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Q: How did StepUp BC begin?

A: Our name is grounded in the spirit of the non-profit sector and its people—people who are willing to step up and make life better in BC through social services, health, the arts and sports. Our name defines our purpose. Together, we are stepping up to the challenge of strengthening BC’s non-profit sector and building a network of resources that will help non-profits thrive. Our name characterizes our approach—open, informal and energetic. We don’t impose ‘top-down’ solutions; we work collaboratively to create a sustainable future for the sector.

Q: What role does the non-profit sector play in BC?

A: In 2007, the Government Non-Profit Initiative organized three provincial summit meetings with BC non-profit leaders, who identified a range of human resource issues requiring immediate attention.

In 2009, The BC Non-Profit Sector Labour Market Partnership Project (NPS LMPP) was founded as part of the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement, which transferred responsibility for labour market programming to the province under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act. StepUp BC was launched as an initiative of the NPS LMPP. In 2014, we plan to become an independent, self-sustaining entity.

Q: What are the sector’s key challenges?

A: The BC non-profit sector is larger than the fishery and mining sectors combined, powered by $6.1 billion from the provincial government, 26,000 organizations, 66,000 full-time employees, 48,000 part-time employees and 1.5 million volunteers. The sector is a trusted partner for the BC government, delivering vital programs, services and outreach that connects citizens, strengthens communities and shapes public policy.

Q: How can the non-profit sector compete for talent?

A: The non-profit sector is challenged in four key areas:

  1. Recruitment and retention. The sector must find creative ways of attracting and compensating the highly skilled, educated workers they need.
  2. Public perception. Current and prospective employees don’t always see the sector as an employer of choice, citing too many challenges and too few rewards.
  3. Leadership succession. A lack of time and resources has resulted in a shortage of planning and preparation to support the next generation of non-profit leaders.
  4. Workplace diversity. By hiring from under-represented groups (Aboriginal people, immigrants to Canada, people with disabilities and youth), the sector can address the need for diversity and the shortage of talent.
Q: What does ‘the non-profit sector’ include?

A: Employees in the non-profit sector enjoy unmatched opportunities to shape their communities, help individuals in need and find a balance between personal and professional fulfillment StepUp BC hopes to evolve the story so that more people see the unique opportunities and rewards a career in the non-profit sector can offer.

Q: What makes StepUp BC different?

A: The non-profit sector is incredibly diverse. In addition to social services, there are organizations for sports and recreation, arts and culture, religion, development and housing, education and research, health, environment, law/advocacy/politics and international outreach. StepUp BC supports and serves the non-profit sector in all its diversity.

Q: Why ‘StepUp BC?’

A: While there are many private sector and non-profit organizations that exist to address specific issues, only StepUp BC offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for issues related to human resources and the sector’s unique labour-market challenges. Our web portal provides the most comprehensive and accessible source for non-profit HR tools, resources and services in BC. Most importantly, we believe in collaborating with the sector wherever possible—through dialogue, partnerships, and joint initiatives—to deliver the most relevant and effective tools and information.

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