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Opportunities in challenging times community roundtables tracking outcomes july 15 2010

Opportunities in Challenging Times:Community RoundtablesTracking Outcomes

July 15, 2010


Opportunities in challenging times community roundtables tracking outcomes july 15 2010

Our goal. . .

Support not-for-profit leaders and other community stakeholders in their ongoing efforts to ensure Ontario has the healthiest and most vibrant communities in Canada through a series of Community Roundtables that:

  • facilitated local dialogue about the impact of the economic crisis;

  • explored how the not-for-profit sector is being affected;

  • asked what actions are needed to address key challenges;

  • shared our knowledge and perspective as a provincial grantmaker;

  • learned about opportunities for OTF to adapt to meet changing circumstances




What we learned
What we learned …

1. We have a better understanding of who makes up the communities we work in …

“We weren’t really aware of all of the arts groups in the region, we’ve been receiving applications from the same groups over and over again but now we have the contacts to reach out to smaller grassroots groups … and now we also know who the major players are in the region and who we need to work with”


What we learned1
What we learned …

2. We can see the patterns and connections in communities more clearly …

“…we’ll have a much more focused approach to our work as a result of hearing from so many in the community… we now have a wider and broader vision of where the community wants to go and will be able to see more depth in the applications that come in and will see where the connections are”


What we learned2
What we learned …

3. We have a renewed sense of respect and admiration for the resiliency of the communities we work in …

“I was pleasantly surprised by the respect, cooperation and level of volunteerism in the room, lots of talk of working together and there is a willingness to come up with solutions whether there’s outside support or not”


What we learned3
What we learned …

4. We have new contacts and new information to guide us as we continue our work in local communities …

“this was a learning experience for me personally, to hear what the communities identified as needing to be done and to learn what community leaders are thinking – I’ve already got plans for outreach and follow-up with people I wouldn’t normally have contact with”


Outcomes of the roundtables
Outcomes of the Roundtables

  • Increased community cooperation

  • Increased funder collaboration

  • Immediate community next steps

  • New grant applications


Increased community cooperation
Increased Community Cooperation

  • Sudbury: the Municipal Community Adjustment Committee and the Social Planning Council have used the reports coming out of the Community Roundtables

  • Cornwall: Collectif Franco has been created out of the Roundtable and is working to build the profile of the francophone community and its contribution to the larger community


Increased community cooperation1
Increased Community Cooperation

  • Durham, West Grey County: key community members have been meeting around general employment issues but the Community Roundtable has reenergized them around working with youth on employment issues and that work has become a priority across sectors within the broader community


Increased funder collaboration
Increased Funder Collaboration

  • Sarnia: a member of the local LHIN was invited to the Community Roundtable and subsequently invited OTF staff to present to the LHIN’s “performance forum”- this has allowed local staff to make new connections with other local funders

  • Guelph: the Guelph/Wellington Funders Forum was solidified at the Guelph Roundtable and is now working towards a vision of a healthier community with a stronger voluntary sector within it by sharing information, being a positive example of collaboration, and by being supportive of good work


Increased funder collaboration1
Increased Funder Collaboration

  • Niagara: the Niagara Neighbourhood Idea Fund has been implemented in Niagara and OTF has contributed $5000 to the $25 000 pot – the Fund will be administered through one of the local United Ways with a review committee awarding the small community grants - one of OTF’s local GRT members is sitting on this review committee


Immediate community next steps
Immediate Community Next Steps

  • Almaguin: a Community Calendar is being developed through Employment North in the Almaguin Highlands ($5000 OTF investment)

  • Sudbury: training was identified as a need at the Community Roundtable and volunteer management training has already been provided for Francophone community groups as well as training on social enterprise and social innovation (OTF staff were instrumental in providing training for both initiatives)

  • London: a Community Table was initiated at the Community Roundtable and this cross-sectoral groups is now meeting on a monthly basis to share information and to work towards a joint workplan to increase the visibility of the Francophone community in London (OTF has provided funding to facilitate the Community Table meetings)


Grant applications
Grant Applications

As a result of the Community Roundtables:

  • Two capital grant applications from two different First Nations on Manitoulin Island were received and approved

  • Five grant applications are pending approval or anticipated

    • Collaborative grant in Sudbury to support the voluntary sector by developing social enterprises and partnerships

    • Province-wide grant to increase the capacity of a network of organizations advocating for food system reform in Ontario

    • Collaborative grant for a joint community planning process for Aboriginal communities in and around Greater Sudbury area

    • Collaborative grant in Cornwall for Francophone youth outreach

    • Collaborative grant in London for a Coordinator to lead the work on the Francophone Community Table’s set of four priorities


From here
From here …

“we need to be doing this sort of thing on a regular basis, maybe do one once a year in every catchment to keep the conversation going in the region”

“the Roundtable was definitely worth doing but the follow-up is even more important – doing one but then not doing follow-up would be detrimental to the relationships with the community”