Where Can Volunteering Take You?

In July 2013, Volunteer Victoria’s Youth Program hosted the first Community Youth Leadership Summit! Part of the week was reflecting on volunteering, the community, and the Summit in the format of a blog post. Melody was one of our awesome participants who put her feelings, thoughts, and ideas into a great blog post for us to share with you! 

Ever wondered how you can take that first step out into your community? Maybe you would like to gain new skills, give back to a meaningful cause or simply get out of the house. No matter what your destination may be, you can use volunteering as a stepping stone towards your ultimate goal. Not only will you learn and grow through new experiences, volunteering can also present you with new opportunities that you may not otherwise have. 

Volunteering can be extremely helpful when you’re searching for employment. It could be a job that you’ve had your eyes on for years but don’t have the qualifications for.  One of the best ways to boost your resume and get ahead of the competition is to volunteer. This will not only reflect positively on you, it will also give potential employers a glimpse what your passions may be. By adding volunteering onto your resume, interviewers will see you as someone who has taken some initiative. You will also gain valuable skills and experiences through your community involvement and this can help you obtain your dream job. 

A handy thing to keep in mind is that employers are more likely to hire a person when they’ve seen samples of their work. Volunteering strategically can help you gain a position in an organization or if you’re just starting a new career, a good way to gain experience is to obtain a volunteer position related to your career field. Volunteering is also a great way to increase your network and discover new jobs that might otherwise be unknown to you. 

The best things in life often happen unexpectedly. Getting to know new people and being in a new environment can give you a different perspective of your community and the world around you. 

Maybe you’ve been volunteering for years and one day you have the opportunity to turn your passion into your career. These can be the most rewarding types of jobs because now you can be paid for doing something that you greatly enjoy. Volunteering is something at can open many new doors and take you to places you have never imagined. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you want to do in life and volunteering might just set you down a whole new and exciting path.

Introduction to Volunteer Victoria’s Community Youth Leadership Summit

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change this world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”  – Margret Mead

 I was reminded of this quote in so many ways this year during the first week of summer. Not only is it a personal favourite – I have it on a sticky note on my laptop – but it truly encompassed the energy and enthusiasm of Volunteer Victoria’s Community Youth Leadership Summit participants to a T. Regardless of whether the youth were on the United Way’s Impact Tour or engaging in a round table discussion about human rights as they relate to interview questions, I kept finding myself thinking, these kids are going places.

 Here at Volunteer Victoria the Youth Team works in a variety of ways to help youth throughout Greater Victoria connect to their community through meaningful and strategic volunteering. What is strategic volunteering you might find yourself wondering? Essentially it’s walking the delicate balance beam of receiving as much as you give through volunteering; the best of both worlds. While volunteering in and of its self is an amazing gift and something we at Volunteer Victoria strive to promote both professionally and personally, we also believe you should leave feeling rewarded for your hard work and dedication. In a lot of life’s facets this would come in the form of a cheque, a dollar amount to show appreciation for your time and energy. However, in volunteering the benefits can look like a multitude of things and finding the one that suits your needs the best is a goal the Youth Team aims to meet. For example, some volunteer for the outstanding training agencies can provide, others for free admission into events or festivals, and some give to their community through organizations that have helped those around them. Despite the fact these benefits will look different for everyone and mean something unique to each volunteer, there is a constant –any one you choose or need the Youth Team can help get you there.

Easy. Right? That’s what we thought too.

 Throughout the Youth Team’s involvement in the community we have noticed the benefits and rewards to volunteering that we think are strategic (volunteering at a hospital to increase your application to med school and knowledge of health care) are sometimes being lost in the race to complete a set amount of hours in order to graduate. While the completion of this is important, we have started to see youth volunteer in amazing ways at a variety of places but only reap the numerical hour value from their work rather than the life skills and knowledge they have gained in addition. The need for practical hands-on training regarding the volunteer sector:  how to get involved purposefully and how to present these educational pieces of wealth in a professional way became apparent. In an effort to meet this Volunteer Victoria created the Community Youth Leadership Summit – a week long program aimed to give greater meaning to the word ‘volunteer’ by not only showing youth how volunteering can enhance their skills and help in achieving their dreams but how to excel at showcasing their attributes through workshops, presentations and volunteering.  

We were so fortunate to work with 10 outstanding youth who really exemplified Margret Mead’s words through their dedication to the process and their willingness to learn and challenge themselves both individually, as a group, and in the community at large. Part of the program involved the opportunity to write a blog post for Volunteer Victoria, this is simply the introduction to the incredible literature to come.

