All posts by Ryan Stephens

Join the ECVO Board

If you believe in the value of Edmonton’s nonprofit sector and you would like be part of ECVO’s change agenda, we have a chair for you at our boardroom table.

ECVO is looking for energetic, passionate people to:

  • Influence policy decisions impacting the nonprofit sector
  • Build community networks
  • Act as change catalysts in the community
  • Serve as ambassadors for the nonprofit sector.

Our expectations are simple. Board members must:

  • Hold an ECVO membership.
  • Commit to a three-year term with an option to renew for one additional term.
  • Adhere to ECVO’s Code of Conduct for board members.
  • Attend five board meetings: June, September, November, January, March and the Annual General Meeting in May.
  • Actively participate in strategic planning and committee work.
  • Represent ECVO occasionally at external events.
  • Publicly support the work of the sector in the community.

Interested? Submit your Expression of Interest with an attached CV to board@ecvo.ca by Wednesday, November 22, 2017.

Additional Information

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The ECVO Leadership Series presents: High Spirits

Executive Directors, you’re invited to a night of insightful conversation, beer and delicious appetizers. This High Spirits event is your chance to connect and chat with fellow Executive Directors and learn about their experience in the nonprofit sector.

The theme of this High Spirits event is combatting burnout in non-profit leaders.

Research finds many nonprofit staff are at risk of burnout, given the tendency towards greater emotional involvement in their work and the feeling that what they do has direct impact on others.

Join Ione Challborn (CMHA Edmonton Region) & Kim Knull ( Momentum Walk in Counselling) as they discuss this important topic.

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with your peer and pick their brains on the issues Executive Directors face in the nonprofit sector.

High Spirits is an nonprofit Executive Director/CEO only event. We encourage organizations to share this invitation with other Executive Directors/CEOs in your network.


This event is sponsored by the ECVO Moving to Action program as a part of building leadership capacity.

This event is highly subsidised by ECVO. Please let us know 3 days in advance if you are unable to make it after registering.

RSVP Here

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The Benefits of being a Partnership Broker, with Executive Director Debbie Clark

To solve complex societal issues, more organizations are turning to collaboration, especially cross-sector partnerships. While receiving input from many different sectors is valuable, it can be difficult to adjudicate every opinion and personality that enters the partnership. The worst case scenario is making the effort to bring these voices together, but results falling short of expectations.

Because effective partnerships are both highly regarded and difficult to manage, the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations along with JS Daw & Associates and the International Partnership Brokers Association are hosting Partnership Brokers Training – a 4-day course that will teach you the knowledge and skills required for maintaining successful partnerships.

To understand the benefit of Partnership Brokers Training, ECVO spoke to Debbie Clark, executive director of Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association (ECALA), who took part in the course in October 2015. ECALA helps individuals access non-credit educational opportunities throughout the city and provides programs and services as well as grants and funding.

ECVO:  As an Executive Director, how do you use partnerships and collaboration in your workplace?

Debbie Clark: As a granting counsel, we work with many different agencies in the city and we see our role as building partnerships and strengthening the sector. We also deliver the best programs we can for our learners. This training is appropriate because it allows us to be in a partnership broker role, which is different from what I’ve done in the past. It’s looking at partnerships in a different way.

ECVO: How have partnerships changed throughout your time in the nonprofit industry?

Clark: The whole concept of partnership and collaboration has evolved and changed. The concept of being a partnership broker allows us now to take a hard stance when you need to move a partnership forward. This course really affirmed some emerging theory that has come out worldwide. The opportunity to experience this in Edmonton is invaluable.

ECVO: What was your experience taking Partnership Brokers Training?

Clark: It was a very full week! There were lots of different activities going on and there was something there for every style of learner. You meet people and make lots of connections you can use later in your work. There were people representing all different sectors.

Some of the information was affirming to what I was currently doing and some of it blew what I thought I knew out of the water.

Definitely a training that ranks high with me compared to some of the courses in my MBA research.

ECVO: What was your largest takeaway from the training?

Clark: The ability to work through so many case studies that were very realistic to our world here in Edmonton as nonprofits. The way they delivered the program, I’m often reflecting and encouraging conversation around the issues we run into here based on what I learned at training. The room was very rich in experience and knowledge, even from participants. I often reflect on those case studies and what I learned from training.

