History & Mission
A challenge and an opportunity faced Guelph and Wellington County in the 1990s. As the population grew, the needs and services required to support our thriving urban and rural communities also grew. Minor sports teams were multiplying, arts and culture organizations were establishing or expanding, social services and health needs were increasing; it was clear that the nonprofit and charitable sector had a critical role to play and needed more people power – more volunteers!
What could we do to support nonprofits and charities in Guelph and Wellington County? How could we inspire our residents to contribute to creating awesome communities?
Inspired by the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer in 2001, nonprofits, charities, the local government and funders expressed the need to develop a Volunteer Centre in Guelph and Wellington. From there a small group of dedicated and innovative leaders set out to establish the new organization that would engage volunteers and support nonprofits and charities to better utilize and manage them.
It has been 20 years since we formed, and we have grown to incorporate new services to respond to the needs of residents in Guelph and Wellington. In 2004, we took over management of our local community information centre and launched Community Information Guelph. This program helps people find information about essential human services. In 2009, we launched the Snow Angels program to help Guelph citizens who were in need of volunteer snow shovelling.
In 2017, we rebranded from the Volunteer Centre Guelph Wellington to PIN – The People and Information Network to better reflect our pillars of work.
Regarding Community Information
We received questions on everything from, “Where is my nearest walk in-clinic?” to “Where can I access food, shelter and more?”. Our Community Information pillar and service provided a depth of resources and skilled support for inquiries.
From its early days in the 1970s, when it was offered through the United Way, community information has changed over the years. What was once a matter of producing an annual paper book of information, became a matter of the intricate weaving of data through the Internet and intellectual property.
One thing has remained clear for PIN. Community Information team members, volunteers, and students, who have supported this program for 18 years, remain dedicated to the curation, updates, and integrity of information. Internationally certified staff provided exceptional information and referral services and, on behalf of PIN, we express deep appreciation to all who have supported this program.
PIN migrated to a new platform in 2021 to better align with the platform used for Ontario 211, and we transferred information and referral responsibilities to 211 who offer a wide breadth of service availability and service in 150 languages. After deep consideration of all aspects, and through our recent strategic planning, PIN made the decision to no longer focus efforts on this work but we are confident in our data peer and regional lead, InCommunities, who will continue to ensure Guelph-Wellington has accurate, vetted information records on essential services.
Partnership and Collaboration
As forward thinkers, we strive to work with organizations that are
community-minded, progressive and people-focused.
Growth and Development
We will provide growth and leadership opportunities for individuals and
nonprofit organizations in our community. We will continue to build our
financial sustainability and seek ways to enhance operations through
continuous improvement. Each day we will grow and adapt our programs,
so we can meet the changing and growing needs of our community
Accessibility and Innovation
Information can inspire change but only when it is easily accessible. We
will explore new and creative ways to share information and connect
people with support they need. Learning from PIN members and our
community how to best engage, we will strive to expand the reach of our
resources and deepen the impact of our programs
Offering A Living Wage
We recognize that paying a living wage constitutes a critical investment in the long-term prosperity of the economy by fostering a dedicated, skilled and healthy workforce.