Maytree Policy School

What is Maytree Policy School?

Maytree Policy School is a six-month program which supports non-profit organizations with a social policy focus to advance evidence-based public policy solutions.

It is designed for senior policy professionals who are in a position to influence the public policy direction of their organization and are interested in enhancing their engagement and effectiveness in the policy process.

When does it take place?

Maytree Policy School 2022 will take place from January to June, 2022.

What does Maytree Policy School offer?

The program provides:

  • opportunities to learn from public policy leaders working in the non-profit sector, public service, think tanks, and politics;
  • a participatory learning environment that introduces tools and opportunities to hone skills in influencing public policy; and
  • peer learning and supports which aid the development of policy tools for participating organizations.

How is the program delivered?

From January to June 10, 2022, the curriculum will be delivered online.

COVID restrictions permitting, the June 23 and 24, 2022 sessions will be delivered in person in Toronto. Participating organizations will be responsible for costs associated with travel and accommodation.

Scheduled sessions will be complemented by homework assignments, small group work, and virtual meet-ups.

What topics will be covered?

The curriculum will explore the following themes:

  • Fundamentals of policymaking
  • Role of non-profits in policymaking
  • Role of data and evidence in policymaking
  • Understanding, influencing, and changing systems
  • Identifying and informing stakeholders and decision makers
  • Communicating in context and communicating with media
  • Strategy implementation

What is required to participate?

Participants are expected to commit ten to twelve hours per month to the program from January to June.

Upon acceptance into the program, organizations will be asked to pay a registration fee of $500.00.

Who should apply?

We welcome applications from senior leaders who are:

  • in a position to influence the policy work of their organization;
  • focused on social policy in their work; and
  • are able to commit 10-12 hours per month from January to June.

Applications for 2022 are now closed.

Need more information?

Contact Tina Edan, Lead, Maytree Policy School

Hear from participants

“[Maytree Policy School] is professional development par excellence! Changing the world does take “relentless incrementalism” and this program should be mandatory for every leader.”

Bruce Pitkin, Executive Director, ArtStarts (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School is a comprehensive package on all the nuts and bolts of policy advocacy for your organization. The faculty and speakers bring timely issues and real-world experience to illustrate how the complex world of policy advocacy works.”

Jonathan Lai, Executive Director, Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"[Maytree] Policy School represents a rare opportunity to learn how to successfully advocate for policy change directly from folks who've done it before. The program is worth it for the content alone. But what really has me energized is the community that Maytree is building through this work. The insights of those in my cohort not only rounded out the learning experience, but will also offer a wealth of experience, advice, inspiration, and friendship for years to come."

Terence Hamilton, Policy Specialist, UNICEF Canada (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

“The non-profit sector has an important role to play in advocating for progressive public policy. Maytree Policy School is helping to build the sector’s capacity to effectively do that work. A must-do program for anyone wanting to engage in advocacy and policy in our sector.”

Christina Palassio, Director of Communications, Right to Play (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"Maytree Policy School is the perfect program to learn and enhance one’s skills and understanding of strategies to effectively influence government actions and decisions. Thank you to the fantastic faculty, superb speakers, and remarkable non profit colleagues for creating a vibrant community for growth and development."

Carol Zoulalian, Executive Director, St. Jude Community Homes (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School provides participants with access to some of the foremost thought leaders and public policy professionals. The content, staff, faculty, and peers provide unparalleled access to nurture your ideas into action.”

Doug Pawson, Executive Director, End Homelessness St. Johns (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"Maytree Policy School provided very practical tips and advice to effectively influence policy. Perhaps most importantly, the program connected me with a cohort of incredible peers that I can count on for mutual support as we continue our policy careers."

Talia Bronstein, VP, Research and Advocacy, Daily Bread Food Bank (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

 “Maytree Policy School is an exceptional training program that is engaging and informative. Understanding policy work, and being able to do it well, is a key tool for people working in the community and non-profit sectors, and [the program] ensures that graduates of the program are well-equipped to do this work.”

Bronwyn Underhill, Director of Health Promotion and Community Engagement, Parkdale Queen West CHC (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"A thoughtfully-designed program that provides access to an incredible group of faculty and subject-matter experts. A powerful experience that has improved my ability to influence."

Sibel Cicek, Senior Manager, Government Relations, YMCA Ontario, YMCA of Greater Toronto (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

“The generosity and insight of the Maytree Policy School faculty and instructors combined with dedicated and thoughtful non-profit peers, brought the policy materials to life. I left the course feeling supported and capable of wading into the important policy debates impacting low-income Ontarians.”

Vanessa Emery, Staff Lawyer/Social Assistance Team Lead, West Scarborough Community Legal Services (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"For grassroots and small non-profit organizations trying to enhance the scope and impact of their work through policy, Maytree Policy School is a powerful place to enhance the capacity of senior leaders to deliver results for the communities we serve. From the faculty to the Maytree Policy school peers, everything is designed to increase your impact."

Paul Bailey, President, Black Health Alliance (MPS ’20)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School was an incredible opportunity that elevated our policy work. The engaging presenters and faculty, practical learning and tools, thought-provoking curriculum, and peer connections created a dynamic learning environment that will have lasting impacts for the effectiveness of our work.”

Dominica MacPherson, Coordinator, Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School completely surpassed my expectations. It's a course anyone should take who strives to be a strategic influencer at any level of government and regardless of who's in power.”

Brian Davis, Executive Director, Houselink Community Homes (MPS ’19)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School has been a crash course in government, systems, data, communications, and everything in between that is relevant to influencing policy. The faculty as well as the participants are extremely knowledgeable, generous with their expertise, and not afraid to ask the tough questions. The strategic learnings from this program have transformed our organizational advocacy initiatives to be much more thoughtful and productive.”

Dina Al-khooly, Director, Research and Evaluation, Vision of Science Network for Learning (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

"Maytree Policy School brought together a highly skilled and generous group of instructors. My organization has gained new tools and resources, and connections to fabulous peers and organizations."

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director, TTCRiders (MPS ’19)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School was an outstanding opportunity to fine tune my policy strategy skill sets and connect with other like-minded individuals and organizations. I highly recommend this program!”

Nigel Barriffe, President, Board of Directors, Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School was invaluable. It helped me systematize and move forward our policy work. The faculty were knowledgeable and engaging, and the other participants have now become a close network I can call on.”

Sasha McNicoll, Policy Manager, Community Food Centres Canada (MPS ’19)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School gave me the opportunity to carve time from my busy schedule to focus on policy strategy and engage in interesting policy discussions among peers. I am looking forward to incorporating these learnings and to continuing to engage with the network moving forward.”

Miriam Kramer, Executive Director, Government & Corporate Relations, OCAD University (MPS ’21)

Hear from participants

“Having the focused time along with the incredible depth of knowledge from the presenters and other participants made this program worth every minute. The shifts in our approach and development of a policy strategy will have long-term impact for our organization and our mission at Pillar.”

Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network (MPS ’19)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School brought together an expert faculty team who generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experiences. I really appreciated how each session was meticulously planned and specifically tailored for us in the non-profit sector.”

Tesfai Mengesha, Executive Director, Success Beyond Limits (MPS ’18)