SaskCulture's Capacity Building Labs Registration Open

Our Lifecycles Capacity Lab is a blend of virtual class learning and practical application through an assessment and capacity-building process. We define capacity as the health of your organization in five areas: programming/markets, governance, financial resources (business model), human capital (management/staffing), and administrative systems and processes.  Now more than ever during these trying and uncertain times, each organization must strengthen its capacity to deliver on its mission while ensuring its sustainability and relevance.

How it works:  Each of up to 20 enrolled organizations will nominate a leadership team of three to five participants: minimum of senior staff (Executive Directors/General Managers) and two board members to join the program.  Over the course of six months beginning in late August 2020, the cohort of leadership teams will participate in a series of intensive learning sessions led by our faculty of highly experienced capacity-building specialists to define and implement a capacity-building plan for their organization. 

What you get:  Through the process, you will:

  • Gain a deep understanding of capacity-building through a lifecycle lens
  • Understand the stages of your organization’s lifecycle
  • Assess your organizational capacity and sustainability
  • 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 Dr. 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.  Dawn Martin and Steve Schack will co-Lead the program.

Program Summary

Who will Attend

  • Cultural organizations (SaskCulture Members and Non-members)
  • Leadership Teams: up to five members, ED plus  Board members
  • Maximum of 20 organizations (60+ participants)

A Series of 6 Virtual Modules (Video-conferences)

  • Introduction to Lifecycles, The “Selfie” Assessment, and Capacity Improvement Planning
  • 4 workshops focused on specific areas of capacity: Programs & Markets, Financial – Business Model, Human Capital, and Governance
  • Capstone/ Wrap-up Session

Participant Engagement and Support

  • Each organization will be assigned a faculty member to serve as their “learning coach”, available to facilitate tele- or video-meetings between the sessions and answer questions
  • We will share contact information amongst participants to encourage a peer networking
  • “Lunch and Share” Zooms hosted by SaskCulture (opportunity for participants to come together and talk about Lifecycles, network, ask questions, share successes, etc.)
  • Web-based platform to share information amongst the Lab participants


August 2020 to January 2021


SaskCulture Members:  
Budget Under $500,000   $200/organization (covers Leadership Teams)
Budget Over $500,000         $300/organization (covers Leadership Teams)
  $400/organization (covers Leadership Teams)

Register Now

Program Schedule


Module #1: (Two-Part) Virtual Kick Off, Presenters: Steve Schack and Dawn Martin, Dates: Saturday, August 29th, 10am-12:00pm & Thursday, September 3rd, 6pm-730pm

  • Introduction to Lifecycles
  • “Selfie” Assessment
  • Capacity Improvement Planning

Module #2: Programs and Markets: Relevance, Responsiveness, and Rejuvenation, Presenter: Stephanie Small, Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 6pm-8pm

  • Defining the need you seek to address
  • How to stay relevant and responsive in the new (or temporarily) “normal” of COVID times
  • Program evaluation with a lifecycle lens

Module #3: Financial Sustainability, Presenter: Bruce Anderson, Webinar Date: Wednesday, October 21st, 6pm-8pm

  • Overview of Financial Sustainability for Nonprofits
  • Business Models
  • Review of What Financial Stability looks like in each of the Lifecycle Stages
    • Diagnstic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes, Challenges
  • Q & A
  • Homework &/or Readings
  • Resources

Module #4: Human Capital, Presenter: Leah Knibbs, Webinar Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 6pm-8pm

  • Overview of Management/HR Functions in a nonprofit
  • Review of What Management look like in each of the Lifecycle Stages
    • Diagnstic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes, Challenges
  • Q & A
  • Homework &/or Readings
  • Resources

Module #5: Governance, Presenter: Dawn Martin, Date: Wednesday, December 16th, 6pm-8pm

  • Overview Nonprofit Governance
  • Review of What Governance looks like in each of the Lifecycle Stages
    • Diagnstic Characteristics, Performance Outcomes, Challenges
  • Q & A
  • Homework &/or Readings
  • Resources

Module #6: Capstone Session, Presenters: Dawn Martin and Steve Schack, Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 6pm-8pm

  • Sharing of Capacity Building Progress and Learnings Participating Organization 
  • Internalizing Capacity
  • Reflections, Commitments, and Celebration

Dennis Garreck or by phone 306-780-9265


Lorelie DeRoose or by phone 306-780-9812