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2016–2017 Annual Report Our Meaningful Role

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A message from

David and Mack As the non-profit landscape in Toronto continues to change, we’ve identified a growing critical need—and an even more meaningful role—for thought leadership in developing and promoting best practices in volunteer engagement. We see that many non-profit funders are now focusing on impact and innovation, moving to shorter-term program grants over ongoing grants that support general administration. We’re also seeing more and more executives realize they must build capacity to manage volunteers with the same focus and sophistication as managing paid staff. This is especially important as dependence on volunteers for service delivery grows and the expectations of volunteers shift. As Toronto’s population continues to diversify, so do the needs of its citizens wishing to volunteer, such as newcomers, unemployed persons, people with disabilities, court-ordered volunteers and those without access to the internet. There are challenges to overcome, and we have a part to play in helping those who want to give back reach their goals.

This year has marked the first full year of implementing Volunteer Toronto’s new strategic plan. We’ve responded to new challenges by refining our methods for evaluating the impact of our programs—in both the Engaging Organizations and Community Engagement departments—in order to communicate better with stakeholders. We’re starting to develop a new Placement Support Program for volunteers who face barriers. And in supporting our own organization, we’ve bolstered our team, hiring our first ever Manager of Development & Special Events to diversify our revenue streams alongside a new Manager of Marketing & Communications to raise our public profile even further. Throughout this report, we’ve aimed to showcase innovative programs and ideas as examples of our expanding and meaningful role as thought leaders in the volunteer sector. Beyond this, our brand, digital reach, recent research, new training tools and a revised governance structure are all foundational pillars of our long-term success. Interested in furthering our impact? We invite you to access and promote our services!

David Allen, Executive Director

Mack Rogers, Board Chair

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VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017


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Mission Volunteer Toronto increases the positive impact that volunteering has on the City of Toronto through innovative initiatives that inspire, inform and connect volunteers and the organizations that need them.

Vision We envision a Toronto that is caring, inclusive and engaged where volunteering is an important avenue through which everyone has the opportunity to participate and contribute meaningfully.

Our Role We support organizations in adopting best practices in volunteer engagement through specialized training, resources and advice. We inspire volunteers and help them to find suitable positions and organizations through accessible systems, counselling services and public awareness initiatives. We work collaboratively with stakeholders to identify knowledge gaps in the voluntary sector, conduct research, test new strategies and publish results.

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

CATHARINE PHAM “As a Youth Auditor at Volunteer Toronto, I met a lot of people my age or just older and I got really attached. It broke my heart that I was graduating and I wouldn’t be able to come in to see the same faces every month. But then I found out I could be a Team Lead. I felt like the role was perfect for me, like someone heard me. I could continue my role and continue to see my volunteer family. I’m drawn to it because of the environment and the people. Volunteering doesn’t have to be an obligation, it can be something fun—you could love it.” VOLUNTEERTORONTO.CA

Catharine began volunteering to meet her high school requirement, challenging herself to 100 hours and finding her first roles on our website. Often volunteering at events and runs, she enjoys talking to people and quickly developed a love for giving her time. In 2015, Catharine became a Youth Auditor, providing advice to non-profits on their youth engagement. After graduating from high school, she began mentoring other youth auditors and spearheaded a new North York team. Beyond this, Catharine also volunteers with her church and has empowered others as the founder of a social activism club at her school. 5


