In an era of government deficits and tightened finances, it’s more critical than ever for charities to be creative in their approach to revenue generation. No longer can governments be depended on to make large investments in capital or fundraising projects.
For the charitable sector, this shift necessitates a renewed focus on investment through the ‘value for money’ lens. Plans need to include:
Many charities are also exploring social enterprise as a means to generate additional revenue, and many are seeking out corporate partners to assist them in fulfilling their missions. Assessing your programs to make sure they are viable in this new reality is becoming increasingly important to plan not only for the changes in government support but also the changes in fundraising programs that are on the horizon.
For corporations, there will be increased pressure from the community to support the charitable sector to help fill the gap that government funding once filled. Most corporations have CSR guidelines (Corporate Social Responsibility), or Social Impact Programs, budgets, and employees willing to volunteer their time and skills. It will become increasingly important for corporations to take a leadership role in planning for this change and prioritize their giving to ensure they make the most community impact and develop the best charitable partnerships to align philanthropic causes with their own corporate goals and missions.
Manitobans are the most generous philanthropically in Canada and play an important role in providing solutions to the challenges our Province faces. We continue to be grateful for the hard work done every day by the charitable sector of Manitoba, and by the incredible support they receive from the corporate community.
Your Winnipeg Chamber membership includes access to World Trade Centre Winnipeg resources
The World Trade Centre Winnipeg is a member of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA). With its headquarters in New York, the Association serves as an ‘international ecosystem’ of global connections, iconic properties, and integrated trade services under the umbrella of a renowned brand. The WTC Winnipeg is part of an extensive family of like-minded individuals stemming from over 300 WTC organizations in nearly 100 countries who work together to deliver reciprocal resources to promote local economic development and grow national and international trade.
Simply put, we find ways to facilitate the import/export process for your services and products in the right markets with the right partners. We accomplish this by accessing market research, utilizing our expertise and knowledge and leveraging our global connections through the WTCA and our many global partners.
Your Winnipeg Chamber membership includes access to all of these resources across the globe. In essence, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce co-owns the WTC licence, allowing members to access of leading international trade tools, including the latest WTCA global initiative known as the Reciprocity Desk.
The Reciprocity Desk is an internal tool that sends and receives trade leads from other WTC organizations around the world. WTC Winnipeg can exchange targeted requests for localized trade information on behalf of its clients to locate suppliers, market information, service providers, etc. Not only does this facilitate trade for Winnipeg Chamber businesses, it also reduces the obstacles to finding vetted companies to deal with in otherwise unknown markets.
All of these tools are available to your company through the WTC Winnipeg staff or your Winnipeg Chamber representative. Please contact us to see how we can help you tackle the global marketplace.
This editorial first ran in the Winnipeg Free Press on March 7, 2017.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Provincially, few things necessitate action more than Manitoba’s $1-billion budget dilemma. So… where’s the invention?
In place of innovation, Manitoba’s budget debate features a pendulum swinging between austerity and largesse. Lots of movement, no advancement. Both approaches have failed to elevate Manitoba to its full potential.
Beyond the impetus of our current budget crisis, Manitoba requires a re-envisioning of government purpose and a re-imagining of government as an enabler of service rather than sole provider. Budget 2017 must mark the start of that creative pathway.
The provincial government is right to pursue efficiencies and cost-savings across the board. Some low-lying fruit is ripe for the picking, such as the amalgamation of regional health authorities and public school boards. Winnipeg boasts six public school boards, compared with one in Calgary and four in Toronto, both of which have significantly higher populations and, provincially, are achieving stronger educational outcomes.
But these relatively straightforward measures will neither deliver a balanced budget nor create the “Manitoba miracle” championed by the Premier at his inaugural State of the Province Address.
Likewise, the government’s review of public sector collective agreements is merited. However, a preoccupation with salary schedules and benefits runs the risk of failing to see the forest for the trees. The greatest issue in those agreements is their rigidity. They lack the capacity to enable a new model of public services, one marked by creative modes of service delivery where results – not the machinery of government – become our defining metric of success.
That’s where our opportunity for invention sits.
