On April 6th, 2011 the Ontario Trillium Foundation, in partnership with SIG@MaRS and the Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, held a symposium on aging, entitled "Aging and the Not-for-Profit Sector in Ontario: Ready or Not?". Registration goals were exceeded, as 230 individuals registered for the event. One week after the symposium, OTF sent a survey to all registrants, asking them for feedback on the symposium.
The feedback provided by 131 participants was overwhelmingly positive:
"Excellent symposium. I learnt a great
deal about the innovations taking place in our sector. Came away
feeling energized and ready to keep moving forward at the local
community level regardless of our identified challenges. Thank you. I
look forward to the next symposium."
- 95% of respondents felt that the panel discussions offered good opportunities to learn from others
- 91% of respondents came away from the day with at least one new idea for their organization
- 96% of respondents felt that they have a deeper understanding of the challenges associated with population aging
- 87% of respondents felt that they have a deeper understanding of the opportunities associated with population aging
- 96% of respondents would like to participate in future discussion on aging and the NFP sector
While the great majority of the feedback was positive, some responses highlighted areas for improvements:
- More effective use of technology
- Even greater focus on developing a deeper understanding of innovative ways to meet the challenges facing organizations
- More time for networking and discussion
When asked "What's the one most important thought, idea or commitment that you will retain from the Symposium?" here's what 94 participants answered (the most common responses, in order of frequency):
- Seniors are an asset and not a liability. The issue needs to be reframed and ageism must be combated.
- Ontario needs a cohesive, comprehensive aging strategy that includes and cuts across all sectors, and encourages collaborative engagement around solutions.
- There is an urgent need to take action now.
- Innovative financial approaches are important opportunities.
- Hearing from others is reassuring and brings hope.
- Population aging is an important issue, and the symposium provided a better understanding of many of the related issues and challenges.