Community Development works to improve, enhance or otherwise contribute in a positive way to the lives of Albertans.

The Community Development Unit offers facilitation, public engagement, community collaboration, and learning and development services to non-profit organizations, staff and volunteers, and the sector as a whole. Topics covered in these services include:

  • strategic planning
  • board governance, roles and responsibilities
  • building leadership capabilities and capacities throughout your organization
  • fund development and grant writing
  • evaluation
  • public and stakeholder engagement
  • identifying, developing and enhancing partnerships, collaborative relationships and assets within your organization and community

Services are mainly tailored to:

  • community groups
  • non-profit organizations
  • volunteer teams

The Community Development Unit is working to improve the services we offer to the non-profit/voluntary sector. To access our services, please email: communitydevelopment@gov.ab.ca.

Session types

Building community capacity

Community Development facilitators can facilitate sessions to help:

  • identify assets in your community, including individuals, organizations and others
  • assist with creating an action plan for capitalizing on those assets

Collaboration and partnerships

Community Development facilitators can support you and your collaborative team in exploring, building and strengthening methods and processes for working effectively together.


The Community Development facilitators can provide crucial process design expertise, as well as advice on project planning and management. Whether it's a clear strategic plan you need, an agreement on a challenging or complex issue, or collecting extensive input on an idea, our facilitators are process experts.

Facilitators design sessions and projects that:

  • are inclusive of a diverse array of participants
  • are non-biased and achieve the group's goals
  • create a safe environment encouraging full participation from everyone present

The Community Development Unit offers facilitation training workshops to help employees learn how to lead meetings and groups.

Fund development

Community Development facilitators can assist your organization with a broad range of services related to fundraising and fiscal management, including:

  • referrals
  • building feasible action plans
  • creating strategies that are right for your organization
  • social enterprise
  • partnership building and collaboration
  • obtaining and maintaining charitable status
  • writing grants

Developing leadership capabilities

The Community Development facilitators can help your organization build a culture of leadership by providing personalized workshops focused on:

  • facilitating conversations regarding leadership
  • clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • effective planning
  • coaching services

Organization and board development

Community Development works with board members and staff teams of organizations to help them find ways of working more effectively and efficiently.

The topics we cover include and are not limited to:

  • developing and working with your bylaws, policies and procedures
  • assisting with incorporation
  • strategic planning, prioritizing and planning for the future
  • planning and conducting effective meetings
  • developing clear board and staff position and communication expectations
  • board roles and responsibilities

See the Board Development Program for in-depth information bulletins and worksheets to guide your Board's development and growth.


Community Development facilitators work with you to design and deliver sessions that may include and are not limited to:

  • reflecting on and considering factors affecting your group and work
  • understanding and articulating mission, vision and values
  • identifying relevant and adaptive strategies to guide your work

Public participation

Public participation consists of a variety of activities ranging from sharing information to active engagement of stakeholders in the implementation stages.

Public and stakeholder participation processes include:

  • Identifying purpose and intent
  • Defining appropriate levels of public and stakeholder participation
  • Planning and managing all aspects of the interaction with the public
  • Assessing and interpreting the information gathered

Facilitation training workshops

The Community Development Unit offers facilitation training workshops to help non-profit and public staff and volunteers learn how to lead meetings in a facilitative way. Community Development Facilitators cover facilitation theories and tools as well as provide practical hands-on learning opportunities.

Whether you're leading groups for clients or with coworkers, facilitation skills will help you:

  • increase participation
  • build consensus
  • handle difficult situations
  • enable groups to focus and work together creatively
  • get concrete results
  • build commitment to action

Next scheduled workshops

3 Day Basic Facilitation Skills workshops (PDF, 150 KB)
Fact sheet for non-profit and public volunteers and staff are regularly scheduled around Alberta.

November 5 to 7, 2019 in Airdrie, Alberta
Hosted by City of Airdrie
Register here

November 19 to 21, 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta
Hosted by Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
Register here. Note: space is limited. For more information contact Ilya at training@ecvo.ca.

