Act Now: No Waters Left Behind

In 2012, 99% of lakes and rivers ceased to be protected under the Navigation Protection Act. With the Act under review, we have a chance to restore those protections. Nominate your home waters for protection. Tell your representative: no waters left behind

 

 

No Waters Left Behind

This spring, Government response to the suite of environmental reviews currently underway suggested an opening to broaden the list of protected waters included in the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Make sure your home waters, lakes, and rivers aren’t left behind, nominate them today and call for all lost rivers and lakes to be protected once again.

 

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The bridges Canada must build, right here at home

By John Ralston Saul

This piece was originally published August 25, 2017 in the Globe and Mail. Walls, Bridges, Homes is a series of essays written in response to the emerging global appetite for a progressive narrative around inclusion and immigration. The series frames the thematic focus on 6 Degrees Citizen Space (Sept. 25-27), a forum presented by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. 6DegreesTO.com

We have included this piece in our blog series for the way in which it weaves together the cultural and historic significance of rivers and the concept of rivers as bridges for building better relationships among all peoples. 

We seem to be desperate today to build bridges or to blow them up. The wall or no-wall argument, the barbed-wire fences now cutting up Europe are just new versions of the old idea that wherever water flows, people can be separated.

Wars are still fought from riverbank to riverbank, as they have been for thousands of years. People still glower at or cower from each other across these theoretically uncrossable divides. Borders still follow rivers or mountains or ocean coasts, unless they were drawn in straight lines on a map by rival imperial officials – lines designed to show not their belief in diversity, but their indifference to complexity in colonial lands.

We have this odd idea that borders are natural divisions – an idea fixed in our imaginations because so much of modern Europe was built on that myth. War after war after war leading from the Westphalian treaties in 1648 to the modern Westphalian nation-states. One way or another, these wars were aimed at creating what I call the monolithic model. Wars, rivers and mountains or arbitrarily drawn lines shaping nations which claim to house a single people. And the only way you can get to that notion of a single people is by pretending that they are made up of a single race, a monolithic religious belief system and total agreement on a shared mythology.

 

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Your database and communication workflows

No matter what suite of systems you use, and quite possibly for the volunteer organization especially, investing time in charting out your workflows for engagement will go a long way to getting you ready to invest in database solutions. Truly effective use of database systems is all about triggering workflows - who communicates what to who, when and to what effect? And this is true whether you are volunteer or highly staffed.  No matter what system you have, or where you want to go, spend some time thinking about these workflows can help your engagement tremendously.

 

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But we are volunteer run with little capacity - what do we do?

There is no doubt that contact management systems are geared towards staffed organizations--or at the very least, organizations with capacity to manage systems. But there are affordable solutions (and even free solutions) that can offer the volunteer organization a better system for managing and engaging growing lists of supporters. Salesforce offers a free system for charitable organizations that will give you basic features for contacts management and engagement. MailChimp, designed to enable mass e-communications, has tools to help you organize your lists (segmenting) and measure how engaged your supporters are. Google Docs and other cloud-based tools can help you share contact spreadsheets with others in your organization, which can enable better workflow when it comes to engaging supporter bases.  

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Setting up for Success: Integration, Staff Buy-in, Training.

Once you’ve done a review and determined the system that is best for you, take some time and plan your transition. Have you ever heard of a renovation job running on time and on budget? Well, it could be said that database transitions (or renovations) are similar. They take longer, and could cost more (depending on your needs) then you had anticipated.

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5-Steps to choosing a new supporter database

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Rarely is a database met with 100% satisfaction  from its users or from any one organization. Those with the highest contentment tend to be high capacity organizations who have the resources and ability to customize systems to best fit their needs.

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