Upcoming events

    • 13 Mar 2020
    • 14 Mar 2020
    • 2 sessions
    • ECVO Training Room, 258 Bonnie Doon Professional Center (Bonnie Doon Mall)
    • 10

    The Alberta Board Member Essentials Program (ABME) was built by Albertans for Albertans, and is designed to support the growth of new and developing board members.

    ABME is a multi-part training program that combines online learning with in-person workshops to give new and developing board members the tools to successfully serve on a non-profit board. 

    Access to the three online modules starts February 12, 2020

    The two in-person workshops will be held: 

    • Friday March 13, 2020 from 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
    • Saturday March 14, 2020 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

    Check out our program guide!


    For new board members, ABME helps build the foundational layer of learning in order to be an effective board member.

    For developing board members, ABME supports your growth in understanding nonprofits – not just from the lens of your organization, but also how you and your organization play a role in the larger social sector ecosystem.

    The full program is five weeks and consists of three online courses and two half-day in-person sessions. Online sessions take on average 3 hours each and are to be completed on the student's own time.

    Registration for the program will remain open until March 4, 2019, or until filled. Students will be responsible for completing the online modules prior to the in-person training.

    Please note: Space is limited. Register early.


    Online Part 1: Overview of the Alberta Non-profit Sector (Online Learning)

    Online Part 2: Board Member Fundamentals (Online Learning)

    Online Part 3: Understanding Financial Matters (Online Learning)

    • Online modules will be made available starting February 12, 2020
    • We strongly recommend that these model be completed before the in person session

    In Person Session 1: Working as a Sum of the Parts (In-Person Learning)

    • Friday March 13, 2020 from 9:00 am - 2:30 pm

    In Person Session 2: Strategic Board Leadership (In-Person Learning)

    • Saturday March 14, 2020 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
    Location: TBA




    A full refund can be issued no later than 21 days prior to the event. A partial refund can be issued no later than 14 days prior to the event. 

    • 2 Apr 2020
    • 8:30 AM
    • 18 Jun 2020
    • 4:30 PM
    • ECVO Training Room (Suite 258, Bonnie Doon Professional Centre - 8330 82 Avenue NW)
    • 12

    Combining in-person workshopping with direct professional coaching, Sustainability Champions has a unique approach to helping your organization walk the talk of sustainability. 

    Non-profit organizations create positive social, environmental and economic impacts for their communities. At the same time, they are expected to be role models whose own staff and operations “walk the talk” in terms of sustainability. This can be a challenge given limited time, support and funding.

    ECVO and The Natural Step Canada are excited to offer the 2020 NGO Sustainability Champions Workshop Series, supporting non-profits to build their strategic planning capacity and contribute to a sustainable future.

    • Attendees will walk away with a huge boost to their strategic planning skills and armed with a world-class  planning framework based on the award-winning approach pioneered by The Natural Step
    • At the end of the workshop series, you will have developed a strong sustainability inspired strategic plan to boost your organization's long-term sustainability guided by expert facilitators from The Natural Step Canada. 

    What Does 'Sustainability' Mean?

    While this workshops series aims to empower non-profits to become champions of environmental sustainability, The Natural Step's framework is relevant in any scale and applies universally across numerous fields, including finances, staffing, and operations.

    Each Sustainability Champion comes to the series with their own unique opportunities and challenges, and will walk away with an action plan developed from within and tailored to your organization's needs. Sustainability Champions welcomes organizations of all shapes and sizes, and with any mandate.

    Here's a short video that sums everything up nicely.

    Are you a good fit to be a Sustainability Champion?

    Are you keen to build your knowledge and professional skills in strategic and sustainability planning?

    Are you eager to boost your organization's sustainability performance?

    Do you enjoy opportunities to connect with peers for forward-thinking dialogue in a co-learning environment?

    Anybody can be a Sustainability Champion. If you're eager to learn new techniques and gain insight into sustainability planning, then this workshop series is for you!

    Want to know more? Check the FAQs! 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The Process

    1. Workshop #1 (April 2-3, 2020) is a two-day workshop with the main objectives of building capacity on strategic sustainability planning based on experiential learning, dialogue education and adult learning principles.
    2. After Workshop #1, participants will be expected to apply the lessons to engage their peers to develop a draft strategic plan. Participants will be supported by one online webinar and a one-hour coaching call from seasoned practitioners. Attendance is required for both.
    3. Workshop #2 (June 18) is a one-day workshop that will focus on sharing learning and refining the draft plan with the input of peers, and building a forum for ongoing collaboration.

    Participants are provided a guidebook that they will apply to their organizations, as well as an eLearning course that they will complete before the first workshop.

    How to Apply

    There is no registration fee for the workshops, however, to maximize the learning experience there are three criteria for participation:

    • $200 commitment fee that is fully refunded based on full participation (i.e. workshops, webinar and coaching call), in addition to submitting a draft plan at the end of the series. Participating organizations must provide a cheque for the deposit amount in advance of the course. Upon completion, it will be destroyed or returned in full to the organization.
    • Two participants from each organization to participate in the workshop series.
    • A written letter of support for their participation from the Executive Director.

