Centre for Sustainability Report on consultations for a Technical Assistance Program for Aboriginal not‐for‐ profits in British Columbia January – February 2006 Consultants: Chris Corrigan Lyla Brown Table of Contents 1 Introduction................................................................................................................................. 3 1.1 The task .......................................................................................................................3 2 Findings ....................................................................................................................................... 5 2.1 Review of existing capacity development programs ...........................................5 2.2 Types of Aboriginal not‐for‐profits ........................................................................7 2.3 Needs of Aboriginal not‐for‐profit organizations ..............................................10 3 Summary of the proposed model and recommendations.................................................. 16 3.1 Vision ........................................................................................................................16 3.2 Goals..........................................................................................................................17 3.3 Objectives..................................................................................................................18 3.4 Delivery.....................................................................................................................18 3.5 Database of materials..............................................................................................20 3.6 Administration.........................................................................................................21 3.7 Role of the Centre over time and the Aboriginal community foundation......21 Acknowledgements The Centre for Sustainability acknowledges Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Province of BC – Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for their generous financial support of the consultation process outlined in this report. 1 Introduction 1.1 The task In 2003, Vancouver Foundation supported a study to determine the feasibility of creating an Aboriginal community foundation in British Columbia. The outcomes of that study pointed to an immediate need for capacity building within Aboriginal community organizations. As a result, Vancouver Foundation determined that there was merit in exploring the development of an Aboriginal organizational capacity building – technical assistance program, and asked the Centre for Sustainability (“CFS”) to lead the process. CFS was selected because of its experience with delivery of technical assistance programming to the social services and arts sectors using the Partners in Organizational Development model. In July of 2004, CFS convened a group of funders to discuss potential approaches to addressing the need for capacity building as identified in the Vancouver Foundation study. Along with expressing support for a program targeted to supporting Aboriginal community organizations, the group delivered a clear message that CFS consult with Aboriginal community leaders to guide the program’s development. In November of 2004, a group of Aboriginal community leaders was convened to help the Centre for Sustainability better understand the need for capacity building within Aboriginal community organizations, and to begin to consider how that need could be effectively addressed. Key points emerging from the November discussion included the following: • There is value in pursuing a technical assistance program, developed by Aboriginal peoples and focusing on improving the capacity of Aboriginal community organizations in areas such as governance, financial management and strategic planning. • As far as possible, the technical assistance offered through such a program should be delivered by Aboriginal experts. To support this objective, skills building in technical assistance delivery, through a “train the trainer” or other model, should be considered as part of the program. Building on the success of the Partners in Organizational Development programs currently offered by the Centre, a new program called The Technical Assistance Program for Aboriginal Not‐for‐Profits (TAP) was sketched out. This initial design was completed to a point where Aboriginal advisors recommended enlisting the community in the further design of the program. Working with the TAP advisory group, including Ray Gerow, Daniel Hill and John Harper, a consulting team consisting of Chris Corrigan and Lyla Brown supported Kevin Ronaghan from the Centre to craft a community consultation and engagement process. This process was intended to look at the question of capacity needs in Aboriginal not‐for‐profits, and to determine if a new program should be offered by the Centre for Sustainability. From the outset, it was structured as an organizational and community learning process with the intention for community members to be invited to help us co‐create the program. We identified a number of key objectives at the outset of our work including: • Gathering feedback from practitioners in organizations about the current state of development of the TAP project. • Creating awareness and excitement about the project among community organizations and potential beneficiaries of the project. • Attracting interest from additional funding sources • Finding additional members for the TAP planning committee • Targeting participation of 25‐50 organizations in 5 focus groups • Collecting and testing language and ideas for reframing the TAP project