SaskCulture Nonprofit Lifecycles Capacity Lab 2020

What is a Capacity Lab?

The Capacity Lab is a blend of in-class learning and practical applications that will help executive directors and board members work together to explore the health of their organizations based on five Lifecycle areas: programming, governance, financial resources (business model), management/staffing and administrative systems.

What is Nonprofit Lifecycles?

Nonprofit Lifecycles provides a practical frame of reference for the predictable challenges and growing pains experienced by staff and Board, in their leadership roles.  The framework of Nonprofit Lifecycles is built upon the seven stages of organizational development including: Idea, Start-up, Growth, Maturity, Decline, Turnaround and Terminal. 

How does it work? 

Each participating organization will nominate a team of three: senior staff (Executive Directors/General Managers) and two board members to join the program.  Over the course of about eight months, from March to October 2020, the cohort of teams will participate in a combination of in-person and virtual learning sessions led by our highly experienced capacity-building specialists to define and implement a capacity-building plan for their organization. 

What happens in this process?

  • Through the process, participating organizations will:
  • Understand the stages of your organization’s lifecycle
  • Assess your organizational capacity
  • Get clarity on the capacity-building activities that offer the greatest impact for your organization
  • Develop a focused organizational capacity improvement plan
  • Learn and grow with a diverse cohort of organizational leadership colleagues.

This program is created in partnership with the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute, founded by Susan Kenny Stevens, an internationally-recognized consultant, author and lecturer on management, financial, and organizational issues pertaining to philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector.

Who should attend?

Cultural organizations (SaskCulture Members and Non-members)

  • Three person teams: Executive Director plus two Board members
  • Maximum of 20 organizational teams accepted

When does it run?

March to October 2020

What is the cost?

SaskCulture Members:

Budget Under $500,000       $200/organization (covers three participants)
Budget Over $500,000     $300/organization (covers three participants)


$400/organization (covers three participants)

How do I register?

Register Now 

SaskCulture Members: $200-300 per team (based on organizational budget), Non-members: $400 per team.  Space is limited to 20 organizational teams (made up of executive director and two board members). 

How will the capacity lab be structured?

The Capacity Lab is made up of a series of six sessions:  

  • 1 - Intro/Selfie Assessment (Capacity Improvement Planning)
  • 3 - webinars and 1 - workshop: Program Evaluation, Governance, HR and Financial
  • 1 - Wrap-up Session

There will be a combination of face-to-face meetings and webinars. Face-to-face sessions alternate between Regina and Saskatoon.

Steve Schack, Lead Consultant, Nonprofit Lifecyles Institute, and Dawn Martin, Owner/Consultant, Daybreak Consulting, will be Lead Consultants for the project.

What is the Capacity Lab Schedule?

Session #1 Workshop – led by Steve Schack – Saturday March 28, 2020 in Regina, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm, Location TBA

This session includes: Overview of the Lab program, Introduction to the Lifecycles Model and Approach to Capacity Building, “Selfie” Assessment, and Capacity Building Planning.

Session #2 Webinar – led by Dawn Martin – Governance – Week of April 20*, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This session includes: Overview Nonprofit Governance and Review of What Governance looks like in each of the Lifecycle Stages - Diagnostic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes and Challenges.  It also includes Q & A, Homework &/or Readings and Resources.

Session #3 Webinar led by Bruce Anderson – Financial Health and Sustainability – Wednesday, May 20*, 7:00pm - 8:30 pm

This session includes: Overview of Financial Sustainability for Nonprofits, Defining your Organization’s Economic Model, and Review of What Financial Health looks like in each of the Lifecycle Stages - Diagnostic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes and Challenges.  It also includes Q & A, Homework &/or Readings and Resources

Session #4 Workshop led by Michael Heimlick  – Program Evaluation – Saturday, June 13, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Location TBA, Regina

This session includes: Workshop, Overview on Program Evaluation, Tools and Tips for Program Evaluation, Hands-on Program Evaluation in the Session and Progress Check in and Summer Planning for each Organization’s Capacity Planning.

Session #5 Webinar led by Leah Knibbs – Management/Staffing – Wednesday, September 23*, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This session includes: Overview of Management/Staffing in a nonprofit, including the role of volunteers in the staffing ecosystem, Review of What Management and Staffing capacity look like in each of the Lifecycle Stages - Diagnostic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes, Challenges, as well as Q & A, Homework &/or Readings, Resources

Session #6 Workshop led by Steve Schack & Dawn Martin – Saturday, October 24 in Saskatoon – 10:00 am – 3:30 pm, Location TBA, Saskatoon.

This session includes: Review and reinforce the concepts of Nonprofit Lifecycles, Share reports on each organization’s progress on their capacity building efforts, Reflect on each organization’s key learnings and identify critical next steps to establishing and embedding capacity to meet their missions, as well as an opportunity to celebrate successes

*Webinars will be approx. 90 minutes in length.

For any questions regarding the Capacity Lab program, please contact:

Dennis Garreck or by phone 306-780-9265


Lorelie DeRoose or by phone 306-780-9812