 These youth reminded us within the Youth Team that the work we do collectively, both within our office and as a community, for youth matters. The ripple effect these youth who ‘graduated’ from this program will have locally and globally, in our minds, will be instrumental. Their ideas and opinions are relevant, important and meaningful. They will change this world, we just were lucky enough to help along the way.

 So here’s to them, the 10 fantastic youth who took a week from their sun-filled summers to work with us in learning how they can walk that balance beam in the not-for-profit sector, how they can have the best of both worlds, and how they can highlight themselves for the outstanding emerging leaders they are. They are pretty wonderful and we hope you enjoy getting to see a glimpse of each one through their writing. Thank you Cammy, Sara, Leah, Melody, Brooke, Eva, Holly, Kathy, Angus and Hisashi, you made the start of our summer the best week yet. 

Book Review: The Abundant Non Profit

Volunteering trends vary greatly across the world and what may be true for most other nations is not always true in Canada; like the idea that there is a shortage of volunteers. Canada has the 2nd largest voluntary sector in the world – after the Netherlands – and with more than 12 million volunteers across the country we do not have a shortage of willing participants.

Vantage Point (Vancouver’s Volunteer Centre) has long advocated for the fact that in this continued environment of resource scarcity non profits have to think and behave differently. They believe so strongly in the idea that non profits need to shift our primary focus from allocating financial assets to developing human assets that staff members Colleen Kelly and Lynda Gerty put pen to paper (sorry, fingers to the keyboard) to write their book “The Abundant Non Profit.”  

The book is scattered with wise words and good ideas but if reading non profit management books is not top of your summer ‘to-do’ list, then here are some of the paraphrased highlights.  

  • Non profits cannot always wait for funding to start or finish key projects. Vantage Point believes we must expand our circle of experienced volunteers who can help by breaking down projects into bite sized chunks and getting the work done.
  • While all volunteers are created equal in terms of their value to an organization, some volunteer work is valued at a higher rate of return than others. For example: the value difference between using volunteers to copy newsletters or to build a new website.
  • All volunteers need to have work that meets their learning and engagement needs. Create project options with varying levels of complexity.
  • Create an annual plan for volunteer led and managed projects (and connect them to your strategic goals.) 
  • Integrate volunteers into every level of the organization
  • Turn project and program managers into people managers. One manager can only complete a limited number of projects or program objectives, but a people manager with 40 to 60 volunteers can increase their productivity exponentially.

You can purchase “The Abundant Non Profit” directly through the Vantage Point website or member agencies can sign the book out of the Volunteer Victoria library.

Volunteer Victoria’s Youth Team Recognizes Nicole Liu

This post is written by Julena Breel , Youth Placement Support Worker at Volunteer Victoria

National Volunteer Week, this year spanning from April 21st – April 27th, is all about volunteer recognition. It’s a celebration of the commitment, dedication and passion volunteers give our country and communities daily.

In 1943 this week was created to celebrate Canadian women who gave tremendous and imperative war-related efforts from the home-front. 71 years later the reasons to say thanks are vaster than ever. From campaigners to graphic designers to board members, volunteer positions encompass them all. In 2010 Stats Canada estimated that over half of Canadians volunteer their time yearly. That’s over 17 million people generously giving back to charities and causes they believe in! Pat yourself on the back Canada, that’s phenomenal.

Here at Volunteer Victoria we are extremely lucky to be surrounded by a group of volunteers whose time is vital for our organization and whose positive demeanors uplift our office daily. National Volunteer Week is important,  so the Youth Volunteer Connections Program, on behalf of Volunteer Victoria, wishes to use this opportunity to express gratitude to one of their extraordinary volunteers: Nicole Liu.

Nicole is going on her third year volunteering at Volunteer Victoria and in doing so has become a critical team player in the office. Nicole  started volunteering with the Youth Volunteer Connections Program in 2010 doing data entry and short term project support. Throughout the years she has provided invaluable feedback to the program by participating in a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of YVCP, generating surveys, and interviewing new staff hires.

Nicole speaks with enthusiasm regarding her growth within the agency saying, “I have developed skills that include increased responsibility, multi-tasking, working independently and written and oral communication”. It speaks to Nicole’s organizational strength and time management skill set that she took on additional volunteer capacities during the transition of Volunteer Victoria’s Manager of Training and Outreach.

