Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tuition discount for Friends of Groundswell Social Ventures

Here’s a special discount offer from our friends at Groundswell

Here is an opportunity to build a future for yourself that is aligned with your values and supported by an expanding community of social entrepreneurs: the Groundswell Social Venture program gives you practical business education, confidence, and tools you need to help you create a small business, non-profit or cooperative organization with an experienced team of mentors that have founded and helped establish 100+ social ventures.

As a friend of Groundswell, our community – that’s you! – is being offered a $200 discount on Groundswell’s Social Venture program. Use code FOG to redeem and apply at:

The deadline to apply is July 30th.

Watch videos of current and past participants at:

Volunteer Futures Symposium: October 4 + 5

Join BCACG & Volunteer BC – at VOLUNTEER FUTURES SYMPOSIUM 2017 – WORLD OPPORTUNITY. Annual Training Event for Volunteers, Non-Profits & Charities.

Cost-effective event known for its inspiring keynote addresses, practical workshops and relevant sessions with plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues and volunteers from across BC.

Anyone wanting to learn more about volunteerism and non-profit/charities sector can attend. Sign language interpreters are available making this event accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Topics: Technology for non-profits, engaging youth, volunteer management, diversity in leadership & more.

Keynotes: Bill Walters, DiverseCity onBoard  & David Battey, Founder of Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC)

Date: October 4-5, 2017
Location: Executive Airport Plaza Hotel, Richmond, BC
Fees: $200 for /2 day event

Registration fees include: All sessions, breakfast, lunch, coffee & refreshments.

For more info: Event Details

Code for Canada Fellowship

Deadline: June 20, 2017

What is the fellowship?

The Code for Canada Fellowship supports digital professionals for ten month placements with hosting government teams. We match developers, designers, and product managers with government teams to rapidly deploy technology that is easy to use, grounded in user research, and refined through iterative prototyping.

What do the fellows do?

Over the course of the project, fellows immerse themselves in the project, researching user needs, meeting with stakeholders, proposing solutions, and collaborating with the government to build technology using an iterative approach, centered around the needs of users.

  • For the pilot cohort beginning in 2017, one team of fellows will be based in Toronto working with Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).
  • Fellows spend four days a week inside government, and one day working offsite.
  • Fellowship teams will work closely with project owners inside the hosting ministry, as well as project champions in the Ontario Digital Service.
  • Fellows will have the ongoing support of Code for Canada staff, and their work will be featured in regular open houses and showcases.

Why become a fellow?

Being a Code for Canada fellow is a big job–and highly rewarding. Here’s what a successful applicant will look forward to:

  • Work that matters: Use your skills to make a significant impact on people’s lives. We work closely with our government partners to identify projects that will enable you to make your mark.
  • Connections and leadership: As part of Code for Canada’s pilot cohort, you will be at the leading edge of learning and showing what’s possible. You’ll make connections with leaders in the civic tech sector in Canada, and will play a part in shaping the Code for Canada Fellowship program into the future.
  • Professional development: You will develop lasting relationships and learn new skills in a creative and fast-paced atmosphere.
  • Exercise creativity: Working in small teams with your government partners, you will decide what you build and how you build it based on user research.
  • A labour of love: You’ll accomplish a lot while working with other passionate people.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for people who are:

  • Highly collaborative: You are able to actively work with their teammates as a partner, motivator and teacher. You openly and directly provide and ask for feedback, and you want to work with their governments as partners.
  • Comfortable wearing many hats: In small teams, it’s vital to the success of team that teammates are able to jump in and out of roles and tasks to push their product forward. You are a scrappy, resourceful and creative problem solver.
  • Adaptable: There is no real “typical day” as a Fellow. While teams will define some sprint plans and decision making processes, things can change on the fly. The Fellowship requires occasional evening or weekend work, and may include travel.
  • Able to work independently:  You are self-motivated and know to ask for help when you need it.
  • Skilled communicators: Our fellows are highly skilled at communicating about their work to non-experts, with empathy and clarity.