to make it as relevant and appealing as possible to organizations. • Recording success stories to validate the work TAP is proposing • Gathering knowledge of the Aboriginal specific needs and requirements for the TAP project. To meet these objectives we chose to plan a series of five focus groups throughout the province, and aimed to make these as accessible as possible by providing honoraria to organizations that attended. We were able to host meetings in Terrace, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Vancouver and Prince George. We recognize that we missed hosting a meeting in the northeast of the province, but to make the process as open as possible, we set up a website containing the basic series of questions we were asking in the focus groups. Four of the focus groups were designed using the Institute for Cultural Affairsʹ “Focused Conversation” methodology, and one focus group, in Vancouver was designed using the MIT Interview Matrix methodology. Participants were invited in a variety of ways, with targeted invitations sent to Aboriginal not‐for‐profits as listed in the Government of BCʹs directory of Aboriginal organizations. Invitations were spread widely through networks, posted at Friendship Centres and other organizations. We hosted four of the five focus groups at Friendship Centres. Following the completion of the focus groups, Lyla, Chris and Kevin met in a one day retreat to consolidate learnings and determine next steps for the process. This report captures the learning, recommendations and designs for a new program to support capacity development in Aboriginal not‐for‐profits. 2 Findings 2.1 Review of existing capacity development programs Sheila Brown completed a survey of capacity development programs available for Aboriginal organizations and First Nations. In that study she provides a comprehensive inventory of programs and professional consultants in the field. That study also included the observation that while there are a number of programs available to First Nations communities there are very few programs available for developing and supporting organizational capacity. While Aboriginal organizations do have access to programs provided by organizations such as the United Way and the Centre for Sustainability, there remains a deep need for an offering that meets the specific needs of Aboriginal organizations. Programs raised in the focus groups During the course of our work on the focus groups, participants made reference especially to the following programs. These programs are included here because participants identified them as good models. For more detail, consult Sheila Brown’s study. Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC AFOA BC has an extensive set of tools for member organizations relating to financial controls. These tools include: • Financial Procedures manuals • Financial management by‐laws for First Nations • Financial and human resources manuals • Strategic planning and capacity building frameworks Some of this material is freely available from AFOA BCʹs website. Full material and workshops are available to AFOA BC members. Most of this material is aimed at First Nations financial officers, although it has some wider applicability. • http://www.afoabc.org/products.htm Learning Strategies Group, Simon Fraser University At Simon Fraser University, the Segal School of Business offers several customizable courses for First Nations through its Learning Strategies Group, including: • Community Economic Development • Government to Government Relations for First Nations • Decision‐Making and Roles of Council • Duties and Responsibilities of Councilors • Land Development • Evaluation of Land Development Opportunities • Finances for Band Councils • Business Plan Development In addition, the Learning Strategies Group offers a program in capacity building for education and economic development in First Nations communities. This program looks at planning, assessment, implementation and ongoing partnerships. http://tinyurl.com/o7gbu Indian and Northern Affairs Canada INAC has been interested in capacity building for 10 years, and the Department offers a number of tools and support for First Nations capacity building on economic development governance, social development, land management and community planning. • http://www.ainc‐inac.gc.ca/bc/pub/cbp/toc_e.html First Nations Education Steering Committee FNESC has a substantial page of offerings for First Nations education organizations and workers. This includes more generic material such as a board governance kit and a strategic planning handbook for boards. • http://www.fnesc.ca/publications/index.php Native Education Centre Open to all Aboriginal students, the Native Education Centre in Vancouver offers a number of courses in economic development, social development, holistic healing and technology. These courses are offered towards certificate and diploma programs. • http://www.necvancouver.org/courses.html BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres The BCAAFC offers assistance to Friendship Centres in emergency situations. Through the work of the Program Review Committee, struggling Friendship Centres receive support and help stabilizing their operations. This program is only open to member centres of the BCAAFC. • http://www.bcaafc.com 2.2 Types of Aboriginal not‐for‐profits Aboriginal not‐for‐profits who participated in the consultations fell into a number of categories: • Friendship Centres • Métis Organizations • Child and Family Services agencies • Health services • First Nations institutions • Youth organizations • Treatment Centres • Eldersʹ Societies • Mothers Centres and family centres • Neighbourhood Houses • Business