan, and the federal advocacy of Imagine Canada, we advanced five key recommendations:
Invest in organizations that deliver community services and government priorities;
Make regulatory changes that likewise increase the capacity of social purpose organizations;
Accelerate and expand anti-oppression work, including reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;
Invest fully in a social impact sector ethical data strategy; and
Establish a permanent, effective, and accountable home in government for the social impact sector. Read more here.
Propelled by our strategic plan that calls us to operationalize equity, recovery and change in action, Pillar’s women-led leadership team is embarking on a journey to implement a shared leadership model across our organization. This model is critical to helping us make the internal shifts required to act out our strategic plan and connects across all areas of the plan: equity is about rethinking and redistributing power, the change we are working toward is structural and transformational, and the recovery we are envisioning is just. Read more here.
NO GOING BACK - WHAT BLACK VOICES CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE POWER OF STORIES
On February 23, Pillar and the London Black History Coordinating Committee came together to host a panel discussion at Innovation Works called No Going Back. This panel conversation brought together Greg Frankson, Editor of AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets, Carl Cadogan, Chair of the London Black History Coordinating Committee and host Nicole Kaniki, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Research and Innovation at University of Toronto. The evening set out to address how we can maintain momentum in sharing Black stories locally and across Canada and what the role of the arts – or stories more broadly – may be in this process. Read more here.
FOR THE IMPACT SECTOR, COLLABORATION IS AT THE CENTRE OF BUDGET 2022
A graduated disbursement quota and a commitment to amend the Income Tax Act so that charities can more easily work with non-qualified donees are two direct wins for impact sector advocates in federal Budget 2022 tabled yesterday. As Imagine Canada notes, this is the second consecutive budget with meaningful reference to the nonprofit and charitable sector and sets a new 'floor' for future recognition. Read more here.
SOCIAL SIX PRESENTS: EMERGING LEADERS FEATURING TEENSGILO
Social Six, by Pillar Nonprofit Network, is reimagining what it means to do ‘Youth Engagement,’ and we call on you to do the same. The Emerging Leaders series highlights youth voices as crucial partners in addressing issues and making decisions that affect them personally or that they believe to be important. Young leaders, Bayan and Zahra are here to share their Social Six journeys and social enterprise, teensGILO (Teens Get Involved London, Ontario). Read more here.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN ACTION AT PILLAR
Catalyzing positive community impact towards an equitable and prosperous future for people and planet has been at the heart of Pillar’s work even before the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were conceived. With the introduction of the SDGs, we recognized the importance of this global framework for measuring progress on sustainable development and its ability to bring common language to help our organization and the network to strengthen our collective impact. Read more here.
YOUTH ARE THE FUTURE—AND THE PRESENT: REFLECTIONS ON SOCIAL SIX
‘Youth are the future’ is a commonly echoed sentiment, but it’s an expression that I have never been forced to deeply reflect upon before entering my role at Pillar. At first, the idea that youth are the future is an obvious observation, a statement that proclaims the natural order of things, that young people, like myself, will grow up and fill the roles of the adults. However, since becoming a youth engagement coordinator at Pillar, I have come to realise the power of youth and our impact on our communities. As we recognize UN Youth day, I wanted to showcase some of the Social Six participants that are already making our communities stronger, in hopes that the Pillar community may be inspired by them the same way I have been. Read more here.
RESPECT, RECONCILIATION AND COMMUNITY-BASED ACTION
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, the remains of 215 children were found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School through the efforts of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc Language and Cultural Department and ceremonial Knowledge Keepers. Since then, the number unmarked of graves at residential schools that have been discovered continues to grow. These announcements continue to have a significant impact on communities across Canada. Through the input of Indigenous leaders here in London, and from nearby Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Munsee Delaware Nation, and Oneida Nation of the Thames, we honour the simultaneous experiences of grief and community and acknowledge this moment of retraumatization, while also understanding that it is well known that many children did not return home and that such unmarked burial sites exist is not new information. In fact, not only is their existence documented in Volume 4 of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, but direct action related to missing children and burial information is also outlined in items 71-76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Read more here.