Building The Capacity Of Non-Profits Toronto’s incredible non-profit organizations are doing life-changing work every single day. Whether they’re providing food and shelter for the city’s most vulnerable residents, increasing well-being through health services or promoting a more environmentally sustainable way of living—Volunteer Toronto is here to help them build even more capacity. The passion and hard work of volunteers is what powers the non-profit sector, from the smallest grassroots groups to the largest multi-million dollar charities. Our role is in helping the people behind the scenes, the volunteer managers, as they recruit, inspire and motivate those looking to give back, allowing non-profits to make the most of one of their greatest resources—volunteers. Over the past year, we’ve done just that. We’ve helped nonprofits find the volunteers they need by posting positions on our website for thousands to see, boosting their reach through our promotional opportunities and in person at our recruitment fairs and events. But finding volunteers is just the beginning, and our work didn’t stop there. We provided information and support in many forms allowing volunteer programs to thrive—from peer-led panels to intensive boot camp training sessions, downloadable workbooks and in-person audits. Through these and other initiatives, we connected volunteer managers with their peers to solve common problems and spark new ideas. The field of volunteer management is changing, and we’re committed to being at the forefront of its evolution. Over the next year, we’ll seek out new research projects to help develop innovative strategies that move the sector forward, while also continuing to provide the opportunities for growth, education and inspiration that we’re known for. Melina Condren Director of Engaging Organizations

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All across Toronto, grassroots groups are forming and leading change, often as the driving force behind the initiatives that build and strengthen our city. They advocate for and support marginalized groups, address the most pressing social issues and cultivate inclusive, empowered communities through a passionate, volunteerled commitment. Throughout the last 25 months, Volunteer Toronto has sought to discover, understand and support grassroots groups through a grant provided by Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. In doing so, we’ve empowered leaders by providing training, resources and an online community of practice—giving them the tools they need to build legitimacy, prevent burnout, manage their volunteers effectively and increase their grassroots groups’ reach and impact.

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361

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52

1,320

workshops run

workshop attendees

training manuals created

templates developed

digital followers

An intensive 67-page research report was compiled to communicate our findings, which is referenced by others in the sector for best practices in engaging the grassroots community. Now that the project has come to a close, we’d like to thank all who contributed to the research, outreach and training of the grassroots groups and leaders. Volunteer Toronto will continue to deliver workshops, host leadership panels and share resources available through ongoing Grassroots Growth social media and website communications.

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ECTor Annual Conference Features Cutting Edge Volunteer Management Our third annual VECTor (Volunteering, Engaging, Connecting Toronto) Conference fostered discussion, learning and relationship building among volunteer management professionals. The shared insights from VECTor inspire those charged with building efficient and effective volunteer programs at non-profits in Toronto. A one-day event, VECTor takes place annually in November and is divided into two sessions. The day begins with innovation, where three non-profits from Toronto present cutting edge volunteer management programs. The second session focuses on new and original research in the sector. Both conclude with group discussions where attendees talk about practical applications in their everyday programs. VECTor 3 covered the following topics:

Innovation

Research

»» Amnesty International’s new networked leadership model for volunteers

»» Study findings on youth’s motivation to volunteer beyond the 40hour requirement

»» YMCA of Greater Toronto’s latest approach to increase youth participation at the board level

»» Best practices in overcoming barriers to volunteering under Community Service Orders as alternative sentencing

»» Adding life and career skills training through the Volunteer & Leadership Program at The Neighbourhood Centre 8

16 Youth Auditors Give Feedback To 11 Non-Profits Non-profits looking to build capacity in youth engagement now have a place to go for structured feedback. For four years, Volunteer Toronto has empowered high school students to voice their opinions to non-profits, through facilitated Youth Audits. We recruit and train the students, but they lead the audit, providing advice on how to improve recruitment, roles, communication, training and the recognition of youth volunteers. A final report with tailored recommendations is provided to each audited organization. Among those audited in 2016–2017 were Providence Healthcare, St. John’s Ambulance and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

86% of non-profits made changes based on the feedback they received

“I was very impressed with the level of feedback and the professionalism of the process. We used the feedback of the Youth Auditors to create a whole new program at our club, directly targeted at youth!” — Laurie Taniguchi, St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017


How We Help Non-Profits Achieve Their Missions Full And Community Subscribers Our subscription model supports non-profits of all sizes. The purchase of a full subscription to Volunteer Toronto—for non-profits with a budget of more than $75,000—provides special access to exclusive networking opportunities, discounts on training and unlimited volunteer postings on our website. Community subscriptions—free, for smaller groups across the city— offer access to our resource library, and six postings on our website. All subscribers find enhanced promotional opportunities through our social media channels, newsletter and website.

