Why Evaluate your Programs? By Dianne Macfarlane

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Many public funders and private donors are now requiring non-profit organizations to provide evidence that the programs they offer are benefitting their clients. This evidence goes beyond the traditional measures such as the number of clients served and client satisfaction data. When MAS clients ask for help in deciding how to develop a process for […]

Pros & Cons of Charitable Status by Graham Boyce, MAS VC

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“To be a charity or not?” is a dilemma that many organisations face. Unfortunately, they often do not think through the answer sufficiently. Many just apply for charitable status without understanding what might be involved and, particularly, what the downside might be. The reality is that being a charity means, among other issues: Much stricter […]

Start your own nonprofit (Part 2)

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This week we continue our tips on starting your own nonprofit You have an idea that can help others.  Where do you start?  First, figure out how to structure your idea.  Do you want to start a nonprofit?  Or a charity?  Or a for-profit enterprise? Path #3 – incorporate as nonprofit Instead of getting angel […]

Start your own nonprofit (Part 1)

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You have an idea that can help others.  Where do you start?  First, figure out how to structure your idea.  Do you want to start a nonprofit?  Or a charity?  Or a for-profit enterprise? There are 170,000 nonprofits in Canada.  All have a goal that is something other than profit.  They do not have shareholders […]

The Boringly Concise Guide To Making A Motion

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“I’d like to make a motion.” How often have you heard someone pop this little surprise at a meeting? It comes right out of the blue, like an unwanted telephone solicitation from a goldfish babysitting service. You’ve been to those awkward meetings. Team members get together to discuss a project while munching on stale muffins […]

Overcoming Team Tension – Part 2

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In the last blog we looked at how to recognize the symptoms of team tension. So, what are some practical ways to manage it? The first is to simply acknowledge that team tension exists. This can take some bravery. In the middle of a meeting, make a declaration: “We seem to be at an impasse […]

Overcoming Team Tension – Part 1

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You’re working on a big project. Deadlines are approaching. Major work needs to be done. Numerous team members are involved. The goal is clear. At the beginning of the project, things go smoothly.  But then trouble sets in. It starts out as a minor difference of opinion between team members. Then, there’s a stall in […]

How To Attend The Best Meeting Ever

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Were there any important decisions made at the last dinner party you attended? Probably not. You never think about a dinner party as having an agenda or a stated purpose. The conversation just goes off in all sorts of directions, from politics, to sports, to the recipe for that fabulous banana chicken in a black […]

Establishing Ground Rules for a Meeting

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It has become customary to establish ground rules for conduct during a facilitated meeting.  I like to think of these as the contract between the facilitator and the group.  If I am the facilitator, you tell me how you’d like yourself and the other participants to behave, and I hold you all to that standard.  […]

Developing An Effective Process For Discussion

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To plan a good format for a meeting, facilitators need to be aware of the different ways that individuals process information and offer their input. For example, many extroverted people need to process their thoughts out loud while introverted people need to complete their thoughts internally before they speak them. If the whole meeting consists […]