Recent Posts

 

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...

An example image.

Nullam suscipit libero vitae nisl molestie aliquet. Nulla dictum pulvinar porta. Praesent sed sapien ac libero tincidunt lacinia quis ut ante. Etiam libero neque; varius a viverra non, facilisis ac magna. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Phasellus malesuada facilisis mi? Nunc malesuada, dolor mattis dictum imperdiet, enim justo condimentum nunc, sed hendrerit sem nibh non odio? Praesent viverra rutrum consequat. Pellentesque facilisis leo eu quam iaculis sagittis. Duis lectus massa, tempus quis faucibus sed, viverra at dolor. Suspendisse...

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...

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...

Pages

Free Membership Available
To support not-for-profits through the economic impacts of COVID-19, we are offering our membership for free for a limited time.

Contact

info@thevantagepoint.ca
t: 604 875 9144
f: 604 875 0710
1183 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5

Connect

Donate to Vantage Point and transform the leadership competencies of British Columbia not-for-profit executive directors, board members, staff and volunteers

Facebook icon.Twitter icon. Twitter icon. Youtube icon.

Subscribe

Accreditation