    To maximize learning, this workshop series will have a limit of 8 participating organizations (16 attendees total). Coffee and lunch are provided.

    Once you have registered, you will be contacted by Ilya Ushakov (ilya@ecvo.ca) who will provide you with further instructions regarding the refundable deposit, letter of support and other information required to complete the registration.

    • 7 Apr 2020
    • 2 Jun 2020
    • 5 sessions
    • ECVO Training Room (Suite 258, Bonnie Doon Professional Centre 8330 82 Avenue NW)
    • 14

    HR for the Non-HR Professional Returns to ECVO!

    ECVO is once again partnering with JUNA Consulting to bring you the HR201 series of HR for Non-HR Professional: an advanced course for those who want to grow their knowledge and skills in human resources.

    The series will be delivered in a lunch and learn format, where you can bring your lunch and enjoy it in the company of other like-minded professionals, before diving into two hours of topical learning. See list of workshops below for more details!


    • Someone who is doing the HR function for their organization but has no HR background ("HR off the side of their desk")
    • Managers and front-line supervisors who are responsible for managing employee performance
    • A new HR professional (0-3 years in HR) who wants to add practical skills to their education
    • Anyone who would like to learn more about how to effectively manager people (including volunteers!)
    • A small organization director or business owner who needs more knowledge around basic human resources to manage risk


    All workshops will follow the format:

    11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Bring your own lunch

    11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Presentation, including questions and answers

    Workshop 1 - How to Hire and Leverage Uniqueness: Diversity and Inclusion (April 7)

    Creating an inclusive workplace involves minimizing systemic barriers for diverse employees (age, gender, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.). Organizational cultures that value diversity and inclusion use integration strategies and have a proven success rate for employee performance, engagement, retention and innovation.

    Participants will:

    • Re-evaluate their current job descriptions and recruitment efforts to expand their reach
    • Assess their working conditions/environments to broaden opportunities – accommodate different workers that add value
    • Select different hiring tools that determine best “fit” for applicable jobs

    Workshop 2 - Managing Complex Performance Issues: Mental Health at Work (April 21)

    1 in 5 Canadians are living with mental illness. At work, it often shows up as behavioural issues that require performance management. Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, most managers and business owners are unsure how to have an open conversation with employees about challenges happening in the workplace.

    Participants will:

    • Become aware of facts/stats about mental health issues
      • Commons issues and prevalence
      • Costs to organizations when not managed well
    • Interact effectively with individuals suffering with mental illness
      • Discuss this sensitive topic with employees
      • Use the ALPS method to open dialogue

          Workshop 3 - Respectful Workplace Matters: Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace (May 5)

          The recent groundswell of harassment allegations in the media (#metoo) has caused many people to take notice of human resources (HR) issues. It’s hard to know exactly what IS considered acceptable behaviour in the workplace these days, especially when there has been a history of power imbalances and/or a track record of fraternizing between employees.

          Participants will:

          • Explore the spectrum of respect – from incivility to targeted bullying
          • Identify harassment and its negative workplace effects
          • Discuss impact, roles and responsibilities of bystanders
          • Explain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under relevant legislation
            • List the protected grounds under Alberta Human Rights Act
          • Respond appropriately to allegations of bullying / harassment

          Workshop 4 - Workplace Investigations: What You Need to Know When a Complaint is Made (May 19)

          Human Resources professionals and managers need to conduct workplace investigations from time-to-time, yet many have never been shown how to properly lead one based on principles of natural justice. Whether it is following up on a harassment complaint, allegations of sexual misconduct, or bullying in the workplace, it is important to follow a fair process and make decisions that are organizationally sound.

          Participants will:

          • Respond to complaints/allegations in a timely way
            • Use templates to gather critical information
            • Follow a fair and transparent process
              • Inform parties of their rights and responsibilities without violating confidentiality or privacy
              • Sequence interviews that maximize information gathering
                • Complaint(s), respondent(s) and witness(es)
                • Examine parties effectively, using tailored question guides
                  • Ask effective questions and listen for lies, etc.
                  • Explain how to write a comprehensive and defensible report
                    • Make sound decisions/judgments (weigh balance of probabilities)

                    Workshop 5 - Motivation at Work: Rewards and Recognition that Get Results (June 2)

                    Managers don’t tend to focus on employee motivation until it’s lost, and most managers think money is the top motivator; but it’s not. Things that are most motivating to employees tend to be easy to do and cost effective. But, the hardest part of rewarding performance at work doesn’t follow the Golden Rule (treat other people the way you want to be treated).

                    Participants will:

                    • Assess employee motivation versus ability on tasks/assignments
                      • Complete a motivation assessment tool
                    • Apply different techniques that effectively reward and recognize team members
                      • Use 5 strategies that provide both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards


                      Barb Read, CPHR, SHRM-SCP, RPR

                      Barb Read is a Human Resources Consultant with JUNA Consulting and is a Chartered Professional of Human Resources (CPHR) and a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) with a generalist background that spans all functional areas of the human resources practice. She brings expertise in business and operational process, recruitment and selection, new employee orientation, policy and procedure development, compensation, performance management, workplace investigations and employee relations. 

