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Foundation gets behind BACI’s ‘we’re more than a charity’ drive

There’s a new energy amongst board members of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI) supporting foundation, says chair Nicole Magan.

While they want to preserve some of what they’ve always done, the Sharing Our Future foundation directors are also looking to refresh themselves as an organization.

“We basically want to keep up with the pace BACI sets being a leader in the industry,” Nicole says with a chuckle.

Part of this “refreshment” entails looking to be more creative on the fundraising side.

The board is excited about BACI’s commitment to shift public perception around what it is as an organization.

BACI is more than a charity; it’s a part of the business community with economic power to leverage and employment opportunities to offer.

That’s the message BACI is looking to bring, particularly to the business community.

While they’re still very much in the early stages of this work, Nicole says the Sharing Our Future board is looking to back this commitment by providing feedback from an entrepreneurial perspective on some business-type ventures BACI is considering. Directors could also be a networking force between the business community and BACI.

The lack of understanding between disability service organizations and the business community is a key barrier to the economic inclusion of people who have a disability, says Kit Tam, a management consultant who works with BACI primarily in a strategy and planning capacity.

“Disability issues — and the people who live and work with these issues — continue to be seen by business as ‘liabilities’ in need of philanthropy rather than as ‘assets’ which can generate revenues and position firms more competitively within their markets,” says Kit.

“I am learning that when we actually think in new ways, new strategies are plentiful and opportunity is everywhere,” co-executive director Richard Faucher writes in a blog on the urgent need for BACI to change itself and how it’s perceived.

An important first step in this change is to no longer “introduce ourselves or promote ourselves as a needy charity that looks after people who are still not fully included in our community.

“We must see ourselves as the agents of a huge talent pool with tremendous assets, introduce ourselves as an economic contributor with huge purchasing power, and promote ourselves as innovative change makers with amazing concepts and ideas ready to move forward,” Richard writes.

“To do otherwise will perpetuate deficit.”

Feel free to comment on this story below, or e-mail the writer, Michelle Strutzenberger, at michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.

 

 

 

 

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