Staying the course

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Staying the course
Components of Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s five-year plan

PWRDF’s strategic plan shapes a strong future, despite pandemic

In 2019, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) unveiled its five-year strategic plan. No one could have predicted that the first year of the plan would be interrupted by a global pandemic; however, PWRDF is aiming to stay the course.

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The strategic plan is distinct from past documents because it stretches over five years instead of three. Staff members felt that a three-year period was not enough time to effect the desired results.

This five-year plan comes on the heels of an institutional evaluation that was conducted in 2018. The 360-degree evaluation, conducted by outside consultants, produced 74 recommendations which board and staff have shaped into one master plan.

The strategic plan focuses on five areas:

  • organizational sustainability;
  • partnerships;
  • results and impact;
  • collaborating;
  • and Indigenous reconciliation.

In March 2020, PWRDF’s Strategic Plan Working Group reviewed progress against Year One of the strategy and the recommendations made in response to the institutional evaluation. The working group is chaired by Mike MacKenzie (diocese of Nova Scotia/P.E.I.) and includes Valerie Maier (diocese of Yukon and board chair) and Basil Pogue (diocese of Qu’Appelle and board secretary). Executive Director Will Postma and Director of Development Partnership Program Zaida Bastos are staff representatives.

In response to the goal of institutional sustainability, PWRDF has invested in a new fundraising and donor management software called DonorPerfect. This transition is underway. It will allow the organization to improve its relationships with individual donors and explore new avenues for fundraising.  

Partnerships include PWRDF’s work in empowering women. “Staff have indicated that more progress is required on recommendations relating specifically to PWRDF’s gender lens,” writes Mike MacKenzie. Progress is anticipated in the coming months with the return of Bastos from a sabbatical leave (which was used to study the intersection of international development and gender). 

PWRDF has always been proud of the results that its partners achieve with support from Canadians and, in some cases, the government of Canada. In 2019, those results were noticed by Charity Intelligence, which ranked the PWRDF among the top 100 charities in Canada. Macleans and MoneySense magazines soon followed suit. 

Collaborating is the lifeblood of PWRDF. As a relatively smaller player in the international development sector, the organization knows how to leverage resources and disburse development and humanitarian funds efficiently through organizations like the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the ACT Alliance. A key collaboration is with Global Affairs Canada. The All Mothers and Children Count program, funded with a 6-to-1 match from the Government of Canada, came to an end in March 2020. But thanks to our strong reputation with Global Affairs Canada, PWRDF was selected to be among 10 organizations to have its program extended for a year, in order to support our partners as they cope with COVID-19 in their vulnerable communities.

Progress has also been made in the area of supporting Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. A significant investment was made in extending the reach of the education for reconciliation tool, Mapping the Ground We Stand On. In June 2019, nine people attended a training session in Winnipeg to learn how to facilitate a session, and a video was produced to promote the resource. The facilitators started promoting and leading workshops at churches across the country. When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, PWRDF intends to ramp up the workshops and resume this important work.

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