Better Organizations for Nature  -Learning Opportunities, Project Fund, Community of Practice

What is Engagement Organizing?

Engagement Organizing involves the development of relationships with supporters, distributing leadership, investing in the training of volunteers; all enabled through application of information technology in order to prompt individuals to act on their beliefs and apply their citizen capabilities.

Conventional Organizing

Engagement Organizing

passive recruitment of supporters

active recruitment and prompting of supporters to  deepen levels of participation

little known about individual members or supporters

relationship building a core consideration

staff do the work to meet mission

staff direct considerable time to support volunteers to do the work to achieve mission

digital tools applied to traditional organizational functions

digital tools integral in shaping organizational functions and scaling up the number of  relationships that can be managed

number of members  or supporters important

numbers and depth of involvement supported by training important

Learn more about Engagement Organizing from the Sustainability Network Engagement Organizing resource page.

Goals of the Better Organizations for Nature Project

  • Support the development of robust organizations working for nature as indicated by growing membership, resources, volunteers, project leadership, donations and the ability to rally responses to challenges and opportunities.
  • Send a signal of support to organizations open to evolving their cultures of practice to better meet their missions.
  • Expand organizational activity from knowledge/appreciation/awareness to include engagement and action to meet mission.
  • Support the field of engagement organizing and related methodology across the environmental nonprofit sector in Canada.
  • Learn from and share insights with other members of the philanthropic community to support the development of better organizations in their sectors of interest.

Project Elements

  1. Provide Learning Opportunities

All environmental organizations are invited to learn about Engagement Organizing as a means of better meeting their missions.  Upcoming webinars, workshops and resources can be found on the Sustainability Network’s Engagement Organizing resource page.

  1. Funding to Apply Engagement Organizing to Projects and Opportunities

This funding is available to organizations in the nature and land protection sector to support projects and evolution of organizational practices that when complete leave the organization stronger and more independent.  With quick turnaround it can also be accessed to take advantage of unfolding events that provide time-sensitive opportunity to engage individuals.  See Project Fund Application Process.

  1. Community of Practice

Nature and Land Protection Organizations are invited to apply to be part of a community of practice to learn about and apply Engagement Organizing methodology.  It is anticipated that this community will convene early in 2016.  Over a two to three year time frame, this group will collaboratively learn and apply engagement organizing principles and share their learning experiences.  With the help of leaders in engagement organizing methodology, participating organizations will identify measurable targets they wish to achieve and receive funding to pursue them.  Learn more about the Better Organizations for Nature Community of Practice.


Is Engagement Organizing for Your Organization?

Evolving the culture and practice of organizations is difficult work but with all ecosystems in decline we need to step up and be open to learning to do better. Through the Better Organizations for Nature project the Gosling Foundation invites those ready to take the time and effort needed to learn new skills, test new approaches and openly collaborate with others to enhance our collective work to protect nature.

Your organization is ready to take on the challenge of engagement organizing if one or more of the following apply:

  • Achieving your mission includes building a committed and active member or supporter base.
  • Your mission includes a call to action to bring about desired change.
  • You are open to taking risks and being a learning organization.
  • You are ready to learn collaboratively and share the results of your experiences with others.

We look forward to exploring how your exploration can benefit from Engagement Organizing to become a Better Organization for Nature.