In January 2014, the six Howe Sound community foundations jointly organized an Environmental Forum, held at Capilano University. The event attracted an audience of 130 from as far away as Whistler. It resulted in a number of outcomes, one of which was to explore where collaboration among the community foundations might lead vis-à-vis “convening for action”. The idea of the “Howe Sound Neighbourhood” resonated as providing a vision around which the six foundations could potentially coalesce and coordinate.
Many thanks for an informative and worthwhile day, even if some of us should have been on the 9th Tee!
Sandra Cunningham, Sunshine Coast Community Foundation
In August 2014, the six community foundations reached consensus on a path forward to strengthen connections with each other and potentially achieve impact at a broader scale. One of the decisions flowing from this consensus was that collaboration would extend beyond environment to embrace “community as a whole”. The six are proceeding with a “learning lunch & networking series”, with the West Vancouver Community Foundation hosting the series and each community foundation undertaking to organize the context for a seminar.
The inaugural workshop was held in February 2015. The theme for the morning segment was “Financial Management for Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability.” The afternoon segment was a roundtable forum. A number of opportunities were presented where collaboration would result in efficiencies in organizing community engagement events, such as the Six String Nation Tour (featuring former CBC broadcaster Jowi Taylor) and the McConnell Foundation’s Innoweave program. The latter is designed to help charities and non-profits generate greater impact, more quickly, and at less cost.
“There is a huge upside to inter-foundation collaboration,” reports Kim Stephens. He represents the BICF Board on this Howe Sound collaborative. “There are community engagement opportunities that we could bring to Bowen and in so doing raise general awareness of the capability of the Bowen Island Community Foundation to draw on resources from beyond Bowen.”