If you work in the community investment space, chances are, you’ve asked yourself this question.…
Welcome to LBG Canada
In This Issue:
- #GlobalGoalsWeek LBG Canada companies are aligning community investment activities to the SDGs
- Conexus Credit Union & The Sweet Dreams Project Awarded 2019 Governor General’s Award
- Volunteering and the SDGs
- Trellis – Discover the Platform to Help Your Fundraising FLourish
- Leadership Profile – Megan Marshall – Cenovus
- International Corner
- Important Dates
#September 23-30 is Global Goals Week
A galvanizing and inspirational week – from the compelling leadership and advocacy of Greta Thunberg – to the actions being taking by young people across the globe. What is the role for community investment in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?
#SDGs 3, 13, 14, 15 – Good Health & Well-Being, Climate Action, Life Below the Water, Life on Land
Conexus has received the 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award for establishing Canada’s first Social Impact Bond – The Sweet Dreams Project.
Created to find a solution to the separation of families due to welfare concerns- Conexus, the Mah Family and the government of Saskatchewan have come together to fund the first Canadian social impact bond that provides a supported living environment where families are kept intact and mothers are given the tools needed to safely parent their children.
The Innovation Awards celebrate the power of knowledge and the desire to make a difference in our communities through inventing, changing and improving.
To learn more about the project, please click here.
VOLUNTEERING AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Volunteer Canada and Employment and Sustainable Development Canada are collaborating to raise the profile of the power of volunteering to contribute to achieving the SDGs.
Click here to read the report.
As an LBG Canada member, you are already familiar with the important and ever-changing role technology platforms play in the community investment world. And with new tech, comes the need for continued transparency, ease and connectedness.
Enter Trellis. Trellis is an event and campaign management platform designed for charities and third party champions to fundraise more efficiently for the causes they care about. The platform enables users to manage fundraising in a way that minimizes the barriers that many face like administrative tasks, and increases transparency between donors and organizations, and markets and provides increased awareness for charities. Features of the platform include: an easy event page builder, automated tax receipting and donor collection data, flow of funds, and a champions platform allowing businesses, like those in LBG Canada, to fundraise on behalf of the charities they support.
Specifically for those champions, Trellis has launched the Sprout a Fundraiser challenge across the Okanagan region. They are encouraging companies to plan and host fundraisers on the Trellis platform between September 1 and December 31. In January 2020, Trellis will be giving away $10,000 to the most impactful fundraiser, with that money being given directly to the associated cause.
“The Trellis mission is to increase the collective impact within community,” says Justin Goodhew, CEO & Founder of Trellis. “Through our platform we want to change the face of charity fundraising, increase impact made, simplify the process, and allow charities to get back to what they do best. Making a difference.”
To learn more about the Trellis platform, please click here.
This month, we celebrate the experience, approach and overall vision for impact of Megan Marshall, Senior Community Programs Advisor, Cenovus.
Megan’s interest in giving back started at an early age growing up on an Alberta farm, learning from generations of community-minded people. Now her passion and dedication to community investment, and the rigorous and intentional measurement involved, has made her into one of the most influential people in the LBG Canada network. The interview below offers some insights into Megan’s experience, approach and overall vision for impact.
Tell us about your career to date. Have you always worked in the community investment field? For Cenovus?
I started in Human Resources at Shaw and later moved on to ENMAX, which kickstarted my community investment career, being involved with both community engagement and employee engagement sides of the work.
For the last 9 years I’ve been at Cenovus managing our employee volunteering and giving programs. My early interest in HR was rooted in the opportunity to connect with people in a wide variety of ways – it prepared me for the ability to make sure that the employee experience is front of mind when it comes to community investment. Contributing to an engaged workforce is a huge business driver for this work. In my role now I often partner with HR on wide variety of programs, knowing how community investment can contribute to company culture and employee pride.
The community investment field continues to evolve. What is the most significant change you’ve seen?
