West Shore Chamber: The Business of Non-Profits

March 23, 2023


WEST SHORE – In February, the WestShore Chamber completed a four-month cohort-based learning program called Thriving Non-Profits. Offered by Scale Collaborative, in our region this program is generously funded by Coast Capital Savings, Vancity and Victoria Foundation. It is thanks to these community partners that we were able to participate in this program at a price we could afford.

And what a program! It delivered on its promise to provide “a non-profit leadership training program that helps non-profit leaders explore nine entrepreneurial revenue diversification strategies. Your organization will take part in online learning, interactive webinar sessions, and expert coaching to create a revenue diversification action plan customized to your specific circumstances.”

Although we have completed the program, the learning that has come about as a result is ongoing across our organization. I have no doubt that we will look back in 5- and 10-years time and recognize this program as a milestone moment.

The reason it matters that non-profits are thriving is because of the enormous value they provide in our communities, across Canada, and around the world. Non-profits fund cancer research and operate food banks and run chambers of commerce. And we’re not just talking societal or community value. According to Statistics Canada’s Overview of the Non-Profit Sector in Canada 2010 to 2020, the “gross domestic product (GDP) of total non-profit institutions was $185.8 billion in 2020, representing 9.0 per cent of Canada’s total GDP.”

It’s interesting to note that over “the 2010 to 2020 period, real GDP of non-profit institutions outpaced that of the overall Canadian economy in five out of eleven years. The real GDP of non-profit institutions grew by an annual average of 1.9 per cent over the eleven-year period, which was faster than the total economy (+1.5 per cent).”

At the WestShore Chamber of Commerce we are proud to support other non-profits through our membership offer, community calendar, and donations raised at our events. You can connect with us at westshore.bc.ca or find out more about the program at thrivingnonprofits.ca

Julie Lawlor is Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce

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