Alberta non-profit organizations struggling as demand increases: Report

Demand is increasing for social services as inflation creates an affordability crisis. As Taylor Braat reports, non-profits are also struggling themselves and are asking for help from the Albertagovernment.

By Taylor Braat

The holiday season is now in full swing, but non-profit organizations, such as the Women In Need Society (WINS) are anticipating some challenges, as the rising cost of living is increasing demand in Calgary.

“We’re a little bit worried this holiday season about the amount of need in our city right now,” said Karen Ramchuk, CEO of WINS.

WINS supports new immigrants to the city from places like Ukraine and Afghanistan, but even those who used to be stable, are now struggling.

“The increased price of fuel, the housing costs, all of that has led to a new face of poverty in our city,” Ramchuk said.

“The need for non-profit services is going up, right across the board, at the same time, revenues for non-profits are going down,” said Karen Ball, CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations.

However, WINS is far from alone in its asking for more help, as the non-profit sector is struggling as a whole, according to a report by the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO).


The report found 55 per cent of not-for-profit organizations are having trouble retaining staff, two-thirds are experiencing increased demand, and 74 per cent are seeing more complex and higher levels of need.

“In my 30 years of working in this sector, I’ve really really never seen systems collapse in this magnitude before, and pressure on our sector like this before,” said Ball.

Ball says help from the province has not kept up with inflation, the pandemic’s impact is still taking a toll, and inflation itself is also creating financial strife.

She adds, the industry employs 300,000 Albertans and contributes $5.5 billion to the economy every year.

Meanwhile, the CCVO is asking the provincial government for a one-time payment of $30-million for the industry.

Minister of social services Jeremy Nixon told CityNews he looks forward to working with Ball, and others across the province to find solutions.

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