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The Working Group on Financing

The Working Group on Financing (WGF) was one of two groups in the VSI whose membership was comprised solely of voluntary sector representatives. Their mandate was to understand how the voluntary sector is financed, identify issues of concern and to develop strategies to enhance its capacity, efficiencies and long-term sustainability.

To address how the sector accesses and manages financial resources from all sources, including government and non-government, the Group: worked within the voluntary sector to explore issues and concerns of unique interest to the sector and independently present perspectives on federal funding to Ministers and to the sector; partnering with Capacity Joint Table to examine financial capacity issues; and served as a reference group to the Treasury Board Secretariat Federal Funding Study.

Until recently, the term voluntary sector "capacity" was a synonym for "funding." The issue of Capacity now encompasses much more than funding alone. On a broader scale, financial capacity is the ability of voluntary organizations to mobilize their financial resources from all sources, for and within the sector, and at the same time, attain their missions and be accountable to their stakeholders.

Work Completed and Next Steps

Research on sources and mechanisms of funding and their impact on sustainability of voluntary organizations:

This research project was led by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) and the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (NVO). This project's primary goal was to study the impact of funding sources and mechanisms on the long-term sustainability of Canadian voluntary sector organizations (VSOs). Through interviews with voluntary sector organizations, funders, and experts in the field, the Working Group studyied the links between the sources and mechanisms of funding that contribute to - alternately hinder - the financial capacity of VSOs and developed recommendations for effective funding reform.

A series of focus groups and in-depth case studies were conducted to generate both qualitative and quantitative information exploring the experiences of VSOs with different funding sources and mechanisms and how they have navigated the changing funding environment. The Final Report, entitled Funding Matters: The Impact of Canada's New Funding Regime on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations was released in June 2003.

Financial management and accountability tools and resources:

Information on existing resources have been collected and an inventory is being compiled. This inventory will be available over the fall of 2003 and available on this website.

Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Federal Funding Study:

The WGF coordinated and participated in consultations, and worked in collaboration with TBS on the development of TBS Guide for Improving Funding Practice. A strategic investment approach to funding has also been developed.

Next steps?


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Last Updated: 2006-01-12