The Sector in Canada and Overseas


Q: Which fast-growing sector of the Canadian economy employs almost as many people as manufacturing?
A: Nonprofit organizations!


In Canada, the nonprofit and voluntary sector is the second largest in the world, employing 1.5 million full-time (FTE) workers, or roughly 9% of the economically active population.
Despite these numbers, the education mandates for this sector are poorly understood and tend to be overlooked in core programming.

KPU’s Certificate in NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) and Nonprofit Studies has been structured using the Curricular Guidelines for Undergraduate Study in Nonprofit Leadership, the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy, Nonprofit Academic Centers Academic Council (NACC), 2007

We are happy to be able to offer training that might also apply in countries overseas. NGOs are a significant sector in different countries around the globe. National surveys have counted more than one million NGOs in India, 359,000 registered NGOs in Russia, 55,000 in Poland, 570,000 in Germany in 2008, and 161, 000 in Canada (Statistics Canada 2005). These numbers are increasing, across the board – for example, between 1982 and 2006, the number of non-profits in the United States nearly doubled from 793,000 to 1,478,000 (Urban Institute, 2006).

International students should contact our Office of International Recruitment and Admissions at

A recent study indicates there “there is a massive shortage of competent people, particularly for large NGOs who are normally seeking to employ the most skilled and experienced staff” (Paul Ronalds, The Change Imperative, 2010).

In Canada, the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (2008, 2010) found that “a passive approach to the labour force issues is no longer an option”.

In 2004, sector employer surveys showed that recruitment and retention were linked together and ranked equally high on the list of challenges faced by these organizations.

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