Pillar’s Emerging Future – Re-entering, Remodeling and Rebuilding

As talks turn to reopening the economy across Ontario, and how we will rebuild as a sector, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide insight into our plans and process moving forward. While we acknowledge that there are many individuals and organizations still very much in the response stage of this crisis, there are also growing numbers in the impact sector who are looking towards a reimagined future.  

We have all been impacted by the pandemic to differing degrees. This time in history has amplified the existing inequities in our society in an unprecedented way. It is our greatest hope that we can collectively embrace this historical moment to shift wealth inequities; colonization, racism and oppression; violence against women and children, homelessness and housing; addictions and mental health, climate emergency and so much more. 

At Pillar, we are developing a three-stage plan to re-enter, remodel and rebuild, and are looking at the ways we can ensure that society does not return to broken systems that allow our most vulnerable populations to fall through the cracks. Each stage of this plan has been developed and will be put into place from an equity and inclusion lens. We plan to share what we learn through each stage in this process to help other nonprofits, charities and social enterprises with their next steps post-pandemic in our three-part learning series - Recovery Post COVID-19: Re-entry, Remodel and Rebuild – we hope to see many of you join us. 

As Ontario re-opens workplaces, we’re planning re-entry of our physical space. The Innovation Works team is developing a robust and flexible return to work plan centered on ensuring the health and safety of our team, co-tenants and guests. We anticipate that our physical doors will re-open in Stage 3 of the Ontario government’s reopening plan, but we won’t open until we are confident it is in the best interests of our community. As we return to the space, we’ll continue to focus on maintaining a welcoming, accessible and inclusive environment that is aligned to our culture and values.

We’re remodelling our methods of service delivery. We’re evaluating the programming we want to continue, what we need to change, what do we need to let go and how we can continue to be a digital and agile organization. All of this work will be done with a focus on how we can do our part to address inequities, racism, colonization and oppression. As we evolve as an organization, we’ll continue to follow a network approach and look to our network building principles to guide us.

Lastly, and most critically, we’re looking at how we can contribute to the rebuilding of our community. In response to COVID-19 our community has organized to address the needs of our most vulnerable in ways that are unique, accelerated and transformative. We’re looking at ways we can catalyze this moment for transformational shifts and help ensure we don’t go back to the ways things were, including collaborating with key partners in our network and continuing to impact policy for systems transformation. We commit to aligning our strategic priorities towards these efforts and will share more of our plans moving forward. 

Pillar Nonprofit Network is also leaning into our heightened awareness of violence against and inequities affecting Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) abroad and right here in our own community. Addressing racism and xenophobia is part of Pillar's strategic plan, and we are committed to actively anti-racist work while recognizing that leadership must come from BIPOC communities inside and outside of our organization, our membership, and our network. Our response to these issues is evolving and we will continue to share resources and what we are learning along the way. 

Our team at Pillar is here for you, continue to let us know what you need for the recovery and transformation of your organizations and our community.

With warm support and community love, 

Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director

Nicole Spriet, Board Chair

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Advocacy and Awareness
Communications and Marketing
Nonprofit Sector Development

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