Discussions about closing down a program or charity have always been tough, but a new workbook released today by The Muttart Foundation may help organizations better understand the many considerations that go into a decision.

The workbook was written by four students from Carleton University as their capstone project to obtain their Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership degree. Carleton is the only university in the country to offer such a Master’s level program.

It’s Time to Go is a self-guided workbook. Directors and staff of a charity or other nonprofit can use the insights and checklists to ensure they fully understand what is involved in their decision and what to do if they decide to end a program or close the entire agency. The workbook combines learnings from research and lessons from Canadian nonprofit leaders who have faced this type of difficult decision.

The workbook can be freely downloaded here.

In their introduction, Foundation president Malcolm Burrows and executive director Bob Wyatt praised the four students — Uzma Gilani, Praan Misir, Shane Norris and Ellie Sabourin – for the quality of their work.

Burrows and Wyatt wrote:

Closing a charity or nonprofit is not a simple exercise. Financial realities butt up against deeply held values. The “can do” spirit that is at the heart of charities must be balanced with the truth that “doing more with less” is, more often than not, an empty phrase that seeks to hide disaster for clients, staff and communities. If a charity or nonprofit makes the difficult decision to close, it must strive for excellence in that, as it has over the life of its existence. This workbook will help them do just that.

Around the world, leading charitable-sector organizations and researchers have predicted that tens of thousands of charities may decide to close, largely as a result of their inability to survive the results of the pandemic. 

“While we hope these predictions are overstated, we fear they may not be,” says the introduction to the workbook.

Carleton University annually invites charities and others to submit projects to be considered as possible capstone projects for the MPNL program.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for the students and an important contribution to Canada’s charitable sector,” said Wyatt.

The Muttart Foundation, in collaboration with the law firm Miller Thomson LLP, has produced a resource to assist groups in coping with the financial hardships that are now upon them. Paths Forward in Financially Troubled Times – A Restructuring and Insolvency Guidebook for Charities and Non-profit Organizations is now available through the Foundation’s website.

The Guidebook lays out a number of avenues that groups can explore if they are financially stressed. These range from continuing operations in a different legal form or in a collaboration, to revamping finances to survive immediate threats to viability, to wrapping up the organization and its functions in a prudent and reasonable manner.

Paths Forward in Financially Troubled Times: A Restructuring and Insolvency Guidebook for Charities and Non-profit Organizations

This report, commissioned by the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care and the Muttart Foundation, was written with the intent of promoting discussion about improving the quality of early learning and care in Alberta. It provides a comprehensive review of how jurisdictions can, and do, support quality in early learning and care through a combination of regulation and other policy vehicles and mechanisms. It was prepared by Jane Beach, a prominent researcher and consultant in the area of early learning and care. The report:

• reviews the history of early learning and care in Alberta since the 1960s
as well as its present state (Section 2);
• describes international research on quality and standards
for ensuring quality (Section 3);
• provides an overview of regulatory mechanisms for supporting quality in
Alberta and four other provinces (Section 4);
• outlines the regulatory, funding, and policy measures used in Norway
to build a high-quality system of early learning and care (Section 5); and
• raises issues that need to be considered in building a system of early
learning and care (Section 6).

An Examination of Regulatory and Other Measures to Support Quality Early Learning and Child Care in Alberta

Canadian charities have a long history of helping to inform and shape public policy at municipal, provincial, and federal levels.  For many, it’s a key strategy for advancing their missions.

Whether your organization has experience in public policy advocacy or is relatively new to the field, this extraordinary professional development opportunity will help you improve.

Application Deadline is November 30, 2020

Click here for PPTI Application form

About the PPTI

Between January and June of each year, Max Bell Foundation will deliver its annual Public Policy Training Institute (PPTI). We bring together 25 leaders from Canada’s charitable sector whose organizations want to impact the public policy process. Enrollment is open to staff or board members of any Canadian charity.

Selected organizations delegate their representative to attend six monthly two-day sessions. Sessions explore such topics as evidence, policy options, communications and engagement, and implementation. Each participant receives one-on-one coaching during the program to help them develop a policy-ready position on a given issue by program end.

On completion of the program, participants have enhanced their knowledge and skills required to develop, inform, and monitor public policy on issues of strategic importance to their organizations.

Click here to read more about the program.

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit, the Canadian Child Care Federation, and Child Care Now distributed an online survey to child care centres and family child care homes designed to gather information on the state of child care service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic for the week of April 27 to May 1, 2020. Using data from the national survey, the Muttart Foundation and the Canadian Child Care Federation prepared this report comparing pandemic experiences of services providers in Saskatchewan with those of service providers in other parts of Canada.

Early Learning and Care in Saskatchewan

New Granting Program Announced

The Muttart Foundation has announced a new funding program to assist charities as they consider their futures. The Restructuring program has three streams that may be able to provide support to charities that:

• wish to consider a formal merger with another charity;
• are interested in forming new alliances, ranging from sharing space to sharing back-office services; or
• need assistance in ending their operations while ensuring the people they serve are supported.

Details of the program are available here.