ECVO: Who do you recommend enroll in Partnership Brokers Training?

Clark: If you’re on the fence, or if you’re already partnering, you will still learn so much about how to broker partnerships in this program. The work will pile up, but it is well worth the time to be able to take this program and I can’t wait to take the second phase and get accredited. This is new and emerging theory and we are very fortunate to have this is Edmonton. This a great chance for anyone wanting to build more partnerships, getting into it for the first time, get promoted within an organization or build professional development. You can also use the training for your own personal development goals as an individual and a leader.

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HR in a Box Returns!

HR in a Box Returns this Fall! ECVO, in partnership with the Talent Pool, is delighted to bring back last fall’s HR in a Box series. Series 2 will reinforce the foundations shared in 2016 but with a problem solving focus. Case studies will be at the core of the 2017 sessions to help you implement practical solutions in your everyday HR practices.

Workforce Planning

Retention Strategies

Strategic Performance Management

HR in a Box will share best practices and innovative solutions designed to help organizations of all sizes build knowledge and capacity. A new roster of HR experts, the usage of a video reference library, and highly interactive problem solving discussions, will enable you to implement solutions rapidly and effectively.

The series will include this cycle, three dynamic sessions. Register for one session or the entire series.

HR in a Box workshop #1 – September 26, 2017 –  Workforce Planning: Aligning Business & People with Marcie Kiziak, CPHR &  Ada Tai, CPHR

In our rapidly shifting workplace, strategic workforce planning has become the buzzword in HR circles. Join us for the kick off September session of HR in a Box series to learn from HR experts how to deepen your understanding of what constitutes effective workforce planning strategy and how to implement it into your organization.

This workshop will address:

  • How to align organization goals and the right people in the right places at the right time to deliver on those goals.
  • Strategies that deliver the right mix of attraction, selection, recruitment, and onboarding that result in an agile workforce to meet the demands of our labour market.

HR in a Box workshop #2 – October 24, 2017 – Retention Strategies: One size never fits all with Claudia Verburgh, CPHR & Doug Alloway, CPHR

Retention is the major concern of organizations of all sizes and in every economic sector. In order to retain top performers, effective strategies must take into consideration the impact of future changes, new required skills sets, create appropriate career ladders, explore new succession planning methodologies.

This workshop will address:

  • Designing innovative strategies to maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship that delivers retention.
  • Efficient employee engagement strategies; what will employee engagement look like in an age where “digital employees” will co-exist with a traditional workforce?
  • The evolving critical role of succession planning particularly with the incoming impact of technological advances that will reconfigure the way we all work

HR in a Box workshop  #3 – November 28, 2017 – Strategic Performance Management: Always an Integrated Process with Julianna Cantwell, CPHR & Barb Read  

Providing effective feedback has become a dynamic and ongoing process. Employees want to see the link between what they do and the organizational goals. As new skills emerge due to new ways we all work, organizations need to revisit their performance management existing processes.

This workshop will address:

  • What is Performance Management and how to integrate it into your organization?
  • What is the manager’s role and employee’s role?
  • Best Practices: before, during and after a review meeting
  • Steps of progressive discipline
  • Determine if you are paying your employees competitively in the market
  • Discover if you have internal pay equity issues
  • Identify employee benefits that will attract, retain, and engage the right staff to your organization

Earn CPD credits.

This series is sponsored by the Government of Alberta, CHRP Alberta, and ASET.

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Principles, Not Playbooks Drive Partnerships

By Jocelyne Daw 

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are more and more seen as a key way to tackle the complicated and complex challenges we face as a society. I am a great champion of the power of partnership and believe that they can really make a significant difference. However, too many collaborations jump head first into the partnership without considering the complicated mechanics of ‘how’ to successfully partner.

The most effective partnerships are co-created and co-managed. They are fit for purpose solutions to a pressing issue in a specific context with a particular group of people and organizations – with all their respective capacities and imperfections.

While this co-creation approach is foundational, every partnership and context is different. What works in one circumstance will not necessarily work in another. The fact remains that there is no playbook or instructional guide that can ensure partnership success.

So what can you do to help give your partnerships the best chances at success? I believe that the following five ‘principles’ are the key to successful partner relationships. Principles can ensure that the challenges we face in partnerships are addressed through agreed upon values and core beliefs.

