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Latest News | Recent Posts


Rotary - Continuing to make a Big Impact in the Voluntary Sector

Published: Jun 25, 2020 @ 1:46 PM

Rotary has been around since 1905, when a small group of men came together with the intention of sharing ideas and different perspectives that would lead to lifelong friendships. Long term friendships were only a small aspect of what has emerged from Rotarian efforts. From all around the world the deep impact of Rotary can be observed. 

Rotary is a household name, and some might even suggest that Rotarians are the original volunteers. Rotary has never been a group to settle for less. The issues they are tackling are robust in scope to say the least. They work towards solving complex problems such as providing clean water, supporting education, and eliminating gender inequality. Working towards the eradication of polio is one of Rotary’s greatest success stories, as they can say that their efforts over the last 30 years have led to 99.9% eradication of the deadly disease. 

Rotary continues to adapt and change to best support our modern, ever shifting, technology driven world. Their priorities have shifted over time and they care deeply about diversity, equality, and inclusion. Rotary knows that to serve their communities best, they must have equal representation of all people among their members and this is something they will continue to strive towards. 

Another way Rotary is continuing to grow and adapt is with technology. In order to provide the best support to their communities and members, Districts 5360 and 5370 are partnering with the VolunteerConnector. To say Rotarians are passionate about volunteerism would be an understatement. These Districts consist of thousands of individuals that are keen to support their communities and they recognize that using the VolunteerConnector is the most efficient way to make these essential connections. 

We are so proud to be partnering with Rotary Districts 5360 and 5370 to connect their members to communities across Western Canada. We know that connecting a Rotarian to a community organization will lead to a lifelong bond, and deep impact for both the organization and the Rotarian. 

Welcome to the VolunteerConnector, Rotarians!  

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VolunteerConnector Supports Black Lives Matter

Published: Jun 10, 2020 @ 9:51 AM

We strive for for an anti-racist approach to volunteering. What does this mean? We examine our practice and our platform and work to reduce systemic barriers and practices that keep people from engagement getting involved. Our staff are committed to continuing our learning journey and making improvements to our platform support anti-racist practice. Our view on volunteering is broad. We are here for volunteering in all of its forms including activism, and protesting. 

Black Lives Matter

Are you looking to organize a protest, get people engaged in a letter-writing campaign or awareness? Get started here and check out this list of resources.

Canadian Organizations to engage with support that are doing Anti-Racist work:

CommunityWise – Anti-Racism Organizational Change (AROC) - http://communitywise.net/aroc/

ActionDignity - https://actiondignity.org/programs/indie-albertanonprofits/

Centre for Race and Culture Edmonton - https://cfrac.com/training/anti-racism-workshop-series/

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan - http://mcos.ca/anti-racism-101/

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants - https://ocasi.org/

Books to Read:

  • Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo Lodge
  • How To Be An Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
  • Me And White Supremacy – Layla Saad
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
  • The Skin We’re In – Desmond Cole
  • Highway of Tears – Jessica McDiarmid
  • They Call Me George – Cecil Foster
  • AfricVille – Jeffrey Colvin
  • Frying Plantain – Zalika Reid-Benta
  • The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

More … https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/204842963/1357692923

Films to Watch:

  • Seven Seconds
  • 13th
  • Fruitvale Station
  • When They See Us
  • Teach Us All
  • LA 92
  • Get Out
  • Selma

Podcasts:

  • Floodlines
  • 1619
  • Intersectionality Matters!
  • Throughlines

Other:

Templates:

Holding Your Employer Accountable - https://www.patreon.com/posts/37737054

The Anti-harassment Policy - https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/template-developing-anti-harassment-policy

 

 Questions? Comments? Email us at info@propellus.org

 

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Mayor Nenshi - AGM Greetings

Published: Jun 4, 2020 @ 6:40 PM

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi sends along his appreciation to all the volunteers supporting the community right now.

 

 

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Minister Aheer - AGM Greetings

Published: Jun 4, 2020 @ 1:13 PM

Minister Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, sends greetings to our first ever virtual AGM, spotlighting our collaboration between the Government of Alberta and the VolunteerConnector.

 

 

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Two Months - Four Numbers

Published: May 12, 2020 @ 5:02 PM

Two months have gone by and seems at this point that most people are kind of “done”. Making sourdough was fun in the beginning but now we are craving the normalcy of random grocery runs, gathering with neighbours, hugging family . . . all the things that made us feel like humans. In a short period of time Canadians learned a whole bunch of new behaviours, leaders appear on our televisions and radios every day and share with us the results of our new normal. But, something has stayed the same since the onset of Covid-19 though, people want to show up for other humans. Here are some things that should lighten our hearts and minds . . .

14,835

Views for five of the most popular opportunities.

1,869

The number of humans who have applied to organizations who have enabled the online application feature on the VolunteerConnector.

6 Days 

The length of time it took for a community organizer to join the Connector, create a profile, post an opportunity and recruit 127 volunteers.  

57 Minutes

The time it took for a person to search the Connector, find an opportunity, apply and start volunteering!   

 

Things are hard for lots of people right now but the world of humans helping other humans is looking pretty bright!

 

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Nonprofit Technology Challenges

Published: Apr 29, 2020 @ 5:28 PM

Thank you to our great friends and regional partners, Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations for taking the lead on developing this summary report.

Overview: 

Challenges from COVID-19 continue to grow. Alberta’s nonprofit organizations and charities are facing loss of revenue from the cancellation of programs and events (including major fundraising efforts), as well as a decrease in donations. At the same time, they are dealing with human resource challenges related to paid staff and volunteers.The findings in this overall summary report are organized by what organizations are experiencing and characteristics of the organizations that responded.