Especially in recent years, and in alignment with principles championed in the international labour and sustainable development movements, there has been a growing call in the nonprofit and broader social impact sector to centre decent work for both our colleagues and for all workers. Decent work is becoming imperative to many funders, as the philanthropic sector recognizes that the future of work is flexible, and also decent. Close to home, sector organizations like the Ontario Nonprofit Network and Foodshare Toronto have been champions of this work, and we’re grateful for the leadership that inspires and guides much of our own work at Pillar Nonprofit Network. Read more here.
NEW REPORT SHOWS AREA NONPROFITS FACE STEEP WORKFORCE RECOVERY
On October 28, 2022, Pillar Nonprofit Network and the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board (WPDB) released new data showing that employers in the London region’s nonprofit sector have been facing severe human resources challenges, including greater difficulty compared to other employers in hiring and retaining qualified workers. Sector employers and advocates have long noted precarious work and wage disparity as challenges in the sector, and the findings show that these conditions are being felt locally. Analysts from the two organizations will co-present their findings in a webinar Monday, October 31 called Filling the Data Gap: What Labour Market Information can tell us about the nonprofit sector. A recording will subsequently be made available on the WPDB's YouTube channel. Read more here.
CENTRING EQUITY: NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS WOSEN'S PROGRESS IN CATALYZING SYSTEMS CHANGE
The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) is a province-wide collaborative composed of five social innovation and system change organizations led by Pillar Nonprofit Network in partnership with NORDIK Institute, Social Innovation Canada, and Social Venture Connexion with support from Lean4Flourishing. WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Read more here.
CELEBRATING LATIN CULTURE AND CULTIVATING SHARED COMMUNITY: TD ZONE RECIPIENT CULTURX SHARES THEIR STORY
Culturx (pronounced Cultura), a local nonprofit focused on animating the Latin community, was founded with the goal to build community around shared heritage while creating opportunities for non-Latinos to engage in, and learn about, Latin culture. The x within the organization’s name itself speaks to the culture they’re building, one that’s inclusive and aims to highlight diverse voices from within the Latin community that haven’t historically been front and centre. Read more here.
MEET THE FALL 2022 LIBRO SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INCUBATOR COHORT
The Libro Social Enterprise Incubator is Pillar Nonprofit Network's social enterprise support program funded by Libro Credit Union. This program is designed for community members in the late-ideation/early validation stages of their social impact businesses who are looking to develop and clarify their revenue-generating model for their organization. Read more here.
PCIP MARKS ONE YEAR OF COMMUNITY RECOVERY IN ACTION
In 2022, Pillar announced a significant commitment to the social recovery of our community through the launch of the Pillar Community Impact Program (PCIP). We choose to pivot away from hosting the Pillar Community Innovation Awards on a temporary basis in response to the needs of our network for a deeper level of direct support, in light of ongoing sector resource challenges and increased demands for services. Read more here.
HONOURING BLACK HISTORY AND CO-CREATING AN INCLUSIVE FUTURE
When the London Black History Coordinating Committee (LBHCC) was formed in 2002, the group had the goal to increase engagement in local Black History Month activities. The committee’s aim was to “engage the community in celebrating Black History Month through organizing, supporting, and collaborating with community organizations on programs and activities that are available in the region to educate, inform and uplift.” Read more here.
EMPOWERING BIPOC COMMUNITIES TO TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR HEALTH: TD ZONE RECIPIENT TYPE DIABEAT-IT SHARES THEIR STORY
Mystery Furtado’s passion for diabetes management and prevention was sparked at a young age. At only nine, she was responsible for administering insulin for her diabetic grandmother. Hailing from a remote area in Belize, travelling for medical treatments was difficult and Furtado played a critical role in her grandmother’s care. Being a caretaker for her grandmother, and later losing grandparents on both sides to diabetes, would become the major driving force for Furtado to create her non-profit, Type Diabeat-it. Read more here.
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