Douglas College Offers Community Capacity Building Program

Douglas College students to provide valuable research and expertise to Abbotsford Community Foundation

Submitted. In partnership with Envision Financial, Douglas College is pleased to offer its Community Capacity Building program, which gives three local nonprofit organizations the chance to have a dedicated team of marketing students research and create strategies to overcome some of their biggest challenges. This year’s chosen nonprofits are the Abbotsford Community Foundation, Alouette Addiction Services and the I AM SOMEONE Ending Bullying Society.

“The Abbotsford Community Foundation is grateful to Envision Financial and Douglas College for selecting us to participate in this exciting program that gives students the opportunity to put their skills to work in the real world,” says Susan McAlevy, Executive Director of the Abbotsford Community Foundation. “As a nonprofit with a limited operating budget we will benefit from their creativity and expertise. The results will help us provide more support for the charities serving our community and allow us to build on our tradition of supporting students.”

The Community Capacity Building program is designed to expose students to the nonprofit sector and provide real-life learning challenges. In turn, the nonprofit partners benefit from academic research and program development that meets their immediate needs, helping to increase the strength of their organization. The program also offers students access to Envision Financial mentors who provide business insight and guidance throughout the project.

“This partnership is truly a win-win for the students and for the nonprofits,” says Christina Cawkell, Faculty Member of the Marketing Department at Douglas College. “The students get to apply their learning in real world situations and the nonprofits end up with useful marketing collateral they otherwise couldn’t afford. It is exciting to see how the students engage with the projects beyond the classroom. Envision Financial’s involvement adds another dimension to the learning environment which makes that capacity building a reality.”

Through this program, the Abbotsford Community Foundation will have students develop a branding strategy for the foundation including a how to guide for social media with a content marketing plan.

“This unique project provides local non-profit agencies with access to research, tools and insight that they wouldn’t normally have access to, ensuring that they remain viable and sustainable organizations,” says Susan Byrom, Manager of Community Investment at Envision Financial. “At Envision Financial, our goal is to make a real difference in our local communities—providing funding and sharing our expertise in support of this project allows us to do just that.”

“The Envision Financial partnership gives our students real-life experience with agencies making a huge difference in their communities,” says Hazel Postma, Associate Vice-President, External Relations at Douglas College. “They are able to apply academic theory, use their critical thinking skills and creativity to help the non-profits build capacity – everyone wins thanks to the support from Envision Financial.”

About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union, with 38 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the province operating under the Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial brands. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. For its extensive community involvement, Envision Financial is designated a Caring Company by Imagine Canada. For more information, visit

About Douglas College
Douglas College one of the largest colleges in BC with more than 14,000 credit students and another 9,200 continuing education and contract training students. Douglas is a leader in international education with 1,000 international students as well as a range of international field schools, programs and practicums. It has nine degree programs and a range of certificate and diploma programs covering everything from business to nursing to animal health technology, including performing arts, sport science and hospitality management.

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