Fall 2010 Newsletter
In this edition:
- Donate to the Co-op online
- United Way Campaign 2010
- Highlights from Summer 2010
- Upcoming Events
- Co-op procures new laundry contract with Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre
- Multifaith Housing Initiative moves into Heartwood House
- Co-op partners with Families Matter
- Laundry Co-op gets new gas dryer
- Dryers for sale
- Access to new source of financing for Ontario non-profits
The Laundry Co-op now accepts donations online through CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps is a registered charity with a goal of making giving simple. (Look for the CanadaHelps button on the right side of this page).
How will my donation to the Community Laundry Co-op help?
$5 will provide a single parent family with clean laundry for a week – meaning the children can attend school in clean clothes.
$45 will provide 9 low-income individuals with clean clothes for a week.
$75 will pay 4 hours of mentoring sessions to empower an individual with work and life skills, helping that person become an active member of our community
CanadaHelps is safe, secure, private and issues tax receipts for all donations.
Direct your donation to the Laundry Co-op.
It’s that time of year again – The United Way Campaign launched this fall with the goal of raising $33.1 million for local charities. The 2009 campaign exceeded its $31.7-million fundraising goal, raising over $32.6 million. United Way distributes money raised in its campaigns to local charitable organizations, such as the Community Laundry Co-op. The 10-week campaign wraps up on December 2.
You can direct your gift specifically to the Community Laundry Co-op. Our charitable registration number is 843949298RR0001.
This summer was a busy and exciting time for volunteers and members of the Community Laundry Co-op (CLC). Here are a few highlights of some of the happenings around the Co-op over the past few months:
Fitzroy Harbour – the Laundry Co-op celebrated the beginning of summer at Fitzroy Harbour, where 36 members gathered to enjoy wonderful weather, great food and each other’s company.
Community Outreach – CLC support volunteers went out into the community to increase the Co-op’s visibility by distributing brochures explaining the CLC’s mission and social service programs. Support Volunteers Becky, Rick, and Ryan showed wonderful enthusiasm and the Co-op is receiving several positive responses from this initiative. The volunteers approached several local businesses and low income residences in the area.
St. Paul’s Eastern United Church – CLC Board Member Jeanie Hicks visited St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Lowertown to speak to members of the congregation about the work the Co-op does. The church’s minister, Reverend Laurie McKnight-Walker, attended one of the CLC open houses this past spring.
Yoga Picnic – The CLC held a yoga picnic in a local park. Yoga instructor and former CLC Counsellor Sadie Litchfield led the group. Sadie will continue to offer free yoga instruction to Co-op members every Tuesday in October from 2:00 to 3:00 pm at Heartwood House.
Registered Disability Savings Plan Workshop – A representative from the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre led a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) information session for Co-op members. RDSPs are designed to help people with disabilities and their families save for the future. The group was informed about tax credits, qualification, government incentives, and other important requisites.
Immaculata Catholic High School – CLC Counsellor Laura Masters and Co-op member Nasima Haque spoke to students at a local high school social action club about the importance of grassroots organizations like CLC.
Bells Corners United Church – CLC Board Members Karen Fee and Lynne Current and Co-op member Jinyu Chi-member will make a presentation at the Bells Corners United Church, speaking to the congregation about the Co-op.
Yoga Instruction – Former Co-op Counsellor Sadie Litchfield will offer free yoga classes to Co-op members for four consecutive Tuesdays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. The classes will take place at Heartwood House and are intended to be gentle and aimed at beginners.
St. John Ambulance First Aid and CPR Training – Interested Co-op members will be given the opportunity to receive first aid and CPR training at a cost of $3, November 25 from 9:00 to 5:00 at the Co-op.
In early September, the Salvation Army Booth Centre became a client of the Laundry Co-op as part of its Community Economic Development (CED) program. The contract entails 10-12 loads of laundry once per week. CLC provides laundry services on a commercial basis for a variety of clients in the community, including gyms, doctor’s offices, spas and community organizations. For more information on contract laundry services, contact Marianela Gonzalez at (613) 244-4762 or email email@example.com.
