Budget 2007 encourages individual donations but leaves nonprofits unable to retain staff

    CALGARY, April 23 /CNW/ - Last week's provincial budget announcement had
many nonprofit organizations cheering about increased individual charitable
tax credits on donations and renewed government support for collaborative
partnerships. More disappointing was that the budget did not address
significant concerns regarding human resources.
    "Organizations have been telling us that the two biggest challenges they
face are funding and staff recruitment and retention," says Katherine van
Kooy, president and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
(CCVO). "From arts to sports to social services, non-profits in Calgary are
having great difficulty attracting the staff they need."
    The increase in charitable tax credits will help registered charities
encourage more donations from individuals. For many organizations, however,
individual donations are not a major source of income.
    "The concern regarding staff recruitment is particularly pronounced for
human service groups that can't compete with salaries that are often 20 to
25 percent higher for the same job in government or the Calgary Health
Region," van Kooy explains.
    "It is disappointing to see that the budget has not responded to the
acute pressures these organizations face in attracting and retaining quality
staff. The organizations have clearly communicated their staffing challenges
with the government. Unfortunately, the budget suggests their voices have not
been heard."
    Budget 2007 does show some promising indications of the government's
desire to understand and partner with the nonprofit sector.
    "We are encouraged to see the continued support for the Alberta Nonprofit
and Voluntary Sector Initiative, a collaboration between government and the
non-profit sector" says van Kooy. "It's an exciting opportunity for the
voluntary sector to work more closely with government to better understand and
address issues."
    Charities are also looking forward to details about the Community Spirit
Fund. "We hope to learn how we can participate in the consultation process to
maximize the Fund's benefit to the community," says van Kooy.
    CCVO is working with a cross-section of its 325 member organizations to
develop a more in-depth assessment of the impact of the budget. The assessment
will be available in May.

    The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) works to strengthen
Calgary's nonprofits and charities and provides leadership on policy matters
affecting the sector as a whole. For more information visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Robyn Crawford, Communications
Coordinator, Phone: (403) 261-6655, ext 222, Email: rcrawford@calgarycvo.org

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