New models to promote civic engagement and nonprofit information sharing. By Anil Patel
2011 Canadian Business & Community Partnership ForumNew Models to Promote Civic Engagement & Non-Profit InformationSharingBACKGROUNDFramework is fanatical about connecting people to causes they care about. With nearly10 years under our belt, our team has focused on delivering high quality volunteerengagement events while innovating in other areas relating to non-profit capacitybuilding. Our core program is the Timeraiser. The Timeraiser is part volunteer fair, partsilent art auction and part night on the town. Throughout the evening meet withdifferent agencies and match your skills to their needs. Once attendees have made theirmatches, they are eligible to bid on artwork. The big twist is rather than bidding moneythey bid volunteer hours. If someone has a winning bid they have 12 months tocomplete their pledge before bringing the artwork home as a reminder of their goodwill.Once the auction is over we announce the hours raised and then celebrate ourcontribution to the community. To date, the Timeraiser has: Generated 87,000 volunteer hours Invested over $460,000 in the careers of emerging artists* Engaged 7,000 Canadians to pick up a cause Supported the efforts of 400 nonprofits*We pay artists fair market value from the generous donations made by our corporatepartners that include CIBC, Enbridge, First Calgary Financial, Molson Coors, Nexen, TDBank, RBC Bank to name a few.CHALLENGEWe currently operate in eight Canadian cities with only 5 staff and 250 volunteers,Framework is a small team that packs a big punch. There is always a flurry of activity inthe office that must: Engage 125 unique stakeholders Manage 500+ unique pieces of digital assets/event (e.g. logos) Maintain 8 to 10 distinct work-plan components Renew 75% of program funding each year Respond to 200 emails/day
Evaluate requests for other Timeraiser events from all around the worldSOLUTIONOur goal is to work collaboratively with local partners rather than ‘recreating the wheel’.To tackle this mounting challenge, we have decided to post all our non-confidentialinformation online and in real-time. We are able to do this by making use of the mostscalable Software-As-A-Service tools to help answer the following questions: 1. How do we work more collaboratively with like-minded organizations? 2. How do we become more transparent over time? 3. How do we prioritize new ideas against existing game plan? 4. How do we become a learning organization? 5. How do we simplify operations while scaling activities?IMPLICATIONFramework has been prototyping this new information sharing for the past three years.We are experiencing a remarkable level of productivity and goal setting. Additionally, thishas enabled us to better understand how this type of reporting can change how fundersand grantees share information.