Development • Cultural organizations • Employment and training • Tribal Councils • Bands • Education This represents the general cross section of the Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector. Within these various service areas we heard from organizations with a variety of organizational structures. • Board governed not‐for‐profit societies. These are the bulk of the sector, organizations that are governed by a board that is usually elected by the community and which provide services to the community. These services can be specific (as in employment and training, business development or child and family services) or they may be broader in their offerings, such as Friendship Centres and Motherʹs Centres, which offer a suite of services. • Organizations that serve other organizations. These organizations, such as Tribal Councils and associations of organizations and tend to provide services to a membership of organizations. Their boards are generally elected from staff or board members of the membership rather than the community. • Organizations or programs within non‐Aboriginal agencies. In large urban areas, many non‐Aboriginal organizations have Aboriginal programs that are offered to the Aboriginal community. These programs are often staffed by Aboriginal people, are funded by Aboriginal programs and sometimes have an advisory board or committee from the community. Although the agencies are non‐Aboriginal, these programs face similar challenges to stand alone Aboriginal organizations. These are a special type of organization because ordinarily they would not be eligible for Aboriginal funds, and yet their capacity challenges have a direct impact on the services provided to the Aboriginal community. • Political organizations. Métis Nation organizations, womenʹs groups, and UNN Locals provide political leadership to their communities off‐reserve and are governed by a community board but donʹt tend to provide services. Instead, they offer advocacy and a voice to policy making processes. • First Nations institutions. Many First Nations opt to provide services to their citizens on‐reserve through institutional frameworks such as health organizations, education committees and child and family service organizations. These organizations are run as societies, but based on reserve and their boards tend to be a mix of political and community members. • First Nations governments. We had some representation at the consultations from First Nations governments, although the scope of the TAP program was outside of the ability to support capacity building for these governments. Indian Affairs and AFOA BC provide capacity building through various programs to these organizations. We heard from very few organizations with charitable numbers. Most organizations cited the difficulty of the bureaucracy associated with becoming a charity as the major block for them. Others were concerned that the government was limiting their work but asking them to change their mission to reflect charitable activity. Most organizations who had tried to become charities gave up in the face of these barriers. Interestingly, almost all of the organizations we met with had elected boards. The idea of an appointed board is very unusual in the Aboriginal community. Most organizations require themselves to be transparent and accountable to the community and this is interpreted to mean that board members are elected from the community. This poses a number of special challenges for the Aboriginal sector with respect to board development. Board members often come to organizations with limited experience and limited knowledge of board functions, roles and responsibilities. While these members are often highly motivated, skills development is a high priority to creating functional and effective boards which can leverage the passion of the community for the organizationʹs benefit. A second, more specialized challenge arises where political leadership is involved in the boards of organizations. Conflict of interest codes are required to keep the working of organizations separate from the political accountabilities. In general the community based nature of many Aboriginal boards means that the Aboriginal sector tends to be highly accountable to the community, and these organizations draw their governance from the very people they serve. This can result in an effective and grounded mission, but it often entails special consideration for strengthening the capacity of these community based boards to deal with the basic issues of liability, board governance and roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, boards with solid community connections often sacrifice connections with funding sources in order to achieve community accountability and transparency. This means that fund raising becomes especially important, as few of these organizations can rely on connected board members to spearhead fund raising efforts. A final unique structural challenge for this sector has to do with the inter‐jurisdictional nature of First Nations institutions. This situation can be very confusing for funders whose scope is limited to providing funds either on or off reserve. Many First Nations organizations, in attempting to reach out to off‐reserve citizens transcend the boundaries that keep the senior levels of government apart. For these organizations, non‐governmental funding, with its flexibility, is a blessing. 2.3 Needs of Aboriginal not‐for‐profit organizations During the consultations we spent a great deal of time in conversation on the needs of Aboriginal not‐for‐profits. In the end, the needs could be summarized as falling within seven areas: • Board Development • Staff Development • Administration • Planning • Fundraising • Linkages • Cultural needs These seven areas represent the most pressing needs for Aboriginal not‐for‐profits in BC, and it is these areas that should become the targets for TAP funding. 