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Latest News | February 2021


Clear Call for Change

Published: Feb 23, 2021 @ 3:37 PM

Statistics Canada spent their December crowd sourcing information on the diversity of nonprofit and charity boards in the nonprofit sector and now they have released their findings back to the community!

You can read them here - Diversity of charity and non-profit boards of directors: Overview of the Canadian non-profit sector

There is tons of research available about how varied voices around a table produces stronger decisions, better output, more innovation, and better impact. This is a snapshot of where we are at and an even clearer call that there needs to be room made at the table for the different life experiences that exist in all our communities. 

 

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Volunteer as a Family

Published: Feb 16, 2021 @ 5:11 PM

Volunteering can be a family affair! 

Since we all just spent the weekend spending MORE time with our immediate families, we thought we would take a look at family friendly opportunities on the Connector. 

We compared the first 6 weeks of the past 3 years and volunteer opportunities for families have DOUBLED! There are also THREE times the number of youth friendly opportunities. The families that contact us are all shapes and sizes; an aunt looking for something to do with her niece, a grandma looking for an opportunity to do both with her son and her granddaughter. Universally they are looking to engage with causes that they care about and share that experience with a person that they also care about. 

 

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Shifting Trends in Volunteerism

Published: Feb 9, 2021 @ 10:45 AM

Like many sectors the pandemic is shifting the way the non-profit and charitable sector operate. One aspect of this shift that we are monitoring and most interested in, is the way organizations engage volunteers. Volunteer Canada recently published a report outlining some specific examples of how organizations are having to adapt during this difficult time, as well as the ongoing struggles many organizations are facing.

Some key findings from their report that stood out include the following:

  • Organizations are struggling to find the time to transition new volunteer positions to virtual positions.
  • Organizations are struggling to find enough staff to support their overall volunteer engagement efforts.
  • There are too many volunteer applications being submitted in comparison to open positions.

With the use of technology through the VolunteerConnector platform we are always trying to stay one step ahead of the sector to offer timely support. To support organizations that are struggling to find the time to transition new positions to virtual positions, we have made more changes to the volunteer posting page to make it easier for organizations to submit postings. There are tips along the side of the form providing support to organizations that are new to virtual volunteerism. We have made it easy so that organizations can break-up larger positions that were previously done in person to smaller positions that can be done by multiple people virtually. What is most exciting about this upgrade is that the VolunteerConnector is so well optimized online that we can guarantee organization will receive interest in their postings.

For organizations that are struggling to find enough staff to support their volunteer engagement efforts, the VolunteerConnector offers sophisticated software that is built on best practices to make it easier to engage, screen, connect, organize, and schedule volunteers. Taking advantage of all the features the VolunteerConnector offers will save organizations countless time and money.

Finally, to support organizations that are receiving too many applications from volunteers we have made changes to the platform so when an organization selects virtual in their posting their position will show up in communities outside their own. This is an amazing feature as it provides opportunities to volunteers in smaller communities who may not have a lot of active posting to choose from - meaning the volunteer can offer virtual support to other communities and then once this pandemic is over, they can go back to their in-person positions in their local communities. This is a win-win for organizations and volunteers, as organizations continue to receive the support they need while volunteers continue to be engaged in meaningful ways, which is especially important now. This also means that organizations that do not have the capacity to engage their usual number of volunteers, can feel less guilting knowing that there are other opportunities out there that volunteers can participate in.

To read more about Volunteer Canada’s findings you can find the complete report here: Volunteering Lens of COVID-19: Fall Survey Highlights or to learn more about the work we are doing to support communities through volunteerism reach out at info@volunteerconnector.org.

 

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What do you mean Shared Platforms?

Published: Feb 8, 2021 @ 3:07 PM

Shared Platforms are pretty awesome, the Ontario Nonprofit Network describes them as “an innovative model for emerging projects that foster collaboration and eliminates administrative barriers, allowing projects to focus on their community work”.

For us here at VolunteerConnector that means we put all our time, energy and resources into making the platform work for volunteers and organizations so that those humans can spend their capacity doing their work in community.

We also get to feel a part of all the wonderful work that organizations on VolunteerConnector are doing, a quick look on the opportunities posted now shows that there is work being done via VolunteerConnector is every of the 29 cause categories. It also means all the groups and VolunteerConnector are working together to help people engage in their communities.

If you are interested in learning more about Shared Platforms check out the work Ontario Nonprofit Network is doing - Shared Platforms.

 

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Blue January? We don't think so!

Published: Feb 2, 2021 @ 1:07 PM

January has not been blah or blue! We have had four Januarys on VolunteerConnector and here is what we know from that: 

This January with varied and widespread restrictions across the country, humans are still seeking connections through doing good work in their community. January 2021 actually looks remarkably pre-pandemic.

In order to make sure VolunteerConnector is reflective of the needs of the community it archives postings after 90 days. Here is the catch . . . organizations have the ability to retire their posting once their opportunity has filled! This graph compares the number of opportunities taken down by organizations in each January (2018-2021).

More organizations archiving their own opportunities means more volunteers finding places to share their skills. 

Also "Blue Monday" was the busiest day of the week on the Connector . . . so this all seems like a pretty good way to start the year!

 

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