What are you reading? What should you be reading?

inquiry and transparency intentional practices roles and responsibilities Dec 22, 2021


Critical Pieces for Influence and Funding


A few years ago, a colleague introduced me to a publication with which I was unfamiliar: Municipal World.


Municipal World is the oldest continuously published monthly municipal magazine in the world. Founded in 1891, it is devoted to promoting effective municipal government. Their house ad reads, in part:


Did You Know? … You’ll find articles on economic development, human resources, energy, climate change, environment, culture, heritage, finance, social services, health, governance, purchasing… and much, much more.


Sadly, the “much, much more” does not include much about not-for-profits, whether arts and culture, health, libraries, student government  – just a few articles in the past decade, with most written by the same author, an Executive Director in a small city!


Now Municipal Affairs may be of no interest to you, and indeed irrelevant if you do not work with and in a municipality in Canada. But the point here is:

  • What are your major funders and decision-makers reading? To which associations do they belong?
  • How is your sector covered in what they are reading? How is their thinking about you and your contribution being affected?
  • Are there points of conversation? Opportunities to contribute an article about your unique contributions to community development and impact?


This is too important to ignore for leaders in the not-for-profit world who want to exercise influence and make a difference.


From Governance to Ethics


A recent issue covers everything from governance to road salt, 3Ps, transportation, and ethics. An article on one city’s commitment to diversity, with many examples, including a Human Library planned by strategic planning staff, does not mention the public library, which the municipality funds.


This is a publication read by city staff and local politicians. Their job board includes everything from Chief Administrative Officers/City Managers in large cities to support staff, but nary a public library opening it seems.


It would be an interesting small study to look at what local politicians and their senior bureaucrats read and to place articles strategically in those venues.


We have so many great stories to tell about what we do every day to advance a municipal agenda that we need to ensure that funders see them as part of their regular information diet.


Other municipal departments (transportation, planning, parks, recreation, community services) have their own associations and publications too but manage to ensure that their celebrations and concerns are front and center with those who make decisions affecting their future, including funding, priorities, and policy.


Let’s start the process. 


What are your main “pain points” dealing with profile and funders? What advice would be most helpful to you? And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.



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 You can get more of our thoughts on Facebook and LinkedIn. Join our Facebook Group for Executive Directors and Board members: Governance as Leadership


P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? 

Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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