On-Demand Training Some non-profits find they need a more customized approach to volunteer management training. In response, we’ve established a consulting service, delivering inperson, on-site sessions where non-profits pick topics for our specialized trainers to deliver to their volunteer management professionals. Topics can be combined and catered to specific organizational needs, all at cost effective rates. We’re here to help. Just ask!

597

426

subscribers to Volunteer Toronto

people trained through on-demand sessions

Full-Day Boot Camps

Resource Library

We’ve often heard that volunteer managers value what they learn at Volunteer Toronto workshops, but simply don’t have the time to execute. So we tried something different in 2016–2017—a new format of workshop where attendees get the same training content, but extra time to work through the tools and templates that relate to their specific needs. We’re proud to say that boot camp attendees from four piloted hands-on sessions have implemented significant improvements in their respective volunteer programs.

Volunteer managers are busy. Very busy. And often a oneperson team. Because of this, professional development and access to information is essential. Our online resource library is designed to make the volunteer manager’s life easier. We offer tools such as digestible how-to’s and templates that address important volunteer challenges. The resource library is a one-stop shop for learning best practices in the sector.

“I can’t say enough how valuable [this] training was for me. Best session in volunteer management that I’ve been to in many years. Thank you for your tremendous knowledge and engaging approach. I actually can’t wait to tackle policy work next week!”

9,174 clicks on resource library workbooks

– Sara Orrell, March of Dimes Canada

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

ANTONIUS CLARKE “I started Friends in Toronto Community Services after seeing youth and adults live in a state of hopelessness due to the lack of services that addressed their real needs. I saw unemployment, crime, poverty, mental health issues, substance misuse and the oppression created when these issues intersect. Friends in Toronto Community Services removes barriers to gain a better understanding of the challenges that are faced in marginalized communities and how these communities want to be supported. It’s a demonstration to residents that you can change your community—I keep going because of my faith in a better future.” 10

Antonius founded a grassroots group in 2002 after seeing ongoing violence in his Jane and Finch community. Through the initiative, community members deliver programming that empowers and educates, focusing on the arts, youth justice and young women, also providing after school care and summer camps. The group has grown from a loose association of a few friends to an organization that received funding from all three levels of government. And because of these efforts, there’s been an increase in resident championed initiatives, more community involvement and a greater interest from organizations to hire residents. In 2017, Volunteer Toronto recognized Antonius with a Legacy Award for his leadership. VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017


Breaking Down Barriers For Those Looking To Give Back Do you know the most common question we’re asked at Volunteer Toronto? It’s not “Why should I volunteer?” it’s “How do I get started?” Torontonians know that by volunteering they can impact someone’s life, can improve their neighbourhoods, gain new skills in the process, increase their self-confidence and become a valued part of their community. But it’s the how to start that often stumps people. And that’s where Volunteer Toronto comes in. We turn a volunteer’s passion into action. We demystify volunteering. We help individuals focus their interests and find meaningful volunteer roles. We make it easy for people to volunteer. In 2016–2017, we took our work in the community one step further. We went to community events across the city and spoke to over 11,000 people about volunteering. We fostered leadership locally by training 400 professionals to join non-profit boards. And we inspired youth to give back by engaging 3,500 youth in our annual youth campaign. We’ve done a lot, but there’s still more to do. People still struggle to volunteer despite being so willing to help out. Whether it’s the 40-year old mother from Korea who is learning English, the high school student from Agincourt who can’t travel too far from home or the senior suffering from anxiety who is ready to face the world again, some people face multiple barriers when it comes to finding and applying to volunteer roles, and need an extra hand. Next year, we will expand our work with individuals in challenging circumstances to ensure that every Torontonian is able to volunteer regardless of what barriers they may face. Camara Chambers Director of Community Engagement

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The Missing Link For 439,000+ Torontonians VolunteerToronto.ca

Information Sessions

If you search any variation of “volunteer” and “Toronto” in Google, we guarantee Volunteer Toronto will be the first result. Our website is our hub, it links volunteers to the non-profits that need them, and with more than 700 opportunities posted at any time, it really is a one-stopshop for diverse volunteer experiences.

