As I write this inaugural blog entry, I wonder who will read it and why? Someone suggested that if you want to increase readership of your blog, it needs to be peppered with words that will attract readers in a Google search. So, if you want knitters or choir members or cyclists or citizen activists or grandmothers to read your blog, you need to populate it with the vocabulary, the words and concepts, that are likely to pop up in a Google search. My challenge in writing for the new blog of the Carold Institute is that I want to attract all of the above groups – and likely more – to read about what’s going on in our ‘small but beautiful’ Institute.
Of course, the other quality of blogs that will keep readers reading is brevity. So I offer here the talking points for an ‘elevator speech’ about Carold:
- The Carold Institute is a small, national foundation committed to promoting voluntary action and citizen engagement in Canada. We see citizens around the globe risking their lives in the hope of having a society where participation is encouraged and enabled, while in western democracies like Canada, citizens are often passive or cynical or just too busy to get involved.
- Carold grants a sabbatical every year to a senior leader in the voluntary sector to undertake a major project that will strengthen the knowledge and practice of voluntary action and civil society.
- Since 2008, we’ve appointed seven Carold Fellows who have completed research and program projects. This work has been related to the role of older women in advocacy, the professionalization of voluntary action in Québec, the place of citizens who are labeled as “disabled”, the creation of authentic intercultural communities, the role of youth in building democratic societies, strategies for enabling the participation of poor people in advocacy work and most recently, a project to examine new models for voluntary organizations in the 21st century.
- The Carold Institute itself constitutes a creative model – a national organization with no office and no staff. Our Board has members with backgrounds in education, media, energy, telecommunications, theology and small business. Clare Clark, our founder, gave $1M to launch Carold. Over 25 years, we’ve invested over $1M in our research, our Fellowship program and our seminars and we still have over $1M in trust.
If you’ve read my blog entry this far, I’m happy and I’m impressed. I’m hoping it might tempt you to learn more about The Carold Institute by visitng our website and this blog often.
As well, send us your thoughts about what we need to be doing to ensure that Canadians are engaged in building a strong civil society committed to equity, peace and creative action. You can write us by visiting our Contact page.