Our Core Values

Community and Social Capital

The primacy of community and formation of social capital, as fundamental to community, are central to social planning, defining what we do, how we function and the outcomes we work to achieve.

Voluntarism

Since community members are the primary stakeholders in planning decisions, we actively encourage and support voluntary leadership and involvement in community, as a whole, but, in particular, in issues which affect the quality of social cohesion and community life.

Diversity

We recognize, highly value and seek out the multi-dimensional character of community which includes a rich variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Equity and Social Justice

We are committed to equal treatment and fair access to resources for all members of the community.

Our Operating Principles

Community Focus and Accountability

Our work is grounded in the community, is done in a community context and has a community focus. We are membership-based and are governed by a board which is elected annually by our community members.

Independence

Being community-driven, we have greater freedom to critique existing policies and systems or to propose alternatives than public sector organizations or direct service providers.

Knowledge-based Action

We link independent research and community experience to the development of action proposals and solutions to identified problems. We work in partnership and collaboration with those who have resources, expertise and/or experience. We respond to opportunities by reflecting on our priorities which, in turn, are based on community research and experience.

Citizen Participation

We promote the active participation of community members in planning and decision-making processes. In promoting inclusive citizen participation, we strive to build the capacity of community leadership to participate more effectively in democratic processes and to take greater control over decision-making which affect the quality of community life and give rise to social change.

Inclusiveness

In promoting citizen participation, we actively seek to include all community members with an interest in the issue at hand regardless of gender, racial and/or cultural origin, religion, age or other self-defining forms of identification. Insofar as we are successful in being inclusive in our practices and processes, we can be a model for inclusiveness and, be an active change agent, with our community partners.

Community Building Through Diversity

We recognize diversity as a challenge to become more inclusive, but diversity makes the community stronger, is important for human freedom and helps with creativity and flexibility. We actively seek members, board members and volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. Engaging the diversity of the community, we seek to generate synergy for creative community building.