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Celebration of Service

Canadians creating a stronger not-for-profit sector


Not-for-profits often don't have the time or financial resources to send their employees for continuing education or professional development classes. That's why IBM in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and CentrePoint—whose mission is to create a stronger not-for-profit sector through consulting, mentoring and knowledge sharing—have partnered together to help not-for-profits learn better project management principles.

IBM-certified Project Manager Eric Barnes adapted an online solution designed by IBM to educate not-for-profit organizations on project management principles and to facilitate sessions, and CentrePoint publicized news about the event on its website and in the e-bulletin of another Calgary not-for-profit, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. The response was overwhelming. More than 130 participants from 57 not-for-profits in the Calgary, Alberta, Canada area registered for the project management workshop developed jointly by CentrePoint and IBM.

The model allows volunteers to play a consultative and advisory role to the not-for-profits during the workshop and to follow up with them to provide additional advice. Each not-for-profit was partnered with a volunteer "mentor", who works with them for the duration of the year.

James Flaherty, Director of CentrePoint, said, "CentrePoint is an organization that is geared toward building the bridges between the not-for-profit and the corporate community. The partnership with IBM is really good from our point of view because it allows both sides to achieve their own goals."