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2022 Year In Review

Published: Mar 2, 2023 @ 4:40 PM

We don't often talk about the $$$ required to run the VolunteerConnector. The last few years have been especially lean, requiring our board to approve targeted investments into the life of the Connector. What you may not realize is that, as a registered charity, we are almost 100% funded through grants and donations. It also means that every upgraded subscription goes right back into the development of the features and future plans of the platform.

Every single investment in the the VolunteerConnector enriches the lives of every Albertan as barriers to volunteering get further reduced. These investments echo not just this year or next but through to the next generation of volunteers looking to engage in community.

Yesterday we received some welcome news. We were approved for an Alberta CIP Grant! Thanks to the team at the Alberta Ministry of Culture.

So, ever wonder what happens when the government grants to a cool place like the Connector … it means improved access to volunteering for everyone! Not only that, thanks to our many and growing Regional Partners across the country it means that access to volunteering improves for all Canadians!

Here's a sample of our 2022 Year in Review:

Looking forward to even more to celebrate in 2023! Its off to a great start!!

Your VolunteerConnector Team



Shout Out To Boards & Highlighting Cool Opportunities

Published: Feb 22, 2023 @ 6:17 PM

This blog post is a two parter - shout out to boards and highlighting some cool opportunities on VolunteerConnector so here we go! 

We are heading into board recruitment season, lots of organizations and causes are looking for lots of positions. If you are reading this and don’t think you belong on a board or you don’t have the “right” qualifications, you are EXACTLY the person who should be there! So think about using that board filter at the top of the page and finding a cause that resonates with you. If a board feels like too much commitment- hooray for being honest about how much energy you must commit. Many boards also have committees where you can lend your expertise, perspective and lived experience. 

Alright, part two - here are some opportunities that we don’t see every day and sound cool to us:

Love the term “relational rockstar” -

Social Media Coordinator

Use your design skills to help an awesome national organization - 

Volunteer with Canada Confesses' Design Team!

Give some time and enjoy the theatre - 

Theatre Attendant

Volunteer as a family! - 

Literacy for Life Foundation

Happy Volunteering,

Your VolunteerConnector Team



Your Next Volunteer Experience Might Be Right Here!

Published: Nov 17, 2022 @ 9:31 AM

There are new opportunities posted on VolunteerConnector every single day! If you are not seeing something that resonates with you check back the next day and no doubt something will be there that makes you excited to give your time. We occasionally feature here on the blog opportunities that we find interesting. Here are a couple that are fascinating us this week!

If you are free this weekend and in the Greater Toronto Area, check out Canada's largest HIV Youth Conference

Would be very cool to be a part of public art through this opportunity from Activism Through Technology and Art Society



Welcome Strathmore!

Published: Oct 19, 2022 @ 10:37 AM

There is a lovely place in Alberta affectionately known as S'more and it is the latest Regional Partner to join us here on VolunteerConnector. Some fun facts about Strathmore

  • the original townsite was located 6km north of its current location due to an irrigation system
  • it hosts a great rodeo every summer
  • it has a restaurant with train car in front
  • they have been on VolunteerConnector for less than a week and they already have 4 organizations recruiting and 317 volunteers looking for opportunities! Go Strathmore Go!

Interested in your community joining the VolunteerConnector team? Get in touch 



Capacity Building And You

Published: Sep 26, 2022 @ 3:14 PM

Coming to, what we all hope is, the emergence from a global pandemic I’ve seen a resurgence in the term “capacity building” across the sector. Maybe that’s because there is a desire to fill the obvious funding gaps with something familiar. Maybe it’s because our capacity as a sector was shown to be lacking through the pandemic. Maybe it’s a distraction.

While we talk a lot about volunteers getting connected, humans in the center and providing capacity through a digital transformation . . . we still undertake a lot of capacity building as a team. In fact, we do more capacity building today than we once did 10 years ago but the principles are the same. Here they are:

  • We know that change is rooted in local interactions. Particularly 1-2-1 interactions that help new knowledge take shape. This approach to change is articulated by Ralph D Stacey as he explores effective organizational change.
  • We know that learning happens at the pace of the learner and when they determine for themselves that new skills are required. For all our neurodivergent friends out there who tried to succeed inside the system of K-12 education we sympathize with you. That is not a system designed for the pace of the learner but rather as a conveyor belt as articulated best by Ken Robinson.
  • Finally, we know that for most people empathy, compassion and even love are required. This is found in our own training, our own journeys over the last decade. Being available for what another human is experiencing and coaching them where to focus energies  and find new resources, through compassion, is the most effective way to provide practical support everyone calls capacity building.

You can see in those practical applications of theory the threads of Training, Consulting and Coaching. Those are the words most offered in capacity building services. In our world when you see “email us” this is what we mean.

Remarkably, over 5,150 individuals representing community organizing tapped into our team’s capacity building efforts in 2021. That number is already growing in 2022 as we all seek to emerge stronger from a pandemic and face the worst economic crisis in 80 years.

As always, in volunteerism if you are feeling lost or unsure of what next . . . reach out to the team



Went to a Conference - Collision

Published: Jun 27, 2022 @ 10:18 AM

Last week I went to Collision Conference in Toronto. Why you ask? Well it's a great place to hear from people doing and thinking about the future of technology. There are so many startups in early stages, one was only 2 days old, to get a window into what people think will improve the world. As an added bonus there is lots of discussion about the state of funding in the private sectpr which typically is a leading indicator of what the charitable sector will face.

With that said, here are a few quotes from speakers I heard (5 stages running simultaneously with 20 min slots so can't take it all in):

  • Privacy is our default
  • We are a startup that isn't making any money so we can start over if we want
  • 2-3 years ago it was hard to get staff now it's funding
  • We don't know what fundraising will look like over the next 6 months so I would wait until the new year (a second panelist suggested avoiding fundraising for the next 24 months due to the effort to get very little over the 'correction period')
  • Product development should remain in house as much as possible as that will be a competitive advantage
  • Growth and revenue are not the same thing, don't hinge those two together
  • Growth will be stuck for those that have not built with sustainability in mind
  • Only 8% of all startup funding goes to women and minorities
  • There is a window of uprising due to the bloodshed like George Floyd, the window won't last so we need to act now
  • What is your exit plan? What if it isn't to sell but rather to give it to community . . . there is a range of possibilities

Finally, people I enjoyed meeting the most included:

As I discovered the last time attended (pre-pandemic, you remember those days right?), there are very few non-profits/charities at the largest tech conference in North America. We hope that will change as our sector seeks to create societal change and uses technology to support that. Of course, that will require a shifting mindset of funders and deep commitment of boards and . . . anyway, if you are interested in our journey then a coffee is warranted or a walk and talk as I did with our friends at Volunteer Toronto while there.