If partners live by core principles and use them as touchstones to guide and drive their partnership work, the chances of success are strong. So what are the five core principles of partnership?

Principles must address the underlying challenges of partnership and deliver positive outcomes. The Partnership Brokers Association through the direct experience of trainers and trainees, have identified five common challenges in the partnering experience. In turn, five principles have been identified as antidotes, critical ways to address these challenges and ensure outcomes that give partnerships the best chance of success.

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These five principles are applicable to all partnerships. When partners commit to and hold each other accountable for these principles there is a strong chance that their partnership efforts will be rewarded with unexpected and imaginative responses and ideally, some truly breakthrough results.

A successful partnership requires highly skilled individuals that have the tools and skills to facilitate cross-sectorial collaborations.  If you’d like to strengthen your skills, register now for Partnership Brokers Training. This four-day course will provide you with the insights and tools you need to deliver positive partnering results. BONUS – the Canada-Alberta Job Grant can help cover the cost!  Contact Gemma Dunn to find out more. 

 

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Partnership Brokers Training

 

Partnerships and collective impact initiatives are multiplying in Canada as cross-sectional collaborators come together to address complex social issues. Partnering can be highly challenging to those involved and often fall short of expectations. A successful partnership requires highly skilled individuals that have the tools and skills to facilitate cross-sectorial collaborations. Partnership Brokers Training will provide you with the insights and tools you will need to deliver positive partnering results. More information including cost, training team and criteria

HAVE YOU HEARD? – the Canada-Alberta Job Grant can help fund your training for eligible employees? Contact us for the event specific pre-filled out application form for the Job Grant and we will help you; the process is simple and quick. This course is Canada-Alberta Job Grant approved for eligible employees and makes becoming an accredited Partnership Broker completely affordable.

Apply now for this training course 

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Membership Button for ECVO Members.

Are you an ECVO Member? We have created an ECVO membership button for you to display on your website! ECVO members are a collective voice working together to empower, strengthen and sustain the regions nonprofit sector. By placing this button on your website, you’re proudly showcasing your membership to the largest nonprofit network in Edmonton.

If you’re not a member yet, sign up now! Not only will you be a part of this nonprofit collective, there are a number of perks and discounts that come with joining, too.

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Five Reasons to Sign Up for Partnership Brokers Training this Fall

By Jocelyne Daw

If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together” –African Proverb 

Partnership-Definition

It can be said that partnering creates a whole that is significantly greater than the sum of the individual parts, and in the process builds greater value than any one partner could achieve on their own. But what does it take to make a partnership successful? What makes some partnership successful and others not? And why is partnership broker training critical to the success of any partnership?

So what does it take?

Building partnerships is all about people. Successful partnerships are based on mutual respect and trust, open and honest communications, and require attentiveness, listening, and intuition. Partners must nurture their relationships and understand and support their partner’s needs and challenges equally as their own. But most people don’t have the training and knowledge to enable partnership success.

What could partnership training do for you and your organization?

1. It will provide “training and resources” for those engaged in the critical partnering process
Effective collaboration is not just a principle but also a process; success requires a skill and knowledge in terms of partnering processes. The Partnership Brokers course will help build insight and expertise in managing the partnering process from the earliest ‘scoping’ stage to the final ‘moving on’ phase, including the delivery of measurable benefits to all parties.

2. It will give you the ability to ask right questions
Is partnering the right approach? Is the timing right?Upon deciding to undertake a new partnership, intuition and foresight are required to discern when the circumstances and context are right—and to say no when they are not! Partnering is about allocating individual talent in order to maximize collective potential. In the early stages of Apple, Steve jobs handled marketing while his partner, Steve Wozniak, dealt with the technical processes, showing how, when facilitated correctly, partnerships bring out the best qualities in each of its members.

3. It will introduce you to boundary spanning skills
Leaders committed to partnership must have the ability to boundary span, to challenge assumptions and mindsets and to be open to new ways of conducting business. After all, building partnerships is not business as usual; it demands leaders who are willing to move outside their own comfort zone for the benefit of a bigger purpose. This challenge placed upon leaders to move towards a genuinely more collaborative model is a BIG one, and especially important within the Partnership Brokers curriculum.

