Why We’re Focusing on Collaboration at this year’s Community of Learning Conference

Why We’re Focusing on Collaboration at this year’s Community of Learning Conference

Family Service Canada is committed to working with our member organizations to identify trends and provide resources as well as opportunities to discuss how each of us is responding to those trends. For the 2019 Community of Learning Conference in Sydney, Nova Scotia, we’ve pulled together presentations and speakers that focus primarily on the idea of collaboration.

Across the country (and elsewhere) the landscape that non-profit agencies, including family service agencies, find themselves in, is rapidly evolving. Whether it’s reduced availability of government funding or changes in donor preferences and behaviour, it's starting to feel like an ever-growing pool of organizations are competing for the same or fewer resources.

Collaboration has long been an option for non-profit agencies, and many have jumped in and formed partnerships of various sizes with a range of other non-profits or for-profit organizations. However, collaborations are often still approached with apprehension, and for good reason. Poorly established partnerships between ill-matched organizations and without appropriate boundaries and accountabilities are a recipe for disaster and can pose a significant risk not only to our agencies but also to the clients we serve.

The question then is, how can we learn to do it better, while not taking unnecessary risks?

Experiential Learning with Minimal Risk

Collaborative work is here to stay, and we believe its prevalence in the sector is likely to increase. Family Service Canada’s 2019 Community of Learning conference in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is an excellent opportunity to learn from collaboration experience while minimizing risk to your organization.

We have presentations lined up to inspire you with some of the fantastic work being done through collaboration right now, and the presenters all have stories and experiences about what challenges they’ve overcome, and what’s made these collaborations successful.

Additionally, every agency in attendance has some experience with collaborative relationships and partnerships. By sharing our own stories, we can learn so much from what each of us has experienced, so that we’re better equipped for our next collaboration – minimizing the risks.

Attend the 2019 Family Service Canada Conference to improve the chances of success for your next collaboration. The conference is open to family service agencies across Canada, both member and non-members, and is a great place to learn about and discuss collaboration initiatives with your peers.

The 2019 conference is booked for October 9 and 10 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and will explore some of the significant and innovative collaborations happening right now, visit www.familyservicecanada.org/conference  for details about the event, and to purchase your tickets.


Whether you can make it to the conference or not, Advancing the Art of Collaboration is a 12-article series published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2017 (https://ssir.org/advancing_the_art_of_collaboration) that we thought presented some great perspectives on collaboration: why it’s important and how to do it well.