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Funding available for innovative adult learning programs in Calgary

March 26, 2012

Each spring Calgary Learns provides grants to a maximum of $10,000 for Initiative Projects to research, develop and/or pilot innovative foundational learning opportunities for adult Calgarians. This year's funding proposals are due Friday, June 1, and proposal preview dates will be held May 14-18. For more information visit www.calgarylearns.com.



UK donors are tapped out and can't afford to give more, research reveals

March 26, 2012

Members of the UK public are giving to their limit, recent YouGov research has revealed. According to the results of the survey commissioned by the Institute of Fundraising, as many as 61% of people questioned said a major obstacle that stops them from giving to charity is that they can’t afford to, and have cited having a higher income and earning more money as the biggest factor that would encourage them to give more to charity. The results confirm that the current sagging economy and high unemployment figures are putting a strain on public donations. For more information, visit www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk.



Fast Fact: Use of mobile devices can compromise data security measures

March 26, 2012

A new study reveals that corporate mobile devices and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon are rapidly circumventing enterprise security and policies in Canada. Seventy-one percent of more than 400 respondents in Canada agree that the use of mobile devices in the workplace is important to achieving business objectives. But 72% also believe that these devices put their organizations at risk—and only half the organizations surveyed have the necessary security controls to address the risk. — Ponemon Institute



National Volunteer Week video PSA now available

March 19, 2012

Volunteer Canada is pleased to provide voluntary organizations with a 60-second public service announcement (PSA) for National Volunteer Week (NVW). Television stations reserve on-air time for PSAs, so this can be a great way to raise awareness in your community about NVW and the importance of volunteer recognition. If you wish to present this PSA to your local television provider(s), Volunteer Canada has compiled easy-to-follow instructions to guide you through the process. For more information visit nationalvolunteerweek.ca.



New report explores social enterprise sector in Manitoba

March 19, 2012

In the summer of 2011, 118 social enterprises across Manitoba were surveyed in an effort to develop clear indicators of the sector's size, market activities, and socio-economic impacts. Although the results are prelimary, Measuring the Size, Scope and Scale of the Social Enterprise Sector in Manitoba builds a strong case for all stakeholders to value the distinct contributions of social enterprises and to work together in creating a supportive environment in which the sector can grow. The report builds on research that was conducted on the social enterprise sectors in British Columbia and Alberta, and similar projects are also underway in Ontario and Eastern Canada in an effort to measure and quanitfy the impacts of social enterprises across Canada. For more information, and to view the full report, visit ccednet-rcdec.ca.



Calgarian invests $10 million in mental health at University of Calgary

March 19, 2012

The University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) has united with local businessman Ronald P. Mathison to create a centre dedicated to finding innovative treatments and providing early intervention for mental illness. Located at the University of Calgary's Foothills Campus, The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education offers support and hope to families in Calgary, throughout Alberta, and around the world. The centre was made possible by a $10 million investment from Mathison, president and CEO of Matco Investments Ltd. For more information visit www.ucalgary.ca.



Fast Fact: Nonprofits actively working to grow email newsletter lists

March 19, 2012

According to a recent survey, the top tactics nonprofits are using for growing email lists are website registration (62%), newsletter registration (60%), and "email to a friend" (55%). Although most organizations (83%) are actively working to grow and retain email contacts, 74% indicated their list has grown at a slow pace over the past 12 months. A large number of organizations are taking measures to improve email deliverability by removing hard bounces (49%), followed by regular data cleansing (44%) and removing inactive contacts (38%). — Sage North America



New report studies the changing nature of grantmaking

March 19, 2012

Grantmakers that have strategies in place for listening to and learning with grantees, are more likely to provide the types of support that grantmakers and grantees agree are essential to boosting nonprofit success, according to a new field study of grantmaker practices commissioned by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?: A National Study of Philanthropic Practice found a connection between stakeholder engagement practices and grantmakers making smarter decisions about what to do with their funds to better support grantees. Grantmakers that engaged their grantees and other stakeholders were more likely to offer multiyear, general operating and capacity-building support, the kinds of support that enable nonprofits to address the deep-rooted problems in their communities. For more information, and to read the full report, visit www.geofunders.org.



YWCA Canada releases bulletin exploring female homelessness

March 19, 2012

Warning that women and girls face increased risk of homelessness YWCA Canada has released a new bulletin called When There's No Place Like Home: A Snapshot of Women's Homelessness in Canada. The report paints a devastating portrait of the rise of women's homelessness in Canada and the reasons why women and girls find themselves without a safe place to live. Teenage girls make up one-third to half of homeless youth in urban centres and as many as 60% of homeless girls have been sexually abused. For more information, and for the full report, visit ywcacanada.ca. (PDF)



Fast Fact: Pinterest referral traffic eclipses Twitter for first time

March 19, 2012

If your organization isn't already on Pinterest, this just might make you reconsider: in February, referral traffic from Pinterest was higher than traffic from Twitter. Facebook is still at the top of the social media site referrals with 6.38%, followed by StumbleUpon at 1.29%, Pinterest at 1.05%, and Twitter at .82%. — Shareaholic



Lack of sleep makes Canadian workers less productive and impatient

March 15, 2012

According to a recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing, 84% of Canadians who lose sleep due to aches and pains say this makes them less productive and more easily distracted the next day. The survey also revealed that more than half (52%) say they can't concentrate as well, and nearly half (48%) admit to being less patient the next day. For more information visit: officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com.



