Contests as a means to allocate funds is a growing trend for funders. I’ve applied to a couple and organizations that I have worked with have also applied for these funds. If you work in the non-profit sector, I’m sure that you have been on the receiving end of “Go vote for us/me!” emails from colleagues.
This is the first article I saw questioning the practice — although it is not a critical piece: Are Social Media Giving Contests Good for Non-Profits?. They disclose that they are involved as a sponsor of the PepsiCo10 competition but then they go ahead and promote the contest with a large graphic bearing the Pepsi logo in the middle of the article.
The article links to a post by Beth Kanter about an evalution she’s been conducting: AGC Coversational Case Studies: Students for a Free Tibet: A mindful social media strategy for campaigns or contests
Finally, the folks at the Knight News Challenge have commissionned a report on the practice: Contest-Driven Innovation – A Growing Trend in the News and Information Field. You can read the 50 page pdf, which has lots of information about different contests (specifically ICT contests), but unfortunately it is light on analysis.
I expect to see more thought and discussion of this trend in the near future.
Today over the lunchtime session we watched a 20 min. video on a short history of research partnerships on the social economy in Montreal: 10 ans de recherche partenariale en économie sociale by l’Alliance de recherche universités-communautés en économie sociale (ARUC-ÉS) and le Réseau québécois de recherche partenariale en économie sociale (RQRP-ÉS)
Apparently Montreal is the only city in North America that has a social economy plan. I’ve found out the answer to my question yesterday – it seems that Québec is definitely in advance of the other provinces in the social economy movement. I do need to double-check that, though.
I find these examinations and discussions of the social economy fascinating because of all of the different types of experiences I’m having with the social economy network in Québec. Through my participation as a board member at ISF I’m encountering and working with different actors in the social economy milieu in Montreal to find funding for ISF to expand our activities. For Ajah, we’ve applied and received funding for community economic development funds. In developing the Ajah service we’re learning more about the macro aspects of the social economy across Canada.
The session I’m attending now is another one on Governance & Management:
How accountability in the social services will lead to increasingly dysfunctional organizations
Lothar Liehmann - Craigwood Youth Services
Value Frame Fusion in Cross Sector Partnerships
Marlene J. Le Ber – The University of Western Ontario
Power and Resistance in Community-based organisations: Neoliberalism, funding and discourse
Sarah Amyot – University of Victoria
Chaired by Ram Cnaan
It was an interesting session. Sarah Amyot’s (Master’s thesis) talk reminded me of the book The Revolution Will Not Be Funded. Her talk and Lothar Liehmann’s overlapped well. Lothar Liehmann’s talk was different than other presentation’s that I have heard so far which I imagine is because he is a director of a social services organization (Craigwood Youth Services).
ANSER had it’s AGM over lunch. Before it started, Nancy Neamtam from Le Chantier de l’économie sociale gave a brief 20 minute overview of the social economy in Québec. The Tamarack Institute has a introduction to her work (it’s 12 years old though).
What has been achieved in Québec around the community economic development movement / the social economy is tremendously impressive. I’ve been curious to find out about the state of the social economy in other Canadian provinces. I hope to find out about that over the next two days.
Now I’m attending one of the sessions on Governance & Management:
Evaluating Collaborative Processes: The Case of Saskatoon Regional Intersectoral Committee
Louise Clarke – University of Saskatchewan
Making Sense of Partnerships: Executive Directors’ Perspectives
David Este – University of Calgary
“Building Community”: Partnering to Mobilize Knowledge of the Social Economy
Lou Hammond Ketilson – Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, U of Sask
Chair: Ushnish Sengupta from UofT.
Because it’s a smallish session, we did a go-around to introduce ourselves. It’s great to know that there are feds in the audience. Through my work at Ile sans fil I have had the chance to meet several government researchers who are doing their best to positively influence relevant government policy.
Note: There are PDF’s or Excel sheets online with the conference schedule for you to download. I published the Excel sheet as an webpage for myself, but maybe someone else would be interested.
I only realized now that I have not yet blogged about this conference.
I’m super excited for it to start. It’s started. I’m here.
The Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research
- Annual Conference -
In Conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
June 2 to 4, 2010
ANSER (The Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research) will hold its annual conference as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Concordia University, June 2 to 4, 2010. Henry Mintzberg of McGill University will be the keynote speaker, Wednesday, June 2nd, at 4 pm. Anyone with an interest in the conference is invited to attend.
The ANSER conference involves panels of about 200 leading researchers on such themes as:
The social economy: differing perspectives; civil society and its challenges;
Nonprofits and charities in a changing world;
Social enterprises and social entrepreneurship;
Co-operatives and their challenges;
Community organizing and community economic development;
Volunteering and citizenship engagement;
Changing conceptions of financing;
Governance and management;
Public policy and government relations;
Communication, networking and social marketing;
Community/university research partnerships.
The program is available on the website (link above).
Also, a little bird told me (literally – I just found out via Twitter) that Montreal will be the host for “Le Forum international en économie sociale et solidaire”. Montréal 17 au 20 oct 2011. Great news – but 2011 is so far away. I guess we’ll have lots of time to let people know about Ajah between now and then.