Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia

Located in Mi’kma’ki, Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS) connects, supports, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s Community Impact Sector. Celebrating 10 years of promoting a healthy, sustainable sector, IONS (formerly the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia) is one of 14 Industry Sector Councils funded by the Nova Scotia Government Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration (LSI). In service of the Community Impact Sector, IONS’ role is to address sector workforce challenges, to build capacity within organizations, and to increase access to expertise, opportunities, and resources. IONS provides skill building and learning opportunities, network connections, and support for impact organizations. 

Over the past few years, our focus has evolved and expanded to fully embrace our role championing the Community Impact Sector— voicing and amplifying the vital services and work of impact organizations. With systemic issues and major social challenges facing those living in Nova Scotia, we recognize the crucial and urgent need for a more just, equitable, and community-driven approach to re-envisioning our society. IONS is more determined than ever to highlight the need for the Community Impact Sector as a balancing force for social good and positive change. 

Our Mission

To champion and build the capacity of Nova Scotia’s impact organizations. We move collectively in unwavering pursuit of healthy, vibrant futures for all communities, people, the land, and living beings.

Our Vision

A dynamic and influential Community Impact Sector that is valued for its visionary, bold and brave contributions toward a decolonized, just and equitable Nova Scotia.

Our JEDDI Statement

As a sector in service and in care of people, the land, and all beings, we strive to make a positive impact. We exist because we imagine a world where the earth is cared for, basic human necessities are ensured, and needs for belonging and connection are met. But all too often, we are moving to affect change in and through systems that are designed in ways that work against our goals and aspirations. 

How we work, where power is held, and what we place value on is a product of colonialism and capitalism. We acknowledge our part in contributing to systems of oppression, and we call upon organizations across our sector to reflect on their role as well. We must continuously educate ourselves on how we can be better allies and actively anti-racist, and then follow through with our voice and action. We have a role in calling out and disrupting harmful institutions and in dismantling oppressive systems. 

As an organization located in Mi’kma’ki, we are active beneficiaries of colonialism. It is our collective responsibility to carry out the long overdue, vital anti-oppression and reconciliation work. Without commitment to Justice, Equity, Decolonization, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDDI), shaping an equitable society that prioritizes well-being and belonging for all is impossible. 

How We Define JEDDI

decolonization:

The act of dismantling systems rooted in colonialism that hold and hoard power in a capitalist, white-settler state. Deconstructing systems that perpetuate violence, exploiting people and the land; and reimagining a society that honours different ways of being and knowing where all people and the planet can thrive. Decolonization is the overarching lens through which we advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion:  

Justice:

Critically examining systems with a trauma-informed lens and rebalancing power so that harm can be reduced, repaired, and prevented. This requires challenging systems that place the blame on individuals and communities that are being systemically targeted and failed.

equity:

Redistributing where power is held and reattributing value to non-colonial ways of being and knowing to ensure conditions for self-determination and wellbeing are met for all.  

diversity:

Intentionally placing an equitable valuation on First voice and lived experiences to ensure equal participation. This means taking responsibility in eradicating the way our ecosystems have been built and maintained to exclude.

inclusion:

Celebrating all intersecting identities, abilities, and needs with a commitment to ensuring that everyone can thrive as their whole selves while feeling welcomed, safe, and able to lead, engage, and contribute in a way that is meaningful for them.

And Informing Our Values:

abundance

We reject scarcity mindsets and capitalist notions of individualism that promote the hoarding and exploitation of resources. We embrace the themes of Ubuntu (I am because we are) and Msit No’kmaq (All My Relations), striving to work in ways that are communal, celebratory, and radically generous.

courage

We are willing to fail forward as we boldly venture into new territory, challenging colonial ideologies and approaches and modeling different ways of existing together. We hold ourselves, the organizations we serve, and our systems accountable for change.

trust

We are intentional in centering community and prioritizing relationships to understand the evolving nuances of humanity and intersectionality. We strive to create the conditions for everyone to show up as their full, authentic selves to ensure that the voices of those with lived experience inform and lead our work.

learn more about Jeddi

As part of our organizational learning journey reflections and commitments, IONS creates and curates JEDDI related content and resources through a variety of mediums including webinars, blogs, articles, templates. You can search our resource library for content and filter by topics JEDDI, anti-racism, decolonization, and reconciliation.

Our Strategic Priorities:

Educate and Innovate

Provide the tools, skills, and knowledge to increase the capacity of existing and newly forming impact organizations province-wide to ensure they build a flexible, diverse workforce that will thrive in today’s digital economy.

Collaborate and Activate

Facilitate, support, and activate connections across networks and encourage continued and new collaborations between impact organizations, the government, and private sectors, in order to inspire systems-change and to build an equitable, sustainable, and healthy Nova Scotia. 

Advocate and Celebrate

Lead, champion, celebrate, give voice to, and advocate for the sector to raise awareness of its critical role in society and to develop its influence in decision-making and contributing to wellbeing for all Nova Scotians. 

What We Do

As a champion for the Community Impact Sector provincially, IONS both serves and represents impact organizations driving change in their communities. We conduct sector research to inform leaders and policymakers and to advance our advocacy efforts, we provide capacity building opportunities, help to facilitate new and existing networks, learn and share knowledge across diverse groups, and help enable greater collaboration resulting in a new kind of wealth transfer which focuses on the value of community, so our sector can accomplish even greater feats.

Our team

The IONS team brings a myriad of perspectives and decades of experience to the advancement of our vision. Our work centers community in all we do, and we believe in the power of social good and the self-agency that resides within our sector and the people. Simply put, our team works to better lives and our ecosystems.  

IONS Theory of Change

A theory of change is an organizational compass that offers a path toward the change we are seeking to make. Our “why” Equity, wellbeing and belonging for all is our North Star and the reason behind the work we do. To get there, we work in coordinated, collaborative ways alongside our sector and across other sectors. Our theory of change focuses on the role of IONS in this broader vision and how our actions play a part in the society we want to see. Working back from the center, each path includes the pre-conditions required to achieve our vision.

Theory of Change Narrative

Every theory of change is based on a bedrock of the organization’s purpose, beliefs, and values. The theory of change narrative is the document that accompanies the above visual representation and provides further explanation of our vision and the components in creating equity, wellbeing, and belonging for all. This includes our assumptions about how the world works, which influences the sector-level shifts and systems change required as well as the societal conditions and sector supports that will back our theory of change.

2022 Annual Report

2020-2023 Strategic Plan

Find more IONS documents and search an expansive list of content in our resource library.

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