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Calgary Report Summary: Sara Gillis

In 2013-14 the Joint Strong Neighbourhood Initiative of the United Way of Calgary and Area and the City of Calgary Community and Neighbourhood Services  (CNS) undertook a Neighbourhood Hub pilot project focused on four priority neighbourhoods.  They released a document in February 2015 outlining their initiative to explore hub development in Calgary and the early leanings of the process of hub and partnership development.  This is a summary of that document. 

Calgary Report

Exploring the possibilities of Neighbourhood Hubs in Calgary states that hubs build social capital that contributes to poverty reduction and stronger communities through committed and dedicated residents. Hubs enhance local capacity and partnerships while developing ideas of shared spaces and providing needed resources and services to create opportunities for collaboration between residents and service providers. The report identified the optimal location for hubs as areas with concentrated poverty where residents live below Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO), which is the threshold for when problems appear to emerge.

Regina Report


Brantford Neighbourhood Hubs Report

The Report on Community Conversations, by Ginette Lafreniere shows hubs as vehicles for community prosperity, development and inclusive service models that create a place of possibility. Lafreniere argues that successful hubs require clear leadership, governance models, coordinated and developed location plans, logistics, community engagement models and feasibility studies. The report presents the following as paths to address poverty and social issues: knowledge of, involvement in and engagement with programs improving resiliency and social inclusion; and building knowledge and skills to create healthy families based on culture and values.

Ontario Hubs Report

The Ontario Hubs Report was developed using input gathered from an online survey, meetings with community members and stakeholders to ensure the framework addressed local needs and examined best practices in similar areas. An interactive Community Talk website was also designed to encourage public input. The goal of the report is to identify barriers to the implementation and operation of hubs in order to mitigate those barriers. The report identifies the challenges involved with initiating the hubs project as; a lack of government coordination, conflicting policies, uncoordinated funding and non-client-focused programs/services.


Hubs Governance Report

The Hubs Governance Report, by Public Interest Strategy and Communications Inc. describes hubs as multi-service facilities that provide a focal point for service delivery and community development. The report discusses the benefits of hubs as developing multi-service partnerships, combining co-located agencies in a dedicated space, providing a roster of agencies using space on an intermittent basis. Hubs will provide a flexible community space, where governance and engagement structures ensure accountability and responsiveness to the communities served.

Toronto Hubs Report

The Toronto Hubs report, by the WoodGreen Community Services Planning and Research Unit highlights the many benefits of Hubs. Hubs present service provider benefits through economies of scale from shared office duties, while funders benefit from co-location of service providers and residents through improved accessibility and variety of programs. Hubs bring services to underserved neighbourhoods and enhance policy goals, funder commitment, community development goals and local vision. Hubs drive services closer to those in need, provide supports for clients, addressing multiple, intersecting needs. Hubs are emerging as effective methods for local capacity building, enabling grassroots community groups and smaller agencies to enhance their ability to engage and support local community.

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Leadership Tips

Hi all! My name is Sheena Horton, President-Elect and Board Member for the Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA). As I have been learning more about the traits of great leaders and how leaders mobilize others, I have found one element that is frequently mentioned: a leader’s influence.

Influence may seem like an obvious determinant of a leader’s success; you’re not a leader if no one will follow you. Think about a colleague for whom you would work hard for or without hesitation, and then think about a colleague for whom you would not. Why do you want to help the first colleague, but avoid the second?  What makes some leaders more effective than others? How do leaders influence others?

Driving Change

Study on Motivations & Challenges of Executive Leaders in the Nonprofit Sector


The Executive Director’s job within an organizations is a very difficult and very important one.  They are THE link for nonprofit organizations between the board and staff.  In 2012, the HR Council commissioned a report called Driving Change that looks at some of the some of the key challenges facing nonprofit Executive Leaders.  Great report to help stimulate discussion between Executive Leaders and their boards.  

Building the Evidence Base: The Foundation for a Strong Community Hub

The following is a link to some research also from Ontario looking at the value of community / neighbourhood hubs, and what the province of Ontario could do to support hubs.

How Can HRM Help Community Developers Support Hubs?

Volunteer Services in Halifax can offer a variety of support for groups looking to start or develop capacity of a hub.  To reach them, check out:

Giving Participation a Home - Tristan Cleveland

The city of Winnipeg is also undergoing some major visioning and re-thinking of its community development plans.  They define a ‘complete community’ as places that both offer and support a variety of lifestyle choices, providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to live, work, shop, learn and play in close proximity to each other.

Here at home, the Our HRM Alliance and the Ecology Action Centre have also picked up on this discussion.

