The non-profit/voluntary sector touches virtually all aspects of community life in Alberta. The sector consists of over 26,200 charities and non-profit organizations, including groups such as:

  • community associations
  • sports and recreation
  • faith-based organizations
  • arts and cultural groups
  • health and wellness groups
  • housing
  • social services
  • newcomer settlement
  • senior services

Approximately 286,000 Albertans are employed in the sector, and 1.9 million Albertans volunteer across cultural sectors. The non-profit/voluntary sector contributes almost $5.5 billion in GDP (gross domestic product) to the Alberta economy.


The Alberta Non-profit/Voluntary Sector Initiative (ANVSI), which has been in place since 2007, is an ongoing collaborative forum for government and non-profit sector representatives to:

  • build awareness on the important role of the non-profit/voluntary sector
  • provide input on key government policies
  • identify and address key issues affecting the sector

The ANVSI Leaders’ Council consists of:

  • deputy ministers from ministries that were identified as having the most frequent and broad interaction with the sector:
    • Arts, Culture and Status of Women
    • Seniors, Community and Social Services
    • Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction
  • 6 sector representatives who were recruited through an open screening process, based on their knowledge, skills and networks in the sector

Arts, Culture and Status of Women provides ongoing secretariat support for ANVSI.

Recognition and awards

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism and civic participation – it takes place annually on the 3rd week of April.

The Government of Alberta partners with Volunteer Alberta to:

  • offer grant funding to assist with the cost of local community celebrations
  • recognize volunteers and raise awareness of the valuable and vital contributions they make to building strong vibrant communities in Alberta

Visit Volunteer Alberta’s website for further details.

Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards recognize extraordinary Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community and fellow community members.

Nine awards, are presented annually:

  • 2 awards in each of the youth, adult and senior categories
  • 3 awards in the Breaking Barriers category recognizing Albertans working to address:
    • racism
    • gender discrimination
    • advocating for LGBTQ2S+ inclusion

These awards are presented annually on or around International Volunteer Day, which is on December 5.

The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Citizenship Medal

The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Citizenship Medal recognizes outstanding citizenship, leadership, community service and volunteerism. Eight young Albertans receive the medal each year, selected from among the Alberta high school students who receive the Premier's Citizenship Award that year.

Grants and financial assistance

Community grants

Financial Assistance Summary

The Financial Assistance Summary (PDF, 714 KB) lists approximately 40 organizations and their non-profit grant programs.

The document was updated in July 2019, however, grant details and information can change any time. Contact the sources you are interested in before making a request or application for funding.

Resources for non-profits

Online toolkit for artist and non-profit organizations

This toolkit captures and shares the insights learned from artists and non-profit organizations who have pivoted their work online. It also provides information, resources and inspiration to help you pivot some – or all – of your operations online.

There are a series of webinars available to help artists and non-profits move to a virtual work environment. Join us for online sessions highlighting the work of these Albertans.

View all the recordings on the Alberta Community Development YouTube Channel.

Building Corporate Relationships Toolkit

The toolkit outlines a 5-step process that can help small and medium sized non-profits build effective relationships with the corporate sector and other community partners.

Board Development Program

The Board Development Program focuses on improving governance of non-profit organizations by offering:

  • training
  • instructor opportunities
  • consultation and presentation services

Volunteer Screening Program

The Volunteer Screening Program focuses on education and training by providing non-profit organizations with a suite of tools and resources for screening volunteers, including:

  • education, training and resources
  • grants to implement volunteer screening policies and practices
  • Vulnerable Sector Check fee waiver

The Volunteer Screening Program is a unique partnership, funded by Alberta Arts, Culture and Status of Women and administered and delivered by Volunteer Alberta.

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey – Non-Profit Sector

The Alberta Wage and Salary Survey is undertaken by Alberta Labour and Immigration to provide current wage rates and skill shortage information on various occupations in Alberta, and in specific industries and economic regions. In 2021, a supplemental survey gathered data on the non-profit/voluntary sector in Alberta.

Profiling the Non-profit/Voluntary Sector in Alberta

The ANVSI led the development of a paper that explores the core functions of the non-profit/voluntary sector, and outlines the history of sector/government relationships. This paper includes statistics about the sector, and examples of how non-profit organizations improve the quality of life for Albertans in every community.

Profiling Volunteerism

Profiling Volunteerism is the Alberta Non-profit Voluntary Sector Initiative’s follow-up of the successful Profiling the Non-profit/Voluntary Sector in Alberta paper. The paper is a comprehensive look at the sector, incorporating secondary research and feedback obtained through targeted engagement with nonprofit sector stakeholders. Profiling Volunteerism provides facts about volunteerism in Alberta, volunteer trends and information related to the value of volunteerism for nonprofit organizations, communities and volunteers themselves.

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