Engaging Sub-sector Organizations in the Nonprofit Sector


The nonprofit sector is large and diverse, encompassing a number of substantial sub-sectors. One of the major challenges in attempting to address HR issues on a sector-wide basis is the lack of organizational capacity for planning and collective action on shared priorities both within and between sub-sectors.

While there is a wide range of umbrella organizations representing sub-sectors at the regional, provincial and community levels, their capacities to come together to analyze issues and work collaboratively on solutions is not fully developed. The HR Council is the first national body set up explicitly to bring the entire sector together for sustained action on issues of common concern related to paid employment.



This project will bring together decision-makers from sub-sector umbrella organizations to share knowledge and experience and to look at practical ways to address strategic HR priorities within their respective sub-sectors. The project will also generate advice and direction for the HR Council on its cross-sectoral strategic priorities and operational approaches to fulfill its mandate.

This HR Council will work to plan, organize and implement a national Forum bringing together up to 80 leaders and decision-makers from sub-sector umbrella organizations in the nonprofit sector. The proposed Forum is an efficient vehicle to encourage greater awareness of HR issues across the sector, to identify labour market issues and skills gaps that are specific to sub-sectors and to facilitate collaboration among sub-sector umbrella organizations to address common HR needs and action priorities.


Outcomes and deliverables

Key project deliverables will include the establishment of a national advisory committee made up of representatives from strategically selected sub-sector umbrella organizations, the conduct of the HR forum event, and the production of a report encompassing an action plan for the ongoing work by the HR Council to promote collaboration on HR issues among and within sub-sector umbrella organizations.

Project outcomes will include the expanded capacity of the HR Council to work with sub-sector umbrella organizations, more effective planning by the HR Council Board of Directors on the basis of advice and direction received from the Forum, and expanded collaboration for addressing HR and workforce issues among and within sub-sector umbrella organizations and between such organizations and the HR Council.

The deliverables of this project will impact positively on a large and diverse sector that is only beginning to build a shared identity and capacities to act in concert. The engagement strategy will generate direct and measurable benefits for specific agencies and sub-sector organizations, but, of equal importance, it will initiate a wider process of change and development across the sector in terms of new collaborative relationships and shared capacities for HR development.



Non-profit Workforce Summit - Summit Summary

Canadian Non-profit Workforce Summit - Summary

Summary Report of the Canadian Non-profit Workforce Summit hosted by the HR Council in on November 3 and 4, 2008 in Ottawa.

HR Council Podcast

HR Council

Janet Fleming - UK Workforce Hub

Janet Fleming, head of the UK Workforce Hub, describes the state of the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom and discusses labour force challenges and solutions with Summit participants. [36 minutes]

Audio formats: [M4A - iTunes]  [MP3 - universal]

Presentation Icon


Ron Saunders - Canadian Policy Research Networks

In his presentation to Summit participants, Saunders demonstrates that slowing labour force growth will heighten the competition among nonprofit organizations for skilled workers.

CPRN Presentation Slides (PDF)

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Bonnie Shiell - HR Council

In her presentation to Summit participants, Shiell provides an overview of findings from the HR Council’s Canada-wide surveys of nonprofit sector employers and employees.

Labour Force Survey Presentation Slides (PDF)


For more information about this project please contact info@hrcouncil.ca