Nicole will be graduating this year from Mount Douglas Secondary and has decided to pursue her studies with the University of Victoria starting in September. Although the career field is ripe with opportunity Nicole wants to take this time to learn about as many routes as possible before declaring a major. Here at Volunteer Victoria we’re not only thrilled she’s doing what makes her happy but we’re ecstatic that this so happens to be in Victoria! She’s a one of a kind lady, filled with creative ideas, a supportive attitude and a desire to constantly learn and be challenged.

According to Victoria Foundation’s Youth 2012 Vital Signs, Nicole joins the 53% of youth aged 15-24 who volunteer in our community. Those youth, alongside the adult volunteers who also give their time tirelessly, are what make Victoria one of the greatest places to call home. It’s truly the people who give back as much as they get from the capital of BC that make our city shine.

On behalf of Volunteer Victoria, to all of those who give their time locally and globally, thank you. We appreciate and value you tremendously. An unknown author once said, “There is no “I” in team but we sure are glad there is “U” in our volunteers.” We couldn’t agree more.


It’s Just a Stage…

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum (not the 1966 movie or the stage show featuring Nathan Lane and the musical number “Something Familiar, Something Peculiar…A Comedy Tonight!”) but on the way to the non profit forum – the board table.

Every board tries to be nimble, accountable, and effective and we nearly all turn to some type of tool/process (e.g. the board skills grid) to help us figure out who our board members are, what constituent groups they represent, and what skills they bring to the board table. We also use the grid as a tool to help us with new board member recruitment.

Checking off the boxes on the skills grid is an annual tradition for many nomination committees – one outgoing lawyer replaced by one incoming lawyer, one youth leaves and one youth arrives, gender, age, ethnicity balance – box checked/ box unchecked. But when was the last time your organization revisited and expanded those boxes?

Organizations spend a great deal of time and effort recruiting volunteers. Many organizations spend considerably less time figuring out what a volunteer needs in order to work effectively on their board or to stay on the board past a first term, and what knowledge, behaviours, and competencies will be needed to work effectively with existing board members and help their organization reach their preferred future.

Boards can easily and inexpesively outsource certain tasks that require specific skills (i.e finding a new office or making recommendations for new accounting or information management systems) but can rarely afford the cost of not having effective decision making and good team work around the board table.

Healthy organizational cultures and practices lead to good decision making and confidence around the board table. So, even if your board meetings have never felt like a farce, comedy, or tragedy, please consider the following tips: 

  • Host new board member orientation each year.
  • Invest in on-going evaluation and board member training.
  • Continue to work on team-work.
  • Articulate your values and share the rationale for significant decisions that have an impact on future board members. 
  • Encourage curiosity and openness. 
  • Be prepared to change the box.
  • Ask for help when you need it. 

Stay tuned. Volunteer Victoria will be hosting a New Board Member workshop with Dr. Vic Murray this May.   

A New Year’s Resolution Anyone?

Sarah Norton is a Journalism and Media Communications graduate from the University of Wollongong, Australia. After studying for a semester at the University of Victoria, Sarah fell in love with the place and has recently moved back. She has a great passion for travelling and making a difference through writing, and is excited about being part of the Volunteer Victoria, volunteer team. 

A New Year means a new you, and what better way to begin 2013 than to get involved with volunteering?

With all of the amazing volunteer opportunities Victoria has, sometimes finding the right one can be overwhelming and daunting, which is where Volunteer Victoria can help.

VolWeb is Volunteer Victoria’s volunteer database with a lot of wonderful opportunities to choose from. Initially created to encourage volunteerism and increase access to volunteer opportunities across Canada leading up to and beyond the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, it’s now helping build a legacy that will benefit the community for years to come.

The website allows you to build a network with experienced and enthusiastic volunteers who contribute to the success of local events by connecting people with opportunities at special occasions, from major sporting events and conferences to local festivals, fundraisers and community celebrations. If you would like more information on posting your volunteer opportunities to VolWeb and the many other benefits of being a Volunteer Victoria Member Agency, please give us a call!

To help with your volunteer quest, the incredible Volunteer Victoria team has selected some standout positions and opportunities from the site that they see as valuable learning experiences, or as stepping-stones toward their goals.

Youth Volunteer Connections Program Coordinator, Julia-Anne says, “the staff walks the talk and truly believes in the volunteer experience.”

So here are some of the standout positions they chose:

Access Program Coordinator, Lornna Olson expresses her excitement about all of the great new opportunities coming up on the board! Her current recommendation is Seedy Saturday, which is happening in mid-February. It’s where people bring seeds to trade for other seeds. The event hosts people who are sorting, itemising, dividing and re-bagging seeds, which means they can always use volunteers.