That the importance of community investment is more elevated. Taking Larry Fink’s 2018 letter to the companies in which BlackRock invests or the recent statement by Business Roundtable CEOs as examples, it feels like new standards for corporate responsibility have emerged and that more and more, companies need to show how they make a positive contribution to society. Employees are also expecting societal change and want the companies they work for to be making a difference. It’s all been really refreshing, seeing that come to light on such a large societal scale.
Also, at a more granular level, I love seeing that community investment is becoming less of an island within organizations. Practitioners are working hard to incorporate CI with all aspects of the business. We’re collaborating with all business units, we’re more aware of business needs, and our strategies better reflect and align with those goals. I call it being both “invested and involved”: we’ve moved far away from just giving a cheque and are actively trying to figure out the best use of our other assets and our people to create shared value.
When you look back at your community investment work thus far, what are the things that really stand out?
When I was first hired at Cenovus, it was a brand-new company, so working in CI at that time was a really unique experience to both contribute to creating our culture and building our reputation. I built our EV and EG programs from the ground up, so I think I had the advantage of being able to be deliberate in designing and thinking strategically about the program and how I wanted it to align with business strategy, reflect employee interests/skills, and address community needs. Seeing that evolution and growth is something I’m really proud of.
Also, in the past 9 years, we’ve been able to create nearly 600 employee volunteering opportunities with countless community partners and maintain a rigorous and intentional approach to Community Investment that has allowed us to have deep and meaningful impact – both in the communities where we operate and within the four walls at Cenovus. Hearing from our employees that they are proud to work at Cenovus because of the work we do, and being able to give them the support they need to make a difference for the causes that are important to them is always a highlight for me.
As we continue through 2019, is there a challenge you are looking forward to taking on?
I really enjoy building things and project management, so continuing to make improvements to our programming is something I’m always ready to take on. Also, continuing to work with LBG Canada on our measurement approach. Being able to shift focus from what we invest in communities to what that investment achieves is a challenge that I’m looking forward to.
How has being a part of LBG Canada helped Cenovus achieve its community investment objectives?
LBG Canada has given us a number of practical tools, like our evaluative decision making tool, which has helped us take advantage of better opportunities to seek out a link between business priorities and CI.
And of course, The LBG Model as a whole has given us a consistent framework to capture the value of what we’re doing in community and be able to report internally and externally with confidence.
What advice would you give someone just entering the field?
I’d say you need to be very curious and open minded. Integrate and collaborate to ensure the design of what you’re doing works well with the business units that you’re supporting, so what you’re doing is better understood and more strongly endorsed – which in turn can lead to broader reach and greater opportunities for impact.
Stay tuned for more Leadership Profiles as 2019 continues!
International Corner – Will the business community take action on the Amazon fires?
Disaster relief has always been a key focus of community investment programming here in Canada, with many LBG Canada companies provided donations of in-kind goods, money and volunteer efforts to the Fort McMurray wildfire relief efforts as only one example. So why, thus far, has the global business community been so silent around the Amazon fires?
Apple is the first company to publicly come out and pledge funds to help fight the Amazon fires, with various non-profits laying the groundwork for additional corporate action. Though few multinational corporations have followed Apple’s lead, the Amazon fires may well end up demonstrating that corporations are primed and ready to act on global climate threats, whether through direct donations or affiliation with non-profits.
Leon Kaye of Triple Pundit recommends that companies, most notably those with supply chains that are intertwined in Brazil, start having honest conversations with their employees, SLT and stakeholders about their role in the crisis. Click here to learn more.
September 26th – Getting Started with LBG Canada – Register me!
October 15th – The LBG Model & Impact Measurement Framework – Register me!
October 22nd – Preparing for Benchmarking – Register me!
November 26th-27th – SROI Accreditation Training in Calgary – Register me!
November 28th – Impact in a Time of Change Conference – Register me!