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.
Heart-centered leadership lessons: Michelle Baldwin reflects on building relationships, trust and a network of impact
Michelle Baldwin, a visionary leader, purpose-driven community connector, mentor and change-maker, has stood at the helm of Pillar Nonprofit Network for over 14 years and even before that was engaged as a founding volunteer. During that time, Michelle ignited countless projects and community collaborations that have had a positive social impact in our community and
Leading with empathy and communications during organizational change
Written by Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network It was two years ago when, in an executive leadership coaching session, the idea of a sabbatical or fellowship came up. It was with a laugh and the comment, “That does not happen in nonprofits,” then I brushed it off. Janet Frood, from Horizon Leadership, asked
Moving towards network engagement in policy development
When Pillar began, we were modelled after the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and, like them, a key objective in our organizational strategy was public policy. We had many discussions about being a “voice for the nonprofit sector” and not the “voice of the nonprofit sector.” The subtlety of “for” not “of” was about using
A voice for nonprofits and social enterprise in public policy and government relations
As our communities are changing and becoming more diverse, our leadership, strategy and approaches in nonprofits, charities and social enterprises are not keeping pace with this change. If we are going to address the persistent challenges facing our communities and advance the quality of life for all, our organizations and solutions need to represent the
A networked approach to strategic planning
Pillar has embarked on a three-year strategic planning process since our early days. At the time we developed our last strategic plan, we were growing at a fast pace and had many new board members and new staff. Before we started looking ahead, we wanted to make sure that our board, staff and network were
Reimagining board governance at Pillar
Every nonprofit and charity must have a board of directors to guide the organization, ensure it has adequate financial resources to be sustainable and advance its mission. Since its inception, Pillar has engaged in board research and played a capacity building role to support the development of high performing and diverse boards. Read about how
Building a team culture that reflects your values
At Pillar, we are connected through strong values and a shared vision of creating a vibrant community, and we know that achieving that vision starts with us. We collectively put people first and we believe deeply that together we are better. Employees here have a genuine respect for each other and acknowledge each other’s differences
How Pillar approaches diversified funding
As traditional funding models for nonprofits are changing, diversified funding has become critical for the sustainability of many organizations. These changes are being felt across the sector with a reduction in government funding, a decline in donations and a shift to goods and services making up 45.1 percent of the total income for the sector.
Building, recognizing and enabling leadership development
Leadership development has been a core element of our programming since Pillar’s beginnings. In our early days, we focused solely on developing nonprofit leaders. Over time, we saw the possibility of recognizing and influencing leaders from various sectors with the overarching goal being to enable them all to hold a community impact lens. Our support
Reflective practice and research fellowship
Written by Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network What is a reflective practice and research fellowship? As the Executive Director of Pillar for more than 10 years, there was an intensity to my role during the growth phases of Pillar, Innovation Works and VERGE Capital that had me all in and firing on all cylinders.
Learning from other networks: More questions than answers
Written by Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network My reflective practice and research fellowship included the opportunity to meet with and learn from 17 impact and social innovation organizations across the globe (listed below) about network building principles that we had been exploring at Pillar including collaboration, leadership and governance, equity and inclusion and
A journey of finding my foundation of purpose
Written by Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network I am the one who creates brave new spaces for play, belonging and connection. Do not proceed if you want your life to remain as it is. These are the words I heard a month before starting the Foundations of Purpose program in a preparation call.