Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Philosophy on Philanthropy

Right now, I am finishing up the last three courses I need to graduate from Georgian College's Fundraising & Resource Development program.  One of the courses that I am taking right now is called Professional Practice and I absolutely love it!  Having experience as a Board of Director previously, I am finding this course quite useful and I am able to make some useful connections between the teachings and what I've learned first-hand.  Recently, we were asked to provide some thoughts about our philiosophy on philanthropy.  This is the first time that I've ever been asked to think about what philanthropy means.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  How do you define philanthropy? 
I would define philanthropy as an act of giving time to a cause, advocating for a cause, making financial donations when possible and feeling a deeper desire to help create positive social change.  Philanthropy is also an act that includes ethics, accountability and transparency.  When these three values are included in philanthropy, then a community can become mobilized to truly create positive social change. 

2.  If you were to describe a philanthropist, what would that description entail? 
To me a philanthropist is someone who donates time to a cause.  Time can definitely be more valuable than money; it is our life.  A philanthropist is someone who also acts as an advocate.  Through advocacy, a philanthropist can mobilize a community to help fill a gap.  A philanthropist is someone who makes financial donations, relative to their means and whenever the time is right.  A philanthropist is someone who is committed to making the world a better place for everyone and everything (there are other living species other than humans and they need respect/love/acknowledgement/help too).   A philanthropist is someone who leads by example, who truly aligns themselves with the values of a nonprofit organization that they have chosen to support and who is, essentially, a change-maker.  People are very likely to look up to a philanthropist and respect them for their contributions to the community.  A philanthropist has enless opportunities to make people think more about/do more with a nonprofit. 

3.  While still in its infancy in Canada, fundraising is now considered a profession. Do you agree or disagree? What evidence do you see emerging that can substantiate this statement? 

I agree that fundraising is a profession.  I know that from job postings, fundraisers need to have specific skills in order to get interviews.  There is also the Fundraising and Resource Development program to take into consideration.  In addition, there are Masters Degrees in Philanthropy.  Not only do I feel that fundraising is a profession, but it is something that us professionals should work to keep ourselves educated about.  We should increase our exposure to the knowledge/experience of others in the field, no matter how old/young we are.  Read books and challenge yourself to become a successful change-maker in your lifetime! 

Thank you for reading my post!  Please comment on this posting and share your own philosophy on philanthropy!  Is there anything you can add to these ideas?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Have You Seen?

I am so happy to share this 6' 3" banner with the world.  Why?  Well, first of all it is bilingual.  There are a lot of people in our community who face barriers everyday.  Especially barriers to accessing and receiving primary care.  One of those barriers includes language.  This banner is made specifically for La Clé d'la Baie and it will travel to all of their scheduled events during 2011 and we are proud to have this bilingual banner on display!  A second reason why I am happy to share this banner is because it is consistent with CSC CHIGAMIK CHC's marketing/advertising so far.  It is important to keep sharing the same message(s) with your target audience because eventually it will become memorable.  And finally, I am proud to share this banner because we have used the photo of an actual staff member: Nicole Ayotte who was the first Nurse Practitioner hired.  This photo is 100 times better than any stock photo available.  This banner is representative of the warm, welcoming feeling our clients and program participants will experience at CHIGAMIK.  Midland is so fortunate to be the host of such an important and amazing nonprofit organization that will help to build a healthy, vibrant community!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tweet Tweet!

Just this past week, I sat down at my desk and created a Twitter account for CSC CHIGAMIK CHC.  Now, I definitely consider myself pretty technically-savvy and up-to-date on the whole social media scene.  However, using Twitter to compliment CHIGAMIK's existing communication plan, branding efforts and website was a new idea for me to embrace.  And to tell you the truth, it is FUN, EXCITING and a great example to prove my abilities in creating public awareness, inspiring public interest and maintaining public support for such an important nonprofit organization!

Have you ever looked at a "Tweet" before?  Well, I certainly have but always found the lingo to be rather difficult to read and confusing to understand.  Here are a few simple things to remember when looking at a tweet:

1.  Tweet - is the message you share on Twitter (aka "post")

2.  Retweet - is when you share someone else's post (or tweet) with your network.  You can tell if someone's post is a retweet when you see RT@Username.  I retweeted the Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce's post (and edited it to add my own beginning sentence/response "Thanks 4 intro!"
  • Thanks 4 intro! RT @sgbchamber: OUR NEW MEMBERS - Introducing Gregor Homes, CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre & Dockwerks. http://ow.ly/36oEk    
3.  @Username - is a link to an individuals Twitter account.  When you click on it, you will be directed to their Twitter page.  It is also a way to communicate directly with an individual.  For example, I could tweet the following to the SGBCC:
  • @sgbchamber Last night's Business After 5 was fantastic!  We can't w8 2 b featured on your website! 
4.  Hashtag (#) - is basically a keyword.  Let's say you include "#Hashtag" in your post, your message about that topic will show up in a search for that keyword.  Here's CHIGAMIK's first tweet where I used "Midland", "Simcoe", "GeorgianBay" and "CHC" as hashtags:
There seems to be a real art to tweeting successfully.  What matters is your real-time conversation, right here, right now.  No one really cares too much about your tweets from twenty days ago; they are old news.  What's important is to keep current, keep your audience engaged and make sure your Twitter posts add a level of communication that is unique from your other communication tools.

**Make sure to check out CSC CHIGAMIK CHC's new Twitter page at www.twitter.com/CHIGAMIK

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Bilingual Website Launched for CSC CHIGAMIK CHC!

“Every One Matters./Chaque personne compte.”  That’s the message at http://www.chigamik.ca/, the bilingual website for the centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre (CSC CHIGAMIK CHC).  Visitors can choose to view the site in English and French and will definitely experience a warm, welcoming feeling at The Peoples’ Place.  The purpose of the website is to connect clients, community members, Board members and staff at the new Community Health Centre.  Health alerts, programs and services, news releases and job postings will be shared with the public through the site.  More importantly, the website communicates the CHIGAMIK experience where every one really does matter.

From left to right: Amanda Olsheskie (Communications), Brian George (Aboriginal Health Promoter/Traditional Healing Coordinator), Nicole Ayotte (Nurse Practitioner), David Jeffery (Executive Director), Jeff Graham (Community Health Worker), Mélissa Constantin (Administrative Assistant) and Dawn Nancekievill (Nurse Practitioner). 

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Health Care Team Leads Community Change

There is a new and different kind of health care coming to town - one that works to keep people well and unites local partners to develop healthy communities.  The Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre (CSC CHIGAMIK CHC) is one of 72 Community Health Centre's across Ontario that overcomes barriers to primary health care, making sure that unique community needs are met. 

Leading CSC CHIGAMIK CHC is David Jeffery, Executive Director, who is embracing his opportunity to help shape the future of an important organization.  With almost twenty years of experience in community change initiatives, Jeffery is dedicated to making CSC CHIGAMIK CHC a key determinant of community health.  "I believe in a society where prevention and education are the norm, where access to information and training is equitable, where reliance on specialists is minimized and where access to quality of life opportunities are real and available", says Jeffery.  "I have a vision for change, a tolerance for the chaos the change can bring and a desire for a vibrant, healthy community".

CHIGAMIK (CHEE gah mick) means "The Peoples' Place" where individuals and families are welcomed into a culture of caring.  The CSC CHIGAMIK CHC will deliver primary health care services within the Christian Island, Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny geographic areas.  More impressively, it will also serve Francophone, Aboriginal, Metis and Inuit individuals and families within the broader region of North Simcoe Muskoka.

With an anticipated opening in the late fall of 2010, Jeffery has started forming the new health care team that will create this community change.  The center will be located at 845 King Street and will include physicians, nurse practitioners, a registered nurse, registered practical nurses, therapists, health promoters, a dietitian, a community health worker, a medical secretary as well as various management and administrative staff.  All professionals at CSC CHIGAMIK CHC are salaried employees, rather than fee-for-service (OHIP) providers.

Nicole Ayotte has been hired as a Nurse Practitioner and she has more than twelve years of experience to offer new clients.  "My bilingualism, my excitement with being part of a new CHC and my knowledge of our health care system is precisely what I bring to CSC CHIGAMIK CHC", says Ayotte.  As the site for the new health center is prepared, Nicole has been busy looking to develop partnerships with organizations throughout the community.

Melissa Maurice, Administrative Assistant, from a francophone heritage, shares that they want to develop strong relationships with the Francophone community.  "We are proud to create a welcoming environment for everyone by removing any potential language barriers".

With a staff that represents three cultures and speaks at least two languages, CSC CHIGAMIK CHC is well on its way of bringing the Board of Directors' dream to life.  "Our dream is to uphold every ones right to health care and break every barrier that we can.  Our dream is to have a francophone family walk into our center and hear French in the air.  Our dream is to have an aboriginal family walk into our center and feel their culture all around them", says Jeffery.

The Community Health Centre is a not-for-profit health care service funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network.  There is no charge for services and the budget is governed by the Community Health Centre's Board of Directors.