Recent Posts

"The Talent Will Take You There."

 Vantage Point developed this new tagline during 2011. After years of struggling with the “V-word”*, its traditional definition and many unsuccessful attempts to redefine it, we believe the word “talent” is bang-on.

“Talent” conveys what we mean when we talk about attracting different kinds of “skilled” people to work with us—with their heads, rather than their hands. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “talent” as: “general intelligence or mental power: ability”. Does the definition fit for your people engagement strategy? Does the word “talent” work for...

The only thing I like about mid-February is that the gym is quiet again. This is when people quit their New Year’s resolutions.

Last week, as I collapse on the gym mat after a particularly long and grueling workout with my trainer, I say to her (insert cheeky tone of voice): “I’ve made it to the gym 8 times this month, upped all of my weights since last time, and I’m doing push-ups on my toes. Since I’ve successfully reached my goal, can I stop working out now?”

You see I’m a project-type person. I love to-do lists just so I can check the “done” box and move on to the next thing. Nothing feels...

Wow! That was one of my 4-year old grandson’s very first words. And how I loved that he said it with such wonder. One of his favorite “wow” moments was the beautiful sunrise he would see on his way to daycare. (His mother was not necessarily as excited by the 6:30 AM sunrise as he was.) 

I was reminded of him the other day as I drove into the Rocky Mountains from Calgary and the sunset was exactly that. Wow! I marveled at the snow-covered mountains, the expanse of pink and blue sky, the vast horizon. It was spectacular. 

Just the day before I flew to Alberta from California, and there was this...

When it comes to partnerships is it really the case that: 1 + 1 = 3 (or more!)? Or, is the reality that, in most cases 1 + 1 = 1 (or even less!)?
I recently returned from an invigorating 3 days at 
Imagine Canada’s National Summit[i] in Ottawa. Despite it taking place on the final afternoon of the event (when my brain synapses are starting to tire), “The Debate: Be it resolved that closer collaboration within the sector does not produce better outcomes”, left me more awake and alert than ever.  

 At the outset, I was sure that those arguing for closer collaboration or partnership[ii] within the...

Pop Quiz.

The greatest value to a not-for-profit from partnering with business is:
a. The money
b. I don't know - I don't do partnerships
c. Good catering and nice meeting rooms
d. The scale of impact
In her paper, A Helping Hand or a Hijacking? How Nonprofits Can Respond to Ever-Increasing Corporate Involvement in the Community, Bea Boccalandro argues corporate-community partnerships have the potential to amplify our current scope of impact "hundreds, maybe thousands of times over."

So why has the not-for-profit sector yet to capitalize on the immense scale of the corporate sector by...

We are very excited Canada's Governor General is focusing on community engagement!

We have worked with volunteers, and in the field of volunteer leadership for years. So we have huge belief in the concept, and agree volunteering is part of being Canadian. Like the Governor General, we see the way people want to be engaged in their communities is changing – and a new definition of volunteering is required.  How wonderful to see a public figure insist on this so passionately.

Sure, it is still about neighbour helping neighbour (if you live in a location long enough to get to know them!) and...

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...


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