Our Partnership

One Small Step Alliance & zu

The partnership between One Small Step Alliance and zu was built and continues to thrive on the basis of community engagement. Together, we identified a critical need for social awareness and education on the services local nonprofits provide so the community of Saskatoon can support their work.

Our journey began with a Design Thinking workshop held in the fall of 2018. We brought together community leaders and members of local non-profits. Our teams aligned on two challenge statements:

How might we inform the Saskatoon community of what and where to donate when it is most needed?

How might we create an independent resource that is endorsed and used by all non-profit organizations that seek to increase equity, and provide direct frontline services or advocacy?

Then, in late 2018, we created a survey that received 227 responses from people with varying socio-economic backgrounds. The goal of the survey was to identify patterns in the way people gave, how often, and why. The patterns helped us unearth key insights into a number of important areas and grasp the challenges that donors and nonprofits face when it comes to donation accessibility and support.

Design Thinking workshop participants.

Some Survey Insights Included:


Say a charity that aligns with their values motivates them to donate


Want to better understand the systemic issues that create a need for donations

  • A majority of survey respondents use social circles (friends, social media, word of mouth) to find out about people or organizations in need of donations
  • The most common issues respondents mentioned that caused poverty are: mental health, substance abuse and lack of education

It was vital that the solution support awareness and education as well as provide non-profits with utility to communicate urgent and regular needs. The solution also had to be made to scale. Building a website as a free resource for our community to connect and grow together became our focus. The One Small Step Alliance mission is to provide donors with an online place to discover the work of the amazing non-profits in Saskatoon so they can elect to donate to, support and connect with their efforts. Because we all have something to give.