Social Innovation Awards: Two students in the School of Public Policy and Administration undertake creative projects for social good.

Through all its programs, SPPA helps students advance innovation for public benefit. Through the donor-supported Graduate Awards in Social Innovation, selected students receive funding to research and implement creative, high impact projects that can assist nonprofits, charities and social enterprises in addressing major social and environmental issues.

Applicants propose a brief description and rationale for an original project in social innovation, which are adjudicated by a committee.  The successful students work closely with a faculty member, Carleton’s Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) and with partner nonprofits.

The recipients of the Graduate Awards in Social Innovation for 2018-19  are:

Christopher Dougherty

Christopher believes that strong social benefit organizations help create thriving, engaged communities. The big question for him is: how do organizations resolve the tension between passion and professionalism in a way that enhances their social impact? Research that he has been contributing to as part of the MPNL program at Carleton University is helping answer a small part of this question by looking at how higher capacity organizations move towards greater professionalism by standardizing and routinizing their processes through participation in Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. This fellowship will look at a different part of this question by looking at how aggregated decisions to allocate resources to fundraising at the market level affects support for and returns to charities within markets, which should help illustrate some of the effects of wider spread professionalization in fundraising.

For the first part of his career in nonprofit management, he worked in a regional office for a national youth-serving nonprofit to grow membership, support programs, and support volunteers. Currently, he works for Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) Foundation, where he leads and supports organizational development projects within the Foundation. As a volunteer, he has been a board director for Propellus, including time as board chair, and has previously served on committees with Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada and the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. He is currently a peer reviewer for the Imagine Canada Standards program. Christopher earned a Bachelor of Applied Nonprofit Studies degree from Mount Royal University and is Certified in Volunteer Administration.

Rachel Pereira

Rachel is a nonprofit professional and 2nd year student in Carleton’s Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program. She currently conducts research and evaluation for a community-based social service agency, and has an interest in participatory and co-creative approaches to research as a means of addressing power differentials between organizations and communities.

Through the Graduate Award in Social Innovation, Rachel is working with an emerging international research network for community philanthropy. Commonly understood as a community-led initiative that involves the contribution of the community’s own assets for its own wellbeing, community philanthropy is seen as a paradigm shift from top-down philanthropy. Rachel’s research seeks to define the concept’s role in the broader philanthropic sector, and identify opportunities for further research, in order to understand how community philanthropy can achieve its potential to place power and control in the hands of community members.

Rachel has a BA in French Language & Literature and Linguistics from the University of Alberta, and is a past participant of the Max Bell Foundation’s Public Policy Training Institute. Before entering the nonprofit sector, she spent several years in small business management. In her spare time, she tends to a half-dozen neglected hobbies, and tries to remember that the best of lessons can be found in nature.

Rachel is based in Edmonton, Alberta.