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As the kids go back to school, and a “new year” begins for many people, Boards of Directors are reconvening and renewing their shared passion for their organizations. As they plan for the future, many will be highly aware of the major changes that are happening in the community sector.

For instance, a huge changeover in our workforce is afoot. In all sectors. The recent “Daring to Lead” report outlines some of the implications of that changeover for not-for-profit organizations in the US. Like their counterparts south of the border, many of the Boards of Directors we work with face the...

Maria recently wrote about the vision (“why?”) and mission (“what?”) of our organization. We strive to have those concepts always at the forefront of our thinking at Vantage Point. We know their importance. And we know many organizations are struggling with clearly defining their vision and mission. But what we have come to realize over the course of the summer (as the days dwindle down…) is: the place we most love to work with other organizations is on how they deliver their mission.

And the more clarity the people in the organization have about their “why” and “what”, the more enticing it is...

 

For the last couple of years we’ve really pushed hard to keep our mission at the fore. It’s our lighthouse, our beacon. It keeps our entire team (both paid-with-money & paid-in-other-ways) on course and shining a bright light on the road ahead.  Our visitors hear our mission statement often, and see it as soon as they walk in our doors: we inspire and build leadership in the voluntary sector. 

All paid staff, board members, most of our knowledge philanthropists and many of our customers can recite it verbatim. Some of our customers tell us they can do so even when they can’t recite the...

It started slowly. So slowly, I ignored it until it became a big deal. But my gut was telling me – this just isn’t working.

But they were so nice. They had everything I was looking for and seemed really interested at the start. No, I’m not talking about a great date that just never called again. I’m talking about working with a volunteer that isn’t able to deliver.

We had such a great start together. They were really keen about the role and had a lot of relevant experience. We spent lots of time talking about our mutual interests, what we expected, what the ultimate goal was. They seemed to...

Sitting in a coffee shop on a rainy June afternoon, I am sharing Vantage Point’s people engagement philosophy with someone who has never heard of us before. We are discussing why Vantage Point chooses to engage highly-skilled volunteers in its organizational model. It may seem like a simple question, but it’s really a big WHY.

Oh I get it” says my guest, “by engaging talented people you don’t require as much money to deliver your mission”. I hum and haw. This statement isn’t untrue, but it’s not accurate of WHY we engage talented volunteers.  I try and explain again. She thinks she...

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We are terrible carpenters. For much of the past decade, we focused on renovating our house at Vantage Point. We tried to modify the standard, tried-and-true ways of involving volunteers. In the process, we failed miserably.  When we were acting as carpenters, every renovation failed.

Once upon a time, we had one person responsible for volunteers. Standard. That person was the only one who engaged volunteers. We had one-person buy-in. (With huge support from the Executive Director!) Other employees thought volunteers were only “her job”. She was the Director of Volunteer Resources. We realized...

Accommodation. An interesting word, with many meanings...At one time I would have gone immediately to a definition of lodging. And people who know me will recognize my absolute first choice of accommodation is a Fairmont Hotel. Definitely my favourite – if I can’t stay with family or friends. Recently I have thought of the word, accommodation, in many other ways. From the Free Dictionary online, I now refer specifically to: 5. willingness to help or oblige.”

Most of my life I have learned it is important to accommodate others. If you want to be heard, you must accommodate and speak the...

In 2010, Vantage Point engaged 166 individuals in 205 roles alongside our staff team of eight. I’m often asked: how do you find all of these talented people?

In a recent survey conducted with our external talent, the average individual had been engaged with Vantage Point for 4 years.  BUT – and it’s an important but – 57% of those individuals most recently worked on a project with us for less than 3 months. 

When we talk about episodic engagement, people often envision someone coming into an organization for a limited time and leaving when their role is over – the end. That’s a huge investment...

I always love this time of year ... the blank calendar, new projects, and opportunity for reflection and fresh starts.   A chance to contemplate the challenges and successes of the past year, and dream about the one ahead.  It’s a time I often feel anything is possible.

This year, my reflections have led me to think about the importance of perspective.  Specifically, the fact that we approach every situation, consciously or unconsciously, with a set of frameworks which guide our emotions and actions.  From getting on the Skytrain each morning, to making decisions, and in all of my personal...

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t: 604 875 9144
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1183 Melville Street
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