                      Barb has diverse experience across all industries, and has extensive experience working with clients in the healthcare industry, as well as not-for-profit organizations and regulated associations.

                      Barb is a member of the Association of Professional Recruiters of Canada, a certified member of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources – Alberta, a certified member of the Society for Human Resources Management and is an Alberta Licensed Investigator.

                      Barb is passionate about her community as she serves as a Director with Alberta Adaptabilities, she volunteers with Disrupt HR Edmonton and she is actively involved with her community hockey club, most recently being her son’s team manager and parent liaison.  She completed a two-year term as Committee Chair for the HRIA Edmonton Chapter and served as Co-Chair for the 2014-2015 year.

                      CANCELLATION POLICY:

                      Full refunds will be offered for cancellations made by March 24, 2020. A 50% refund will be provided for cancellations made by March 31, 2020. After March 31, 2020, no refunds will be offered. To request a cancellation, please email training@ecvo.ca.

                      • 7 May 2020
                      • 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
                      • ECVO Training Room (Suite 258, Bonnie Doon Professional Centre, 8330 82nd Ave NW)
                      • 17

                      In all good policy making the goal is to move your organization from being reactionary - dealing with each issue as they arise, to visionary - creating policies that help shape your organization into what it wishes to be in the future.

                      This means that good policies are not just about templates, lists of topics, and directions. Instead, they take a deeper look at the culture you wish to have in your organization.

                      No policy manual is perfect, but the goal is to create a manual that is right for your organization both in the present and for what you wish to become.

                      By the end of this workshop, you will:

                      • have a strong understanding of what makes a good policy
                      • have a better sense of how to draft strong policies
                      • know what presentation format makes the most sense for your organization.

                      Want to know more before you register?

                      Not all policies are created equal. The rules we live, work, and play under impact our behaviors and our organization’s state of health. When I talk about policy manuals and policy writing, I almost always, return to my training in appreciative inquiry (AI). One of the guiding beliefs in Appreciative Inquiry is that organizations move in the direction of what they study. The way we frame rules, decisions, and key documents shapes how we think about them.

                      The types of rules we make influence how we evaluate our programs, staff, and volunteers. These rules shape behavior and the individuals involved tend to behave in a way that satisfies the policies requirements rather than build towards the organizations aspirations.

                      Here is an example:

                      Sick days – Why do we allow them and how many should we have?

                      If the staff have too few they may choose to save them for a rainy day. As a result, they come in when they have a cold or flu, kindly sharing it with the office. Staff that are allowed to bank their unused time tend to have fewer sick days. 

                      We try to address these ideas when we take part in appreciative policy writing.

                      Refund Policy

                      A full refund can be issued no later than 14 days prior to the event. 

                    Past events

                    11 Feb 2020 The E.D. Room: on Collaborative Fundraising
                    6 Feb 2020 Partnership Brokers: A Community of Practice
                    30 Jan 2020 inVESt: Framing the Collaborative
                    26 Nov 2019 Introduction to Appreciative Policy Making
                    19 Nov 2019 Basic Facilitation Skills for Not-for-Profits & Government Organizations
                    5 Nov 2019 International Volunteer Managers Day
                    29 Oct 2019 Sustainability Champions Mixer
                    24 Oct 2019 ECVO Leadership Series - Executive Director Wine & Wisdom
                    4 Oct 2019 Introduction to Board Governance: Understanding Your Roles and Responsibilities and Applying Your Learning
                    26 Sep 2019 Board to Board: Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector - Canadian Senate Report
                    18 Sep 2019 HR 101 for the Non-HR Professional
                    16 Sep 2019 Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: The Building Blocks of Collaborative Architecture
                    12 Sep 2019 Financial Management for Non-Profits and Charities
                    27 Aug 2019 Executive Director Mentorship Program
                    13 Aug 2019 Alberta Board Member Essentials - Summer 2019 Session
                    20 Jun 2019 Bylaws Refresher - A Society Bylaws Overview
                    17 Jun 2019 Board to Board Networking: What's Next for Boards Under a New Provincial Government
                    12 Jun 2019 EVCO Leadership Series - Executive Director Wine & Wisdom
                    3 Jun 2019 Partnership Brokers Training
                    8 May 2019 2019 Annual General Meeting
                    29 Apr 2019 EVCO Leadership Series - Executive Director Wine, Wisdom, & Welcome
                    13 Apr 2019 Edmonton Volunteer Fair
                    7 Mar 2019 Introduction to Appreciative Policy Making
                    21 Feb 2019 Brokering Better Partnerships: A Lunch & Learn
                    21 Feb 2019 Partnership Brokers: A Community of Practice
                    4 Feb 2019 Bylaws Refresher - A Society Bylaws Overview
                    31 Jan 2019 Financial Management for Faith-Based Communities
                    23 Jan 2019 EVCO Leadership Series - Executive Director Wine & Wisdom
                    19 Jan 2019 Alberta Board Members Essentials - Board Member Training
                    16 Jan 2019 HR for the Non-HR Professional
                    15 Jan 2019 The Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition Program: An Information Session