Who We Are

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Our Mission

To bring together nonprofit and voluntary organizations to ensure they can effectively meet the needs of all of Nova Scotia’s communities and citizens. The CSCNS works collaboratively to find innovative solutions to emerging and existing sectoral issues.

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Our Vision

Community-based organizations building a healthy, vibrant, inclusive and sustainable Nova Scotia in partnership with government and the private sector.

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Our Values

  • Collaboration
  • Inclusion, equity, & diversity
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Fairness

Our Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priority #1

Educate & Innovate

Provide the tools, skills and knowledge to increase the capacity of existing and newly forming small- and medium-size nonprofit and voluntary organizations province-wide and ensure they build a flexible and diverse workforce that will thrive in today’s innovative digital economy.

Strategic Priority #2

Collaborate & Activate

Facilitate, support and activate connections across networks and encourage continued and new collaborations between nonprofits, the government and private sectors, in order to inspire systems-change, and to build an inclusive, sustainable, healthy and prosperous Nova Scotia.

Strategic Priority #3

Advocate & Celebrate

Lead, champion, celebrate, give voice to, and advocate for, the sector.
We heard from the sector that they want to see the CSCNS play a part in ensuring that the sector is heard, valued and supported in policy and practice, particularly in times of uncertainty and disruption.


What We Do

Our activity plan aligns with the priorities in our strategic plan. To view more details about what’s in store up to March 2022, click on the section of the circle you want to learn more about!

What activity do you want to learn about?

What activity do you want to learn about?
Capacity Building & Training Board Diversity & Inclusion Sector Innovation Career Pathways Strengthening Our Core Group Procurement Toolkits & Templates Network Development Mapping the Sector Sector Celebration Committee Work & Government Relations Data Collection & Research NS Nonprofit COVID-19 Coalition

Capacity Building & Training

Through the spring we’ll be engaging with the sector via open forums, a survey, focus groups and interviews to uncover barriers to impact. Workshops will be held April-June on a number of topics. Findings will inform the development of a series of free foundational courses for organizations that will be offered in the fall. We’ll also develop a longer term framework and approach to learning content.

Board Diversity & Inclusion

We'll prototype approaches to increasing Board Diversity and Inclusion across several organization (including CSCNS) and develop learning opportunities, toolkits, resources, etc. to support the sector.

Sector Innovation

We’re currently exploring how to experiment with different approaches to problem-solving and encourage social entrepreneurship in the sector.

Career Pathways

We plan to pilot a Community Students in Residence initiative where we will hire a team of students to offer supports to projects in the sector. We’ll also strengthen our communications efforts to promote the sector to students and recent graduates.

Strengthening Our Core

  • Clarify our principles and values
  • Focus on valuable, consistent communications with a fresh new look
  • Develop an approach to evaluation and impact assessment based on our principles
  • Continue to diversify our board and strengthen governance
  • Deepen relationships in our team

Group Procurement

We will continue to administer a sector Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and welcome new participants any time. We’ll also be exploring other sector-wide benefits and discounts throughout the year.

Toolkits & Templates

We’ll be working with experts in cyber security, HR, etc. to offer downloadable, fillable templates, toolkits and resource lists to help ease the admin burden on organizations.

Network Development

We have a number of speaker series and gatherings planned to connect people across the sector and build capacity. Topics include a series on organizational burnout (spring), continuation of the Decolonization Learning Journey (spring), a learning journey centred on Black Heritage in NS (TBD). We’ll also be holding a sector gathering in the fall.

Mapping the Sector

We’re exploring tools for visually mapping the sector to help people find each other and showcase what’s happening across the province.

Sector Celebration

Our new Communications Manager will be helping to elevate stories from the sector to showcase impact and innovation. We’ll also be involved in another Day of Recognition (fall).

Committee Work & Government Relations

We meet regularly with government officials and are members of several local committees (e.g. Association of Industry Sector Council) and national groups (e.g. Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks) to help advance dialogue about and represent the sector.

Data Collection & Research

We are planning 2 major surveys this year – capacity building (spring) and a 2nd state of the sector survey (fall). Survey findings and other data we collect via sector engagement will help inform research reports and policy briefs.

NS Nonprofit COVID-19 Coalition

We are co-chairing the NS Nonprofit COVID-19 Coalition and providing a secretariat role. We’ll be helping to facilitate monthly open forum/networking sessions and working with Coalition partners to advance an advocacy agenda for the sector.