By Katharine Zywert, Project Officer, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo. Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo is a community-driven partnership between community stakeholders in Wood Buffalo, the Suncor Energy Foundation, and the University of Waterloo. The project aims to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in Wood Buffalo. For more information please visit www.socialprosperity.ca
The Social Prosperity Toolkit is a new online database presenting over 90 resources designed to build nonprofit capacity and spark community innovation. The Social Prosperity Toolkit provides resources for implementing capacity building strategies such as improving job satisfaction and developing multisectoral collaborations, strategies that were developed as part of an innovative project called Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo.
The Social Prosperity Toolkit has its origins in community conversations that explored the most pressing issues facing nonprofits in Wood Buffalo, Alberta. In 2011, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo's Action Learning Teams brought together community leaders from the nonprofit sector, government, and industry in Wood Buffalo and Waterloo regions to develop transformational solutions in five priority areas: Arts and Culture, Capacity Building, Harnessing Great Ideas, Shared Space, and Social Planning. Meetings got to the heart of the nonprofit sector's challenges and opportunities, identifying solutions that were compiled into the Framework for Building Prosperous Communities, a collection of strategies designed to increase social prosperity by building capacity in the nonprofit sector. The Social Prosperity Toolkit evolved out of the Framework, providing tools and resources to support community leaders and nonprofit senior management in implementing its strategies.
Although the conversations that led to the creation of the Framework for Building Prosperous Communities were focused on the needs of the nonprofit sector in Wood Buffalo, the priorities identified were in fact nation-wide issues. In creating the Social Prosperity Toolkit, SPWB staff filtered through hundreds of resources in order to include only the highest-quality tools. In an effort to make these resources even more accessible, resource sheets accompany many of the toolkit's articles and reports, summarizing main points and highlighting great ideas. Resource sheets are a user-friendly way for nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers with busy schedules to infuse their work with new ideas and best practices. The Social Prosperity Toolkit is a useful new tool for nonprofits across the country, presenting a wide variety of exceptional resources including articles, websites, books, and blogs designed to build nonprofit capacity and spark community innovation.