January 2013 Newsletter


In the spirit of welcoming and preparing for 2013, we wanted to hear from two of Endeavour’s leaders on the reflections of the organization for past years and on the vision moving forward. The future looks bright! Check out what our President, Andrea Wong, and our Board Chair, Steven Ayer, have to say about resolutions and the year ahead: for both Endeavour and for fellow non-profits. Here are just a few highlights:

Thanks for reading!

Board Chair: 2013 Outlook for Endeavour and Non-Profits

Written by Banu Raghuraman

volunteer_boardstevenSteven Ayer is the Founder and President of Common Good Strategies, a market research and strategic consulting group that specializes in research for the non-profit sector. He is also the chair of Endeavour’s board of directors. In this article he shares his thoughts about Endeavour’s progress so far and where Endeavour, along with fellow not-for-profits (NFP’s) should focus in the next few years.

What should Endeavour focus on in the coming year?

I think we will have to figure out systematically what Endeavour wants to do in the next few years. We need to have our future identified – what are we best at? Where can we expand? And what should we focus on? – are some questions that we need to answer. We also need to focus on our business processes.

Once we have identified the ‘what’s ‘and ‘where’s’, then we have to start working on the implementation – making sure we have the resources and strategies, in terms of good areas to focus on, and what do we do well.

We have identified some items, in evaluating our past work, but we need to figure out our long term plan.

In general for NFPs, do you feel there will be a particular challenge they should be ready to face in the coming year?

The biggest challenge that all NFPs will face at some point is when governments, at multiple levels, will try to balance their budget. Considering that the majority of funding for NFPs comes from the government, when the cuts do happen, the NFPs will feel it a lot. Social needs will have to be creatively solved and managed.

Where can the NFPs focus to counter or minimize the impact?

Since we don’t know when it will happen, it is hard to say how to counter the situation . However, strategic planning is key – you have to identify alternative resources. These alternatives will be unique for each organization. Sources can range from individual and corporate donations, revenue ventures and various other fundraising options. Typically, it will be challenging regardless of which way they go. But identifying a strategy (that works with the organization’s vision and mission) and their unique alternative revenue source will help ensure they are better prepared for what is coming.

Andrea Wong: A Glance Back and a Look Ahead for Endeavour

Written by Banu Raghuraman

volunteer_execandreaDespite her hectic schedule, we tracked down Endeavour’s President, Andrea Wong, to give us the inside scoop on her story and on Endeavour:

What were some of the challenges you faced during the beginning stages of Endeavour?

At a high level, we had to transform from start-up mode to a more structured organization. In the start-up mode, we had a few executives completing many operational tasks hands-on to set up the organization. For example, executives were recruiting consultants as well as working on gathering material for our newsletter. We had to gradually move the executives into managing the strategy, in order to provide more structure and direction. Slowly we had to phase out the operational tasks from the executives and allow them to strategize their respective portfolios.
We had other minor challenges that any start-up non-profit would have faced, but that was the major one.

What were some of the challenges in the last two years?

Broadly speaking, it was taking Endeavour to the next level. Currently we are receiving more applications from non-profits than our capacity can handle. “How do we scale our operations to meet the growing demand?” was and is our number one challenge.
And as with all non-profits, we are faced with the challenge of how to increase our funding.

How was 2012 different? What has Endeavour achieved? How has Endeavour grown?

2012 is a milestone year as it is Endeavour’s fifth anniversary. We have worked with 50 clients and more than 300 volunteers, in the past five years. One of our highlights this year was our collaboration with AstraZeneca, working with them to provide skills based volunteerism opportunities to their employees.
Another achievement was the website redesign initiative, the results of which are evident on our website. Last but not the least, we are becoming a much more recognized name in the pro-bono community.

Where are you expecting Endeavour to focus and grow in 2013?

We are entering the last year of our three-year strategic plan in 2013. So, we will definitely be evaluating ourselves and will be starting to work on a new long term plan. The board’s priority this year will be to work on a sustainable revenue stream.

Endeavour Recruitment

Get consulting advice! Endeavour is currently accepting applications from non-profits in GTA for our next consulting engagement period. The application deadline is Friday, January 11th, 2013. Apply Now.

Recruitment for Spring 2013 Cycle of Consulting Rounds. Seeking volunteer Engagement Managers and Consultants. Applications are due Jan 13th. For more information on eligibility criteria, visit Consulting Opportunities.

Talented with Social Media? Endeavour is recruiting Social Media Manager(s) until Jan 13th. Apply today!

Community and Client News

The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust is pleased to announce that, thanks in part to a helpful business plan drafted by Endeavour Volunteers, its new That’s Not Fair! website, www.thatsnotfair.ca is now live and encouraging kids in grades 2 to 5 to think about rights and freedoms. Please visit the website to see the fun and educational animated videos where Mayor Moe and the City Council sometimes need to rethink their decisions.

Camp Awakening, a former client of Endeavour, has two upcoming events in support of Camp Awakening and youth with physical disabilities:

  • Thursday, February 28, 2013 – Big Night Out
    Join the Camp at The Second City in Toronto for an evening of sketch comedy.
    Tickets are just $50 and include a free drink!
  • Saturday, April 20, 2013 – Family Hockey Day
    Play in this ice hockey tournament with your son/daughter! Round Robin @ UCC’s new arena with professional refs and goalies.

Information available at www.campawakening.com .