“It’s a great day. I volunteer every year at the seed exchange,” she exclaims.

A great perk if you volunteer is free event entry.

“You can look at all the displays and watch the budding farm maidens flirt wildly with the strapping farm lads!” says Lornna. “For the last two years I’ve accompanied two different clients there for volunteer support. It’s just a safe, fun, and friendly place.”

Youth Support Worker, Julena Breel suggests three amazing volunteer opportunities if you a) love kids, b) love sports, or c) love to mix the two and throw in some camping as well. She highlights the ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor’ opportunity as a must, “because I love kids.” Adding the ‘Special Olympics Victoria BC’ to her list, “because I love sports.” Finally promoting the ‘Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay’, “because sending kids to camp is pretty much my dream job and this is the most fun you’ll have volunteering,” she says.

Finally Julia-Anne tells me that she loves the posting about volunteering as a Fitness Coach for the Victoria Youth Custody Service. “It seems totally fun and hands on!” she says.

It’s an opportunity to coach young offenders in a youth facility on proper use of Universal Fitness Equipment. It’s a long-term commitment, asking for 90-minute sessions once a week for at least 6 months. Training is provided and you gain invaluable experience working with at-risk youth in a custody setting, plus the greatest reward is having a positive impact on a young person’s life.  

Upon perusing the large and diverse database I also came across some gems to share. It was hard to decide which opportunities to pick out because there are so many amazing options.

If you love hockey, then the Macquarie Rink of Dreams is a perfect opportunity offered by the Help Fill a Dream Foundation. It’s a 24-hour hockey event held on March 23rd and 24th at the Bear Mountain Arena. Anyone’s welcome, regardless of their skill level and there’s a Tailgate Party for the whole family afterward. There are 14 different positions available from guest services and event operations to set-up/take-down volunteers.

If learning and social justice are more your thing, the Social Justice Youth Conference are looking for event promotion volunteers. You’ll be responsible for event operations, marketing and PR, event coordination, fundraising, and set-up/take-down. It’s hosted by the Didi Society, inviting youth from across Greater Victoria to participate in a morning of skill-based workshops, followed by networking and sharing in the afternoon. The position requires communications tasks such as contacting the media, inviting guests, presenting at schools, and more. You’re rewarded with full-day conference entry, a Didi Society t-shirt, and invaluable mentorship.

If your passion lies with healthy living and you’re looking for an ongoing project, then Child Health Clinic Volunteering with Prevention Services (VIHA) may be just what you’re looking for. You greet and check in children and their families, complete paperwork, assist with weighing and recording client information, and refer to concerns and questions about children and their parents to the nurses.

Another great ongoing opportunity that will get your creative juices flowing and planning skills into action is with the fun-filled event, Creatively United for the Planet. They’re looking for pre-festival planning committee volunteers, willing to give four hours of their time each week leading up to the event. The opportunity asks for administration, event operations, marketing and PR, fundraising, data entry, and word processing. This is an all-ages art, cultural, and healthy living event to celebrate Earth Week. It raises funds for environmental-based charities, and creates awareness about calling to action for a positive change.

There is literally a volunteer position for everyone and Volunteer Victoria can help you find it, or even create it! So visit the VolWeb site, contact Volunteer Victoria, and start getting excited about all of the amazing ways you can contribute to the community this year! I’m definitely excited to keep writing about them.

Youth Group Takes Warm Initiative

Sarah Norton is a Journalism and Media Communications graduate from the University of Wollongong, Australia. After studying for a semester at the University of Victoria, Sarah fell in love with the place and has recently moved back. She has a great passion for travelling and making a difference through writing, and is excited about being part of the Volunteer Victoria, volunteer team. 

It’s a typical winter afternoon in Victoria: cold, dark and wet. Walking to Shelbourne Street Church I think about having to stay out in this weather all night, every night, not being bundled up in my coat and scarf. The thought is frightening.

It’s an idea that one amazing group of youth have not only thought about, but are positively acting upon in Victoria’s community. The Shelbourne Street Church Youth Group meets weekly to become positively and actively involved in the needs of Victoria.