Several times each month, Volunteer Toronto hosts short presentations, open to anyone, on how to get started volunteering—from acing your application to seniors involvement to furthering your career through giving back. For some attendees, these free sessions are their first opportunity to understand Canadian culture. For others, they are the spark that reintroduces them to the value of volunteering.

433,000+

878

users searched for information on our website

people attended information sessions

Outreach Presentations, Fairs And Events

Referral Counsellors

Every week, our outreach volunteers and staff attend fairs and events to give presentations in the community— they do a lot! Of the individuals we met and informed about volunteering at these events in 2016–2017, more than half were newcomers, over one third were job seekers, roughly one tenth were seniors and overall 77% were at risk of poverty. Our goal is to encourage volunteering as a step forward on their life journey.

Every day we hear about people who want to give back but aren’t sure where to start. Whether they face barriers using technology, have a disability or are learning English, our volunteer Referral Counsellors provide one-on-one over the phone and in-person support by answering questions about volunteering, explaining how to use the Volunteer Toronto website and suggesting roles to apply for.

3,398

1,816

people engaged through outreach initiatives

people were supported by seven Referral Counsellors

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25 Exceptional Volunteers Recognized At Annual Gala Our Legacy Awards celebrate exceptional volunteers from across Toronto during National Volunteer Week in Canada. In 2016, we received more than 100 individual nominations from 82 non-profits and saw the reception—hosted by Ingrid Schumacher of CHUM FM—welcome 138 attendees. The impact of the 25 recipients’ volunteerism ranges from fundraising thousands of dollars to challenging stigmas and filling gaps in our community services. Some have volunteered for more than a quarter of a century, while others are just starting to forge their legacy in Toronto. For many of the recipients, the recognition was unheard of—they are some of the most humble people you may ever meet, their stories often untold—yet they give back in so many diverse and meaningful ways.

poverty reduction

LGBTQ rights

supporting women and children

youth engagement

seniors involvement

refugee and newcomer aid

overcoming disabilities

personal fulfillment

Engaging The Skilled Volunteer Event-goers enjoy the luxury of sipping craft beer at our annual Craft Your Change networking event, designed to bring together skilled professionals and non-profits from across the city. This type of facilitated self-discovery is rare, where potential skilled volunteers—from lawyers to marketers and accountants—get to meet local causes and craft their own role, proposing their expertise and an ideal commitment to non-profits. Typically, it works the other way around. But a skilled—and often busy— volunteer is anything but typical. No matter their goals, expertise, or time, this event empowers professionals to get their volunteer feet wet, over a pint.

111% increase in attendance from previous year, welcoming 131 guests and 20 non-profits healthcare access

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40 Hours And Growing We’ve heard that first experiences can make or break whether you become a life-long volunteer—that’s why we go the extra mile in engaging youth as they look to fulfill their 40-hour volunteer requirement for high school graduation. We’ve built strong relationships with youth agencies and networks, guidance counsellors and schools in order to host presentations and attend youth resource fairs, where we’re invited to return year after year. Whether youth are looking to socialize or gain experience for their future career, we encourage them to tap into their passions through reflecting, researching and reaching out to get started volunteering.

7,247 youth engaged through outreach events, presentations and fairs

1,321 Attended Our Youth Expo What happens when you bring together more than 100 non-profits and thousands of students from across Toronto? One giant volunteer fair like no other! Our annual Youth Expo was held in the fall just after the school year kicked off. Designed as a free one-day event, high-school students were invited to meet non-profits in person and explore their passions to find a role perfect for them. The event was a huge success with a diverse group of non-profits represented and a strong attendance from every grade.

