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 2023 will take place from January to June, 2023.

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?

Public health guidelines permitting, the following sessions are scheduled to take place in person:

  • January 19-20 – overnight retreat
  • June 15-16 – in Toronto

All other sessions will be delivered online via Zoom.

Participating organizations will be responsible for travel and accommodation costs associated with attending in-person sessions with the exception of the accommodation costs for the opening retreat, which will be subsidized by Maytree.

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:

  • Context of public policy in Canada
  • How government works and how to work with government
  • Policymaking rules of engagement
  • Assessing the policy landscape
  • Role of data and evidence in policymaking
  • Understanding systemic influences on policy work
  • Identifying and informing stakeholders and decision makers
  • Communicating in context and communicating with media
  • Evaluating for change
  • Implementing strategies

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 to 12 hours per month from January to June.

Applications for Maytree Policy School 2023 are now closed.

Need more information?

Contact Tina Edan, Lead, Maytree Policy School

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School was an incredible program that has shifted my mindset and approach to advocacy and government relations work. The caliber of instructors and cohort members was exceptional. I highly recommend this program to non-profit folks looking to level up and deepen their policy knowledge to be more effective change leaders.”

Sasha Elford, National Manager, Public Affairs, March of Dimes Canada (MPS ’22)

Hear from participants

[Maytree Policy School] gave me excellent insight into the public policy landscape in Canada and an understanding of how decisions that impact me and my community are made, and how they can be influenced.”

Rebecca Stulberg, Board Director & Chair of the Advocacy Committee, The Neighbourhood Group (MPS ’22)

Hear from participants

Maytree Policy School is a must for leaders and activists looking to make greater impact to address the pressing issues in our communities.”

Pablo Vivanco, Executive Director, Albion Neighbourhood Services (MPS ’22)

Hear from participants

"Maytree Policy School was a fabulous opportunity to learn from and with peers in the non-profit policy sector. The connections made in the program have really advanced our work."

Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Association of Social Workers (MPS ’22)

Hear from participants

“Maytree Policy School is a deep-dive into public policy. It provides an environment of learning, networking and exposes you to critical insight into government decision-making. It was helpful at building individual and organizational capacity to advance public policy and strengthen your advocacy muscles.”

Michelle Westin, Senior Analyst - Planning, Quality & Risk, Black Creek Community Health Centre (MPS ’22)

Hear from participants

Maytree Policy School was an incredible opportunity to learn from exceptionally talented policy professionals and peers. The knowledge, tools, stories and inspiration will stay with me always and inform my work moving forward in meaningful ways.

Janet McCrimmon, CEO, Strides Toronto (MPS ’22)

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)