There are a number of volunteer women organizations in Halifax, Nova Scotia such as the YWCA Halifax, 100 Women Who Care, Dress for Success Halifax, Bryony House, Women Unlimited.
This is a non-for-profit organization that was started by community-oriented women. The goal is to improve the lives and economic situation of women by helping them secure employment to become financially independent. Dress for Success offers programs and services to help women build confidence, master new skills, and ultimately realize their full potential.
Another women’s organization in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 100 Women Who Care offers networking opportunities and financial support to charities that are based in Halifax. Past recipients include Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, Chisholm Services for Children, Dartmouth Family Centre.
YWCA Halifax strives to create opportunities for women and girls by eradicating homelessness, poverty, and family violence. This non-for-profit offers a number of programs that target young women, mothers, and newcomers to Canada. Programs focus on violence against women, food security, supportive housing, home daycare and childcare, etc. The goal is to enable women to achieve food and housing security and economic independence. YWCA Halifax engages in advocacy and support, offers training opportunities, and supports policy development initiatives and research.
Created by a group of like-minded women, Bryony House is a non-for-profit and shelter that offers emergency services to women to escape family violence and partner abuse. This non-for-profit organization engages in advocacy, offers educational resources, provides group and individual counseling, and maintains a 24/7 distress line. The main goal is to end family violence and abuse and empower women to improve their socio-economic situation. Bryony House offers information about the cycle of abuse and types of abuse such as financial consumer behaviour, identity, verbal, emotional and psychological, and social and sexual abuse. Women are offered a safety plan and things to take with them, including passports, driver’s license, medical and school records, keys, money, and other items and valuables. The non-for-profit engages in fundraising activities and receives donations from different sources, including individual donors, clubs, community groups, and companies.
Women Unlimited is a Canadian non-for-profit organization that offers services across Nova Scotia and works in cooperation with educational establishments, government authorities, industry players, and community groups and members. Women Unlimited offers a Career Certification Program that targets women aged 18 and over who are underemployed or unemployed. Applicants who are enrolled in full-time adult learning programs, colleges, and schools do not qualify. Programs are offered in different locations and areas, including Sydney, Dartmouth, Halifax, and Bridgewater. The program is based on several pillars, including workplace readiness, safety, personal development, essential skills. This non-for-profit also offers information and educational resources such as guides, publications, newsletters, reviews, and others. Publications and guides focus on different topics such as technology and trades, career development, workplace culture, and others. Women Unlimited works in cooperation with partners such as the Bridgewater Development Association, Black Educators Association, Akoma Family Centre, NSCC Lunenburg Campus, and many others. Partners organize and participate in events, offer financial assistance, help organize workshops, and help organize information sessions and other events. They also offer referral and expertise to support women and their families.
There are plenty of great ideas for a non-for-profit business in Canada, from saving endangered species and encouraging environmental protection to helping patients with critical conditions, running a homeless shelter, or offering education to the poor. One idea is to help people with critical conditions such as leprosy, Down syndrome, cancer, HIV/AIDS, or sickle cell disease. Such patients often need long-term care and special services. Another idea is to help save endangered plant and animal species from going extinct. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of endangered species such as the South China Tiger, Mountain Guerilla, Bornean Orangutan, Amur Leopard, and many others. Other ideas include organizing dance marathons, film fundraising, helping people with mental conditions, and plenty more.
Non-for-profit organizations face different challenges, one being the fact that it can be difficult to find and retain donors. Another problem for non-for-profit organizations is that it can be difficult to attract employees who are willing to work on a non-for-profit budget. Public skepticism is a third issue to consider, especially in times of recession and economic downturns.
A good business plan is a must if you need initial financing for your project and business. The plan includes major sections such as your marketing plan, market and customer analysis, financial plan, operations plan, and others. It is important to list your programs and services. For example, if you want to help homeless people, your target segment may be homeless immigrants, homeless young people or the elderly, etc. Examples of services include healthcare services, education, housing assistance, and others. It is also important to list your start-up costs, fundraising plan, grants you have applied for or received, your income statement.
There are different sources of funding to look into (https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/), including government subsidies, grants, and loans from private providers, to name a few. Grants are offered to women’s organizations, non-for-profits helping people with disabilities, businesses helping underdeveloped communities, and so on. Many organizations and programs offer funding and loans to non-for-profit businesses, among which the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, ACCESS Community Capital Fund, Golden Opportunities Fund, and others. The types of grants and funding available vary from one province to another. ATB BoostR in Alberta, for example, is a crowdfunding platform that helps non-for-profits to raise money for projects in different categories, including health and wellness, food, environment, education, and others. Micro loans are also available. Funding is also offered under different government programs such as the Crime Prevention Action Fund, Alberta’s Community Initiatives Program, British Columbia gaming grants. In addition to grants, non-for-profit businesses can apply with banks and other financial entities, offering homeowner lines of credit, small business lines of credit, fixed-rate term and installment loans, credit cards (https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-12-best-credit-cards-in-canada-for-2018/) and more. Many banks offer the full array of business financial solutions, from commercial mortgages and operating and U.S. dollar lines of credit to variable-rate term loans and business credit cards. If you are already a customer, it pays to check with your union or bank first as this is a good way to get beneficial rates and terms.
Running a non-for-profit business is a great idea, whether helping single parents, children with disabilities, or the environment. What you need is a clear idea and vision, initial funding, and a good business plan.