Thursday, September 21, 2006

VanCity Award | The Market

An earlier post mentioned the VanCity Award and the call for members to vote and support one of four organizations short-listed for the million dollar award.

Again, the final four are:

  • AIDS Vancouver Island and Cool Aid Society

  • Atira Women’s Resource Society

  • Crisis Centre

  • Quest Outreach Society

  • Using the services of CrowdIQ we're experimenting. Our experiment is the VanCity Award Market.

    We'd be tickled pink if you'd ...

  • Take the time to learn about the final four candidates for the VanCity Award

  • Start working on your application for the 2007 VanCity Award.

  • Encourage all your friends, who are VanCity members, to vote.

  • Share the news about our VCAM experiment.

  • Trade the VanCity Award Market, VCAM

  • --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, VanCity


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    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    BC CO-OP | Luncheon Friday,October 20th 2006

    Happy to pass along an invitation to a promising luncheon.

    The BC Co-operative Association is pleased to invite you and your organization to join us in our celebration of this years National Co-op Week from October 15th­ to 21st.

    For this year's luncheon the CO-OP Association is focusing on the international phenomenon of Fair Trade and the central role the co-op model plays in the global struggle for economic and social justice.

    The feature presentation will be:
    The Fair Trade Revolution: Co-operation and Survival

    Guest Speaker: Martin Van Den Borre, La Siembra Co-operative
    Deadline: October 16th Space will be limited so register now!
    Time: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
    Location: The Sequoia Grill - Stanley Park

    Click here for more details or to register.
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Nonprofit, CO-OP


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    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    On-line Marketplace | ENP Wants You

    Enterprising Non-Profits, wants you to add your local social enterprise to their directory. [Click the image and go to the registration site]

    I think the directory will be useful in two ways:
  • 1. Help social enterpreneurs find each other, and

  • 2. Help socially progressive consumers find services, perhaps even enhancing the Social Purchasing Portal.

  • Congratulations to Potluck Cafe for being first!
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Nonprofit, ENP


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    Friday, September 15, 2006

    [Response] Considering Social Enterprise

    Pleased to share the first reply from a candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. If you haven't been following look here and here.

    A number of the candidates - that number is three - said, "we'll get back to you". Only one has kept that promise, so far.

    Here is the full reply from Martha Hall Findlay ...

    Thank you for your questions that we received in August and for your follow up last week.

    Your question is what would I do to promote Social Enterprise in Canada?

    I strongly believe that real economic growth comes directly from the economic strength of our communities, and appreciate your question as focusing on something that we as politicians don't pay enough attention to. Social enterprise and the nature and role of communities (in their various forms) are, as you know, inextricably entwined. Communities that are strong, that have real social cohesion, and that are inclusive, do contribute to the generation of sustainable economic growth over time. And by 'economic', I don't mean just that which can be tracked through dollars alone, but that which contributes in many non-monetary ways but which still have critical value in contributing to our society. I can say that because I have extensive experience in the volunteer sector. I also have written and spoken a lot on governance in the non-profit sector. I believe that Ottawa, as well and our other levels of government, have a real role to play in encouraging strong, economically vibrant communities.

    I hesitate over direct subsidies as they can often encourage non-economic behaviour. They are sometimes necessary but should be used sparingly. I am a bigger proponent of using the income tax system to encourage certain behaviours---we could consider, for example, some kind of tax credit recognition for volunteerism. Targetted reductions in taxes are also more effective in encouraging direct private sector investment in regionally depressed communities.

    I encourage the co-operation among the private and public sectors, among, businesses, governments and the not for profit sectors, to help spur innovation and economic growth at the community level, and greater personal participation, all of which in turn make Canada a better place to live.

    I hope that these thoughts help you as you seek greater support for the encouragement of social enterprise in Canada.

    Has a ring of a "just society". I'm not going to quibble!

    Ms. Hall Findlay,

    A sincere "thank you".
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Social Enterprise


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    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    VanCity Award | Voting Underway

    If you're a member of the VanCity Credit Union, you can help decide the 2006 recipient of the $1,000,000.00 VanCity Award.

    Eligible VanCity members can vote either online, in branch or by calling 604-877-7000 or 1-888-Vancity. Voting ends on Friday, October 13. You can only vote once.

    VanCity has a comprehensive set of criteria for submissions to be considered for the VanCity Award.

    To qualify for the Vancity Award, your project should:

  • be bold, innovative and exciting

  • be self-sustaining in the long term

  • use a single gift of $1 million

  • create a lasting legacy in our community

  • support the social, economic or environmental well-being of the community in which our members live and work

  • Your project may also:

  • be developmental in nature, taking up to five years to complete involve partnerships with other organizations

  • be a combination of operating, capital and endowment spending
    Application process

  • The Vancity Award involves a two-stage process:

  • Stage one: a letter of intent to determine basic suitability

  • Stage two: a formal proposal for final evaluation

  • VanCity members have four organizations to consider. They are:

  • AIDS Vancouver Island and Cool Aid Society

  • Atira Women’s Resource Society

  • Crisis Centre

  • Quest Outreach Society

  • Remember ... voting is open until Friday, October 13, 2006. The results will be announced Thursday, November 23, 2006.

