A sustainability centre at the West End Well
There is an amazing range of unique sustainability initiatives taking place in the Ottawa region, from charities, to non-profits, to informal networks and neighbourhood groups. The work these groups do to promote sustainability and engage communities is integral in shaping a better city.
But it's not easy being green! More specifically, it's not easy to be an organization trying to be green. So many questions arise about how to do the important work of sustainability. If you are working with a sustainability group, it is very likely that you have asked yourself one or more of these questions:
- Where do I find money and resources to do the work we want to do?
- What kinds of policies make the most sense for our organization?
- How do I find volunteers and what are the best ways to engage them?
- How do we really make an impact for the people we are reaching?
- Should I incorporate my organization?
- How do we set up our book-keeping and who can help us?
- What are best practices in communications and social media?
- What do I need in a fundraising plan or communications plan?
- How do I pay for the core operations of our organization?
- What tools can we use for a database or contact list or e-newsletters?
- How do I get my board of directors to be more engaged in the organization?
- Do we really need a strategic plan?
- How much should we pay our staff--and where do we find funding for core operations?
- How do we hire people well? How do we let them go with grace?
- Do we need insurance?
- What changes are happening in the government that might affect my organization?
- Can I have fun and change the world?
- With all of these questions and so many options, who can you turn to for help?
What if some of these answers and options were available in one place for any organizations and groups who were looking for support? What if you could walk into a building in Ottawa with your concerns, questions, and opportunities and get real, concrete help - a place where you could walk out the door with answers, ideas, and hope?
Here to help make this a reality is the Sustainable Capacity Centre, coming this summer to the second floor of the West End Well at 969 Wellington Street West. The Sustainable Capacity Centre at the West End Well will include working space for sustainability projects, including permanent office space in a shared setting. It will house organizations that specialize in capacity-building and sustainability, providing them with tools, shared services, and collaborating opportunities for sustainability.
The West End Well is a vibrant spot where community, sustainability, and capacity are brought together. It is currently home to the head office of Sustainable Eastern Ontario, as well as the thriving West End Well Co-operative, which runs an eco-cafe and grocery store along with a host of educational and sustainability activities and events. The National Capital Environmental Non-profit Network (NCENN) also hosts its monthly learning series here. The Sustainable Capacity Centre will be a welcome addition to building capacity and community with shared services and support for the environmental sector.
Kristina Inrig is active on environmental and social justice issues.