After the Flood – Moving Forward with Calgary’s Nonprofit Sector

By Katherine van Kooy, CEO, CCVO

The past six days have been a hugely challenging time as Calgary and other communities in Southern Alberta have dealt with the impact of massive flooding. We are indebted to many for their heroic, selfless and generous response to this emergency. The immediate reaction of many of our nonprofit organizations and the community’s reaction, in both structured and spontaneous ways, has been overwhelming.

As we move beyond the immediate emergency response, it is becoming clear that the impact of the flooding will be extensive. CCVO will focus its resources on supporting charities and nonprofits in three key ways:

• Response Coordinator: CCVO is working collaboratively with other capacity-building organizations, including Calgary Arts Development and Propell:us, to gather information about the impact of the flood on organizations and the individuals and communities they serve.

This information will be used as a basis for identifying needs, both immediate and longer term, and for sharing that information with the sector, government, funders and others, as well as to help connect organizations with needs to those offering help.

Our priority is to stay abreast of a rapidly changing situation and help keep others informed, while minimizing the demand on organizations to respond to multiple similar inquiries through coordinated efforts.

• Policy Leadership: While the flood and its impact are top-of-mind for all of us, we believe it is essential that we also continue to address a range of issues related to the implementation of provincial policy and budget decisions. CCVO will continue to provide leadership in this area. CCVO will inform the sector about the broader implications of this rapidly changing environment and work to build understanding of the consequences for the sector within government.

• Advocacy: CCVO’s charitable status is based on its role in building awareness and understanding of the voluntary sector with governments, the public and other stakeholders. Your stories are essential for us to do that; they provide the tangible examples that illustrate the issues we address. Over the summer months we will be reaching out to gather your stories and input in many ways, but don’t wait for us if you have a story to tell. We want to hear from you.

As with many other organizations, we are temporarily displaced from our offices, but are operating remotely. You can reach me at