In British Columbia alone, the nonprofit sector currently employs over 86,000 people (Government of British Columbia. 2023. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/non-profits-sector. Accessed May 1, 2023). Alongside the nonprofit sector, a ‘fourth sector’ is growing, combining the ethics of nonprofits with the efficiencies of business logics and practices (World Economic Forum. 2021. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/a-fourth-sector-strategy-to-build-a-better-21st-century-for-all/. Accessed May 1, 2023). As such, graduates from our program are prepared for employment in traditional nonprofits such as charities as well as socially innovative businesses such as social enterprises and Community Contribution Companies.
To prepare students for work in the nonprofit sector as well as in these nonprofit-influenced businesses, the program surveys legal, practical, ethical, and conceptual issues such as what constitutes a designated charity, how to navigate ‘political activities,’ the ethics of representation in promotional materials, the principles of human rights, and the relationship between the local and global. The program also provides students with practical skills such as presenting ideas orally and in writing, collaborating in a team, event-planning, report-writing, writing minutes, and taking initiative.
Given that many nonprofit organizations hire employees with volunteer experience, and often from their own volunteer pool, this program provides students with work-integrated learning opportunities. Outside of the classroom, students volunteer at an organization of their choosing, work with community partners on course-specific projects, and network with local nonprofit organizations through guest speakers and community events.