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Often people come to Vantage Point and say they would like to volunteer with us. Can you remember a time when someone said that to you? I’ll bet it has happened! Many people in the community are passionate about your cause, and they will often approach your organization to explore how they can contribute. And if your organization has an event, or if you have an ongoing task they could do, you might be able to slot them in.

What if you could begin to match their specific skills and interests to a meaningful (new) role in your organization? We have developed a step-by-step process you can put in...

We know there are many stories of organizations that have adopted a business model that recruits people to be volunteers – and then focuses on their knowledge, skills and experience. They recruit volunteer “heads.” We know these organizations understand the high value they gain as they hire exceptional consultants they can pay with meaning, rather than money.  At Vantage Point we are always excited to hear, and then tell, those stories.

You can build an abundant not-for-profit in many different ways. The first ingredient is always realizing people are passionate about your cause and are anxious...

At Vantage Point, we have spent a decade learning how to build an abundant organization.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that before an organization could get to abundant it had to get to strong. Over the years, many experts have studied effective not-for-profit organizations and outlined good practices in leadership, governance, planning and talent engagement.  We agree with many of their ideas, and have worked with many not-for-profit leaders to institute good practices in their organizations.

Once an organization is strong – once it is mission-based and operating effectively – it can...

Are you a leader who can let go?

Writing, rewriting and editing this book with a team of knowledge philanthropists has completely tested my ability to “let go.” I’ve had to have a willingness to be vulnerable, and an openness to listen to criticism I actually didn’t really want to hear. All in a quest for excellence. The following is an excerpt from The Abundant Not-for-Profit that highlights the importance of letting go:

The executive director has to be able to delegate effectively in order to build a team of knowledge philanthropists. How does an executive director involve others in getting...

This time of year many people are motivated to volunteer. Yes, the holidays and the start of a new year create a desire in people to “give back”, but giving back isn’t the only reason people are motivated to volunteer. We at Vantage Point have been saying for years (sometimes we feel like a broken record) that volunteerism isn’t 100% altruistic. A win-win is required for the engagement to be successful. Here’s an excerpt from the Abundant Not-for-Profit about how to create a win-win each time you engage a knowledge philanthropist:

Knowledge Philanthropists – how it is win-win

The practice in...

What a year 2012 has been!

Thank you for being a part of the successes we’ve enjoyed this year. In 2012, we:

  • Delivered 102 learning opportunities to more than 1600 executive directors and board members
  • Worked with the City of Vancouver to provide professional development bursaries to 71 arts and social service organizations
  • Engaged 163 talented facilitators, IT experts, marketing gurus, blog experts, HR advisors…in over 200 volunteer roles
  • Wrote, rewrote, edited and blogged – all to produce The Abundant Not-for-Profit, our book to be published in early 2013

We are excited you have been on...

As we write (and rewrite!) our upcoming book, we’re thinking a lot about how current beliefs conflict with the cultural norms required to integrate volunteers and salaried employees into one team.

In fact, we’ve focused one full chapter on how to “Create a People Culture.”

There are a lot of “old” myths about volunteers that keep us from leveraging a huge pool of available talent. To combat these myths, and begin to create new ones, we’ve started using alternate language like “external talent” and “knowledge philanthropist.”

Are the following two BIG myths alive and well in your organization...

We are excited to unveil our new graphic that depicts our five major areas of focus. These are the heart and soul of a people lens organization.

Thank you to our knowledge philanthropists! We loved working with Kaoru Matsushita, as she developed this graphic. We loved hearing from you about these five areas. Some of you posted on our blog, and some sent emails. You told us what you thought would be best in each of those categories, and most of what you have suggested is now included in our book, The Abundant Not-for-Profit.

The five how-to chapters include:

Build a People Culture – A people...

Last week more than 100 people cast their vote for their favorite title for our upcoming book (thank you!). You weighed in with such positive feedback and told us you appreciated being asked.

But like the lyrics of the classic Dionne Warwick song Alfie, many of you told us you’re still wondering “what’s it all about when you sort it out?”

The Book is about your organization REALLY recognizing the whole community as your potential workforce. It is about intentionally focusing on your people first (before money, before clients/customers, before stakeholders). Many very knowledgeable and...

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...



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