{ Our Portfolio }


In June 2012, a group of nearly forty people, representing over thirty philanthropic organizations met at Highgrove in the United Kingdom. The purpose of convening the group of thought leaders was to explore shared visions for advancing sustainable global agriculture and food systems in the face of climate change, resource destruction, and food insecurity. They agreed to begin the establishment of a strategic international donor network interested in supporting the transition to sustainability of global food and agricultural systems.  Open Blue has been hired to do just that - to establish and lead the Global Alliance for the Future of Food to leverage action at the global, national, and local levels to support food system reform.

Project: High Impact Network Development
Service: Strategic Development
Issue: Collaboration, Environment, Food and Nutrition, Innovation, Network-Building, Philanthropy, Policy


People For Education is an independent organization working to support public education in Ontario’s English, French, and Catholic schools. For the past 17 years, the organization has been a powerful voice for public education in the province. They conduct vital research, answer parents’ questions, make policy recommendations and manage an extensive communications strategy to ensure there is a broad and ongoing dialogue about education issues in the media, online, and in a wide range of forums. Their goal is to ensure that every student has access to an enriched, broadly based education and that every student has an equitable chance for success. People For Education is seeking a Communications Director, a new position within the organization, responsible for spearheading strategic direction initiatives and planning, coordination, and management of the organization's marketing, public relations, and strategic communications program.

Project: Communications Director Recruitment
Service: Human Resources Development
Issue: Capacity Building, Education, Network-Building, Organizational Capacity


CIVIX is a national, charitable organization with a mission to grow young Canadians into engaged, committed and active citizens. CIVIX was born through a merger of two organizations, Student Vote and Operation Dialogue, in the spring of 2011. Now is a good time to chart the organization’s future programmatic course for the next phase of its development. Open Blue is working with CIVIX’s staff to develop and articulate a growth plan including program development, organizational growth, plan of work, and priorities. The final product will be a flexible 3-year plan that defines the long-term and short-term requirements for CIVIX’s growth and innovation. 

Project: Growth Plan
Service: Strategic Development
Issue: Capacity Building, Education, Governance, Innovation, Kids, Organizational Capacity


Open Blue has been hired by the Metcalf Foundation to assist with the recruitment of a new Program Director, Inclusive Local Economies Program.  The new Program Director will work collaboratively with the President, the Program’s Advisory Committee, staff, fellows, and community stakeholders, to build on the exciting work that has been done, and is being done, in this Program and help the Foundation realize even greater impact vis-à-vis enhancing the economic livelihoods of low-income people. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to shape and lead a notable philanthropic program with high potential to make a significant contribution to improving outcomes for low-income people and communities in Toronto.

Project: Program Director Recruitment
Service: Human Resources Development
Issue: Capacity Building, Community, Community Development, Organizational Capacity, Philanthropy, Policy, Social Innovation, Social Investment


ARC is an interdisciplinary partnership working to facilitate new thinking, new methods, new materials and new solutions for wildlife crossing structures. Coming up to the end of their first year of working together, the ARC Solutions Partnership has engaged Open Blue to assist them in looking back at what the partnership has accomplished and ahead at what the partnership’s collective aspirations are for the future. Open Blue will work with the partnership to craft an “inspiration of substance” - or strategic vision - that answers some pressing questions around how ARC can be most effective into the future building bridges to reconcile conflict between roads and wildlife, people and animals, and getting us all where we need to go safely, at a lower cost.

Project: Vision Document
Service: Communications, Research, Strategic Development
Issue: Collaboration, Environment, Governance, Network-Building, Organizational Capacity


Open Blue is contributing to Max Bell Foundation's Case Study Series which will showcase particular instances in which a policy decision has been demonstrably impacted by the work of one or some small number of charities. In particular, Open Blue will be researching, analyzing and writing up a case study on Children's Mental Health Ontario and their work successfully positioning a new policy framework within government.

Project: Policy Case Studies
Service: Communications, Research
Issue: Health, Innovation, Organizational Capacity, Philanthropy, Policy


With a new Manager, Social Innovation in place, SiG will be exploring, in particular, the development of lab models across Canada, creating an environment for experimentation across sectors for solutions seeking. Open Blue will assist SiG National in realizing its goal to effectively catalyze, disseminate, and implement labs widely, and support the new Manager, Social Innovation in their role through coaching and mentorship.

