Why Community Prosperity?

The Institute for Community Prosperity connects learning, research and change leadership to build community and strengthen the common good. We emerged from the former Institute for Nonprofit Studies, which served for 13 years as Canada’s only university-based institute focused on research into Canada’s nonprofit sector. The new name is part of a broader strategic revamp of the Institute that included input from several MRU faculties, student groups, and community leaders.

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” 

- Cesar Chavez (American farm worker, labour leader and civil rights activist)

Doing good is not good enough… 

We recognize that community prosperity requires the contribution of ideas and solutions; and the engagement of many entities. We are excited about those organizations and organized groups of citizens  working to address underlying conditions rather than simply addressing symptoms. This includes roles in developing public policy and transforming systems collectively rather than operating in incremental isolation.

What’s in a name?

INSTITUTE: Institutes at MRU serve as bridges between the university and the broader community, facilitating collaborative research, dialogue and other scholarly, artistic and academic activities not normally undertaken within a faculty.

COMMUNITY: In the broadest sense, community refers to human beings interacting with each other within a shared environment. Empathy, social capital and civil society are expressions of community.  As M.Scott Peck notes, “…there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

PROSPERITY: Financial terms are often used to describe prosperity, but we see it as a way to describe the well-being of a thriving and engaged community. We hold ecology, health, equity, creativity, and other human values in the same esteem as financial well-being.

Community Prosperity is our name and our purpose. We aspire to live in communities that  are prosperous - not only economically, but also socially, ecologically, and culturally. To support the achievement of this aim, the Institute focuses on the areas social innovation, community investment, philanthropy, and community change leadership.