4. It will embolden you with the courage to learn and the ability to be reflective
True partnerships are made up of creative risk takers. The course encourages participants to be reflective and embrace vulnerability at all costs. At their core, partnerships are relationships, and relationships are dynamic and ever changing by virtue of their deeply human makeup. Therefore, authentic and vulnerable partners have the greatest chance at becoming powerhouse partnerships (thank you Brené Brown!).

5. It will help you build a local and global network of fellow partnership brokers
This is far more than a training course, it is a vehicle for building a local and global community of practitioners that are already playing a significant part in improving and scaling multi-stakeholder partnerships and non-traditional collaboration worldwide. It will provide links to regional/national networks of partnership brokers and gives access to further resources and professional development.

Now for the logistics:

The Partnership Broker Training course is offered by the Partnership Brokers Association in collaboration with JS Daw & Associates. It is being held this October 3 – 6, 2017 in Edmonton.

The Partnership Brokers Association is at the forefront of developing the profession of partnership brokering by setting standards, building capacity and promoting professionalism for those operating in this role.

The heart of the Association’s work is the foundation course – a 4-day intensive face-to-face training designed to: deepen understanding of the changing nature of the partnership brokering role during a typical partnering cycle; share tools, tips and techniques for effective brokering and build key partnership brokering skills.

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Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

Do you know an outstanding volunteer that deserves recognition? Nominate that person for a Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award! The awards are given to exemplary volunteers that have made a lasting impact on their communities. There are two awards presented in each category of: youth, adult and senior.  The ceremony takes place on Dec. 2017, which marks International Volunteer Day.

To nominate a volunteer, you will need:

  • Letter of Nomination submitted by the nominator
  • Completed Nomination Form signed by the nominee and the nominator
  • Completed Critical Information (see Nomination Form for details)
  • Completed list of references

Visit Alberta Culture and Tourism and fill out a nomination form. Forms are due September 15. 

#yegvolunteers

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What you need to know about working in the nonprofit sector

In some ways, working in the nonprofit is similar to working for a typical business: they maintain similar departments like administration, human resources and management and employees are expected to have the same skill sets as they would working for-profit. The major difference of course, is the bottom line. A nonprofit’s goal is to further their mission while a typical business aims to make a profit.

If you’re thinking about dipping your toes in the nonprofit sector, here are a few things you should know before you apply.

  1. Increased job satisfaction: Those who choose to work in the nonprofit sector are typically passionate about helping others and bettering their community. If you’re hired at an organization that’s mission you are genuinely interested in, you’ll experience immense job satisfaction when you see your hard work come to fruition. For instance, if you’ve had a hand in creating an initiative to decrease homelessness in your city, you’ll be gratified to see those numbers reduce.
  2. Your skills are transferable: Before you dismiss a nonprofit position because you don’t have experience in the sector, understand that past work or university experience is valuable to the sector. While it is useful to be knowledgeable of the sector and acquire special skills such as fundraising, capacity-building and grant-writing, nonprofit organizations operate similar to businesses and therefore, need individuals with similar skills. Do you have experience in a management or leadership role? Apply to be a volunteer manager. Are you an English or Communication major interested in working for a nonprofit? Organizations need people like you to further their message and reach their target audience.
  3. Relationships are vital: This is standard in any organization, but in the nonprofit sector, relationships are crucial to move your organization’s mission forward. Nonprofits cannot operate sufficiently if they are sequestered into their own bubble. Prepare to become familiar with those working towards similar goals, meet workers in your field you can bounce ideas off of and maintain relationships through networking events. It makes all the difference when you need help spreading your message!
  4. Be wary of burnout: Because nonprofit employees are so passionate about the cause they are working for, they often don’t know when to slow down. Employees can only work at full capacity if they’re well rested and anxiety-free. Take your vacation days, don’t come in when you’re unwell and ensure you can manage your workload.
  5. You won’t get rich: Unfortunately, this is the bad news. Nonprofits work with minimal budgets and you won’t be striking gold when working for an organization where profit isn’t the end-all-be-all. And, many nonprofits are funded by external sources (different levels of government, larger organizations, etc.) and this funding can fluctuate. Nonprofits are not averse to job and financial insecurity
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