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Learning a New Language of Gender

pink-and-blue-rndObservations from an NPO Conversation at GMA

There is an emerging awareness of the concept of gender as a spectrum, with many possible expressions that don’t fit neatly into the traditional male-female binary. Last month we invited nonprofit leaders to join us for a discussion about the programmatic implications of shifting gender norms. Each guest represented an organization that offers gender-specific or gender-sensitive programming, and we discussed how this issue has affected their approaches to meeting the needs of the populations they serve.

Our guests shared some of the ways that their organizations are working to be more inclusive. Many expressed an awareness that gender-specific programs risk reinforcing the idea of gender as a strict male-female binary, but believe nevertheless that these types of programs are still much needed. While the concept of gender is more fluid than ever, many gendered expectations and prejudices persist, and gender-based violence continues to be a significant problem.

Awareness, sensitivity, and inclusion

Gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and many other aspects of identity. As such, it is both complex and deeply personal. Organizations feel an obligation to meet clients where they are; the challenge is that clients’ felt and expressed needs are varied and changing. A mother may approach an organization to find an adult male mentor for her son, because she wants him to be “more of a man.” She may have very traditional views of what it means to be a man. How can an organization best meet such a client’s need without embracing rigid definitions? Continue Reading »

Healing Lives Affected by Trauma

NPO Conversation on May 25 at GMA Foundations

mosaic_roundedWe invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us periodically for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little more about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: Trauma-informed programs

Integrated programs addressing the whole-person provide new and innovative approaches to working with youth and their families to end the cycle of trauma. Recent developments in neuroscience demonstrate the positive effects of such interventions. As these trauma-informed programs gain traction, and there is a growing interest among funders, we would like to learn from your experiences.

Our informal discussion will be organized around several questions, similar to these:

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When You Think about Succession…

NPO Conversation on December 9 at GMA Foundations

lawsocietygazette.ca-successionplanningWe invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us each quarter for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little more about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: Succession and Sustainability

The pressures on leadership of nonprofit organizations are well known. Passionate about solving some of society’s greatest challenges, these executives are frequently faced with a shortage of funds, time and compensation, even if they possess abundant talent. How then does an Executive Director who works to build a strong organization ensure its successful continuity?

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