Non-profit organizations in Calgary have access to some topnotch business expertise thanks to KPMG in Canada’s innovative, free educational seminars created for them.
KPMG joins forces with the United Way of Calgary and Area to provide a series of seminars specifically designed to address the operational and accounting issues encountered by charitable organizations in Alberta in an ever-changing economic and political landscape.
And the program happens to align perfectly with KPMG’s ongoing commitment to the not-for- profit sector, says Dan Adams, a partner and leader with KPMG.
“We believe in supporting charities with financial contributions, but we also wanted to do something more,” says Adams.
“So we started to look at what we might have to offer aside from money.”
The educational series of seminars is now entering its sixth season and past topics include accounting, financial reporting, governance, cash-flow forecasting, budgeting and taxation.
“We provide these seminars to the local community at no cost, and the Not-for-Profit KPMG/United Way seminar series initiative provides a forum for those in the sector to network with one another as well as to learn,” says Adams.
The response has been tremendous.
“Usually you invite 100 people to an event, and maybe 75 show up,” says Adams. “But we’ve seen the opposite happening at our seminars. We’ll see 130 people sign up and 150 will attend. Word of mouth just keeps us growing year after year.
“We’ve even had to change venues because we could no longer accommodate everyone in our previous location.”
He says there is also no shortage of talent at KPMG willing to share their knowledge at the seminars.
“Our team here in Calgary is very committed to supporting the not-for- profit sector,” says Adams. “We have more than 30 members of our management team that attend the seminars to build relationships and ensure non-profit executives have a familiar face to call if they need us.”
In 2011, KPMG won the coveted President’s Award at the United Way Spirits of Gold Awards, which recognize the top organizations in Calgary that demonstrate distinction in leadership, spirit and excellence.
“We know that we all benefit from a strong and healthy charitable sector,” says Adams.
“That’s why we continue to keep our ear to the ground so we can respond quickly to the needs of the sector by helping to provide them with the advice and expertise that is going to assist them in navigating through the current environment, as well as be prepared for future challenges.”
This year, topics in the series have included board governance, business planning for sustainability, leadership and preventing fraud among non-profits and assessing organizational risks.
“I think non-profit leaders and managers in the city really understand the value they’re receiving from this series, and they are very appreciative,” says Adams.
“And we are more than happy to do it.