Foreword

Read what these women have to say. They are all at the head of non-profit organizations and community organizations that support the most vulnerable. They have all reflected on their leadership and on issues of transformation in their sector, particularly after the pandemic that dramatically altered the ways things are done.

There are 60,000 non-profit organizations in Québec, and women are overrepresented among them. They occupy key roles in this essential sector—a sector that is underfinanced and that fills the gaps left by public services at a lesser cost and with more agility and flexibility.

These leaders come from different backgrounds, with their own expertise and values. They have chosen to work in a sector in which there are huge challenges, not enough resources, and thousands of citizens in need—citizens who come from all origins, notably women who are victims of violence, racial minorities and refugees.

This collection of essays is passionate. We hear from female entrepreneurs who support non-profits so that they can succeed in their digital transformation and learn to interpret their data. Added to this are reflections on the place of advocacy, and the place of Christian values in non-profit organizations.

These leaders are frank. They talk about their successes and their errors, about their journeys towards listening better to those that they serve, and their efforts to professionalize organizations and achieve results.

The challenges are numerous. For example, the nature of volunteering has changed. Volunteers are offering fewer hours and less long-term engagement. In these conditions, how can organizations pursue their mission when employees need a solid team of volunteers to support them?

Throughout this original group reflection there are potential solutions and practical advice for those who want to transform or improve an organization. For these reasons, I salute this contribution to the vitality of a sector that is essential for a more equitable society.

 

Julie Miville-Dechêne
Independent Senator
Board Member, Share the Warmth