Heartwood House recently welcomed the Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) as it joined the 14 other charitable organizations that call the building home. MHI’s mission is to provide and to promote affordable home space, to encourage harmonious relations amongst tenants of diverse backgrounds, and to mobilize the resources of faith communities and others for these purposes.
Organizations within Heartwood House, including the Community Laundry Co-op, come together in the same building to share ideas and resources in order to deliver more efficient and effective services.
Over the past year and a half, CLC and the Families Matter Co-operative (FMC) have been working together with the common goal of helping their members to develop valuable skills while actively contributing to the community.
Six FMC members, and mentors who work alongside them, have been working at the Laundry Co-op, where they receive job training in a supportive environment. The initiative was so successful that FMC has recently started its own social enterprise, modelled after the Laundry Co-op.
FMC is a grassroots autonomous network empowering families and individuals with developmental disabilities, located alongside CLC in Heartwood House. CLC Coordinator Marianela Gonzalez said it’s important to support other like-minded organizations like FMC, particularly in the planning stages of a social enterprise, and hopes that CLC will continue to have opportunities to do so in the future.
In June, CLC was able to purchase a new gas dryer thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Brendan Bulger. The new machine is more energy efficient, saves time, reduces backlog in the Co-op and makes more room for members and volunteers to work.
The CLC currently has two dryers for sale at a cost of $120 each (delivery is not available). For more information, contact Marianela Gonzalez at (613) 244-4762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Heather Hachigian
The non-profit sector in Ontario is celebrating a big win this fall with the success of Bill 65, which includes a provision for non-profits to issue ‘community bonds’ to raise capital to support their missions.
This comes at a time when non-profit organizations are facing severe challenges in the wake of the global financial recession, and where the importance of diversifying funding sources has become a survival tactic for many non-profits rather than an aspiration. Non-profits traditionally have three main sources of funding: government grants and contributions, community foundation grants and loans from conventional institutions (private banks). Relying too heavily on any one of these funding sources can leave non-profits on shaky ground.
Bill 65, which introduces the Not-for-profit Corporations Act, 2010 “allows not-for-profit corporations to engage in commercial activities where the revenues are reinvested in the corporation’s not-for-profit purposes.” The recent amendments to Bill 65 provide an opportunity for non-profits to access an additional source of funding that has long been available to the for-profit sector; regulated investments from individual and institutional investors. This is achieved by allowing non-profits to issue community bonds.
Now that a mechanism is in place to accept registered investments, the big question is ‘who will invest in the non-profit sector’? Here is where socially responsible investors come in.
The rise of socially responsible investing (SRI) has demystified the assumption that investors are only concerned with maximizing their financial returns. SRI originated with faith-based investors who invest with a mission to achieve a blended value (social and financial returns). In its earlier days, SRI was concentrated on screening investments using social, environmental and ethical criteria. More recently, proactive forms of responsible investing, such as investments in community organizations, are becoming more prevalent. These investors are interested in seeing their investments contribute in a direct way to the communities they live in, by creating local jobs, providing community services and supporting social enterprises and affordable housing projects. SRI is also beginning to find its way into the practices of mainstream investors in Canada, including pension and mutual funds, individual investors and even some universities.
However, in a time of global recession, socially responsible investors and philanthropists are among those feeling the squeeze. This is where financial instruments such as community bonds can play a valuable role in getting much needed capital to communities. “Community bonds allow people to support a charitable cause while knowing that the money will be returned to them at the end of the investment period,” says Maureen Stapleton, writer for Alliance, a journal for philanthropists and social investors.
Community bonds offer one way to connect socially responsible investors with community organizations in need of capital. But what it really comes down to is the need to provide the same rights and opportunities that are extended to for-profit organizations in Canada to the non-profit sector, recognizing that investors care about more than just financial returns. The challenge remains for policy makers to continue to leverage innovative financial instruments available in the private sector to support the non-profit sector.
Heather Hachigian is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts program in Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. She worked as a research assistant at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation focusing on Responsible Investing in Canada.