A Message and Invitation from the Pillar Community Advisory Panel

The first meeting of the Community Advisory Panel (the Panel) was held on January 11th, 2023. Panel members include representatives from community, philanthropic and social impact sectors (listed below). Each of the panel members has expressed personal and professional investment in ensuring the stability of Pillar Nonprofit Network (Pillar) through a time of governance and staff transition. The Panel has agreed on values of deep listening and transparency in alignment with its core purpose. This is the first communication of the Panel to Pillar members, co-tenants, donors, staff and the broader community, outlining the core purpose and next steps of the group.

Core Purpose
The Panel will lead the development and implementation of a Pillar Board transition process, including:
Development of recommendations to address community concerns as they relate to governance, informed by deep listening to members, co-tenants, donors and staff.
Implementation of the Pillar Nonprofit Network nomination process to assemble a slate of Directors of the new Pillar Board (with staggered terms) to be presented for membership consideration at the Annual General Meeting in April 2023.
Support and mentorship of the next Pillar Board for the first six months of their term.
Review of governance structure, policies and procedures and recommendations provided to the current and future Boards.

Next Steps
The panel will host a community meeting to engage in deep listening and seek input on the board recruitment process, in addition to what the community needs from Pillar over the coming months.
A survey will be distributed following the in-person meeting to ensure wide community engagement with the board recruitment process.
The Panel will examine and revise the board diversity and skills matrix, length of terms, and size of the board, based on staff and community feedback.

The Panel acknowledges the intent of the existing board to resign at the AGM and is working with a tight timeline to propose a new slate of Directors. If the Panel determines that more time is required, the members will make an appropriate recommendation to ensure the staff and CEO of Pillar are supported until a special general meeting is called for Director elections.

The Panel also acknowledges that there are significant community concerns related to the events of 2022. The purpose of the Panel is to ensure stability in governance through this time of significant transition by recruiting a new Board of Directors and supporting the Board in an advisory capacity for a 6-month term. Board recruitment will be undertaken with candour around the current challenges faced by the organization and the role of the incoming board and staff team in addressing these challenges.

We, the Panel members, hope you will join us at the upcoming community meeting to help shape and inform Pillar’s transition in governance (more details to follow). We also invite you to stay engaged and invested in Pillar’s purpose. Pillar has a long history of supporting the impact sector and building capacity for nonprofits through collaboration, learning, coaching, public policy work and by convening us across sectors to create systems change. Each member of the Panel believes in Pillar’s mandate and is committed to working with the broader community to ensure the organization’s stability at this critical time.

On behalf of the Community Advisory Panel,

Jennifer Martino, Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre (elected Panel Moderator at the January 11th meeting)
Al Day, N'Amerind Friendship Centre
Carl Cadogan, London Black History Coordinating Committee
Kapil Lakhotia, London Economic Development Corporation
Andrew Chunilall, Community Foundations of Canada
Lynn Davis, Alegria 3 Inc.
Stephen Bolton, Libro Credit Union

For more information, or if you have questions, contact communitypanel@pillarnonprofit.ca.

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