Happy National Volunteer Week!
We are excited to bring you some news as we celebrate the incredible efforts that volunteers contribute to BC’s communities. But first – a bit of backstory:
If you are familiar with our history or celebrated with us for our 75th anniversary – you may know Vantage Point began in 1943 as a volunteer centre. We have changed a great deal over the years but always maintain a connection to our roots in volunteerism. One way we have done this is through our work in Knowledge Philanthropy – we bring in skilled volunteers who contribute their expertise to our services and spread awareness of this philosophy with our clients, partners, and broader community. We even wrote a book! The Abundant Not-for-profit highlighted the value that skilled volunteers bring to the not-for-profit sector. We have also run our platform Govolunteer.ca that connects skilled volunteers and not-for-profits for almost 20 years.
Govolunteer.ca was launched in 2003 as a volunteer opportunities database. And it’s been a powerful tool: each year we receive over one million page views from interested volunteers. The site was designed for individuals to match their specific skills and interests to the many volunteer opportunities available. We know the value of the site firsthand as we have recruited many of our Knowledge Philanthropists through the platform from HR Facilitators, to Policy Analysts, to Communications Experts, and more!
Despite regular maintenance, at some point after over 10 years of use by the community, the site became “old” by technology’s standards and we had to consider our next steps.
That’s why we decided to do what not-for-profits do best: collaborate. Vantage Point and our partners Volunteer Burnaby, and the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre have teamed up with Propellus who runs Volunteer Connector – a fantastic platform for volunteers and not-for-profit organizations to connect. Propellus is a not-for-profit and volunteer centre that deeply understands the Canadian not-for-profit landscape. Their platform is already used to connect hundreds of not-for-profits and thousands of volunteers across Canada.
Especially in the context of COVID-19, we were mindful that an overall average of 59% of organizations reported a drop in volunteers (according to the UNRAVELING report published in February, 2021). It was important to us to not only maintain a connection to our original purpose but to support and uplift this integral function within the sector.
Our solution was to maintain a simplified version of Govolunteer.ca that provides a portal to Volunteer Connector. Govolunteer.ca will also remain a resource hub: we have highlighted a number of impactful organizations on the Govolunteer.ca page that provide leadership to volunteerism in BC including Volunteer BC, Volunteer Canada, and more.
After a virtual tour of Volunteer Connector this April, we were pleased to hear all the positive feedback from Vantage Point members who currently use on Govolunteer.ca. Volunteer Connector has some amazing features for not-for-profit organizations including analytics, multiple user logins, an easy-to-use interface, volunteer management tools, and more. Additionally, Vantage Point members can have their Volunteer Connector postings featured on Govolunteer.ca for an extra boost!
We also saw the immense value that Volunteer Connector brings to volunteers. The interface is user friendly with a “cause” tag to navigate local and virtual opportunities including causes such as anti-racism, poverty and homelessness, LGBTQ+, food security, arts & culture, and much more. Volunteers can create an account to apply for opportunities and track their volunteer experience over time.
We’re thrilled about this next chapter and grateful for the enthusiasm our members have shared about this transition. You can visit Govolunteer.ca to see our new look and explore the opportunities available at Volunteerconnector.ca.
Miranda leads Vantage Point’s membership program and coordinates our government relations work. She has always had a passion for environmental issues and completed a Double Major in Environmental Studies and Sociology, with a Minor in Business at the University of Victoria.
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