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Halton, Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta Volunteerism Across the Land!

Published: Feb 7, 2024 @ 12:37 PM

We love seeing what our friends across the country are up to. The work they are doing and open to sharing- 

Volunteer Halton published their ‘Our Halton’ report which brings together their own data along with tons of other research to tell the story of volunteerism in Halton Region. Check out the footnotes for so many brilliant other points of interesting reads, including research from the University of Waterloo are on engaging youth in philanthropy. 

Our friends in Edmonton at ECVO published a lovely story featuring Turlough from the Winspear Centre (Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) and how we took an opportunity to shift the culture of a volunteer program. Turlough was a speaker at our Symposium in the Fall and we also enjoy his perspective. 

CBC’s show Now or Never featured a whole episode on people stepping up in their community to respond to need. You can listen to that episode here!

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Practices for Non-Profits and Corporations

Published: Jan 10, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

In the past 30 days the conversation around corporate volunteer groups has come up a lot. It is this season that puts a magnifying glass on what can be a tough experience for both organizations and the humans inside a company, all to the tune of a lovely holiday jingle. 

Volunteering should always feel meaningful for both parties. Volunteer Canada has put together this helpful resource for organizations and corporations in thinking about engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. Volunteer Canada (2023, November 14). Different Ways to Engage with Your Local Business Community [PowerPoint Slides]. Centerville Network Forum – November 2023, Volunteer Canada.

If you are looking to work with an organization in your area, have a look on VolunteerConnector and start next year off with a conversation. 

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Things that are making us keep thinking

Published: Dec 6, 2023 @ 6:00 PM

We love sharing resources and activities that are interesting and helpful to humans engaged in their communities. We have come across a couple in the past month that have shifted our thinking. 

Selkirk College, Capilano University and Vancouver Community College have come together with several community organization in British Columbia to produce Courageous Dialogues: Navigating Polarization. This guide offers a plethora (we do not use that word lightly) of resources for the individual, community and leader to navigate this complex social issue. We love that they have included a lens of time investment to let the reader opt in based on their time so check this out if you are ready for a toe dip or a deep dive. 

We love this work so much we have included it permanently on our Get Support and Learn page. but it is certainly worth sharing here again. Ontario Nonprofit Network have been doing a ton of work around decent work. There are checklists, case studies, publications, reports and toolkits. They take a brilliant intersectional lens. Decent Work is…Needed. Not Difficult. Happening.

Volunteer Alberta is running a webinar on as part of their Equity and Inclusion in Volunteer Screening Series. On January 16, 2024 you can join Yvonne Chenier from IntegralOrg on learning about the protective legislation that protects volunteers. 

 

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The Continuum of Civic Engagement

Published: Nov 22, 2023 @ 6:00 PM

Our friends at Volunteer Toronto have created some awesome things in pursuit of enlivening civic engagement in their city. We love to share things that can be helpful no matter what corner of the country you find yourself in; large or small; vibrant or languishing. 

You can take a quiz to find out your civic engagement style and explore the 7 different ways you can give back in your community. We are very into the whole vibe of everyone currently holds space in their community but next year it can look completely different. Here are the seven ways to engage in your community Build Empathy, Connect with Others, Give Resources, Give Time & Skills, Be Heard, Start Organizing and Get Political. Locate yourself within the continuum and explore some other ways to engage to in your community. Such a great resource for providing language for the many ways people participate in their towns, cities and communities across the country. 

Take the self-assessment quiz here.

Check out the full continuum here

Thanks Volunteer Toronto for the energy and work! 

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Holiday Opportunities

Published: Nov 8, 2023 @ 12:50 PM

Create your holiday opportunities now while thousands of volunteers are looking.

Did you know that over 6,500 volunteer searches are happening everyday? People are looking for you!

We are just starting the holiday season. Well, maybe it's a bit early to say that . . . but it is never too early to be thinking about how to engage current and new volunteers over the next few months.Take advantage of the 3 month trial that allows you to access all the features of the VolunteerConnector.

Inspiring individuals - not sure where to start when recruiting? 

Be inspired by our Guest Bloggers. As they share their experiences you will find there is plenty of ways to engage people to share their passion with you and your cause. In many ways it is volunteering that has shaped their lives more than any other as these friends of ours looked to make an Impact, build Connections and find that sense of Belonging in their communities.

 

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Next. Symposium Thank You!

