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Seneca introduces new graduate certificate to meet growing demand in nonprofit sector

Toronto, May 9, 2013 – Seneca’s new Nonprofit Leadership and Management graduate certificate program will prepare students to lead and manage nonprofit organizations toward sustainable growth in this competitive sector.

In Ontario, more than 45,000 organizations mobilize five million volunteers and employ more than 600,000 people, according to the Ontario Nonprofit Network.

The new Nonprofit Leadership and Management program is offered by Seneca’s School of Business Management, and has been designed to address the growing need for graduates who understand the unique requirements of managing in the nonprofit sector.

“From my time at UNICEF Canada, the cooperative sector and other nonprofits, I know this is a program that will serve a large and growing gap in leadership education,” said David Agnew, Seneca President. “This new graduate program addresses these challenges and will set Seneca graduates apart with specialized skills.”

Seneca worked closely with representatives from different organizations including Risk and Insurance Management Society, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, Social Capital Partners, Epilepsy Ontario, United Way Toronto, Town of Markham, and REALthings, to develop a unique curriculum that meets the needs of the sector.

“My job as the head of Bridge2Success is to help bridge the skills gap for executives moving from the public or private sector to the nonprofit sector,” said Colleen Fleming, Managing Director of Verity International’s Bridge2Success practice and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at Seneca College. “Seneca’s comprehensive curriculum addresses that gap. Students will graduate with the fundamental business skills and talent management expertise that complement nonprofit sector specific skills.”

“Seneca’s program will prepare students for nonprofit jobs that go beyond fundraising and volunteer recruitment roles,” said Rozalyn Werner-Arcé, Executive Director of Epilepsy Ontario. “Graduates of this new program will be equipped for management level positions such as Corporate Relations officers and Resource Development managers.”

The curriculum ensures that students will master skills in a wide range of functional areas common to business, but adapted and applied to the nonprofit organization. The curriculum includes a mandatory volunteer field placement which is designed to give students the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice and draw on the experience of organizations and leaders in the GTA.

Graduates will have the critical leadership and management skills and knowledge to work in entry-level to mid-level management positions within nonprofits, charities, foundations, advocacy groups, associations, social enterprises and co-operatives in sectors such as arts and entertainment, housing, sports and recreation, anti-poverty, health and education, environmental and social change organizations.

Nonprofit Sector at a Glance:

  • Accounts for about seven per cent of Canada’s GDP and employs over two million people, more than the automotive or manufacturing sector (Imagine Canada 2012)
  • Represents 2.6 per cent of Ontario’s GDP, equivalent to the province’s auto sector (Ontario Nonprofit Network 2011)
  • In 2012, 53 per cent of Canadian charities experienced an increase in demand for products and services (Imagine Canada 2012).

For more information on the Nonprofit Leadership and Management program, visit:

With campuses across the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas and certificates renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Combining the highest academic standards with practical, hands-on learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensures Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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For more information, please contact:
Kayla Lewis
Seneca College Media Relations
416-491-5050 ext. 77018