NGOs - Your Community Partners


a) What is an NGO/CSO?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) or becoming known more recently as a Civil Society Organization (CSO), is any non-profit, voluntary citizens group which is organized on a local, national or international level. NGOs/CSOs associated with the SDC must be the local or locally-based. Because the SDGs are universal – most organizations have at least one of the SDG 17 goals as their focus. For the purposes of the SDC, the NGO/CSO must also be a registered Canadian charity (able to issues income tax receipts to the sponsors of the prizes).

b) Working with an NGO/CSO

When a student team is interested in applying for the SDC, they must choose a charitable NGO/CSO to work with and then a particular project within that charity to promote for the $5000 prize. We provide several oppurtunities to connect with an NGO at our events, or you can find your own NGO. “What are your passions?” “Which organization best reflects your team?” “ How inviting is the organization for you to become involved?” “Will you receive the support you need from them to create a winning presentation for the SDC?” These are the questions to be asked when considering the NGO/CSO to be highlighted at the SDC. You may adapt one of the charity’s current projects seeking funding, or preferably create a new project specific to the SDC that is supported by the NGO. The charitable work they do must directly impact one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. Likely, students are already familiar with a number of NGOs/CSOs but they may want to look a little further to find the best fit or seek our support in this.

Things to note when approaching NGOs:

  • Does the NGO/CSO have status as a registered Canadian charity?

  • Does the NGO/CSO work directly in the Okanagan or do they have a local office for their international work?

  • Will the NGO/CSO provide the necessary guidance to support the students? Will they encourage students to receive mentorship from other community members as well?

  • How does the project fit in with the Sustainable Development Goals?

  • How will the prize money be used? Make sure that the funding can fulfill the requirements of the project.

c) What you can expect from your NGO

When students are choosing an NGO and project, it is important that the NGO is aware that there is an expectation to provide some guidance to the students. The NGO is potentially a recipient of a generous donation and a new project, and as such, should be prepared to spend some time with the students, providing input and guiding them as required. They should assist them and encourage them in selecting/creating a project that is in need, sustainable and able to be accomplished with the amount of the first place prize donation. It is important, however that the ideas and plan come from the student teams.