It’s that time of year when mother nature comes full circle and we see the natural world start to wind down for winter. Meanwhile, IAP2 Canada’s Board and Executive are busily preparing to finalize our budget for the coming year and think about how best to invest in programs and services for our members. The 2017 Budget will be tabled and decided at the beginning of December and set the course for the year to come.
This year marks my second term as Treasurer for IAP2 Canada and I have a particularly wonkish interest in the directions to come. As we wind down our current 2015-2017 Strategic Plan and look to the future, planning the coming year’s budget gives us a chance to reflect on what we’ve accomplished both this year and in years past and the opportunity to pause and consider how to support our members and the goals of our organization as we move forward.
We’ve come a long way, baby! IAP2 Canada has grown into a robust national organization that supports over 700 members and seven active chapters across the country. As of this month, IAP2 Canada has the strongest membership enrollment ever in its history and this year’s conference in Montreal was a fabulous success. We are proud of the ongoing work undertaken by our Board on behalf of IAP2 members, ranging from Communications and Marketing to Advocacy and Partnerships, Chapter Relations to Certification, and Indigenous Engagement to Research and White Paper development.
As a Board of Directors that has traditionally served as a ‘working board,’ IAP2 Canada’s Board members not only oversee the strategic direction of the organization but also actively perform operational duties. As IAP2 Canada and IAP2 Canada Chapters have developed and matured, we have grown from an early-stage non-profit just getting its footing to a financially robust and diverse organization that is always looking to grow and evolve to best serve our members, leverage our investments and organizational achievements, and advance the practice of public participation in Canada.
The 2017 Budget poses opportunities for our Board to bolster the professional development opportunities we offer to our members as well as continue supporting certification processes, invest in revitalizing the way we communicate through our website and other marketing tools, improve the availability of French-language materials by investing in increased translation, and to continue the excellent work underway on pursuing important P2-research. At the same time, the 2017 budgeting process provides an informal kick-off to thinking about our next Strategic Plan. As we review, renew, and refresh our Strategic Plan over the coming year and finalize our plans for 2018-2020, we’re excited about what the future holds IAP2 Canada, in no small part due to the wealth of relationships and knowledge shared by our amazing membership as we learn and grow together.
2016 has been a fabulous year: we have worked hard, we have worked together, and we have invested in important work that supports our goals and our members. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2017 and beyond!