Alberta’s non-profit and voluntary sector
Find information, resources and grants for organizations working in the non-profit/voluntary sector.
The non-profit/voluntary sector touches virtually all aspects of community life in Alberta. The sector consists of over 25,205 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
- social services
- newcomer settlement
- senior services
Approximately 176,000 Albertans are employed in the sector, and 1.4 million Albertans volunteer across cultural sectors. The Non-profit/Voluntary sector contributes $9.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product to the Alberta economy.
The Alberta Non-profit/Voluntary Sector Initiative (ANVSI) is a collaboration between the non-profit/voluntary sector and the Government of Alberta. The ANVSI provides a mechanism to identify and resolve issues relating to the sector. Representatives of Alberta's non-profit/voluntary sector meet with government representatives in an on-going collaborative forum.
Since its inception, ANVSI has played an important role in helping to guide the development of strategies and policies across ministries to support the sector.
Recognition and awards
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week is Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism and civic participation that 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 to recognize volunteers and raise awareness of the valuable and vital contributions they make to building strong vibrant communities in Alberta. Please 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.
Six awards, two in each category of youth, adult and senior are presented annually on or around International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden 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 Initiatives Program
- Community Facility Enhancement Program
- Enhanced Capacity Advancement Program
- Other Initiatives Program
Financial Assistance Summary
The Financial Assistance Summary (PDF, 220 KB) lists approximately 200 granting foundations and their grant programs.
The document was updated in July 2014 and some information may have changed. Contact the sources you are interested in before making a request or application for funding.
Resources for non-profits
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.
- Building Corporate Relationships - A Toolkit for Nonprofits (PDF, 1.3 MB)
- Tisser des liens avec les entreprises – Une boite à outils pour les organismes sans but lucratif (PDF, 2.0 MB)
Board Development Program
The Board Development Program focuses on improving governance of non-profit organizations by offering:
- 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 Culture and Tourism and administered and delivered by Volunteer Alberta.