A 20 month long study from Vantage Point, a non-profit organization that provides training for other non-profits, will be looking into the many challenges faced by the sector.
Trista Spencer, Executive Director for United Way of Northern BC, is part of the Governance committee for the research project, and said they’ll be covering a range of topics.
“What are the barriers faced by under-represented populations? Of course, the worker compensation, and conditions within the sector.”
She added that organizations that really pinch pennies can have a difficult time making sure their workers feel comfortable coming to work everyday.
Spencer said non-profit organizations have been struggling with some key issues for years.
“Being able to pay a competitive wage, it’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem.”
“The inability to retain qualified staff. So it’s something that for years there has been struggles in the not for profit sector within Northern BC, it’s really difficult to show not for profit as valuable employment.”
Spencer said that general opinion usually feels that not for profits are volunteer run, or workers should be paid less due to the organization being run off of donations.
She added that this can make it really difficult to bring in qualified workers, or pay competitive rates, but noted that COVID-19 has shown how important the industry is.
“I think the pandemic has really shone a light on how critical not for profits are across the province in all areas, whether it’s arts and culture, community, sports and recreation, those non-profits are really the fabric that holds a lot of our socioeconomic community together.”
According to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, there are roughly 29,000 non-profit organizations in BC, and they employ around 86,000 people.