Fellowship teams are composed of three people, with primary skills in web development, user experience design, and product management. Additional experience in GIS, data science, community organizing, non-profit, government, and policy work is highly desired. Experience in government is not expected or required.

We recognize that many applicants have multidisciplinary skillsets. We ask that applicants identify their strongest skillset when applying; we’ll provide opportunities to showcase additional experience throughout the application processes. Here are some of the core competencies we’ve identified for each primary skillset.

Thought Leadership Masterclass: June 6

Net2van friend and presenter Najeed Kassam at presenting at a workshop this June.


WHEN: Tuesday June 6, 2017

WHERE: Suite 100, 138 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver

RSVP:[email protected]


Almira Bardai, Jive PR + Digital – PR & Social Media 101

Najeed Kassam, Keela – Social storytelling to engage and influence

Manny Padda, New Avenue Capital – Millennials to Boomers: Expanding your donor base

The Spring Showcase

The Spring Showcase celebrates Spring’s impact-driven community of entrepreneurs and the startups they’ve built. This is an interactive event where we open our doors to showcase the startups through storytelling, demo tables, food, drinks, and more! Come out and mingle with our alumni and hear what they have to say about their purposeful businesses!

Spring Showcase #2: Startup Stories & Demos

When: Wednesday, June 7th from 6-9PM

Where: CodeCore Bootcamp – 142 W Hastings

Cost: Free with registration

Registration link:

The Spring Showcase is an excellent opportunity for:

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs to network and learn more about how Spring can help you
  • People with a wide range of skills to find a company you’re passionate to work with
    Investors to find a new rising star to invest in
  • Entrepreneurs to meet each other and share best practices and learnings over their journey of starting a business
  • Entrepreneurs looking to meet Spring partners who can help you grow your business

PeaceTalk May 18: Reconciliation through Indigenous Innovation

Date: Thursday, 18 May 2017Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PST

HiVE Vancouver, 128 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

FREE event, refreshments provided. (Donations go towards a stairlift for the HiVE!)

RSVP on Eventbrite or Facebook


Canada has not yet come to understand the powerful contribution Indigenous people have, and will continue to make, once access to digital and connected technologies is made possible and equitable. As the original innovators and technological experts on these territories since the time of our indigenous ancestors, we can only imagine what advancements will be designed and implemented by our nations best and brightest minds. How may we understand reconciliation in this context? What initiatives are already on this sharp edge of social change? How can we deepen our commitment to fair access, reconciliation and reconciliation through innovation?


DENISE WILLIAMS (, Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council, is Coast Salish from Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. She is an advocate for social justice and has spent her career seeking out opportunities to play a role in the advancement of Indigenous sovereignty. She is known for her early involvement and leadership in new and innovative initiatives addressing reconciliation and economic development leveraging technology and within the technology space. For the past ten years Denise has worked under the mandate of First Nations communities and leadership in British Columbia to address specific capacity building efforts in education and technology. She has worked federally, provincially and locally with a genuine approach to collaboration and partnership development that builds strong networks capable of moving critical initiatives to the forefront. Denise has an MBA from Simon Fraser University and specializes in social enterprise business development.

ALEXANDER DIRKSEN ( A proud Métis policy wonk, Alexander is passionate about helping to craft an inclusive and equitable future for our country through the meaningful advancement of reconciliation. Currently based at Reconciliation Canada (Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement) and the Banff Forum (Operations Manager), Alexander has also served as a nonprofit consultant on projects for SFU RADIUS and as a researcher at the Centre for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Alexander holds an M.A. in Global Affairs from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and a B.A. (with Honours) in International Studies from Simon Fraser University.

JEFF WARD ( is the founder and CEO of the technology company, Animikii Indigenous Technology (Animikii). Jeff is a proud Manitoban – Métis and Ojibwe on his father’s side and European on his mother’s side – but now resides in Victoria, BC and works on the traditional territory of the Songhees People. Jeff is a serial entrepreneur; he’s launched a variety of businesses and his track record as an entrepreneur reaches back to his high school years. Jeff first launched Animikii in 2003 and has orchestrated and managed its growth ever since. He is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and building mutually-beneficial partnerships. Everything he does in business is geared towards supporting and uplifting his family, his communities and the Indigenous population of Canada overall.

