We are excited to have Mike Ward in this episode. Mike is a former Canadian diplomat who held senior assignments at Canadian embassies and consulates in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Ukraine, the United States & Thailand. Mike is now heavily involved in the nonprofit scene in Ottawa. A major focus has been in building and operating affordable housing in the National Capital Region through Multifaith Housing Initiative. While he stepped down as MHI’s president recently, Mike remains active on a number of its key committees.

In this episode, we speak to Mike about why nonprofits should invest more in creating strategic partnerships to expand their reach and competencies. Partnerships allow organizations to have capabilities that are not available in-house and they broaden the reach of their work by leaps and bounds. However, good partnerships don't just happen, they are part science and part art!

You can find more about Mike's work in the non-profit housing sector at the MHI website -


In our chats, Mike also told me about his meditation trips to Vipassana centres in different parts of the world -


Enjoy the episode!



Mike, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

What inspired you to work in the nonprofit and volunteer areas?

Given your experience with various organizations, why is it important for organizations to build alliances in their ecosystem?  

What are some of the types of partnerships that nonprofits should consider?

I understand that you are working with the Multifaith Housing Initiative, on the Veterans’ House project. How are the alliances helping you to grow your initiative? Can you tell us about the project?

So let’s go into this a bit more. You have a group of qualified and vetted service providers. How do you maintain partner relationships over a long period of time?

What Risk Mitigation steps do you typically take?

Can you share some of your secrets to do cold outreach, say for potential financial donors?

You are actively working in the nonprofit area in Ottawa, how is your work making an impact in the community?

What would be your key takeaway for our audience?

What personal habit has contributed the most to your success?

Can you share a digital tool or a strategy you find highly valuable in your work?

How can people get in touch with you?

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