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KCR: A workshop for volunteer managers

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources
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Volunteerism is on the rebound after a couple of tough years during the pandemic and like everything else in life, there are going to be both challenges and opportunities for the sector as we navigate our newest ‘normal’. KCR Community Resources is offering a workshop to share trends in volunteering to help non-profit organizations and volunteer managers prepare for these changes. On March 14, 2023, from 10:00 -12:00 noon, we are hosting the free “Let’s Talk Volunteering” workshop that will cover new trends like micro-volunteering and virtual volunteerism as well as recruitment and engagement strategies that help volunteers feel safe, connected and valued.

The workshop is open to everyone who has volunteers as part of their organization and will help participants to reconsider how they find, train and keep volunteers. Co-facilitating the workshop will be Myrna Kalmakoff and Ezra Grande. Myrna has worked as the coordinator for the Volunteer 55 program for the past three years, helping to connect senior volunteers with opportunities and possibilities in the community to combat isolation and loneliness. She has been working with organizations since 2019 to engage seniors in a meaningful way that both empowers the seniors and builds capacity for the organization.

“Volunteers and volunteer organizations demonstrated resilience and innovation through the pandemic,” explains Myrna. “Continuing this by exploring the emerging trends and finding ways to incorporate them into volunteer programs will be the key to successful recruitment and re-engagement of volunteers.”

Myrna recognizes that informal volunteering has increased and currently many organizations are experiencing a shortage or reduction in volunteers, adding “Remote work, virtual volunteering and micro-volunteering are here to stay, and there are benefits and challenges alike.

Ezra Grande has been working as part of the Volunteer Centre team at KCR since 2021 and she coordinates the new Volunteers4 All program that seeks to match volunteers with perfect opportunities in the community. Ezra recognizes the importance of ensuring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices in both recruiting and engaging volunteers.

“DEI are vital elements in creating and sustaining thriving communities,” says Ezra. “Social impact sectors with more diverse and inclusive volunteer programs tend to encourage a bigger demographic of people to give their time. This bring new perspectives and ideas and strengthens relationships, essentially generating higher impact in the community.”

“Volunteerism, by its very nature, is an effective tool in building bridges between people,” adds Ezra. “Volunteers not only represent the diversity in our community, but also the power they have in paving ways to equity and justice.”

“Volunteers are often the glue that holds the community together,” agrees Myrna. “Volunteering allows individuals to build resilience within themselves and their community. Their connection with their community makes it a better place. In addition, the act of volunteering can help inspire others to donate their time, talent and resources.”

Join Ezra and Myrna to “Talk Volunteering”, on March 14. For more information and to register contact Ezra at ezra@kcr.ca or 250-763-8008 x213.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

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