Feasibility Study – Creating an Association for Organizations in the Non-profit Sector of New Brunswick

Feasibility Study Report

New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that does not have a provincial body representing the community sector. This lack of representation leads us to miss important opportunities, such as:

  • build capacity and increase collaboration among ourselves,
  • mobilize together on common issues with various levels (government and private),
  • be consulted by government on important issues that concern us.

These missed opportunities were largely raised during the dialogues we organized in June and August 2021, virtually and at Government House (then under the banner of Dialogue NB) and which involved some 40 sector organizations in attendance.

In line with our commitment, we have been carrying out a feasibility study for the associative sector in New Brunswick since the beginning of April 2023. This study will be completed by August, 2023.
This project is part of the Investment Readiness Program (IRP), funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Finance and Innovation Strategy. We are being assisted in our work by the Ontario Nonprofit Network, which has graciously agreed to act as our mentor.
We hope that this study will not only provide much-needed information, but also help us obtain the funding we need to incubate the sector.

This study plans to:


Survey the needs, capabilities and interest of the sector.

Our actions will be articulated around:

  • One-on-one meetings: From April to May 15th, we et individually with 40 to 50 organization leaders to explore their needs, their interest in coming together under a provincial banner, and their capacities. This phase focused on organizations with a provincial mandate that are already playing a leadership role in their area of interest.
  • Survey: Since May 26, we sent out a survey to organizations focusing on their needs, capacity and the sector’s interest in coming together under a provincial banner. We hope to collect at least 500 responses.
  • Meetings with associated sectors. The creation of an association of nonprofits and charities would have a positive impact far beyond the community sector itself: the impacts of such a gathering would be felt throughout the economic and community sectors of the province. It is therefore essential that our feasibility study take into account the concerns of these other economic sectors and gather their feedback as soon as possible. The proposed project will therefore endeavour to consult with a variety of partners such as governments (local, provincial and federal) and the for-profit business sector in its approach.

Further research into existing models in other provinces.

In all other provinces in Canada, including the territory of Nunavut, associations of community organizations already exist and offer a variety of models. Since the summer of 2021, under the banner of Dialogue NB, we have already begun to research these associations and recruit their support for our project. The Ontario Nonprofit Network has graciously agreed to act as a mentor in our efforts and has provided a letter of support in this regard. This project studies and analyzes the various models that exist elsewhere in Canada in order to draw the most relevant lessons and conclusions about the feasibility of an association in New Brunswick.


Investigate the financial viability of a potential non-profit association.

In this project, we explore the financial viability of a potential non-profit association, both in terms of its implementation and its operational maintenance in the short, medium and long term. To do so, we study in depth the existing financial models in other provinces that have contributed to that have contributed to the foundation and maintenance of the associations mentioned in the action. Once this first step has been completed, we will bring together the various potential financial partners in order to outline the parameters of a financial viability strategy for a potential association in New Brunswick and the sector’s capacity to contribute to it.


Create a full report

On July 14, we will deliver a full report of this feasibility study to the donors and the whole sector. This report will reflect the results of the different stages of the project, with the information gathered and the conclusions drawn. The report will propose the avenues identified and the strategies adopted in order to establish and maintain a viable grouping of non-profit organizations that is representative of New Brunswick’s realities.

Stronger Together Public Dialogue
Stronger Together Public Dialogue Part 2

Download the reports from our Dialogue with the community sector of New Brunswick “Let’s be Stronger… Together!”!

Feasibility Study

We couldn’t have done it without you!

We would like to give our thanks to every individual in New Brunswick that participated in our study and our survey. Your voice matters, and we are truly grateful to be able to make it loud and clear for the sake of the community sector!

“Not-For-Profit Sector Leaders,

“ As someone who spent much of my career in the non-profit sector, I firmly believe that the non-profit sector provides not only important services and resources, but also adds tremendous value to the health and economy of our province”.

“I recognize the need to build and strengthen capacity to ensure these organizations are resilient and embedded as a critical component of the economic and social fabric of the province”. 

“As innovators within the non-profit sector, the Board and staff of Cohesia have, for the last few years, been pondering the challenges faced by the myriad of non-profit organizations operating in New Brunswick. In summer 2021, I was delighted to work with Cohesia, as its patron, to convene leaders of the not-for-profit sector to discuss common issues and opportunities to increase collaboration.  This dynamic group of leaders agreed that there is a need to further explore the sector’s capacity for collaboration”.

“Based on that discussion, Cohesia, along with other partners have continued to advance this concept and launched a feasibility study to engage representatives from the voluntary sector and assess the level of need and interest in some type of formalized collaboration or support model. I encourage you to take this opportunity to have your say, to share your vision and to identify any concerns that you might have”.


Brenda L. Murphy, O.N.B.

Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick 


May 17, 2023


RE: Support for the NB Community Sector Feasibility Study Project

The Fondation communautaire de la Péninsule Acadienne proudly supports the New Brunswick Community Sector Feasibility Study. We will contribute to its funding with a grant of $2,500. It’s important for our province to be properly represented and for the value of the sector to be recognized.

Having spent a large part of my career in the not-for-profit sector, I firmly believe that this sector not only provides important services and resources, but also adds considerable value to the health and economy of our province. It’s worth noting that the community sector accounts for 55,000 jobs in NB and makes up 12.1% of New Brunswick’s GDP (NB Community Sector Economic Impact Study, Capacity NB, 2021). I recognize the need to develop and strengthen the capacities of these organizations to ensure their resilience and integration as an essential part of the province’s economic and social fabric.

FCPA is in constant discussion with Cohesia on the incubation of the sector following the submission of the study. As innovators in the not-for-profit sector, Cohesia’s Board of Directors and staff have, over the past few years, reflected on the challenges facing the myriad of not-for-profit organizations operating in New Brunswick. I’ve been working with the Cohesia team, led by Nadine Duguay-Lemay, for the past 2 years, and I’m very proud of our collaboration and our respective visions for the community sector in our province.

I hereby invite the leaders of New Brunswick’s non-profit sector to participate in this feasibility study, and those who can, to support its funding.

Yours sincerely,

Signature Jean-Charles Chiasson

Jean-Charles Chiasson

General Director

Social Impact Measurement

Impact measurement helps us answer the question, “Did our actions (services, initiatives, products) actually make a difference?”

Impact measurement includes identifying and considering the positive and negative effects (impacts) one’s organization actions (services, initiatives, products) have on people and the planet, and then figuring out to the extent of the impact. It is about knowing the change that occurred before the actions (services, initiatives, products) and after the actions. It involves gathering data (information and evidence) to see if the desired outcomes and benefits were achieved. It helps us determine if our efforts are making a positive difference and allows us to make informed decisions about how to improve and achieve our goals.

Riddl is working with Cohesia to establish the ability to measure the impact of the future sector-led organization for the province which will help us make better decisions, allocate resources wisely, and strive for continuous improvement in the work we do.


This project is part of the Investment Readiness Program. Funded by

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