2.3.1 Board Development As we have already seen, Aboriginal organization boards are primarily community‐ based. This provides organizations with exceptional accountability to their communities and clients, but there is often a trade off. In our meetings it was reported that community‐based boards have two major challenges to overcome: training and turnover. Training issues include training for current boards members as well as potential board members. Many organizations reported a need to train board members in financial processes, roles and responsibilities, liabilities and governance methods. These skills can usually be obtained in workshops and one‐off learning processes. Board training and development is a common request for POD applicants. In the case of Aboriginal organizations, specific needs include interfacing with political organizations (such as band councils and other political bodies), understanding conflict of interest in small communities where liability is an issue. Many Aboriginal organizations draw their boards from the community itself. In small communities this can be a challenge, as citizens with time, expertise and passion can sometimes be in short demand. Everywhere we went, people told us about the need to train potential board members for not‐for‐profits. Hosting community based workshops to explain the basics of board governance would be one way to encourage more people to sit on boards, and would be a long term and effective community capacity building activity. Because of the small pool of community volunteers, board turnover tends to be a problem with some organizations. Burnout and political changes are especially prevalent in organizations that face chronic funding shortages or that depend on political leadership for their board membership. Turnover and board succession planning continues to be a need. 2.3.2 Staff Development Turnover Turnover is also an issue with staff and the need for succession planning is a major capacity issue for Aboriginal not‐for‐profits. Most Aboriginal not‐for‐profits are dependant on government funding for their operating funds. This funding is both highly unstable and often inadequate to pay a competitive salary. Employees are hired for short term pilot projects, or have their jobs renewed on an annual basis. Private sector and government employers often hire good Aboriginal organizational staff away for better salaries and benefits. All of these turnover scenarios affect the capacity of the organization as it removes expertise, connections and leadership. Organizations have a capacity need to plan for succession, undertake human resources planning and recruitment and search for incentives to retain good employees. Emotional health Staff in Aboriginal not‐for‐profits often work in environments of stress and uncertainty and this takes an emotional toll on the organizationʹs capacity. Aboriginal organizations, especially those who embrace Aboriginal culture, focus highly on relationships with clients, between staff and in the community. In an emotionally draining environment, the quality of this relationship capacity decreases and the work of the organization and the staff suffers. Providing emotional support and caring for the emotional needs and capacity of staff is a key organizational capacity need. Mentorship Mentorship is a key traditional teaching tool. Taking a new staff member under oneʹs wing and showing them the ropes, moving into a learning relationship with a mentor is a key feature of training and learning in Aboriginal organizations. Not‐for‐profits have a need to support mentoring relationships for staff development, in a way that is not typically addressed by classroom learning. When people engage in a mentoring relationship, there can be initial costs associated with backfilling positions and creating time and space for the learning relationship to unfold. Our focus group participants also talked about mentorship as the best way of promoting learning between organizations and within communities. There were numerous discussions in the focus groups about mentorship as a cultural learning tool and finding ways to support mentorship in communities as well as within organizations. Accreditation As more and more Aboriginal not‐for‐profits take on more and more responsibilities in areas such as treatment, health care and child welfare staff are required to pursue accreditation. Accreditation can be a very expensive endeavour especially for professionals. Aboriginal organizations struggle with both the cost and the time associated with accreditation training. Although governments who require accreditation will often cover the costs, there are backfilling issues when staff are away from their jobs on training. Organizational accreditation is also a need. Pursuing various standards certification has long term benefit for organizations but the initial time and financial investment for these processes are often prohibitive. This includes preparation of materials for charitable status applications. In general, certification leads to more sustainable funding and stronger partnerships, but initiating the process is more often than not out of reach. Some participants saw a benefit of TAP contributing to accreditation by having activities recognized as part of the process. 