• Social Sector Management Program

    Our Mission

    To build the capacity for effective management and leadership in the nonprofit sector and the broader social sector through research and education.

    Focus on Education and Research

    “For over thirty years, York’s Schulich School of Business has been guided by a vision of developing effective leadership for nonprofit and public organizations as well as for private business. By 1983, York had established the Voluntary Sector Management Program. In 1993, a major investment by the Kahanoff Foundation enabled the Schulich School to expand the program and offer a specialized MBA program in Nonprofit Management and associated professional development courses. More recently, the Royal Bank Charitable Foundation established a professorship at Schulich in order to develop ongoing research activities in the area of nonprofit management.

    Today we have over 1500 graduates of our programs working in the nonprofit sector in Canada and internationally, and a large pool of university and adjunct faculty teaching and researching in the area. Students from Canada and around the world study with us to learn to deal effectively with the challenges posed by this rapidly expanding and very complex sector. Our goal is to continue to develop strong, creative, flexible and visionary leaders who are capable of enhancing the quality of community life, and building and fostering civil society around the world.”

Upcoming Events

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Professional Education

Building Capacity in Individuals, Organizations and Communities

Co-operative Management Certificate Program

Co-Operative Management Certificate Program (in partnership with the Ontario Co-operative Association) is a leadership and management program for managers, executives and leaders in the co-operative sector, providing a broad understanding of the co-operative sector and innovative strategies for addressing key issues in co-operative management.


Photo of Co-operative Management certificate Program Director JJ McMurtry Photo of Co-operative Management Certificate Program final module presentation Photo of SOCM Director Brenda Gainer
Photo of Ontario Co-operative Association ED Denyse Guy Photo of Co-operative Management Certificate Program final module Photo of Executive Directors' Insitute 3


Previous Professional Education Programs

  • Executive Directors’ Institute (a partnership with the Maytree Foundation offering development of strategic leadership to Executive Directors in a rapidly changing voluntary sector)
    Executive Directors' Insitute 1 Executive Directors' Insitute 2
  • Emerging Leaders Program (a partnership with the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation and United Way Toronto offering education to the middle managers in the social sector to support a new generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector)
    Emerging Leaders Program Graduation Emerging Leaders Program Graduate
  • The York University – Maytree Foundation Management Certificate (a partnership with the Maytree Foundation offering education to senior leaders in the immigrants and refugee serving sector)
  • Board Institute (a partnership with the United Way of Greater Toronto offering governance fundamentals to board members and senior leaders
  • Voluntary Sector Management Program (Canada’s original management program dedicated to the needs of leaders in the nonprofit sector)

Custom Management Education

Schulich’s in-house programs are designed in partnership with clients to meet their organization’s unique educational needs and build capacity in the nonprofit sector and the broader social sector throughout the world. Customized courses range from one-day workshops on specific topics to multidiscplinary modularized courses leading to employee certification. Some recent clients include:

  • Altruvest Charitable Services
  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation
  • The Social Planning Council of Peel
  • The Canadian Hearing Society
  • Citizenship & Immigration Canada
  • The N.S.F.R.E. (National Society of Fundraising Executives)
  • Ontario Legal Aid Plan
  • Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Agency
  • Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs
  • Laidlaw Foundation -The Sustainability Network
  • OCSA (Ontario Community Support Association)


  • Personal Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Program & Outcome Evaluation
  • Marketing
  • Financial Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Board Governance
  • Fundraising
  • Presentation Skills
  • Human Resource Management
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Government/Nonprofit Relations
  • Grant Writing and Working with Funders
  • Project Management
  • Communications Skills
  • Organizational Change


Research and Resources

The Social Sector Management Program is a leading Canadian source of research on management issues in the nonprofit sector and the broader social sector. Faculty members and PhD students have published books, articles and research papers on many aspects of managing social-purpose organizations (accounting, marketing, fundraising and philanthropy, board and governance, strategic planning.) Schulich faculty members have been the recipients of a number of major grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to further research in the social sector.

In addition, faculty members have engaged in research partnerships with sectoral organizations such as the Canadian Center for Philanthropy, the United Way and Health Canada. The program has also sponsored research leading to the preparation of case materials on recent Canadian issues to be used in social sector management education at York and elsewhere.

Research Interests

Research work by Schulich faculty, research associates and doctoral students includes:

  • New governance models
  • Commercial ventures and enterprise
  • Social networks and philanthropy
  • Change management and complexity
  • Volunteering in a cross cultural context
  • Self-help groups
  • Marketing orientation
  • Religious congregations
  • Foundation giving in Canada
  • Outcome Evaluation

Schulich faculty have established particular expertise in the areas of health organizations, the cultural sector and social services.


Directory of Related Links

The following is a list of links to relevant social sector websites which may be of interest.