Dynamic Tensions: Balancing our social ideals with the need for revenue (2012)

Presentation at The Centre for Literacy Fall Institute, October 14-16, 2012 in Saint John, NB

This presentation looks at the ways in which two organizations, one based in Ontario and the other in Saint John, New Brunswick, have gone about generating revenue to reinvest into social programs.

The mandate of PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs is to provide basic skills education, upgrading, job search, and related services to adults preparing for employment, training, or further education. PTP’s Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment (CAMERA) system uses real-life workplace documents and tasks to test and develop adult learners’ reading, document use, writing, and numeracy skills.

Saint John Learning Exchange is a non-profit literacy education organization that provides self-paced learning programs for adults, youth, and families. It has established a number of social enterprises, including Voila!, an eco-friendly residential cleaning service.

Both organizations have faced stagnant or declining funding over time and the need to boost unrestricted funds. The authors note that a philosophical shift is required to grow sustainable, ongoing revenue streams.

Fifty percent of small business start-ups fail in the first five years, and not-for-profits increase their risk of failure by adding a social outcome, the authors point out. The challenge for social enterprises is to maximize their chances of success and profitability, while staying focused on their social purpose.

The presentation was part of the program for The Centre for Literacy Fall Institute 2012, held in Saint John, New Brunswick. The centre supports best practices and informed policy development in LES by building links between research, policy, and practice.

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APA citation
Christina McFater and Barbara McFater. Dynamic Tensions: Balancing our social ideals with the need for revenue 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2022 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cfl/dynamic_tension/dynamic_tension.pdf>
Christina McFater & Barbara McFater (2012). Dynamic Tensions: Balancing our social ideals with the need for revenue. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cfl/dynamic_tension/dynamic_tension.pdf
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