What is The Network Approach?

At Pillar Nonprofit Network, we believe that leveraging the collective power of networks is the best way to create positive impact in our communities. When the three pillars of nonprofit, business and government come together to share resources, exchange knowledge and create meaningful connections, we can build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community.

The Network Approach by Pillar Nonprofit Network shares our evolution as a place-based and impact-focused network as well as our promising practices using the network building principles that have guided us since our inception. Each piece of content on this site showcases a part of our journey towards becoming a thriving network organization, even our logo helps to tell the story as radiant nodes shine outward to represent an expanding network. 

This hub is designed for those interested in starting a similar network or those wanting to learn from our organizational development and practices. Whether you’re an established professional in the impact sector, or just starting out on your journey, we hope that hearing about our history and our network building approach will give you valuable tools to help you on your journey to making a change in your communities. 

Our Network Building PrincipleS

Collaboration is the foundation of a networked approach to social change. We facilitate connections across sub sectors in the nonprofit sector (including arts, culture, education, environment, health, social services, faith and sports) and with business and government to inspire ideas and action that can help solve our community’s pressing issues.

Having strong leadership and governance practices  sets the stage for success in any organization. We support individuals, organizations and enterprises to learn to establish and improve their practices in these areas so they can effectively harness the potential of their people – who ultimately are the engine of creating community impact.

Increasing conversations and promoting community action around equity are core priorities for Pillar. We aim to increase the understanding of issues around equity and inclusion in our community, and offer support to nonprofits and social enterprises to develop inclusive workplaces.

Stories are the single most persuasive tool that we have available to us. They have the power to evoke empathy and inspire action. We need to tell stories both to show the complexity of the unprecedented social injustices people are facing in our communities and the positive impact of our collective action.

MOre ways to connect with us

We know there is more we can do to facilitate deeper and expanded connections among our network so that we can share what we know collectively. Here are a few ways to connect with us and each other.

  1. Become a Pillar member – Pillar members receive exclusive email content, discounts on our learning and development programs and access to an online community where you can share your insights and learn along with like minded individuals.
  2. Work with Impact Consulting – Looking for more structured support for your nonprofit, social enterprise or social purpose businesses? Impact Consulting offers cutting edge consulting services designed to amplify your social impact.
  3. Join the conversation on social media – Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube to see what we are up to at Pillar and stay on top of our upcoming events.


In 2019, Pillar’s Executive Director was engaged in reflective practice and research fellowship that created the time and space for reflection, writing and the creation of this microsite. This fellowship was made possible by the generous support of Alegria 3 Inc.,  Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Cambia Development Foundation, The CulturePlex Lab at Western University, The Curated Suitcase, Decade Group, Horizon Leadership Institute Inc., Lawson Foundation, Maytree Foundation, Paul Cocker, and the Ursuline Sisters. A big thank you also goes to the Pillar board, staff, participating networks and thought leaders for their support and contributions to the fellowship, and this microsite.