Complete Communities

The city of Winnipeg is also undergoing some major visioning and re-thinking of its community development plans.  They define a ‘complete community’ as places that both offer and support a variety of lifestyle choices, providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to live, work, shop, learn and play in close proximity to each other.

Complete Communities in HRM

Here at home, the Our HRM Alliance and the Ecology Action Centre have also picked up on this discussion.

Social Entrepreneurship: Innovation and Impact, Not Income

In this article Greg Dees argues from both a practical and theoretical perspective for an innovation-based, rather than non-profit income generation-focused, definition of social entrepreneurship. Dees argues that social entrepreneurship should not be viewed as non-profits generating earned income - this view shifts attention away from their social impact goal and focuses it on one narrow method of results. Dees points out the importance of profits not being treated with equally to social results, which should be the ultimate bottom line for social entrepreneurs.

Common Good Solutions

Common Good Solutions supports the growth and success of community and Social Enterprise in Atlantic Canada by helping non-profit managers, small business owners and cooperatives to name, achieve and measure the economic, social and environmental impact they wish to make in their communities. Common Good Solutions provides training, resource services and consulting assistance through the following programs: Buy Social Canada, Enterprising Non-Profits Nova Scotia, Futurepreneur Loans and Social Impact Measurement.

HRM Volunteer Services Resources for Organizations

More info to follow...

Collaborative Community Calendar Model: CC-Net


Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC

The Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC (AHNBC) assists over 100,000 people across BC each year. The Organization has more than 300 programs and services from child care to family resources, to youth and seniors support, community dinners and special events, as well as camping and outdoor activities. The ANHBC is the umbrella organization under which seven Neighbourhood Houses and the Sasamat Outdoor Centre operate. ANHBC conducts fundraising initiatives, carries out community development projects, and supports the development of new Neighbourhood Houses and services.

NS Hubs Working Group on Facebook


Social Enterprise Video

The Social Enterprises Video, by Common Good Solutions, addresses the social, cultural and environmental issues social enterprises seek to overcome. Social enterprises exist to meet their mission, rather than achieve bottom-line financial results, while taking people and the planet into consideration and taking the necessary action to make an impact. If the purpose is to create social, cultural or environment value, than it is a social enterprise. The video points out that when more people engage in this type of work our communities will be stronger and the world will be changed for the better; one caring social entrepreneur at a time.

The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship

In The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship, Dees discusses the various forms of social purpose business ventures; such as, for-profit community development banks and hybrid organizations mixing not-for-profit and for-profit elements. The underlying theme in the article is that social entrepreneurs look for the most effective methods of serving their social missions. Dees describes entrepreneurs as the change agents in the economy, who serve new markets or create new ways of doing things, to move the economy forward. A Social entrepreneur by comparison, is a change agent in the social sector; whose mission is adopted to create and sustain social (not private) value while recognizing and pursuing opportunities to serve that mission.

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Capital Projects

Capital Projects:  Sources of Funding


The Halifax Community Grants program is also a great starting point for triggering other funding for capital projects.  Some other sources of funding for capital projects includes:


Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage Community Facilities Improvement Program is a great matching program.  For more info, check out:


For 2017, there is also the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program which will fund up to 50% of capital projects that are for the rehabilitation or renovation, including expansion, of existing community infrastructure assets (expansions must not exceed 50% of the original footprint of the facility or asset).  All improvements must be completed by March 31, 2018.

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The Power of Evaluation

Evaluations “work” when they lead to insight and action. We all know that the process can be resource-intensive, so it is important for us to maximize the probability of getting it right! In this webinar, two leading learning institutes, the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and Tamarack's Vibrant Communities Canada, will unpack real-life stories from Cities Reducing Poverty members to identify cases where evaluation worked really well. Together we will identify how they achieved exceptional success, and top takeaway points for the non-profit sector.​

Take Stock

Take Stock is an online interactive tool designed to help non-profit organizations to assess their performance in seven core areas of best practice:

  1. Governance

  2. Financial management and sustainability

  3. Information and technology management

  4. Human resource management

  5. Programs and services

  6. Community relations and engagement

  7. Fund development

This tool is available free-of-charge from the HR Council, and the results are confidential. A video of a webinar ( for Nova Scotian non-profits is available, going into more depth on the Take Stock tool.

Governing Good

Governing Good

For anyone interested in great board governance, this resource centre created by Grant MacDonald - former Program Director of the Non-Profit Leadership Program at Dalhousie University and other programs - is not to be missed.  Grant is retired now, but still cranking out great thoughts about governance issues.  His site also includes resources such as:  governance guides, sample policies and other web links to great stuff.

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