November 27 to 29, 2019 in Cochrane, Alberta
Hosted by the Town of Cochrane Family and Community Support Services
Register - Building Organization Capacity courses

February 4 to 6, 2020 in Medicine Hat, Alberta
Hosted by the Shortgrass Library System
Register here

If you would like to host a 3 Day Basic Facilitation Skills workshop in your community, please review the Hosting Expectations (PDF, 297 KB).

You can contact the Community Development Unit for more information about scheduled workshops or about hosting a workshop in your community.

Grant writing workshops

Did you know there is a lot of work to be done before you ever start completing a grant application form? The Community Development Unit grant writing workshops explore organizational preparation before writing grants, what funders are looking for, and the components of developing a successful grant application.

Next scheduled workshops

Wednesday October 16, 2019 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm in Smoky Lake, Alberta.
Hosted by Smoky Lake County Community Learning Council.
To register contact Mary Lou Doshewnek at mldosh@yahoo.com or 780-656-4066.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Chestermere, Alberta.
Hosted by the City of Chestermere.
Register here.

You can contact the Community Development Unit for more information about scheduled workshops or about hosting a workshop in your community.

Board Leadership events

The Community Development Unit collaborates with a wide variety of local community organizations to offer these training events across the province every year. Board Leadership events are day-long programs of engaging and informative workshops focused on non-profits boards and governance. The events provide networking opportunities as well as sessions on a wide variety of topics identified as priorities by the communities.

Annual events

November 2, 2019
Calgary, Alberta
Please visit the Board Leadership Calgary website for more information.

February 1, 2020
St. Paul, Alberta
Please email the communitydevelopment@gov.ab.ca for more information.

April 4, 2020
Edmonton, Alberta
Please visit the Board Leadership Edmonton website for more information.

March or April, 2020
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Please visit the Board Leadership Southeast Alberta website for more information.

April 25, 2020
Lethbridge, Alberta
Please visit the Board Leadership Lethbridge website for more information.


Board governance

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Board Governance and Running Effective Meetings

Human resources

Alberta Labour Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Navigating the Job Interview Videos and Guides

Retain and Gain: Career Management for Non-Profits and Charities

Collective impact

Tamarack Institute tool for building community readiness for collective impact

Tamarack Institute tool for leadership, governance and backbones

Five Phases of Collective Impact (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Collective Impact Forum blog: Beyond Seats at the Table: Equity, Inclusion, and Collective Impact


Harvesting the Wisdom of Coalitions: Review highlights

Harvesting the Wisdom of Coalitions: Literature review

Harvesting the Wisdom of Coalitions: A Study of the Sustainability of Coalitions in Alberta

Harvesting the Wisdom of Coalitions: Understanding Collaboration and Innovation in the Coalition Context

Building a Successful Coalition Conversation Guide

Public participation

Facilitating Large Public Input Events Handbook (PDF, 449 KB)

Facilitating Large Public Input Events Tip Sheets (PDF, 603 KB)

Public Input Toolkit

International Association for Public Participation


If you wish to request a facilitator or trainer or would like information about our programs please email communitydevelopment@gov.ab.ca.

Head Office Administration

Fax: 780-415-8594

905 Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R7

Northern Alberta

Phone: 780-963-2281

Grande Prairie

Room 3501, Provincial Building
10320 99 Street
Grande Prairie, Alberta  T8V 6J4

St. Paul

Room 414, Provincial Building
5025 49 Avenue, Box 318
St. Paul, Alberta  T0A 3A4

Central Alberta

(Edmonton and area contact Stony Plain office)
Phone: 780-963-2281

Stony Plain

Phone: 780-963-2281

Provincial Building
4709 44 Avenue
Stony Plain, Alberta  T7Z 1N4

Red Deer

6th Floor, Provincial Building
4920 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta  T4N 6K8

Southern Alberta

(Calgary and area contact Cochrane office)
Phone: 403-932-2970


Phone: 403-932-2970

Box 970, Provincial Building
213 1 Street West
Cochrane, Alberta T4C 1A5


Room 406, Administration Building
909 Third Avenue North
Lethbridge, Alberta T1H 0H5

Medicine Hat

Room 203, Provincial Building
346 Third Street SE
Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 0G7