Project: Strategy Development
Service: Human Resources Development, Landscape Analysis, Research, Strategic Development
Issue: Capacity Building, Change Labs, Collaboration, Innovation, Organizational Capacity, Social Innovation


The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada hired Open Blue to assist with the establishment of The Collaborative Circle on Education and Youth Leadership aimed to increase the creative generation of solutions for, and investment in, innovative approaches to Aboriginal education as a strong contribution toward improvement of educational opportunities for Aboriginal children and youth.

Project: The Collaborative Circle on Education and Youth Leadership
Service: Strategic Development
Issue: Capacity Building, Collaboration, Education, First Nations, Network-Building, Philanthropy


At an important juncture in the organization’s development, CEGN is interested in amplifying its voice and that of its members and partners in new ways. Open Blue is working with CEGN to craft a communications strategy that will define its communications work over the next few years, including a website audit and looking at ways to increase the organization’s communications capacity.

Project: Communications Strategy 2012
Service: Communications
Issue: Environment, Organizational Capacity, Philanthropy, Social Media


The Curriculum Foundation, a Canadian charity that supports teachers in developing classroom-ready resources, was interested in looking at restructuring its charitable purposes and expanding its reach and scope, in particular exploring the feasibility of a web-based platform showcasing classroom-based micro-projects for crowdfunding. Open Blue undertook a Feasibility Study to explore the viability of an educational crowdfunding site to support teachers and their students nationwide, as well as to assess TCF’s internal structure and capacity to effectively execute its development and management.

Project: Crowdfunding Feasibility Study
Service: Landscape Analysis
Issue: Education, Innovation, Organizational Capacity, Philanthropy, Social Investment


Open Blue worked as part of a team to produce a report titled "Fostering Community Dialogue and Engagement: Historic, Current, and Future Trends of Community Philanthropy in English-Speaking Communities in Quebecfor the Quebec Community Health Foundation on philanthropy in English-speaking communities in Quebec both historically and currently. The aim of the report was to: bring the spotlight back onto community philanthropy in the province; engage other foundations, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals in a stimulating, fruitful dialogue that can be pursued over time; and explore innovative options for community-based philanthropy in Quebec in the future.

Project: Community Philanthropy in English Speaking Communities in Quebec
Service: Landscape Scan, Research
Issue: Community Development, Health, Innovation, Philanthropy, Social Investment


Social Innovation Generation (SiG) engaged Open Blue to assist them with the recruitment of a new program manager to join the SiG team and assist the National Executive Director with key responsibilities such as overseeing major projects, providing leadership in the development and implementation of partnership strategies, undertaking pieces of analysis and policy dialogue, and supporting the theory and practice of change labs.

Project: Program Manager Recruitment
Service: Human Resources Development
Issue: Change Labs, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation


CEGN currently has three funder groups focusing on Water; Environmental Education; and Climate and Energy. The organization also facilitates regional collaboration and aspires to do more work on a provincial basis. CEGN hired Open Blue to do a landscape analysis on best practices in funder collaboration in an effort to ensure these groups are as effective as they can be and position any possible new funder groups for success.

Project: Funder Collaboratives: Where the Work Touches the Ground
Service: Landscape Analysis, Research
Issue: Collaboration, Environment, Network-Building, Philanthropy


Open Blue assisted the nascent Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada to establish itself as a strong, resilient, flexible network of organizations and individuals interested in supporting Aboriginal peoples and their communities across Canada. Open Blue examined structural options; crafted governing documents; developed the first strategic plan; managed the legal incorporation process; led the recruitment of its first Executive Director; and assisted with early fundraising and programmatic development.

Project: The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
Service: Strategic Development
Issue: Collaboration, First Nations, Governance, Network-Building, Philanthropy


CEGN initiated a strategic planning process in order to wrestle with how CEGN can and should operate in a demanding political, economic, and environmental climate. Open Blue was hired to help CEGN articulate priorities, facilitate effective collaboration, and assist with the communication of the shared aspirations of its members.

Project: Strategic Plan 2012 – 2014
Service: Strategic Development
Issue: Collaboration, Environment, Network-Building, Philanthropy


Open Blue worked with the Metcalf Foundation to help define a communications strategy for their 2008/2009 Biennial Report including helping to devise an overall narrative, craft key messages, assist with the visual identity, and writing and composition.

Project: 2008/2009 Biennial Report
Service: Communications
Issue: Arts, Community, Environment, Philanthropy