BC Non-Profit Day: Non-Profits Supporting Non-Profits
Over the last week, a small collective of non-profit organizations shared their stories of impact in celebration of British Columbia’s first ever BC Non-Profit Recognition Day. We heard how remarkable individuals are channeling knowledge, skill, and passionate energy directly into meeting a wide variety of social needs in our province.
These stories included Alžběta Sabová, whose passion for holistic nutrition led to her coordinating food security programs addressing a problem affecting almost 17% of British Columbians. We read how the YMCA’s facilities, programs, and mentoring relationships changed the course of Tyler’s life and provided a much-needed community for a youth with a challenging childhood. Now, Tyler provides that mentoring for other youth in need of leadership and community.
The stories of impact we shared are of dedicated people helping people.
Without a doubt, non-profits, fueled by passionate and skilled people committed to creating positive change, are integral to the social and economic fabric of our province.
But who helps them? Who provides support and resources to the non-profit organizations providing direct services to those most in need in our communities?
Many times, it is other non-profits. Another layer of the non-profit workforce.
Non-Profits Helping Non-Profits
A different type of non-profit organizations and teams of individuals directly help other non-profits through knowledge-sharing, education, providing resources, and supporting capacity-building. They support the people and teams that support others. The impact that non-profits provide in our society, even amongst each other, is deep and multi-layered.
Take for example, your local library. Libraries have always been a place to gain and share vast knowledge from a worldwide selection of books. Whether topics of food insecurity or youth leadership, these pages inspire the Alžbětas and Tylers of the world with ways to grow their service programs and mentoring skills. Many libraries also provide access to technology and spaces for focus groups, board meetings, and community programs for organizations, like the YMCA where Tyler provides mentoring. In the case of the Bowen Island Public Library, their free resources include a Library of Things that includes bird-watching kits for the nature specialist groups, memory care kits for caregivers for people experiencing cognitive decline, and a seed library for the horticulture enthusiasts operating community gardens.
Libraries, and community resource organizations like them, provide learning resources, practical tools, physical spaces, and other vital supports that help the people driving non-profits achieve greater growth and deeper impact for the communities they serve.
The story doesn’t end there. Some organizations exist exclusively to provide supports to other non-profit organizations. To continue the library story, the BC Libraries Co-operative articulates its mission as simply, “we help libraries help people.”
At Vantage Point we convene, connect, and equip leaders to lift organizational capacity and elevate the non-profit sector, including organizations like the library co-operatives. As we start building a collaborative network in British Columbia, supportive of all non-profits, we continue to provide capacity building, education, knowledge sharing, engagement, and advocacy support to the people helping people and the non-profits helping non-profits.
Our Collective Strength
We know that working together and providing support for each other is crucial to the impact non-profits create in our world. Our 2023 State of BC’s Non-Profit Sector report: Safety Net shared the voices of individuals speaking to the importance of capacity strengthening, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative efforts, as a key element of what helps make their organization thrive and allows them to create meaningful impact:
“Collaborations help us survive and make us stronger. Being an alliance, we are not a typical organization, and we rely on other organizations to exist.”
“Continued support and connections from current and new networks and valued professional development.”
“I am excited by the new partnerships that we have built and the awakening of the public consciousness to the systemic inequities in our society. I’m not sure that genie can be put back in the box. I look forward to collaborations and opportunities to work collectively.”
It is clear that non-profits provide significant support to others and yet need more support. Non-profits also need the support of people and groups outside of the sector to see the impact non-profits make and provide core resourcing to help us create deeper change. We are excited to explore the future of more collaborative work with a variety of partnerships to create a stronger non-profit sector together!
Celebrating our teams, volunteers, and partners
At Vantage Point, we also rely on our own team of non-profit champions. This BC Non-Profit Day week we wanted to especially acknowledge a small group of the hard-working individuals that help us achieve our mission each day. Through the welcoming invitations and empathic understanding that Alina provides, we work with a particularly skilled and unique faculty of Knowledge Philanthropists who give deep added value to our work in so many ways. We call on Jenessa’s active listening skills to gather important resources and relevant news to inform our work; which includes sector reports that are often thanks to the care and analytical skills that Joyce brings. We depend on Olivia‘s keen eye for detail and clarity to ensure the client service is executed to meet the unique need of the organization and the people in it. The customer care that Leyla and Bethany offer in coordinating our education programs, carefully developed by Tamana’s deep knowledge and thoughtful planning, ensures that participants achieve the growth they seek when they attend a workshop or lab. Then we look to Dillon’s marketing skill and tech savviness to ensure that the people our programs benefit know how to access them and that we understand our audiences to offer more meaningful messages and services.
With the skill and passion of these and the rest of our team members, alongside the incredible community of individuals and organizations supporting our work, we are better able to help non-profit organizations and leaders help their communities.
We are grateful for and celebrate all of them this BC Non-Profit Day!
To close this celebration week, we want to say that we are most proud to work alongside all of you – the many organizations doing the challenging work in our province. We are inspired and driven by the possibilities of a provincial non-profit network and the opportunities for stronger support for all organizations – the ones who help other organizations and the ones who help the people with the greatest need.
We can’t wait to see what we can do together!
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