Published: Oct 18, 2023 @ 12:00 PM

We held a symposium, and it was fantastic. A huge thank you to all the speakers! They were all truly brilliant and inspired in so many ways. Something is so magical about gathering people in community from across the country (and Scotland). If you have a chance to connect with any of these people or hear any of them speak, please do! Make sure to check out all the awesome work they are doing. Deepest gratitude to all of these humans:

Danielle (Volunteer Connections

Debbie (Volunteer Scotland)

Candice (Ontario Non-Profit Network)

April (Helping Hands Cochrane)

Alina (Vantage Point)

Katie (Community Foundation of Nova Scotia)

Aditi (Pillar Non-Profit Network)

Corrina (Volunteer Connect York Region)

Turlough (Winspear Centre

 The ideas were so fast and furious! If you missed us and you want to engage in conversation, we are gathering again on November 8 at 11:00 MST. Email us for the invite

 

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It’s Almost Symposium Time!

Published: Sep 12, 2023 @ 5:04 PM

We are just 14 days out from the Next. Symposium! On September 27 there will be awesome and relevant conversation around volunteerism in this current space and time. Nine different speakers are going to share their insights into what makes for thriving communities. There are so many wonderful people contributing their ideas.

We are happy to welcome Debbie Maltman from Volunteer Scotland to talk about the intersection between the cost-of-living crisis and volunteerism. Candice Zhang from Ontario Nonprofit Network will speak on decent work in the charitable sector! We will also be talking Gen Z and food security community organizing, check out our event page for the full list of brilliant speakers. If you want to be part of an engaging and inspiring conversation around what the volunteer community is like in 2023 join us!

🚜

 

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Lay Some Patio Stones

Published: Sep 5, 2023 @ 6:00 PM

This picture is from my local pharmacy and believe it or not when I saw it, I immediately thought of volunteer engagement. This is going to be a roundabout tale, hold on! This spot is in an odd place, there is not a clear way to get there if you are walking. The parking lot is often jammed and so people park across the street and walk over. It is a confusing intersection not far up from a stoplight and the people travelling left actually have the right of way, plus there is a grocery store, daycare and a church. Mad times in urban planning! My takeaway from this image is that someone made a choice, acknowledged how people moved through this space and went with it, in fact made it easier for everyone to get where they wanted to go. They did not hold onto the idea that there is a sidewalk close by, they did not plant bigger shrubbery or something with thorns to try and deter people. So now you know the lay the of the land, what could this possibly have to do with volunteer engagement? It is about acknowledging the truth. 

 Sometimes we hear from people that they are having trouble recruiting volunteers, that they have had these roles for the past 15-20 years and they can’t seem to find any person interested in them now. That is a tough situation to be in for sure, but there is a choice. As an organization you can continue to struggle and suffer, you can try to force people through the thorny, tall shrubbery as it were, or you can lay out some patio stones! There is space for reimaging everything, nothing needs to look like it did before. It is hard work for sure and work that takes time but worth doing if you want to continue to engage volunteers in the work that you are doing. If this post is resonating with you and you want to talk it through just give us an email we would love to catch up. 

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Great Work!

Published: Aug 11, 2023 @ 10:59 AM

We like to shout out people doing cool and interesting work in the community! 

Gore Park Community Outreach began in the pandemic and has continued to offer vital services to the community members of Hamilton. They have built collaboration as they’ve grown and continue to centre the people they are trying to help. 

The lakes across the province of British Columbia are being monitored by awesome people. They are tracking changes and raising flags to protect the lakes. Learn more about them here. 

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Next. A symposium on community belonging, engagement and volunteerism

Published: Jul 25, 2023 @ 12:00 PM

Join us on Wednesday, September 27 at 11:00am MST for a symposium  This will undoubtedly be a moment to remember as an extraordinary group of humans who have profound impact in their communities gather to share insights, illuminations and lessons from the past. Take this opportunity to shift your understanding and feel invigorated about the work of compassion and causes. This imagining is meant for anyone and everyone who engages other humans in community work; volunteer managers, grassroots organizers, community leaders, executive directors, board members, civil workers, people who work in the charitable sector, volunteers, people who care about their community but are not really sure what that looks like! 

The symposium will feature ten, 3 minute moments (think TikTok but with the lens of social justice and belonging), a full some space for conversation and parting thoughts. 

To read more about the people involved and register click here

email for more information.

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