Cover letters still valuable in the hiring process, executives say

March 15, 2012

Think cover letters are passé when applying for a position? Think again, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. More than three in four (78%) executives polled said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. In addition, 79% respondents indicated it's common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit resumes electronically. For more information visit: officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com.



Most workers see playing office politics as necessary for getting ahead

March 15, 2012

Whether you're running for office or just working in one, it pays to be a good politician, a new Robert Half survey suggests as 71% of workers interviewed said involvement in office politics is at least somewhat necessary to get ahead. Only 9% of those interviewed didn't think office politics were at all necessary for moving up the ladder. For more information visit: rh-us.mediaroom.com.



Only three in ten Canadians expect to be fully retired by age 66

March 15, 2012

The retirement landscape in Canada is changing with only three in ten Canadians planning to be fully retired at age 66, according to Sun Life Financial's annual Canadian Unretirement™ Index. The index also found a growing trend of 48% of Canadians planning to phase in their retirement by working part-time or freelance, as concerns about having enough savings grow in today's economic climate. Among Canadians who expect to work past the traditional retirement age of 65, 61% say they are working because they need to and only 39% it is because they want to. For more information visit: www.sunlife.ca.



British Columbia introduces act allowing social enterprise companies

March 12, 2012

Changes to the British Columbia Business Corporations Act would allow for a new hybrid type of company, a community contribution company, that combines socially beneficial purposes with a restricted ability to distribute profits to shareholders. The changes were introduced in the legislature on March 5. Community contribution companies would be structured to combine both benefits to the community and limited investor returns within the context of a traditional for-profit company. These companies would allow an alternative business model not currently available through a regular business, whose primary focus is making money for shareholders, or a nonprofit society. For more information, visit www2.news.gov.bc.ca.



SickKids Foundation receives $40-million donation

March 12, 2012

A transformational gift of $40 million donated by philanthropist and business leader Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, was announced last week at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The gift, which is the single largest private donation ever made to a children’s hospital in Canada, will support the construction and ongoing operating costs of the SickKids Centre for Research and Learning. For more information visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.



Post-recession charitable pledges to hospitals slow

March 12, 2012

As the United States and Canada emerged from the recent recession, charitable pledges to nonprofit healthcare organizations slowed in fiscal year 2010. This and other findings were contained in two reports recently published by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) based on its survey of fundraising activities in both countries. The survey indicated that in the wake of the recession, health care philanthropy increased its reliance on cash-based fundraising. Besides annual giving and public support programs, there was an increase in donations coming from an array of special events such as golf tournaments, community runs or walks, fashion shows and dinners. For more information visit www.ahp.org.



Fast Fact: Mobile traffic jumps to 10.55% of all web traffic

March 12, 2012

A recent US report studying internet traffic during the last week of February 2012 found that mobile traffic represented an average of 10.55% of all web traffic over the one week period, a growth of 34.44% over levels measured in July of 2011. Breaking down mobile and personal computer (PC) web traffic patterns by the hour reveals further interesting behavioral patterns. Web traffic from mobile devices sees a sharp drop off overnight, and then gradually grows over waking hours in the US, finally peaking at the end of the EST day, generally between 8 and 10 p.m. The study saw an 18.33% share of mobile web use at the highest point in the study. PC web usage plays a distinct counterpart to its mobile partner, maxing out in an almost opposite time frame in the early hours of the morning, and at the most extreme making up almost 95% of all web use. — Chitika Insights



New report suggests charities need freedom to engage in business

March 12, 2012

Canadian law should permit charities to raise some funds for their missions through business income from both related and unrelated businesses, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In At the Crossroads: New Ideas for Charity Finance in Canada, authors Adam Aptowitzer and Benjamin Dachis find that, in the face of financing challenges, charities need the flexibility to finance their nonprofit activities through businesses governed by separate, arm's-length boards. For more information, and to read the full report, visit www.cdhowe.org.



Nonprofits struggling with limited resources for email marketing

March 12, 2012

Sage North America announced the results of its Sage Nonprofit Insights, Q4 2011, survey of US and Canadian nonprofit organizations, which focused on questions related to nonprofits' email marketing goals and objectives and use of email marketing tools. According to the survey, the most significant email marketing challenges for nonprofit organizations are growing and retaining contacts (38% of respondents), integrating email with other systems (38%), and integrating email with other tactics (38%). By far, the main barriers to overcoming email marketing challenges are inadequate resources and expertise (71% of respondents). For more information, and for the full results, visit www.sagenorthamerica.com. (PDF)