about us

We are

The Federation of Calgary Communities

But don’t let our name fool you!

While our roots are in the community association movement in Calgary and our name is part of our legacy, our work is dedicated to building capacity for small, volunteer-led  non-profits in Calgary and surrounding areas.  We use “community” as an inclusive word that reflects more than the geographic community; it is meant to include all the different spaces where volunteers come together to make an impact, no matter their passion.

We have grown our impact within the voluntary sector by attracting and supporting an incredible range of diverse non-profits through our programs, services, and educational offerings.  In addition, many who join also recognize the collaborative power and energy of our network.  As of 2022, we have 243 members from a variety of sectors:

  • 10 arts

  • 149 community associations

  • 3 crime prevention

  • 5 cultural

  • 10 educational

  • 7 environmental

  • 17 recreational

  • 27 social service organizations

  • 2 others

We are a member-based organization but are mindful that many clients only need help with one issue.  Membership is not mandatory.  Since October 2021, we have supported, free of charge, 53 additional non-profit organizations.  These organizations were from across the sectors listed above, while adding health, housing, and professional associations.   In addition, we have co-chaired Board Leadership Calgary for eight years, adding to our reach.

Our clients are organizations that are often sparsely funded, they have few, if any, management staff, and have operating boards led by volunteers with limited experience.  They often do not have robust strategic plans, operating budgets, policies and procedures, or basic technology to manage day to day communications, document storage, accounting or the like.  Most struggle to build their own operational capacity.

The Federation provides our clients support and resources in volunteer engagement, community building, governance, political advocacy, fund development, and financial literacy.  The Federation’s value proposition lies in our financial literacy work.  In fact, The Federation is the only non-profit in Alberta, or for that matter within Canada, that offers financial audit service along with education. All our services help to build our clients’ leadership, management, and operational capacity. 

We measure what we do.  We can show that our clients’ understanding of non-profit governance and financial literacy increases year over year.  Clients also report increased confidence and ability to meet their own organization’s needs.

We are a capacity-builder of small non-profits, supporting passionate people who give back, no matter the cause.  We are proud of our work. 

We are the Federation of Calgary Communities.

Our History

The history of community associations and the City of Calgary is a relatively young one, as is the Federation itself. The earliest community associations were formed during the 1920s to provide Calgarians with formal recreational programs and facilities such as outdoor skating rinks. The first group to function similar to a community association was in Bridgeland in 1908, which was formed to organize recreational and social activities, while the first to be called a “community association” was in Scarboro in the 1920s. By the 1930s many community groups in Calgary became formalized by registering under the Alberta Societies Act and adopted specific by-laws and constitutions. Post-war Calgary saw a dramatic population increase, and the number of community associations grew accordingly. These grassroots groups attempted to fill the needs of an expanding demographic by offering recreational and social opportunities.

During the 1950s, communities faced common concerns. One unified voice was seen as necessary to coordinate and liaise with community services. The Federation of Calgary Communities was an initiative of forty-seven community associations. This new large support organization gave the associations a combined way to increase their effectiveness while remaining autonomous. The Federation of Calgary Communities was able to develop and utilize its collective resources to respond to a variety of needs of the community associations. While officially incorporated in 1961 as a not-for-profit organization under the Societies Act, the Federation has actually worked for over fifty years in the coordination of services required by community associations.

Present-day Calgary is the “Volunteer City”, with its residents active in a multitude of efforts that enhance our city, our lifestyles, and our surroundings. Of these, community associations form the city’s largest volunteer group. Annually, community association volunteers donate over 22 million dollars in volunteer service. These dedicated volunteers come from a widespread base with over one-quarter of the City’s population supporting their community association through paid membership.

In 2021, the Federation of Calgary Communities celebrated its 60th anniversary!

what we value

Community

Leadership

Inclusion

Commitment

Volunteerism

Integrity

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