Custom Learning


The Community Sector Council is pleased to offer several different learning streams to strengthen community organizations - and communities.  Each stream has a few different workshops under it, and all can be customized for your particular needs.


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Leadership Development

Whether we are looking at Good Governance, Strategic Planning, Community Engagement or how we can work more collaboratively together - this learning stream is all about Leadership Development; helping an organization operate at peak effectiveness and learning how to make the most of its various resources and options.


Regardless of whether you are part a nonprofit that's been around awhile or you have just started up a new community group, this workshop will help you with a variety of topics essential to helping your organization to succeed. They include: Volunteer Management and Staff Management, the basics of what you need to know related to the Registry of Joint Stock and Charitable Status, Good Governance, the value of Strategic Planning, Useful Evaluation the importance of good communication, and how to run effective meetings.

Good Governance - full day

Good governance is an essential part of any organization's effectiveness and success.  Regular evaluations and reviews of your board and its practices, as well as regular board education and updates, will ensure your board and organization is operating in compliance with best practice and effective stewardship of the assets of your organization.  This is key to being productive, strategic, ethical and sustainable.

Strategic Planning - Length varies

Does your organization have a strategic plan, or if you do - when was the last time you updated it?  They say all paths lead somewhere, but question is where do you really want to go? What kind of impact do you really want to have? Developing a compelling vision, clear mission statement, values, goals and a monitoring system are crucial to volunteer engagement, operational efficiency and effectiveness and even financial sustainability.  CSCNS offers a variety of strategic planning options from a one day board intensive to community and staff engagement sessions designed to help you get a full picture of your opportunities, strengths, challenges and aspirations.

Community / Stakeholder Engagement - Length varies

Whether you’re looking to engage community or other stakeholders in a process designed to bring a broader perspective to your strategic planning process, or for another reason - our seasoned facilitators can help you.  

Leadership 101- Full Day

During this one-day workshop, you will look at the value of self-knowledge and different leadership models.  There will be time to practice facilitation skills, dig into powerful questions and discover what it means to really listen.  You will also explore what makes a great leader.

Collaboration 101 - Full Day

Some of our social issues today are not just complicated; they are very complex and challenging.  This one day workshop will help identify when to use 'best practices' versus 'promising practices,'  as well as when it is better to go it alone and when working collectively can help get you closer to your goal.

Collaborative Leadership - Advanced - Full Day

Dive deeper with us to find out more about how to use collaborative concepts and methodologies in our increasingly complex world, and how to lead truly innovative and collaborative teams. Action Learning, visioning, team health, relationship-building, peer coaching will be explored. We will develop deeper self-knowledge and practice skills in reflective practice, peer coaching and group facilitation. Experienced leaders will have an opportunity to build their knowledge and develop their leadership style to best address the complex challenges of the world today with their team.  This program will consist of 3 to 4 days (tbc) over a period of time.

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Money Matters

Explore everything from grant writing to building corporate partnerships, and how to manage your money well with best practices in risk management and sustainability.

FInancial Sustainability - full day

Government funding is a core source of revenue for many community groups, but diversifying beyond public funds is a key imperative to increase financial sustainability these days.  Participants in this workshop will use a self-assessment tool to measure internal organizational competencies in four core areas of financial sustainability. Building on that initial assessment, participants will draft a financial sustainability plan to improve organizational practices in one or all core areas.

Grants:  Finding & Writing - 2 half days held the same day

Introduction (morning):  Finding grants and writing them can seem like a mysterious art form, but it’s really about figuring out what funders are looking to invest in and seeing if there is a match with your organizational goals.  Participants in this workshop will: look at common challenges in grant finding and writing, develop solutions to address them and learn how to be more successful and efficient using a Building the Case ‘Prep’ Checklist as a foundational resource.

Advanced (afternoon):  Grant writing at an advanced level is not for the faint of heart.  In this workshop, participants will look to up their game by bringing in a grant they are working on for feedback.  They will also explore a variety of grants available at different levels, and see how as the level of funding goes up, the complexity goes up.  Participants should have either taken Intro to Grant Writing, or have some experience writing grants. Depending on experience level, participants will then explore writing municipal, provincial or federal grants.  To participate fully, it would be good to bring a laptop or tablet to be able to work online.

Diversifying Funding: Corporate Partnerships - full day

Diversifying funding these days in the community sector is critical. Participants in this workshop will explore what corporate partnerships are all about.  They will learn: how to design a corporate partnership strategy, develop a YOU pitch and practice it, how to develop a partnership ‘deck’, and how to keep one’s partnership on track with partnership agreements, fulfillment strategies and visibility reports.

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People Management

Whether we’re talking volunteers or staff - learn how to find the best people, attract their interest and keep them on board.

Managing and Recruiting Volunteers - full day

With 12.7 million Canadians contributing an average of 154 hours each year, volunteers continue to play an essential role building and restoring strong and connected communities, a just society, and a sustainable planet. Yet, the nature of volunteering is changing. This workshop will give participants practical skills to enhance their engagement with volunteers by reviewing the Volunteer Management Cycle and learn how to best recruit, train, supervise, recognize and retain volunteers.  We will look at creating engaging volunteer opportunity descriptions, and what platforms and tools are available to assist you in recruiting and managing volunteers.

Introduction to Managing Staff - In Development

Conflict Resolution - Full Day

Conflict is like air. It is all around us and unavoidable. Dealing with conflicts effectively and constructively makes good sense from both a human resource and a financial perspective. Part of the challenge is to find an approach to both: resolve the situation effectively and keep the relationship intact. Participants in this workshop will learn about a practical and powerful approach to dealing with conflicts effectively. Participants will leave with: basic knowledge, skills, techniques, and some experience in using a world-renowned process called " Interest Based Negotiation (IBN)" to deal with any situation.

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Create a strategy that will make the most of the digital opportunities available today, and make sure your message and voice stands out.

Communications & Marketing on a Shoestring - FULL DAY

Effectively communicating your organization's purpose and value has become increasingly challenging in today's busy world. Participants in this workshop will learn about: adapting with the digital sphere; how to develop a communications strategy for both traditional and digital purposes including social media; and practical tools and best practices.  Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet of some kind to be able to make the most of this workshop.

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Evaluation & Learning

Explore the latest trends in evaluation as a way to create an organization that is constantly improving and innovating.

Building a Culture of Evaluation & Learning - full day

Developing a culture of evaluation and learning in an organization doesn’t happen overnight. Strong leadership and organizational commitment that encourages and supports systems for ongoing evaluation are essential for a culture of learning to thrive. This workshop will explore how a culture of learning can be developed, what a strong evaluative culture can look like (ie. reflection, evidence-based learning, experimentation) and how to encourage a culture of evaluation in your organization (ie. leadership, support structures, learning focus).

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Storytelling Services

Wondering how to tell your story in the most engaging way possible? Think video.

Our in-house expert, Dana Perry, can help you develop your story, shoot it and edit it to enable you to look and sound your best. Some of our clients have included: Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, How We Thrive Conference, Pictou County Learning Association (PiCCoLA).