2.3.3 Administration associated with funding One of the chief frustrations of Aboriginal organizations is the amount of administration associated with funding and programs that support the operations of Aboriginal organizations. Of particular importance to the TAP process, we learned about specific needs with respect to applications processes and reporting processes. Applications for programs funding can sometimes be too onerous, especially for organizations lacking capacity. Application processes that demand information such as audited financial statements, legal documents or extensive documentation about the organization create barriers for organizations looking for help. At the other end of the process, completing reporting requirements for grants and contributions can sometimes be as onerous as undertaking the project itself. The idea of accountability is not at issue, but making that accountability effective was a major theme in our focus groups. These conversations, combined with the idea of the mentorship and community learning led us to developing the network model proposal. Reporting processes that respect the oral nature of storytelling within the Aboriginal community are important cultural modes. 2.3.4 Planning Planning is perhaps the single biggest need for Aboriginal organizations working towards sustainability. The main needs fall into the areas of strategic planning, transitional planning, evaluation, and planning for facilities. Strategic planning Completing long term strategic plans is a high priority in most organizations. Many organizations noted the difficulty in finding the time and the expertise not only to facilitate the creation of a plan but to ensure its implementation. This need is common to the not‐for‐profit sector in general but has particular dynamics in the Aboriginal community. Aboriginal organizations strive to be inclusive of the community and work hard to ensure that their planning and operations are undertaken holistically. For the purposes of planning, this means that there is a need to include people such as Elders, youth, community members and others in the strategic planning process. To complete plans that are truly representative of community, innovative and holistic planning processes need support. Aboriginal not‐for‐profits also have a strong need to undertake planning in highly volatile environments. Government funding, devolution and self‐government processes, the treaty process and legally mandated consultation requirements place major strains on the capacity of organizations to offer their services. Even organizations seemingly distant from the politics and legalities of rights, title and negotiations still operate within this environment and so planning that allows for getting a handle on these complex dynamics is critical. Where most other not‐for‐profits also struggle with the uncertainties of funding, Aboriginal organizations have these additional complexities to understand. Finally, Aboriginal organizations have a strong need for strategic planning that leads towards financial stability and long terms sustainability. Most organizations run on annual funding cycles and these timeframes reduce the planning horizon significantly. Also, responding to annual calls for proposals creates a situation where some organizations reported losing touch with their key purposes. Without a long term strategic plan attached to the deep values and purposes of the organization, the mission and effectiveness of these agencies can erode. Transitional planning Many Aboriginal organizations, especially those in the child welfare, health and justice sectors find themselves at the moment within a rapidly changing context. More and more government functions are being devolved to the community without the attendant resources to help community organizations deal with these significant changes and programming burdens. As community governance (both on and off‐reserve and within the Métis community) becomes more present, the role of organizations changes dramatically as well. Helping to build capacity to deal with these unique changes scenarios is a high priority need for Aboriginal organizations. Facilities planning As Aboriginal organizations become more and more successful, they find themselves at a shortage for space and facilities. The process of planning, fundraising, building and moving into new facilities is a huge capacity challenge. People from organizations told us that this is an important need in order to meet the increasing demands on organizations that arise from devolution and demographic changes. 2.3.5 Fundraising Fundraising is another key capacity building area for Aboriginal organizations. Most Aboriginal organizations survive on administration funds for running programs. This creates a tenuous fiscal situation. Larger Aboriginal organizations are able to access fundraisers but such expertise is expensive and the initial investment of time and money is often difficult to materialize. Organizations we met with were most keen to have access to private sector funding and social enterprise. To access private sector funding requires connections, knowledge and, in many cases charitable status. Moving through the process to receive a charitable number is time consuming and expensive and this represents a real need. Furthermore, with respect to accessing private funds, many Aboriginal not‐for‐profits felt that credibility was often an issue. Increasing the overall visibility and credibility of the Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector was seen as a real need to help attract different funding sources. Many echoed the support for an Aboriginal community foundation in BC. The growing field of social enterprise is largely untapped by Aboriginal organizations, and this was also an expressed need. In general, Aboriginal not‐for‐profits need more stable funding than that which they receive from governments, and funding which respects their missions and purposes rather than tying them to a pre‐determined set of criteria and work. 2.3.6 Linkages Aboriginal not‐for‐profits in some areas of the province sometimes feel as if they live in a vacuum. In many places, linkages between agencies, or with non‐Aboriginal organizations are highly desired, but rarely realized. Supporting networks at the local level, encouraging project partnerships and diminishing competition for resources is seen as an important need. Furthermore, Aboriginal not‐for‐profits expressed a keen interest in fostering learning networks with one another so that the sector is growing and developing and people are left “reinventing the wheel.” 