Corporate and Foundation Programs: Bow Valley College - Silver Award

2008 Circle of Excellence Awards Program
2C. Fundraising Programs: Corporate and Foundation Programs
Bow Valley College
Stewardship Program


Stacie Lundberg
Senior Development Officer
Fund Development
332 6 Avenue SE
Calgary AB
Canada T2G 4S6
(403) 410-3497


Valerie Hoey Chief Development Officer
Stacie Lundberg Senior Development Officer
Andy Cichos Vice President, External Relations
Pat Martin Program Coordinator, External Relations

Staff Resources:

A total of two fund development staff were involved in this corporate funding effort along with input from two staff from the External Relations division of the College. Staff members involved include: Chief Development Officer Val Hoey, Senior Development Officer Stacie Lundberg, Vice President, External Relations Andy Cichos and External Relations Program Coordinator Pat Martin.

Our Chief Development Officer led discussions with the funder, the Suncor Energy Foundation, to determine funding interest and ability. She also initiated internal discussions with the College’s Vice President, External Relations to discuss the development of the program based on the College’s need and the funder’s interest. The Senior Development Officer consulted with External Relations to develop the funding proposal as well as wrote and submitted it online as required by the funder.

Description and impact

The proposal submitted to the Suncor Energy Foundation was a request to consider funding a new service for much needed job placement and maintenance focused solely on immigrant professionals called Placement Services for Immigrant Professionals.

We demonstrated to the Suncor Energy Foundation that Bow Valley College was uniquely positioned to enable immigrant professionals to manage transitions. No other institution in Calgary has the same level of expertise, experience and dedication in working with adults who have diverse backgrounds. It is the College’s vision to equip people for successful living, lifelong learning and working in a global, knowledge-based economy. Bow Valley College is the largest English as a Second Language provider in Western Canada – one-third of our 11,000 students a year enrol in ESL programs.

The Suncor Energy Foundation made a three-year commitment of $100,000 each year (2005/2006/2007) to provide seed funding to Bow Valley College for Placement Services for Immigrant Professionals, a service aimed at assisting skilled immigrants in finding and maintaining work in their field of expertise. Bow Valley College successfully delivered those services and also leveraged that seed money to secure a renewed contract with the Government of Alberta. The College has also leveraged the Suncor donation to launch our new integrated employment service for students, alumni and clients called BVCWorks. The larger entity of BVCWorks is the umbrella under which Placement Services for Immigrant Professionals now falls.

The Suncor Energy Foundation gift was secured within Bow Valley College’s first ever fundraising campaign, Improving Lives Beyond the Classroom. For our inaugural campaign, the College’s goal was to raise $10 million over five years. This $300,000 donation from the Suncor Energy Foundation was a very significant sign of support from the community – representing our fourth largest gift and our second largest corporate donation.

Suncor’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Communications also agreed to support Bow Valley College as a member of our Campaign Cabinet and as an advocate for our College in the community.


Over our 42 year history, we have also established an alumni base of over 250,000 alumni in the community. Our new formed Alumni Office is working actively to connect with our graduates.

Goals and objectives

The objectives of this program funded by the Suncor Energy Foundation are:

  • Place clients in good jobs with quality employers
  • Raise awareness of companies of the quality and skill of immigrants available to fill jobs
  • Serve over 100 clients a year; successfully placing 30-40 clients after careful screening
  • Offer quality job maintenance ensuring employer and employee satisfaction (includes dealing with Canadian workplace issues such as culture and language as well as occupation specific issues).

Ultimately, our goal would be that when educated and highly skilled immigrants arrive in Calgary and they would not be forced to take unskilled, low-paying jobs to survive. As Calgary continues to increasingly become the destination of choice for many immigrant professionals and as we increasingly look to these individuals to fill Alberta's skilled labour shortage we foresee an extended and ongoing need for this program.

We know that as a significant employer in Alberta’s oil and gas sector this program aligns with Suncor’s employment strategy for immigrant workers.


With three years of funding from the Suncor Energy Foundation we established this service, proved its worth, achieved good results and secured additional funding sources.

Placement Services for Immigrant Professionals was a successful project and funding from the Suncor Energy Foundation led Bow Valley College to the bigger picture of BVCWorks which serves a broader community of workers, but is still focused on the placement of immigrant professionals.

Mission statement

Where people live and work, Bow Valley College will contribute to the vitality of communities and the strength of the economy through innovative adult education programs and services which equip people for successful living, lifelong learning and work in a global, knowledge-based economy.