Report Highlights - specific to technology

Organizations are currently challenged by new ways of working - staff and volunteers working remotely, adjusting to virtual platforms and the technology challenges associated with this.

  • Challenges related to staff and volunteers needing to work remotely (90%)
  • Adjusting in-person events to a virtual platform (86%)
  • Difficulty engaging volunteers (68%)

Comments included a "high cost of technology" and "managing changing staff and volunteer roles"

Solution

As a team we've been working digitally for over 18 months now. While we can't solve all your tech needs, did you know that the Connector is an all in one digital solution for your volunteer engagement needs? And during the pandemic all features of the Connector are free and easy to use. 

  • Simply sign up or sign in as an organization
  • Click an UPGRADE button
  • Use this free upgrade code "COVID19"

Signing up will also ensure you have access to the thousands of volunteers that are looking to engage your cause as well as be set for any of the new features that are released on a regular basis.

REPORT: The Impact of COVID-19 on Alberta's Nonprofit & Voluntary Organizations

 

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Alberta Cares Connector

Published: Apr 23, 2020 @ 8:45 AM

As part of National Volunteer Week we at the VolunteerConnector are really pleased to be able to collaborate with the Government of Alberta to provide the AlbertaCaresConnector to all Albertans. 

Volunteers are the foundation for many community organizations providing social support and assistance to those in need. Alberta has more than 26,400 non-profit organizations and, each year, more than 1.6 million Albertans provide more than 262 million volunteer hours to support the non-profit and voluntary sector at a value of $5.6 billion.

Alberta Government News Release - April 22, 2020

 

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National Volunteer Week

Published: Apr 20, 2020 @ 10:25 AM

COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: WE APPLAUD YOU

National Volunteer Week isn't just a time to recognize and acknowledge all the formal organizing efforts out there, it's also an opportunity to applaud all the informal volunteer activities. During this pandemic we have seen a lot of that simple neighbourly care. Thanks to everyone for being willing to sit on a board AND shovel a walk. Thanks to everyone for being willing to take a shift serving vulnerable people AND organize a park cleanup! 

So we are calling on all community organizers! Did you know during the pandemic, the VolunteerConnector isn't just for organizations. It can be used by you to call out your needs to community. You can have access to all the resources along with everyone else.

 

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CTV Calgary Interview

Published: Apr 17, 2020 @ 2:45 PM

Ahead of Volunteer Week (April 20-24, 2020) our colleague, Katie Dodd, joining the team at CTV Calgary to talk about volunteering needs on the VolunteerConnector.

You can watch the INTERVIEW with CTV here.

 

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Empathy During COVID-19

Published: Apr 7, 2020 @ 7:26 PM

 

Thank you for all you do in community. I won’t say “these are trying/challenging times” because these times are . . . oh right, don’t say it.

Volunteering is Hope

One of my favourite shows, and one I’ve been binging lately is Star Trek. So I can’t help thinking “What if the world were like Star Trek?” What do you mean, the part about flying through space? Nope, the part about humans doing whatever they can to explore and extend their capacity to care. Well, we are seeing that right now all over the place!

How do I know? Well, we have seen the interest on VolunteerConnector double each week in the last few weeks. People want to help one another. This is such a great story of how we all respond as neighbours in our moments of crisis and need. It gives me hope that we are ever moving closer to a truly empathetic society, possibly the promise of Star Trek. (I know there’s lots to leave on the cutting room floor, like story lines that drag on!)

So What? What can people who engage volunteers do?

The only answer is adapt. Organizations aren’t anything without the people in them, so look after yourself and your team. There’s lots of wisdom out there to help you make good choices. Especially the stuff about staying home for non-essential workers. If you’re thinking about engaging your volunteer team, and possibly even expanding it right now, this requires an adaptation. We suggest doing three things:

  • Take account of your needs to recruit and get the message out there with a post on the VolunteerConnector. Maybe you are still requiring a new board member for that postponed AGM. Really focus on the needs right now and try not to feel pressure to create busy work for volunteers. We wouldn’t want to accidentally encourage people to be breaking physical distancing guidelines.
  • Think about your experience in working from home. You’re trusted with access to files and email address and all sorts of thing. So many people at home have capacity to help and want to. Can we extend the systems that are currently working for us paid humans to those we trust to volunteer?
  • Do you see a lot of informal volunteer movements? Feel free to post the opportunity on VolunteerConnector to get an extra helping hand. If you can’t do it then simply forward this to that self organizing effort, or tag us @volunteercal so we can help spread the word.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

Do you find yourself needing to be more organized with your front line response? Your organization or community effort can always post for free on the VolunteerConnector to recruit. But did you know our scheduling and tracking tools are free during covid-19?

  • simply sign in,
  • click an UPGRADE button,
  • use the upgrade code "COVID19" to
  • start free scheduling and tracking features!

Please forward this message on to any of the community organizers out there so they can get connected to the tens of thousands of people who are ready to help. If they need support in getting connected then we are here to help at info@volunteerconnector.org.

Volunteering Teaches Empathy

I remember learning about empathy from Star Trek. Empathy is something only humans can provide. While the promise of the machines taking over is ever present (yes, I watch too much science fiction), we know that to have and deliver empathy is a human quality. It’s a great time to try to understand one another, and see the world from another’s perspective. I think our instinct to reach out and be neighbourly, to volunteer our time, is empathy in action. My Star Trek dreams may be a bit far-fetched, but a world where we all provide for each other is not and this crisis is proving that to me daily.

Thanks,

Doug

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