Matthew Hickman, one of the youth group leaders says, “If we can get youth involved early in their teen years we can show and teach them how to be an active, positive influence in our world.” Shelbourne Street Church Associate Minister, Daniel Patstone isn’t boastful, modestly explaining that in terms of your run-of-the-mill youth group, theirs is similar to any other you’ll find in Victoria. The difference he notices is the passion that these kids have “in terms of walking out a life that reflects what Jesus is teaching them about”.

Prior to Christmas the youth group held a babysitting night for families in the community, to fundraise for a clothing swap with Our Place in the city. It was free of charge save for a bag of clothes, socks, mittens, or underwear. “Desperate parents love to take advantage of free babysitting. A lot of people are in their late 20’s to early 30’s at our church so it becomes a great way to fundraise,” says Daniel.

Upon expressing a desire to provide outreach for the greater community, the Church got in touch with Volunteer Victoria’s Youth Program Coordinator, Julia-Anne, who became the driving force behind connecting the youth with Our Place.

From here the Church group was put in contact with Our Place Society and whilst touring the facility saw that donating clothing would be the best way to contribute to the society.

“These kids have a real desire to keep searching after what it means to live as Jesus lived, to love God and their neighbor in action and not just in words,” Daniel expresses passionately. “That’s what led them to start thinking outside the four walls of our church and contact Volunteer Victoria and ask: what and where are the needs in our city? How can we get involved?”

The Youth Volunteer Connections Program, run by Volunteer Victoria, liaised between the two parties, ensuring that the connection was benefitting everybody, especially the needs of the community. That’s when the youth came up with the idea for a babysitting night. The night began with the youth and their leaders trickling in, all holding a bright smile. Following closely were the parents and young children, full of excitement and boundless energy.

There was warmth exuding through the room, a tight knit community surrounding me and never did I feel like a complete stranger, but a warmly welcomed guest. As a mini soccer game kicks off between the walls of the downstairs youth area, a buzz fills the room and clothes pile in, a successful night already and it’s only just begun.

Mr. Hickman says, “It’s about giving the youth a chance to show the church that they are a contributing group within our church community… Our focus is on building a strong group who are actively involved in our city’s community through positive action, which makes them unique.” The dynamics are instantly apparent and the focus booms loudly that these youth want to make a difference by assisting their community, not tomorrow but right now.” What Mr Patstone highlights is the need to involve youth as early as possible, “The earlier you learn to live a certain way or do something a certain way, the easier it is to make that your every-day way of life,” he says.

Following up on the clothes swap, I’m told how much the youth really enjoyed it. They piled in to a van with tons of bags of clothing and took them down town. Daniel exclaims, “We had so many bags, the guy at Our Place receiving them, looked a little overwhelmed, which is a good thing!” He added that the youth got a lot out of the experience because they love being part of something bigger, beyond the church community. Assuring me that this year the youth will create a positive impact on the city’s community, Daniel says, “This isn’t just a one-time thing. We want to do more with Volunteer Victoria and the city this year.”

As the New Year rolls in we all begin our resolutions toward health, wealth, and happiness. Perhaps we could take something from this ambitious youth group and join their resolution to make a positive difference by walking the talk and taking action, because the Youth Volunteer Connections program is only one phone call away!

Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) Kicks Off Another Successful Year!

The following is a guest post written by our new ELN Social Mavens, Yasmin Rampuri and Liz Hallett. Thank you Liz and Yasmin for hosting this very successful Fall Mingle, and for stepping up and sharing your skills and enthusiasm. It was a great event!

Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) Fall Mingle

After enjoying the lovely summer weather when it finally happened, the ELN ushered in the new season with a bang at the Fall Mingle.

The event hovered at full from days after it was posted, until the day of the event on September 15th, and we had 29 enthusiastic networkers attend in the end.

Veneto Café provided a most excellent space, truly delicious finger foods and great service over the course of the event.  We are grateful to them for their part in what proved to be a very successful night.

As guests arrived they were welcomed, given a nametag, and steered towards the cash bar and plentiful appetizers.  We also pointed out a suggestion board, with a nearby pad of sticky notes, for attendees to indicate any ideas they might have for the Network (either for further professional development opportunities and/or future social events).  Many great suggestions were garnered this way.

When most of the expected folks had arrived, the hostesses for the evening got everyone’s attention, welcomed them to the event and gave a short overview of the purpose of the Emerging Leaders Network, along with what’s coming up on our calendar.

Discussion, new friendships, ideas and connections flowed freely all evening.  We expected the event to last just an hour or two, but when the last stragglers left the building it was after 8pm and we’d gone nearly 3 hours!  We loved watching the way everyone was included in circles of conversation and how friendly a group we are.  There is nothing threatening or scary about an ELN mingle!

