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National Learning Initiative for the Voluntary Sector

The vision of NLI is “to foster dynamic leadership in the voluntary sector – effective, responsive, and accountable – for a vibrant democracy and caring, inclusive communities, by enhancing human resource development, through accessible, relevant education and training opportunities.” The project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Capacity Joint Table of the Voluntary Sector Initiative. The current fiduciary for the NLI is the Community Foundations of Canada.

The NLI has identified core skills/competencies for sector leaders and developed an inventory of learning opportunities across Canada. Three documents have been produced based on discussions with 64 voluntary sector leaders from a range of organizations, who participated in five regional workshops across Canada. A brochure, entitled “National Learning Initiative: A National Skills and Learning Framework for the Voluntary Sector”, provides background information on the development of the core competencies. A discussion document, Voluntary Sector Leadership Competencies: Examples, Current Challenges & Complexities, & Learning Outcomes, presents ideas and encourages dialogue on the required core competencies for leadership in the voluntary sector. The report, What Do Voluntary Sector Leaders Do?, released in July 2003, summarizes the research process. In addition to this work, several human resources tools designed to assist Boards of Directors with hiring and performance appraisal for their Executive Directors have been developed, and can be found in the document entitled Leadership in the Voluntary Sector: Human Resources Tools.

Over the past year, the NLI has experimented with stimulating voluntary sector leadership development through three pilot projects:

1) Calgary – Using a facilitated peer learning circle to strengthen job performance and enhancing job satisfaction in Executive Directors (access the Strengthening the Capacity Of Executive Directors report);

2) British Columbia – Learning to Lead: Developing a Learning Culture within the Voluntary sector (access the Learning and Leading: Transforming the Voluntary Sector through Learning and Leading report); and

3) a Pan-Canadian Leadership School offered in four diverse Canadian communities: Yellowknife, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ottawa (for franco-ontariens), and Nova Scotia (access the Pan-Canadian Pilot Project Final Report).

The Capacity Joint Table Advisory Committee is working to contribute to a better understanding of challenges facing the sector and to develop ways of strengthening the sector’s capacity to attract, optimize and hold top talent. The National Learning Initiative (NLI) is one of the two projects on skills development and recruitment that the Advisory Committee is overseeing; the other is Developing Human Resources in the Voluntary Sector (HRVS).

For further information on the National Learning Initiative, please go to www.hrvs.ca, and follow the links to the National Learning Initiative.

 

 

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Learning and Leading: Transforming the Voluntary Sector through Learning and Leading
 
Pan Canadian Pilot Project Final Report

 

 
 
  
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Last Updated: 2017-04-30
View the brochure "National Learning Initiative: A National Skills and Learning Framework for the Voluntary Sector" View the Report "Leadership In The Voluntary Sector: Human Resources Tools" View the report "What Do Voluntary Sector Leaders Do?" View the Report "Strengthening Capacity of  Executive Directors" View the "Pan-Canadian Pilot Project" Final Report Learning and Leading: Transforming the Voluntary Sector through Learning and Leading