2.3.7 Cultural needs When thinking about an Aboriginal program, focus group participants stated that there was an important but perhaps invisible set of capacity needs having to do with Aboriginal culture. Many participants said that they felt that programs, services and networks did not operate according to Aboriginal principles. When asked what these were, people named collaboration, unity, joint leadership, healing one another, sharing, mentorship and relationship building as key capacity areas. An Aboriginal program needs to be designed and offered with these ways in mind. 3 Summary of the proposed model and recommendations Through the consultations we gathered much valuable information from community members and organizations about these specific needs with respect to organizational capacity development. This section of the report outlines how the TAP program might meet these needs both through targeting funding and using an innovative program delivery model to keep benefits in the community and grow the capacity of organizations, regional networks and the Aboriginal non for profit sector as a whole. 3.1 Vision In thinking about how TAP might work, we sketched out a vision. TAP will be a program that supports the capacity development needs of Aboriginal organizations by providing grants, facilitating learning networks and hosting a growing library of tools and resources. Over time the Centre will grow into research activities which look at the Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector, support the development of an Aboriginal community foundation and continue to champion capacity building and attract diverse funding sources to this work. The TAP program will support organizations with grants aimed at capacity building in a number of areas. Initially these grants will be substantial enough to allow organizations to do their work, develop materials and contribute to a learning network. Grants will be issued under a unique scenario that ensures that the results of the project are shared in peer learning networks and that any products produced are freely available to all. To make this work, the Centre will use some of its money to support regional learning conferences in five areas in British Columbia. These gatherings will be a showcase for TAP project learnings, networking opportunities and a chance for local consultants and organizations to offer workshops on a broad variety of organizational development areas. As a requirement of receiving a grant from the Centre, organizations agree to make a presentation at the first learning network gathering after their project ends, and they will make materials available with creative commons “derivatives” licenses to be housed on the CfS website. Organizations then support this peer learning network. Over time, using the resources developed by TAP grantees, Aboriginal organizations continue to require funding, but the grant amounts on average decrease as they find it unnecessary to “reinvent the wheel.” CfS is therefore able to issue more grants with a lower average value and perhaps even experiment with a few very large grants aimed at supporting an organization through an intensive and comprehensive organizational development and change initiative. The Learning network conferences, supported to the tune of $10‐15,000 each will be open to all, and so even organizations that did not receive TAP grants will be able to attend and learn from completed work. In due time, the Centre can use the materials housed on the website to undertake comprehensive research on the nature of the Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector and using this research, the Centre can become an active champion for this kind of work among Aboriginal organizations. It is anticipated that the success of this delivery model may also spread to the POD programs. 3.2 Goals In the initial development of this program, two key goals were identified: • To build the capacity of Aboriginal community organizations in BC by means of a technical assistance program that will provide financial resources to engage relevant expertise for organizational development activities, and; • To provide training opportunities to Aboriginal community organizations in areas such as governance, financial management and strategic planning. These goals are useful starting points, and based on our consultations, the following key goals might be considered: • To increase the capacity of organizations, networks and the Aboriginal not for profit sector as a whole. • To expose organizations to a variety of opportunities to develop capacity through grants, small projects, networked learning and making resources and tools widely available. • To build capacity within the Aboriginal community to support a vibrant Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector. 