We have lots of ideas for upcoming social events, and we hope to see you at the next one.  These opportunities to grow your network are not to be missed!

Your Event Organizers,

Yasmin and Liz

VV’s Emerging Leaders Network: Engagement in action

I’m pleased to introduce guest blogger Zuzanna Szkudlarek, a Volunteer Victoria board member and member of our Emerging Leaders Network. In this post, Zuzanna writes about her great experiences (so far) as a member of the ELN. We’ve been truly fortunate to have Zuzanna participate in this Network as she is a true leader in action in our community.

Recently I was at a retreat with like minded people interested in bettering the community in Victoria. At the retreat were individuals from all sectors (nonprofits, government, and industry) ages ranging from 25-50 whereby five of us all had the commonality of being part of the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN). What struck me as amazing is the unspoken connection that already existed between us.

Throughout carefully planned workshops, inspiring seminars and informal social events over the last year and a bit, we have connected to the point where we have become more than simply a network of emerging leaders; we have grown to rely on each other for the support it takes to make effective changes in our community. The ELN has become a venue for aspiring leaders to bounce ideas, share frustration, celebrate successes, exchange resources and envision together what our communities can really look like with these partnerships – and frankly for many of us – this looks entirely more positive than it did a year and a half ago.

For many of us, the ELN has become an invaluable tool in self promotion, personal effectiveness, and professional development. I have had the opportunity myself to engage with the network on many different levels. Over the last year I was able to practice networking skills, challenge myself in a public speaking course, become proficient in decision making, get inspired by Victoria greatest past and current leaders, and have learned countless new skills. For me the ELN has opened the door to many opportunities and gave me the confidence and tools to move to the perfect job, which a year ago what not so obvious.

Being a part of this group empowers each and every one of us in different ways. I have met many wonderful people, some of which have moved on to greater roles in our community. Our community is ever changing and at lightning speed. The issues facing the sustainability of our community require a strong and present core of individual who truly care about our future. The Emerging Leaders Network is in my humble opinion an effective venue in creating a strong community and civil society. I am so happy that Volunteer Victoria had the foresight in knowing that individual leadership development contributes to a strong society.

I am truly excited to be a part of this movement for community change and ever so please that the ELN is there to guide the process be the agent for change.


Embracing the Future – Leading for Change: Three perspectives.

Our sector, in fact all sectors are experiencing an era of profound change. In many ways, this is a period of great uncertainty. We are seeing new non-profit leaders emerging, and long-term leaders starting to transition out. Community leadership is also evolving and changing. While there are many challenges within this shifting environment, there are also opportunities. History has shown us that times of great change frequently spark new ideas, creative leadership and inspired vision.

Within this context, this year’s theme for our 35th anniversary Annual General Meeting emerged. Our three panellists (Beth Cougler Blom, Mitchell Temkin and Sandra Richardson) gave a brief glimpse toward the future as they each explored leadership and change from different perspectives.

If you were not able to attend our AGM this year, or even if you did, I think you will enjoy reading our presenters’ three perspectives. Links to each speech have been provided below.

Our first panellist, and our Manager of Training and Outreach Beth Cougler Blom, spoke on the recent creation of our Emerging Leaders Network. She shed some light on what local emerging leaders think about sector leadership and the path to get there. You can view her speech and bio here.

Mitchell Temkin, Vice-President of Leadership Victoria’s board, was our second panellist. He addressed the topic of community leadership and highlighted five related aspects of community leadership that he feels will be important in the years to come. You can view his speech and bio here.

Our final panellist, Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation, provided her insights on sector leadership. She shared her thoughts on the new reality the sector is facing (not just economically, but demographically, technologically and socially) and the impact of emerging trends. You can view her speech and bio here.

We would like to sincerely thank all of our panellists for sharing their time and insights with us. You have given us much ‘food for thought’.

I will close with this one (of many) insightful comments shared by our panel:

In order for non-profits to survive and thrive “we must become futurists – not predicting the future, but being attuned to rapid and continued shifts in the environment, continually evaluating and interpreting how organizations can best adapt. It means experimenting…and a willingness to take risks. We can not afford to rest on our laurels, assuming that the old ways of doing business will continue to serve us in this dramatically new and ever-changing environment… It is our responsibility to envision and shape the future for ourselves, our organizations and thus, our community.”


Tell us what you think!  Share your thoughts on sector, community and emerging leadership with us.

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