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Scotiabank investment in Non-Profit Centre of Excellence yields valuable online resources
Okanagan College Media Release

Scotiabank Centre NPE Aug 2019A partnership between Scotiabank and professors and students from Okanagan College’s School of Business has led to development of a series of free online courses that can help Canadian non-profit agencies with their professional development and training needs.

The Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence, launched and supported with funding from Scotiabank and developed by Okanagan College faculty and students, has an online portal of research and training resources that are available to non-profit organizations and their staff and volunteers.

“This is the conclusion of five years of work, conducted by students and led by faculty, that began with a gap analysis of the training and education needs of the non-profit sector,” explains Business Professor and Faculty Researcher Dr. Sheilagh Seaton. “In short, we began by ascertaining what would be most beneficial for non-profits to aid their quest for improvements. Then we developed curriculum, and now we have put the courses online.”

The launch of these research studies and learning resources was celebrated earlier this month at a launch that drew representatives of several non-profits to the College.

The training courses cover everything from fundraising to fraud, from project management to servant leadership.

Mike Greer, the Executive Director of Elevation Outdoors, was one of the people able to attend some of the early in-person training offered by the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence.

“Being able to hear from experienced professionals on wide range topics from strategic planning and project management to financial management, all at no cost and without having to travel out of town, is an amazing knowledge and capacity building opportunity for us and other non-profits in our community,” says Greer.

The development of courses and the research underpinning the curriculum also offered Okanagan College students a valuable work-integrated learning experience.

“It really helped me build some valuable personal skills,” says Carly Suddard. “It provided me a broader appreciation of the non-profit sector and all it entails, as well as the many viable career options.”

She worked on a project that focused on helping non-profits understand and implement impact reporting. It also proved a valuable networking experience. Through the project, she met the CEO of BrainTrust Canada, where she now works as marketing and events co-ordinator.

“Through our workshops and via client road testing we’ve ensured these online courses are addressing that skills gap that was the foundation of the program” explains Business Professor and Faculty Researcher Dr. Kyleen Myrah.

Scotiabank donated $200,000 in funding to support five years of the program, which offered several workshops for area non-profits.

“The value of that investment will be repaid many times over as non-profits can rely on the training resources that have been developed,” says Seaton. “I can’t give enough credit to Scotiabank, my fellow professors and the students involved. Their devotion to the Centre has produced something that should have national impact on the sustainability of the non-profit sector.”

And the appreciation is two-way:

“I found the work I did to be truly rewarding,” explains Maliki Suppin, one of the students involved with the project. “Applying the knowledge I have learned in the classroom to a tool that will help non-profit organizations has been a great way to gain hands-on experience. I was lucky enough to work with professors who guided me through this process. The experience I have gained during this project is invaluable and something I deeply appreciate.”

The nine courses are available online through
. They are:
  • Collaboration and Collective Impact
  • Financial Management
  • Fraud
  • Impact Reporting
  • Project Management
  • Servant Leadership
  • Social Enterprise
  • Strategic Plan Implementation
  • Fundraising