Shared Services: Adding Value to Nonprofit Organizations


In 1998, a collection of community organizations came together and established United Community Services Co-op (UCS Co-op) - a business structure focused on sharing services, pooling assets and resources, and negotiating collective business activities. This model has taken advantage of the synergies and economies of scale of working co-operatively to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness, as well to increase the business acumen in the sector.

UCS Co-op, one of a kind in Canada, has been an extremely successful and proven business model. In nine years it has grown to 100 owner-member organizations, and in that time has successfully negotiated discounts, savings, and advantageous business relationships with a number of key business suppliers, financial institutions, and business consultants.

This project is led by Fraserside Community Services Society, an inaugural and active owner-member of the Co-op, with the UCS Co-op itself as the key delivery partner, to introduce and explore the shared services model to other regions of Canada. The HR Council is one of six regional/national partners working collaboratively on this project.



This project is intended to grow the knowledge and understanding of concrete and practical methods for nonprofit and community organizations to work together, specifically through shared services and collective business activities. Overall, this project has three overarching objectives:

  • Introduce this model to five distinct regions of Canada, including extending the model in British Columbia
  • Improve and evolve the UCS Co-op model with best practices and alternative models that exist in other regions
  • Explore the delivery of a national shared services model, specifically developing innovative practices towards the delivery of effective and efficient HR management support and resources.


Partner organizations

This project is strengthened by the quality of regional and national partners that are active in building the capacity of the voluntary sector in their region:

Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador

Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

Federation of Community Organizations of Halifax Regional Municipality

Ottawa Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector Organization of Manitoba

HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector

For more information about this project please contact