135 youth volunteers, on average, were recruited by each non-profit

Thank you to the 64 event volunteers who helped pull it all together!

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

AMBREEN AHMAD “Everyone who comes to Canada thinks, ‘I need a job right away.’ But I didn’t do that. I knew I wasn’t prepared for the new workplace culture. Whenever you change countries the culture and values are different. Being a newcomer, it is difficult navigating information so it’s easy to get lost. Internationally educated professionals have the skills, but not the confidence to apply them in a new place due to lack of resources or information. Volunteering taught me about the culture and the confidence came with it. I love Volunteer Toronto for giving me a chance to develop into the person I always wanted to be.”

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Ambreen moved from Pakistan as a newcomer with her two daughters two years ago. Once a corporate trainer, English teacher and principal, she knew she needed to learn more about Canadian culture before applying for a job. Ambreen began studying human relations as soon as she arrived, and started volunteering to help acclimate herself to her new home and avoid a gap in her resume. She started as an outreach volunteer at Volunteer Toronto, but has held various roles in supporting the organization. Ambreen now shares her personal story with other newcomers and advocates for volunteerism in Toronto.

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Financial Results In 2016–2017, Volunteer Toronto demonstrated effective financial stewardship by ending the fiscal year (March 31, 2017) with a small operating surplus of $47,763. This surplus will be re-invested in new and expanded programs in 2017–2018.

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VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017


Our Funders The impact of our programs and services would not be possible without the support of our core funders. A special thank you to the governments and agencies that funded us throughout 2016–2017 as we built the capacity of non-profits and broke down barriers for those looking to volunteer in Toronto.

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Our Team Board of Directors

Mack Rogers Chair

Executive Director, ABC Life Literacy Canada

Roberto Andreacchi Vice Chair

Corporate Counsel, Wal-Mart Canada Corp

Geoff McIlmoyle Treasurer

Associate Vice-President, Corporate Development, Canadian Tire Corporation

Dana Dignard Secretary

Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, GS1 Canada

Trevor Zeyl Past Chair

Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Noureen Ali Director

Director, Compensation Client Services, Manulife Financial

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Natalie Brykman Director

Senior Manager, KPMG LLP

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Kevin Craft Director

Vice President, Strategic Accounts, General Dynamics Information Technology

Maryann Istiloglu Director

Executive Director, Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists

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Gerry O’Connor Director

President, Blackrock Corporate Services

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Heidi Reinhart Director

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

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We have a dedicated Board of Directors that works closely with our staff to create organizational policy, provide sound financial stewardship and ensure Volunteer Toronto fulfills its mission. This skills matrix highlights the specialized areas of expertise of our 11 board members.

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VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017


Thank you to the 207 volunteers who, in 2016–2017, gave 4,850 hours of their time to Volunteer Toronto!

Staff Executive Director

Managers

Contract Staff

David Allen

Cara Eaton* Ainsley Kendrick* Niranjala Mariathas

Nicole Crawford* Roxanne English* Jess Gillis* Jenn Jozwiak* Patricia Knycha Claire McWatt* Louroz Mercader* Jessica Pang-Parks*

Directors Camara Chambers Melina Condren

Coordinators Sammy Feilchenfeld Kelly Harbour Kasandra James

*Employed for part of the fiscal year

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volunteertoronto.ca 344 Bloor St. West, Suite 404 Toronto, ON M5S 3A7 Canada 416-961-6888 info@volunteertoronto.ca

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VOLUNTEER TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT 2016–2017

Profile for Volunteer Toronto

Annual Report 2016–2017: Our Meaningful Role  

Read about Volunteer Toronto's programs and services in our latest annual report! From thought leadership in the sector to meaningful commun...

Annual Report 2016–2017: Our Meaningful Role  

Read about Volunteer Toronto's programs and services in our latest annual report! From thought leadership in the sector to meaningful commun...

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