In 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a paper on public sector innovation, noting, “The development of new sets of organization forms, governance structures, funding mechanisms, policy approaches, partnerships and accountability structures blur traditional distinctions between public and private to look for novel solutions…. At the same time, technological progress is advancing at a speed never seen before, opening great opportunities for governments to incorporate new tools and approaches…”
Manitobans don’t have to look far to catch a glimpse of more evolved, efficient service delivery.
In his February 27 editorial, Shaun Loney articulates the transformative power of social enterprise as an alternative model for government to embrace in meeting citizens’ needs.
The social enterprise sector receives $6 million annually from Manitoba Housing to deliver programming and support, generating an economic return of $1.70 for each dollar of public support. Loney adds, “Manitoba’s social enterprise community has offered to partner with the government to increase jobs fivefold, reaching 1,000 within just five years. This strategy would dramatically lower costs in many areas of government, most notably justice and social assistance.”
Last week, TELUS’ Josh Blair addressed a Winnipeg gathering of community groups during which he noted the impact of TELUS Health in British Columbia. Through a partnership with government involving post-care for heart attack patients, the integration of TELUS Health technology and support resulted in public savings of $17,000 per patient. Remarkably, the partnership also delivered a 76 per cent reduction in participants’ post-care visits to emergency facilities.
These two examples of the social sector and private sector engaged in service delivery to tremendous effect are just the tip of the iceberg. More exist in other jurisdictions; still more exist here in our province, waiting to be born in this moment of necessity.
Manitoba’s budget deficit is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.
It’s time Manitobans from all sectors see ourselves as more than funders and users of public services, but essential inventors and drivers of more effective public services. If we embrace this mindset and the innovation underpinning it, we’ll stop the budget pendulum and move Manitoba forward.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce was pleased to join many member charities and non-profits on February 28 at the launch of the TELUS Manitoba Community Board - the philanthropic board comprised of community members and TELUS leaders who'll help direct part of the company's $1-million investment in Manitoba causes over 2017.
"We give where we live," said Josh Blair, Executive Vice-President of TELUS Health and President, TELUS Business Solutions West, as he outlined the key values that direct the company's support of health, environmental and youth causes.
The Manitoba Community Board joins 17 other TELUS boards (12 national, 5 international) directing support toward grassroots organizations, with project grants ranging from a few hundred to $20,000.
If you attended the State of the City Address last week or followed media coverage, you caught Mayor Bowman's announcement of a pilot project with your Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce: a permit logistics desk to intercede for businesses with the city.
“We’re listening," Mayor Bowman said to a packed convention centre of roughly 1200 business leaders, government representatives and media. "While many improvements have been made to systems, including online permit tracking, what I’ve heard from many of you is that the permit process still… sucks."
We're deeply grateful to our members who shared their experiences at the Summit and in our discussions. We're also encouraged Mayor Bowman and his team have given your feedback priority status.
Chamber staff are currently in the "education" phase of the city permit process, with the intention to formally open the permit logistics desk by May. We look forward to updating you on this critical plan to make Winnipeg a city where business thrives.
Can you feel the excitement in the air? A brand new federal budget is about to be delivered into the world. A precious bundle of joy, full of hopes, expectations and the future of the Canadian economy will come screaming into the House of Commons in a couple of weeks. So what should we expect?
Three big things are keeping us on the edge of our seats. This baby will have larger deficits than last year amid economic uncertainty. She’ll be full of exciting details around previous announcements—the innovation agenda, the infrastructure bank, the FDI hub. Finally, we’ll see some nasty surprises coming from the review of tax credits. Wahhh!
The budget is unusually late this year. We’re now expecting it on March 21, after a number of delays. Pity the poor Finance Department. Last year’s budget was hit by a sharp decline in oil prices and an economy that was weaker than expected. This year’s budget is upended by Hurricane Trump—normal expectations around trade and business investment are out the window.
There is now more uncertainty than we’ve seen in decades, and the federal government has run out of fiscal room. The deficit will reach $26 billion this year, and that’s before the additional costs for new health deals with the provinces. For years, we’ve advocated balanced budgets, or at least a solid plan to return to balance. The Finance Department’s current forecasts show this will not happen before 2050. (This baby will be middle-aged by then.)