Please RSVP for this event at:

View event on Facebook and share.

Get Free Tech Help with the RED Academy Community Partner Program

Are you involved in an organization that could use some tech help? Do you have a secret side-hustle, and it’s time to explore making it your full-time hustle? Do you have a great idea that could have a huge impact? Apply to RED Academy’s Community Partner Program to receive tech projects from their students. You get free, deserving work, and the students graduate with impactful portfolios. Ready? Deadline to apply for our Summer Cohort is June 2nd.

Apply now at More information first? Email [email protected]

Data Intelligence and Online Transaction Best Practices – Free Event May 16

A free day of learning: Data Intelligence and Online Transaction Best Practices

The BC Blackbaud Users Group is pleased to welcome Omatic Software and iATS Payments to share expertise on Data Intelligence and Fraud Prevention. Bring your most challenging questions to a Wildcard Session with Cathy Michitsch & Sandy Fiddis.

Our May 16th event is open to all non-profit organizations, as this learning opportunity goes far beyond Blackbaud products – please extend this widely among your non-profit peers & bring a guest!


8:30 am   Coffee Talk and Networking

9:00 am   Welcome.  Master of Ceremonies, Brian Dowling, SVP Finance & Information Systems, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

9:15 am to 10:15   Data Intelligence = Mission Possible, Bailey Benzlé, Principle Sales Strategist at Omatic Software

Ever wonder how you can leverage data intelligence to enable greater outcome from your organization’s mission? Join us as we explore the oh-so-important journey from collection of data to its use within educated, efficient fundraising.  

10:15 or 10:30   Break

10:30 am   Don’t let the bad guys win! PCI Compliance & Fraud Prevention for Nonprofits, Andrew Mosawi, President of iATS Payments

Are you trying to wrap your head around PCI security requirements, how to securely manage payment card data and what types of credit card fraud to watch out for? During this session you will learn more about the implications of PCI-DSS requirements, best practices around securely storing credit card data and how to put tools in place to prevent costly (and frustrating) credit card fraud at your organization.

11:30 am  Wildcard SessionTry to stump local experts with your questions, Cathy Michitsch & Sandy Fiddis

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm   Networking Lunch courtesy of iATS Payments

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm  Breakout Sessions, deep dive into details

a) ImportOmatic Connector for Luminate Online demo & RELO conversation

b) Cathy Michitsch & iATS team – Payment processing questions & technology planning to accommodate recent Raiser’s Edge versions 7.95 / patch 3 and 7.96. How to implement these upgrades.

Our Sponsors & Speakers

Bailey Benzlé – Principle Sales Strategist, Omatic Software

Bailey is the Principle Sales Strategist at Omatic Software, and a long-time member of the not-for-profit community.  Starting as a Raiser’s Edge end user almost twenty-years ago, she went on to spend a near decade working for Blackbaud prior to her transition to Omatic.  When Bailey is not using her experience to explore strategic solutions, she’s going on adventures with her precocious five-year old daughter, Murphy. 

Omatic Software – Beverage Sponsor

Simply put, Omatic Software focuses on extending, automating, and integrating. Our goal is to help nonprofits better utilize resources by providing innovative tools to eliminate tiresome and manual processes, while creating automated and efficient workflows resulting in more time and cost savings. We understand nonprofits and work to make their jobs easier. In essence, we develop products to help put nonprofit’s manual processes on auto-pilot, allowing them to keep costs low and focus on their mission.

Andrew Mosawi – President of iATS Payments

Andrew has over 15 years’ experience serving nonprofits around the world through technology and payments. He was instrumental in setting up the partner network at iATS, and helped grow the company to over 10,000 nonprofit clients and 100 partners globally. In addition to his experience at iATS, Andrew was Vice President of International Business Development at Blackbaud, where he led the company’s global expansion through targeted investment, strategic partnerships and acquisitions. Andrew is dedicated to serving nonprofits as a donor, volunteer and advisor. He sits on several nonprofit boards as well as being a trustee of a family foundation.

iATS Payments – Lunch Sponsor

iATS Payments is dedicated to the nonprofit sector. As the leading provider of credit card, direct debit and ACH processing services, we service over 10,000 nonprofit organizations around the globe with the most secure payment processing solutions. We pride ourselves in simplifying the payment process, regardless if you are a small or large organization. Your focus is donations and raising awareness for your cause. Our focus is providing payment solutions that make donations easy and worry-free, saving you time and money.

iATS is proud to integrate with Blackbaud’s nonprofit products to accept donations online via credit card and direct debit, both in Canada and the United States.

