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Learning the best charities have to offer from influential leaders

Learning the best charities have to offer from influential leaders

An aerial view of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in summer time

Winnipeg in August ... A welcoming scene for the charity leaders of Imagine Canada’s Sector Champion network to gather for 3 days of shared learning at our annual Executive Roundtable.

As a sector, there aren’t frequent opportunities for discussions on crucial trends and issues facing our work. This is the power of the Executive Roundtable and it was felt around the room as thought-provoking and engaging conversations took place. 

Here’s what we covered:

Headshot of Janice Gross SteinKicking off the event was a keynote by Janice Gross Stein, Founder of the Munk School of Global Affairs. This keynote was kindly sponsored by Miller Thomson. Gross Stein shared her perspectives on the rise of populism and an ever-evolving political landscape. She left us with a sense of optimism for the future - and with the knowledge that our sector has a crucial role to play in supporting a thriving and equitable Canadian society. 

From Pledge to Action: Advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations

We began the next day ready to be challenged with an open and honest panel on Truth & Reconciliation - exploring how we, as a sector, can move from pledge to action. This panel was possible thanks to sponsorship from Bullwealth. Our panelists - Marie Wilson, former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada; Kris Archie, ED of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada; and Peter Dinsdale, President & CEO of YMCA Canada - discussed ways the sector can be an active participant in reconciliation. 

Three panelists sitting on a stage, the panelist in the centre is holding a microphone and speaking into it

Often organizations want to expand their work in reconciliation but don’t know where to start. The key takeaway from this panel: take the leap, try and fail, and try again - what matters is taking the first step, learning, and moving closer to deeper reconciliation. Here are a few insights when considering reconciliation in your work:

  • Make reconciliation a pillar of discussion when planning all areas of programming;
  • Work with Indigenous organizations and vendors when and wherever you can.

Gender in the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector

After participating in a Collective Story Harvest, we sat down for a fireside chat exploring Gender in our Sector with Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. KCI Philanthropy generously sponsored this session. Women make up about 70% of staff in our sector, yet senior leadership at organizations still tends to be dominated by men. This statistic was at the forefront of the conversation as we learned about McLaughlin’s experiences on her journey to become the first female Chief Justice of Canada.


The Future of Canada & The Place of Social Purpose

Our final panel, covering the Future of Canada, was a timely discussion with Canada’s 2019 Federal Election on the horizon. This panel was possible thanks to sponsorship from RAMP. This dynamic panel featured Marcella Munro of KTG Public Affairs, Andrew Coyne from the National Post, and was moderated by Shachi Kurl of the Angus Reid Institute. A lively debate ensued:

  • Andrew Coyne kept it controversial by exploring what it would mean for charities to exist without the charitable tax exemption. Would this create more freedom to advocate? Would donations be affected?
  • Marcella Munro argued for the crucial need to have everyone at the table during government consultations, especially those from the charitable sector who deeply understand their communities & people being represented.
  • Shachi Kurl highlighted the importance of a strong press as a critical way to keep our democracy transparent and open. 

Panelists sitting on stage laughing

New Power, #GivingTuesday, and Charities

Closing off the event was a keynote by Woodrow Rosenbaum from With Intent. Rosenbaum showcased how organizations can bolster their mission using the principles of New Power, with #GivingTuesday as an example of a successful New Power campaign.

The Collision of Purpose and Profit

A group of people networking at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

A special highlight from this event was the local Sector Social, hosted at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. This event provided an opportunity for the Winnipeg charitable sector to get together, alongside Imagine Canada’s Sector Champions, for networking and an inverted panel. This event was possible with the support of the Winnipeg Foundation, who are strong supporters of the Winnipeg charitable community. 

We already can’t wait for next year’s Executive Roundtable - hosted in Montreal in August 2020. Learn more about the Sector Champion collective and how you can join us at the Executive Roundtable next year!

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