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Apr 19, 2023 | Blog

Expanding the Scope of Volunteerism

By Alina Emery, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at Vantage Point

At Vantage Point, Knowledge Philanthropist (KP) is how we refer to our skilled volunteers. It is a term that spotlights the experience and value our KPs have to offer Vantage Point and its networking community. Our Knowledge Philanthropists share their lived experiences, expertise, and passions through a multitude of opportunities including facilitation, content creation and program enhancement, blog writing and sharing their knowledge as guests on our podcast, “From our Vantage Point”.  

Being the new Volunteer Engagement Coordinator for Vantage Point, I knew that the role would come with the great responsibility of not only getting to know our existing KPs and onboarding new ones, but really taking the time to get to know who they are as individuals: people with talent, passion, and the drive to give back. As a founder of a volunteer recruitment non-profit When I Becomes We, I understand the significance and value that volunteers bring to an organization. I hope to create deeper connections with Vantage Point KPs through our Knowledge Philanthropy model and really bring the focus back to them through collaboration, personalization and, at the forefront of it all, educating each other for the benefit of strengthening our non-profit sector.  

Our Knowledge Philanthropist model offers our experienced volunteers a unique opportunity to share their skills through facilitating trainings for non-profit leaders seeking to strengthen their organizations. These opportunities allow our KP Facilitators to dive deep with individuals and organizations teams to see where they are at now, and discover how they might improve or expand. The learning is not only a gratifying experience for our participants but our KPs too.  

The Knowledge Philanthropist model extends even further and offers our valued Digital Hosts the opportunity to support our facilitators by providing technical support and coordination for sessions. At the same time, these KPs are learning, networking, and supporting the session participants. They have an opportunity to learn from others, meet leaders in the sector, and put their tech skills to use. In a post-pandemic world, it is of incredible value to have our KP Digital Hosts fully support the tech portion of sessions so our KP Facilitators can deliver comfortably and confidently. 

As we have looked at the ways KPs can engage and participate with Vantage Point, a part of our mission is to collaborate with our Knowledge Philanthropists to find new and exciting opportunities for them to expand their involvement, and also brainstorm “out-of-the-box” ideas as to how volunteerism at Vantage Point can evolve. Our staff is committed to asking themselves when starting new projects, “how might a KP help support the success of this project?” to ensure that we prioritize a range of opportunities and offer our KPs, one of our most valuable stakeholders, the chance to get involved in internal projects. 

In addition to expanding the ways we engage our Knowledge Philanthropists, we hope that through the results of our BC Non-Profit Network Feasibility Study, we will be able to further extend our geographical reach and connect with more Knowledge Philanthropists outside of the lower mainland. This would include opportunities for session facilitation, digital hosting, speaking engagements and more. Follow our socials and newsletters to keep up to date with our progress and next steps from the study! 

This volunteer week, we hold gratitude for all our Knowledge Philanthropists that have contributed to Vantage Point’s 80 years in the sector. Should this be your first time encountering Vantage Point’s Knowledge Philanthropy model (or a nice reminder if you’re already involved), I’m always happy to set up a meeting to check in, brainstorm or talk through ideas our KPs have and to expand our thinking about volunteerism in non-profits. I’m just an email away!  

Happy Volunteer Week!  

Alina Emery
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

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