Cathy Michitsch – President & CEO, Senior Raiser’s Edge Consultant, Michitsch Systems Inc.

Cathy has been supporting non-profits in the Lower Mainland since 1992.  Her expertise includes Raiser’s Edge & Income Manager Fundraising Database Consulting, Crystal Reports Design & Development; Project Management for Fundraising Database Implementations, Data Conversions, training and she is a Blackbaud Certified Raiser’s Edge Professional – bCRE(Professional).

Sandy Fiddis – part time Data Control Specialist at Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon & part time Consultant, Michitsch Systems Inc.

Computer Systems professional with over 15 years experience administering Raiser’s Edge databases. Accustomed to providing timely, comprehensive reports and mailing lists; overseeing gift processing staff; liaising with accounting staff and supporting development staff as needed.

Michitsch Systems – Snack Sponsor

TechSoup has partnered with AirBNB to offer a new ways for nonprofits to build awareness and raise Funds. Learn more at

AirBNB is looking for Vancouver nonprofits to pilot their new experiences fundraising program. If you know a nonprofit that would be a good fit let me know and I’ll make an intro to the Vancouver AirBNB rep. Nonprofits can list social impact experiences and receive 100% of the funds.

Social impact experiences give Airbnb guests a chance to learn more about your mission and causes — and have some fun along the way.

You choose where your social impact experience takes place and who leads it — be it a staff member, a board member, or a volunteer.


Your Price

You have complete control over how much your social impact experience costs, and you can change the price whenever you want.

Experiences can take place on a single afternoon or over the course of a few days. What experience you offer is entirely up to you.

Airbnb Social Impact Experiences

Social impact experiences give Airbnb guests a chance to learn more about your mission and causes — and have some fun along the way.

What Could You Do with a Social Impact Experience?

Experiences can take place on a single afternoon or over the course of a few days. What experience you offer is entirely up to you.

Get Your Supporters Involved

From urban farming to dog walking, engage guests with a hands-on experience that benefits your organization.

Educate, Inform, and Enlighten

Arts workshops, collaborative projects, and behind-the-scenes tours give guests a chance to learn something new and gain a greater appreciation for your cause.

Do Something Fun!

Outings and city explorations are a great way to connect guests to your cause in a social setting while introducing them to the broader community.

Case Studies

Free Geek Vancouver logo

Free Geek Vancouver: Refurbished Computers and Electronics for Nonprofits and Community Groups

Free Geek is a nonprofit community organization located in East Van that reduces the environmental impact of waste electronics by reusing and recycling donated technology. Through community engagement we provide education, job skills training, Internet access and free or low cost computers to the public. We’ve got electronics at the same price as Craigslist, but with a warranty.

Free Geek Vancouver is a unique feature of the trendy East Van landscape. Growing over time to fit the needs of a mixed urban center, Free Geek has developed a strong relationship with the community and groups within it. While Vancouver strives towards a vision of a greener tomorrow, our recycling centers only break down electronics into components.

Free Geek Vancouver is different in that we refurbish computers and electronics in order to provide them at no cost to non-profits, schools, community groups, and our volunteers. We  provide high quality, low cost computers and electronics to members of the public in our thrift store at 1820 Pandora St, Vancouver. We also differ in that all of our broken-down materials end up being recycled ethically and as locally as possible so it doesn’t get shipped to a country with lower health and safety standards.

We are a safe, inclusive, and friendly space for volunteers to learn about computer hardware, to gain valuable experience, and to acquire references. We use the stuff you don’t want, to support others in a sustainable way.