Archive for January, 2012

NOWBC: Showing Impact with Narrative

January 31, 2012

NOWBC, a co-op formed in 2008, runs an online farmers’ market and delivery depot ‘clubs’ with a focus on seasonal, local, organic foods sourced directly from small farms and processors as well as local independent wholesalers. The dedicated volunteers and staff at NOWBC believe in the importance of knowing your local farmer and preserving sustainable farming knowledge and farmland. With a mission to build a sustainable local food system by connecting local farms and processors with consumers and building community around sustainable food choices, NOWBC is all about growing and sharing good food.

In their December 2011 e-newsletter, NOWBC shared a story that came to them via Discovery Organics, a supplier held in high regard by NOWBC. In this story, Discover Organics describes to NOWBC customers the community impact of their fair trade purchases. This story is simple, yet effective, and serves as a great example of using narrative for showing impact. (more…)


An Alternative Model of Change: The Future Can Be Different and Better

January 26, 2012

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work

In early 2011, John Kania and Mark Kramer published an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “Collective Impact”. This article received rave reviews. As the concept of collective impact percolated in the minds of readers, the authors were faced with an outpouring of responses and interest. In short, people liked this approach to collaboration and its ability to significantly address widespread social problems. When it came to social progress, collective impact seemed to emerge as the answer.

Kania and Kramer recently collaborated with Fay Hanleybrown to publish a follow-up article: Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work. The goal of this article is to provide more depth and guidance on how to put the collective impact principles into practice and emphasizes the increased relevance of the concept given the economic and social realities of today. The article builds on the point that collective impact is not just an elegant name for collaboration; rather, it is “…a fundamentally different, more disciplined, and higher performing approach to achieving large-scale social impact.” Another interesting revelation emerges in the article, highlighting that “[e]ven the attempt to use these ideas seems to stimulate renewed energy and optimism”. (more…)

What is Program Sustainability and How Can You Achieve It?

January 24, 2012

Webinar presented by Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation (Facilitator: Kylie Hutchinson)

January 31st and February 7th, 2012 (10:00 – 11:30 AM)

Are you concerned about the future sustainability of your programs and services? This three-hour webinar (conveniently split into two 90 minute segments one-week apart) will delve into the issue, as you learn what factors can increase the sustainability odds of your program and how to develop a formal sustainability plan. 

Registration: $75 plus HST Register here

Interested in this topic but unable to participate in the webinar? Visit the Community Solutions website for an assortment of resources, including 34 Factors Promoting the Sustainability of Programs.

Tools for enhancing online storytelling: Making the most of your tale

January 12, 2012

Have you ever found yourself wanting to tell your organization’s story “digitally”, but unsure how or even where to start? In this day of rapid technological changes and advances, we are fortunate to have a variety of useful tools at our fingertips that make online storytelling a simple – and fun – process. The folks at, the non-profit marketing blog produced by care2, have put together a list  of tools for nonprofits in their post 4 Tools to Help Any Nonprofit Tell Stories Online. (more…)

10 Ways to Show Your Impact: Part 2

January 11, 2012

Social Capital Partners: Our Approach

In Part 1 of “10 Ways to Show Your Impact”, we discussed five things you can do to show your value including: 1) be as clear as possible in describing your vision, mission, and strategies, 2) describe what differentiates you, 3) describe and show evidence of the value you create from the perspective of all your stakeholders, 4) tell your story and the stories of those you work with, and 5) create a map of how you are influencing change. Here in Part 2, we will show you five more ways you can express your impact as a community-based organization. While Part 1 focused more on qualitative measures, the tips in Part 2 will take a different spin on things with a greater focus on quantitative measures. (more…)

10 Ways to Show Your Impact: Part 1

January 4, 2012

Community-based organizations are in a tough position: they work tirelessly towards goals that will have positive social or environmental impacts and they know they create a lot of value for the communities they serve –  but, this value is hard to express and recognition from the community is hard to come by. The value created by community-based groups doesn’t get captured very well by standard financial statements because conventional accounting methods do not consider value beyond the financial returns. Expression of the value of social and environmental impacts often falls through the cracks.

So what are community-based organizations to do? How can they express this value to others and get the recognition they deserve? (more…)