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PTS launches strategic two-year plan

Ottawa organization trying to get past recent governance issues

PTS marked the start of its 30th year by saluting alumni board members and volunteers at a Jan 20 event, which also included a first look at its 2013-2015 strategic plan. Credit: Steven Fouchard

PTS Ottawa has introduced an ambitious two-year strategic plan to widen the scope of its services and improve its corporate culture.

PTS vice-president Mike Jan presented the six-point plan Jan 20 as part of an alumni appreciation event at Bank Street bistro The Buzz.

Jan said the plan was developed in consultation with PTS stakeholders and aims to create a “more cohesive relationship” between the organization’s values and its governing documents. PTS executive director Claudia Van den Heuvel added that its letters patent, documents required to incorporate a charity, haven’t been updated since PTS was founded in 1984.

“After 30 years, it’s time for us to review them.”

The organization has seen its share of governance issues in recent years, including three annual general meetings where attendance was not sufficient to meet quorum. In 2012, five board members resigned, citing dissatisfaction with its direction.

Other priorities in the strategic plan include services aimed directly at the 50-plus demographic, residents of rural communities and queer people of colour. Services for immigrants, such as language training, are also part of the plan, Jan said, adding that bringing youth and seniors together is a key priority. “We can’t have a vibrant community without interaction between generations.”

Capacity building will be a major focus over the next three years, Jan said, and PTS will seek to bolster its volunteer ranks by joining Volunteer Ottawa, which links volunteers to organizations as well as providing education and training for members.

In terms of fundraising, Jan said the focus will be on diversifying revenue sources by seeking out more corporate and union donors and partnering with peer organizations on fundraising initiatives.

The strategic plan also focuses on increasing PTS’s profile by collaborating on community events with other organizations, including Capital Pride. More details on a Pride partnership are forthcoming, Van den Heuvel said. “That’s an exciting one for us. It’s good for our visibility.”

More generally, Jan said, the plan envisions PTS as a “champion for social change and social justice” that will “empower all queer people in Ottawa.” This includes being a major voice in commenting publicly on a variety of social justice issues, he added.

Van den Heuvel highlighted several events in the works to mark PTS’s 30th anniversary, including the return of its fundraising gala, which will take place April 10.

The popular Glitterbomb fundraiser is again set for May 9.

“That will be similar to last year,” Van den Heuvel said, “but better."