The Volunteer Manager’s Network Changed My Career

Volunteerism in our neighbourhoods and communities is a common thread in the fabric of our country. According to Statistics Canada, 12.7 million Canadians or 44% of people volunteer on average 154 hours per year (2013); astounding contributions that has visible impact in our communities.

Think about your community. Volunteer impact is everywhere. Coaching, recreation programs, special events, food collections, reception, daily phone calls and weekly visits to seniors, tutoring to people of all ages, board of directors, theatre, the arts, music. Support to infants, children, youth, newcomers and more.

The 2018 Conference Board of Canada report ‘The Value of Volunteering’ estimates that ‘volunteers added over two billion hours to Canada’s work effort in 2017. This volunteer contribution is valued at $55.9 billion in 2017—equivalent to 2.6 per cent of GDP and if volunteering were an industry, it would employ nearly as many people as those currently working in education.’

Who supports the infrastructure of volunteer resources in organizations? Leaders of Volunteer Engagement across the country, and, here at home. These leaders translate the needs for volunteers in organizations, develop volunteer roles, recruit, screen, orientate and train, support and evaluate. Leaders of volunteers interact and connect with people of all ages, cultures, identities and faith; they are catalysts of spirit, organizers of information, best practices and believe in the power of volunteering.

Since 2011, leaders of volunteers in Guelph Wellington have met monthly to learn, network and collaborate in a volunteer engagement community of practice.

“The Volunteer Manager’s Network has changed my career. Through our monthly meetings, we network, recreate and discuss how our program, our field and our outreach can be more effective and creative. I often sit in those meetings, pencil in hand, scribbling new ideas, some of which have been incorporated into the River Run Volunteer Program, making it the most successful and extensive theatre volunteer program in Southwestern Ontario.” – Bonnie McDougall, Volunteer Program Coordinator, RiverRun

Leaders of volunteers, like Bonnie, connect with fellow peers, have the opportunity to grow in their field, and build capacity in their organizations through the support of volunteers.

For more than 5 years, Bonnie’s high level of engagement in the Volunteer Manager’s Network has brought ideas, perspectives and inspired action through the lively discussions and learning topics. Bonnie knows the importance of continuous learning, networking with peers and ongoing active development of volunteer best practices.

Ongoing peer learning and networking is vital to elevate and propel the field of volunteer engagement now and for the future. Leaders of Volunteers in the Volunteer Managers Network participate in 10 monthly networking sessions on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9 am to 12 noon.

We thank Leaders of Volunteers in Guelph Wellington including Bonnie, who has long been a supporter of volunteers locally and of the Volunteer Managers Network. This passion and spirit for the community benefit sector is a life force of community.

Learn more about how you can become involved in the Volunteer Managers Network through this link.

Volunteer Managers Network

Vision: Communities thrive when excellence in administration of volunteer resources is achieved.

Mission: Volunteer Managers work together to create strong and valuable volunteer programs.

Posted on September 3, 2019

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