    If you're interested in some of the other submissions ... take a look here.
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Nonprofit, VanCity


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    Monday, September 11, 2006

    "That lipstick started to give them back their humanity" - Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO

    "That lipstick started to give them back their humanity."

    - Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO

    The sentence is from an April 1945 diary entry by Gonin and is part of his account of the liberation and relief operation in the Belsen concentration camp, at which Gonin commanded the 11th Light Field Ambulance. He describes "vividly the scenes in the camp, the illnesses (and their origins) and the heroic deeds of the British relief force".

    I found it while reading Banksy's manifesto. Here's the full quote, as reproduced by Banksy:
    I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and childen collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diptheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand proping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentary which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tatooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.

    Source: Imperial War museum - UK

    It may seem odd, but on reading that line I thought of Beauty Night.

    Beauty Night is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization founded, December 15th 2000, by Caroline MacGillivray. The organization provides makeovers and other wellness programs to marginalized adults and youth.

    Their programs,
    provide tools for clients to increase their self esteem and find the inner strength to make positive change in their lives.

    What is a "Beauty Night"?
    “Beauty Nights” are our original and most popular program. All throughout the year and at various locations, volunteers offer services such as hair cutting and styling, make-up application and lessons, basic manicures and pedicures, relaxation massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and healing touch. Our image consultants help clients pick out donated clothing to take away. Clients are served healthy, delicious snacks and treats. If the venue allows it, we play music or movies for our clients. And at each Beauty Night, we give away to each client a small gift bag filled with small necessities – and some treats – including soap, shampoo, razors, nail files, nail polish, etc.

    Beauty Night events take place in drop-in centres, transition homes, clinics, groups homes, hospitals and, sometimes, in salons. Beauty Nights are our most popular events, for their fun, friendship and pampering.


    FYI - Given Banksy's penchant for cultural mischief ... decided to get a reference for the quote.
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, BeautyNight, Banksy



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    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Root 'n' Fruit | An Un-Conference

    In our June newsletter, we included an invitation to our third Root 'n' Fruit Un-Conference. Root 'n' Fruit happens at the end of September and we were fully subscribed by mid-August. Great appreciation to everyone committed to attending.

    This past weekend our volunteers gathered for their orientation session - yes on the long weekend - and their energy has really given the Root 'n' Fruit team an immense energy boost. Our Volunteers Rule. Someone make some t-shirts!

    What's Root 'n' Fruit? Eh ... an "Un-Conference", you say?

    Well the "un-conference" part is easy. It's a term that refers to the structure, or lack, of the meeting that relies heavily on participation and dialogue.

    "Root 'n' Fruit" ... ummm ... our way of splitting the room into more specific spheres of interest. Within the social enterprise community some are focused on outcomes - the Fruits - and others are focused on the process - the Roots.

    "But what is it all about?", I hear you ask.

    The un-conference starts with some opening remarks that address the framing question - included in the invitation.

    The room is divided into Roots/Fruits (colour coded name tags). Each group retires to different areas, introduce themselves and start listing core questions - the questions are sometimes prompted by the reading materials (did I mention the readings are customised to either Root or Fruit cohort?), more likely posted questions are guided by personal experience.

    The group, say "the Roots", then collectively rank the questions and decide whether the question is really a "root-type" question, or whether it should be migrated to the other group.

    The two groups reconvene, there's a little reporting, some sharing of questions, and then the two groups are separated, again, to discuss in subgroups the prioritised questions. At this point, the group can also add the questions "migrated" from the other group to their deliberations.

    Most importantly, we come together, share, argue, and share some more, etc ...

    Make sense?

    In short, Root 'n' Fruit is a lot of talk, a lot of connecting the dots, and building community.

    And we'd be lost without the great work of our volunteers who keep everyone on track, hydrated, and annotated.

    In case you're not on the newsletter distribution list, here are two items that have been added to the Root 'n' Fruit reading materials:
  • What Business Execs Don’t Know -- but Should -- About Nonprofits
  • Business leaders play vital roles in the nonprofit sector -- as board members, donors, partners, and even executives. Yet all too often they underestimate the unique challenges of managing nonprofit organizations. In this article, 11 executives who have played leadership roles in both for-profits and nonprofits reveal the critical differences between the two, and suggest ways that business and nonprofit leaders can use this information to create a more effective social sector.

  • The Jambi Kiwa Story
  • Created by an association of largely indigenous women, Jambi Kiwa is a cooperative business that was set up to grow, process and market medicinal and aromatic plants.

    If you'd like an invitation to a future Root 'n' Fruit un-conference, send a message to this link with **ROOT'N'FRUIT** in the subject field. Let us know what you're working on and we'll keep you in the loop.

    BTW - you're always welcome to subscribe to the VSEF newsletter. To subscribe, send an e-mail with **SUBSCRIBE** in the subject field.
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Social Enterprise


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