In January 2019, ABNN coordinated two workshops (one in Edmonton and one in Calgary) to discuss what a policy agenda could look like for the Alberta nonprofit sector as a whole. Representatives from 49 nonprofit organizations participated in the discussions, offering considerable insight into how the sector perceives itself, its strengths and challenges, and key initiatives that would advance the sector as a whole.
From these conversations, three recommendations emerged:
Define and articulate the collective story of the nonprofit sector;
Build a strategic communications plan to create understanding of the impact of the sector and garner support for the sector among key audiences;
Design processes and practices to meaningfully connect regularly to advance priorities that will benefit the sector as a whole.
Also based on the discussions, a Draft Policy Agenda [link to Agenda file] was developed. This draft agenda acts as a starting point for further discussion and action as the sector continues to define and refine what a provincial-wide, sector-wide agenda could look like.
The current Draft Policy Agenda centers on four priority actions:
Increase policy and program-focused collaboration between the Government of Alberta and the nonprofit sector;
Develop a government-led and sector-informed Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Strategy;
Modernize Alberta’s laws, policies, and funding models to realize the public benefits of nonprofits; and
Adopt an ongoing provincial data-driven assessment of the nonprofit sector’s contributions.
This is just the beginning! There is much work to do to develop the Policy/Government Relations team and figure out how to best engage the sector and its stakeholders. We’ve made some great progress in the last few months and will continue to engage with nonprofits on what they think is important and how we should engage in these discussions.
We don’t need an official Policy Agenda to make a difference this election round. We encourage all nonprofits to take a look at Election Resources we’ve compiled and to participate in #nonprofitsvote.
If you have comments about the Policy Agenda recommendations and draft agenda, or if you’re interested in participating in discussions, surveys or the group moving this forward, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!