3.3 Objectives In the initial design, the objectives of the TAP are as follows: • Develop and deliver a diagnostic and assessment tool that will help Aboriginal community organizations identify critical areas that would benefit from enhanced capacity • Develop and deliver a technical assistance program that will assist Aboriginal community organizations to build and strengthen capacity in areas such as: • governance • financial management • strategic planning for organizational sustainability • identification and access of diverse funding sources • other priorities as identified through the assessment process These objectives are a useful starting point. To these we would recommend the following additions: • Develop an online library of tools and resources generated by TAP grantees and shared widely. • Develop and support open regional learning network conferences at which TAP recipients can share learnings and organizations can access workshops and training. • Add to the list of capacity areas: • board development • Social enterprise development • Development of administrative policies and procedures • Supporting recruitment of staff and board members. 3.4 Delivery 3.4.1 Delivery process We are proposing a new model for the delivery of TAP. This model is built on the needs of the organizations we consulted with and is rooted in Aboriginal ways of doing business. Instead of a traditional donor‐recipient model, we are proposing that TAP be based on a model of sharing results within learning networks. This creates innumerable synergies and extends the learning and capacity building outcomes of the program into communities. In the consultations, organizations told us that the learned best under the following conditions: • Learning together and exchanging information and stories • Creating unity among organizations • Relying on our own knowledge and expertise to develop organizations Key features of the traditional donor‐recipient system In the standard system of donors and recipients, such as the delivery system for POD, the granting organization reviews applications, makes decisions about funding and provides grants to recipients. In return, recipients provide reports and materials back to the granting organization for accountability purposes. In most cases, granting organizations file the reports received and may use them to tailor programming or do additional research. Key features in the networked learning system In this new system, the granting organization still receives applications and still disburses funds. The major change is that the accountability for the funding comes back to both the granting organization and a learning network. In return for the grant the recipient provides two additional commitments to the donor: 1. Materials produced as a result of the project are shared with the donor and the donor puts these on a website, making them widely available to anyone who wants to use them, including potential applicants for the program. 2. The recipient agrees to create a workshop for a learning network event in which other organizations are present. This way the learnings that are harvested from the project can be shared with peers and colleagues, especially organizations that are in similar situations. The learning benefits therefore accrue to the community, and the lessons learned can be shared with a wide variety of not‐for‐ profits who might benefit from the process. 3.4.2 Supporting network meetings To bring this delivery system alive, the Centre for Sustainability would commit to supporting five regional gatherings around British Columbia each year. With an investment of $10‐15,000 for each one, and the accrual of matching and other grants, these two day gatherings would provide a showcase for the Aboriginal not‐for‐profit sector and a dynamic learning exchange. Gatherings could be coordinated locally, thereby supporting local Aboriginal meeting planners, and a group of people could decide together on the program. In addition to the presentations from TAP recipients, the gathering could also include workshops on issues of common concern (human resources, fundraising, changes to tax law) as well as network planning conversations. These gatherings would be open to all and held with a minimal fee so that any organization in the community could benefit from the work. 3.5 Database of materials In addition to the learning networks and gatherings, the Centre would also host a website to house materials developed through the TAP process. These materials would be licensed under the Creative Commons license, meaning that they would be free to share, distribute, copy and build upon. Over time, the Centre will develop a dynamic and constantly improving set of resources developed by the Aboriginal community and made available to all. 3.6 Administration Administration of TAP is not substantially different from the way the Centre currently administers the POD programs. The major change is less reliance on detailed project reporting and more participation in the regional network gatherings. Otherwise, TAP would be administered in the same way, with a few intakes each year and decisions on resources made by an advisory body from the community. 3.7 Role of the Centre over time and the Aboriginal community foundation Several focus group participants spoke of the importance of creating an Aboriginal community foundation and we gathered some names of people interested in working to make this a reality. There is potential for TAP to act as the initial building block for such a foundation, the development of which could proceed from the feasibility study that was referenced earlier in this report. Over time, the Centre for Sustainability could evolve to assist in the establishment of the foundation and then oversee the transfer of responsibility for TAP to this entity.
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