The Mission

To connect and strengthen the voluntary sector in the Halifax Regional Municipality.


The Vision

Unified, the voluntary sector is an influential player in sustaining communities, by taking a role as an equal partner with the private and public and business sectors.  The voluntary sector comprises registered/incorporated non-profit agencies with a volunteer board and probably paid staff and is recognized as a community-based organization.


Values Statement

We value the contribution of the voluntary sector.

  • We are accountable to our members.
  • We are operationally transparent.
  • We are membership informed and directed by the contribution of our membership.

We value collaboration.

  • We work together in ways that build relationships.
  • We work in partnerships.
  • We engage diversity in our members to build the strength of our sector.
  • We support the autonomy of member organizations.

We value systemic change to benefit the work of the voluntary sector.

  • We work at the policy level.
  • We are solutions focused.
  • We collaborate with other sectors.

We value equitable participation.

  • We model inclusive practices.
  • We operate in a manner which encourages diverse perspectives.
  • We engage multiple ways of doing and knowing.


Goals and Outcomes

Goal:  Creating links within the sector.

  • Nurturing partnerships.
  • Sharing information and resources.
  • Encourage and facilitate on-going dialogue.


The membership is actively communicating with one another and with the new “federation”.


Goal:  Strengthen the capacity of the voluntary sector.

  • Providing educational opportunities and resources.
  • Internal communications with agencies.
  • Research – identify areas of need for research, collect and disseminate
  • Act as a clearing house for information.


Organizations and individuals within the sector have training, skills, tools and resources required to effectively meet their organizational goals.

Improved communication lines.


Goal:  To work together to identify and resolve sector related issues.

  • To raise the profile and promote the value of the voluntary sector.
  • To influence policy for the sector.
  • Dialogue with other sectors.


Common issues of the sector are mobilized into active solutions.



Since 2000, several initiatives led by active voluntary sector organizations explored the potential of an umbrella organization for the sector.  These various discussions were brought together at an Open Space in November 2004.  From this came the “Voluntary Sector Community Action Team” (VS-CAT) to develop a draft model for the proposed Federation.

Similar organizations have been or are forming across Canada, including one in Cape Breton.  There is also a Canadian Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks (www.voluntarynetwork.ca).

The VS-CAT provided a working document for consideration at a meeting on September 30th 2005.  An interim committee was then established to advance the work, and to consider questions raised at that meeting.  This committee also discussed and established membership criteria.

In April 2006, the Federation hosted its first Annual General Meeting, nominated its first Board of Directors and incorporated with the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks.


Board of Directors

Sunday Miller

Valerie Bobyk

Sherry Costa

Heather Coffin

Karen Gilmore

Alison O’Handley


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