Recent Posts

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...

December is the time of year we all become very fixated on giving: presents, donations, volunteer time. We seem to have arrived at a place of thinking “giving” should be strategic – as in, make a budget and a list before you buy presents; research a charity’s finances before you make a donation; choose a volunteer opportunity where you can also spend time with your friends and family. I want to be clear.  These are all sensible approaches. But sometimes it is also necessary to embrace pure charity and kindness instead of thinking – if I’m going to “give something up” I must thoroughly examine...

“All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door”
- John Kenneth Galbraith

This quote is the opening statement in Dan Pallotta’s book Uncharitable: How Constraints on Nonprofits Undermine their Potential. Last week Vantage Point brought Dan Pallotta to Vancouver to share his message with a sold-out room of not-for-profit executives, board members and corporate funders. I was energized by the audible buzz in the room as everyone digested the idea that real progress toward solving social issues may require a new way of thinking about, and investing in, not-for-profits.

After the...

This November 18th, Vantage Point and Telus are thrilled to be hosting a breakfast with Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential.   The following is an excerpt from one of Dan's Harvard Business Review blog posts, challenging one of the fundamental canons of the not-for-profit sector.

What if the two objectives of keeping overhead costs low and serving the needs of the community are at odds with one another?

The next time you're pressured to keep overhead low when you know it will compromise effectiveness, explain that doing so is a violation...

 All charitable organizations MUST begin to provide information about the impact we are having in the community. We must tell the story of what really changes because of what we do.

Dan PallottaWe must talk about the difference we make - and learn to talk about the quality and the quantity of that difference. Or Joe and Josephine Public will continue to think the important measurement is how much it costs us to do our business. That is the story others choose to tell about us. Therefore the generous, amazing people who give money think that is the right question to ask. We have to tell the right story - so...

"One thing they never tell you about child raising is that
the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected
to know your child's name and how old
he or she is."    
- Erma Bombeck

The summer days continue!  I think we all do spend more time in reflection during this sunny, somewhat slower time. For me, summer brings our grandchildren (and their parents) from Alberta to Vancouver. Being with them causes me to reflect on those really hard days I had of being a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Currently, one "dotter" is a full-time mom and one son is a stay-at-home dad, so their days have...

When the days are longer and sunnier (I hope they still are when you're reading this), I find myself spending more time looking out the window than at my computer screen.

There — I admit it! And I think many would agree with me. Whether you are counting down to your time off or re-living your vacation memories, the summer can make it difficult to 'focus' on the work in front of you.

I wonder though, are we really not 'focused' when we shift our attention away from our usual work tasks? Do we find comfort in observing daily routines, or derive excitement from occurences that disturb them? And...

Today's guest blogger is John Trotter, an exceptional marketing & communications consultant that we've had the pleasure of working with over the past few months.   Read on for a glimpse of John's  personal experience as a skills-based volunteer.

A few months ago, I found myself temporarily between full-time employment gigs, with an opportunity to consider what I wanted to do with the next phase of my life.  It was time for a few changes, so to speak. Previously, I had enjoyed volunteering as a Big Brother and as a fundraiser for a friend's effort to end homelessness. So, I decided to do some...


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