Workforce Strategies for the Nonprofit Sector


This project is designed to:

  • Transfer evidence-based knowledge about the key characteristics of the nonprofit sector’s workforce and its HR challenges, by region and province
  • Convene and engage umbrella organizations and other stakeholders to work collaboratively on HR issues at the provincial and regional levels
  • Create and disseminate a practical guide for the development of place-based workforce strategies


Key activities

Convening of provincial forums

The project aimed to raise awareness about labour force issues in the nonprofit sector through the co-hosting of five provincial forums. The forums were designed to share national labour force information drawn from the HR Council’s Labour Force Study; to identify key issues particular to a province and to build on work currently underway in each jurisdiction. The forums were held in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s), New Brunswick (Moncton), Manitoba (Winnipeg), Alberta (Edmonton) and British Columbia (Vancouver).

Each provincial forum generated its own proceedings report:

Newfoundland & Labrador forum
New Brunswick forum
Manitoba forum
Alberta forum
British Columbia forum


In addition, the HR Council has prepared a Synthesis Report that brings together findings and key themes from the five provincial forums:

Synthesis Report: Workforce Issues in the Non-profit Sector

In the spring of 2009, the HR Council co-hosted a series of five provincial forums bringing together senior-level stakeholders from the non-profit sector and provincial governments to examine labour force challenges and opportunities specific to their region.


The publication of Developing a Non-profit Workforce Strategy: The Alberta Story

This publication captures and reflects on the process and outcomes that led to the creation of A Workforce Strategy for Alberta’s Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector. It documents the evolution of the workforce strategy development process and identifies what worked well, what could have been done differently and highlights essential components of a successful outcome.

A case study methodology was used to document Alberta’s experience. The intent was to build a guide to assist other provinces and territories that are developing their own workforce strategies. Information contained in the report was generated primarily through interviews with 15 key sector and government stakeholders who participated in and/or were otherwise instrumental in developing the workforce strategy.


Alberta Story

Developing a Non-profit Workforce Strategy:
The Alberta Story

A case study that captures and reflects on the process and
outcomes of A Workforce Strategy for Alberta’s Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector. Based on interviews with 15 people who were instrumental in the strategy's creation, this report is intended to assist other provinces or territories that are embarking on the development of their own nonprofit workforce strategies.


A Labour Force Strategy Guide

This guide has been designed to help nonprofit networks and umbrella organizations build their capacity to develop and implement their own labour force strategies by describing what labour force strategies look like, how they are developed, what they can include and how they can be developed. The primary audience for the guide includes networks and umbrella organizations engaged in a collaborative process of exploration, planning and action; however, single organizations engaged in their own workforce planning will find helpful resources in the guide.

The Labour Force Strategy Guide can be used in a number of different ways — it can be used to inform and educate board members, guide staff or a collaborative group through a planning process, review best practices, find tools and resources and increase our collective understanding of the elements of a successful labour force strategy. Most of the case studies and tools are Canadian, although the consultants also drew from the United States and international best practices.

For more information about this project please contact