Growing deficits make it unlikely that we’ll see any large new programs. Instead, this budget is likely to fill in details around previous announcements. Remember, Budget 2016 left many of the tough questions to be filled in after consultations. The government had said Phase 2 of the infrastructure plan, with the “fast, efficient trade corridors” would be announced in the next year. The Innovation Agenda, a “bold new plan” to redesign how Canada supports innovation, was coming later. Health spending would be determined. A review of tax expenditures was coming soon.
We’re excited about the innovation program, but it’s that last promise that has us most worried. The government announced an internal review of all federal tax credits, with a view to eliminating poorly targeted and inefficient ones. A panel of external experts is in place, but there has been no consultation.
We certainly support simplifying the tax system, but some of these tax credits are very important to business and Canadians. For several months, we campaigned vigorously to oppose a plan to tax employer-sponsored health and dental plans. The plan would have cost workers thousands of dollars and was only abandoned by the government after tens of thousands of emails and negative media.
The government is looking for revenue so we’ll likely see a few unpleasant surprises in the budget. It would be odd if the government reviewed 150 tax credits and decided to keep all of them. So, we just don’t know if the capital gains inclusion rate, the federal dividend tax credit or flow-through shares might be on the chopping block. We’ll be watching the budget closely to determine the positive (innovation agenda, infrastructure) and negative impacts (tax credits and deficits) on business. I’m worried this baby could be adorable and smiling on the surface but with some smelly surprises hidden away.
Senior Director, Economic, Financial & Tax Policy
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Imagine this scenario. Someone you met once or twice informally sends you a message through LinkedIn inviting you for coffee. You join them. They tell you what they’re working on, the impact they’re making, the way they help others. You express your excitement for their work. Then, out of nowhere, they ask you to marry them and buy them a house that they will live in. They go on to tell you they will update you annually on the use of the house and invite you to see it. If you’re lucky.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this is becoming a more and more common occurrence. Not in your personal life but in your philanthropic life. Increasingly, the charitable sector is fast tracking major gift solicitations to donors, not based on what works for the donor but based on the timeline that works for the charity.
It’s understandable why this happens. The need is great. There are many worthwhile projects making an impact that are benefiting our community. However, understanding why this is happening doesn’t make it okay. Donors who are asked for a major gift are asked to make an investment to positively impact the organization. This investment will also impact the donor and their family, perhaps for generations. Donors must be respected enough to be given the opportunity and the time they need to learn about the organization so they can build a relationship where they feel valued.
It’s the fundraiser’s job to ensure the donor is always asked for the right amount by the right person for the right project at the right time.
Fundraisers aren’t hired to only close gifts. They are hired to build partnerships. Donors need to know more than just the major gift priorities of our organizations. They need to know the gratitude we feel for their philanthropy.
What do you credit with your success?
What does Winnipeg mean to you?
Who do you want to inspire?
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What excites you about the work you do?
What does the word 'community' mean to you?
What's next for you?
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Chamber member Chef Peter Fehr from Gourmet Inspirations is hoofing his salted caramel whisky sauce to Los Angeles this weekend. He'll be serving Hollywood's stars (alongside GORP Clean Energy Bar's Colleen Dyck) in the Celebrity Luxury Gifting Suite at the 89th Academy Awards.
"I'm just getting feedback from the press release now, while also coping with all the logistics," said Fehr, who was approached by the company behind the gifting suite months ago. "It's a little crazy, but very exciting."
Over 150 celebrities who are attend the Academy Awards will arrive at the Luxury Gifting Suite on Saturday to taste Fehr's gourmet sauces. There will be opportunities for photos as well as the opportunity to connect with investors.
"We sent an invite to Ryan Gosling’s publicist," says Fehr, who hopes Hollywood's social media powerhouses give his own following a boost. "There's no guarantee he’ll show up, but if he did - that would be perfect."
Gourmet Inspirations was established in 2013 with the purpose and goal of creating gourmet, specialty food products that are versatile, convenient, and easy to use. Gourmet Inspirations currently offers a line of delectable five-star sauces for use at home. Flavours include Creamy Peppercorn Whiskey, Sweet & Spicy Lemon, Strawberry Balsamic with Basil, and Salted Caramel Whiskey Dessert Sauce. All products are Canadian made and contain no preservatives.
“I’m honoured to be part of showcasing amazing local Canadian products at the Academy Awards,” says Fehr.