Wilkinson: Learn to engage volunteers more effectively

Volunteer Canada came to Kelowna last November to launch two new toolkits focused on volunteers in the 55+ age range. This month Volunteer Canada is surveying non-profit organizations about inspiring practices to engage volunteers.

Dramatic changes in volunteering trends are challenging managers who work with volunteers to run programs that meet ongoing client and community needs.

How do we engage people who want to volunteer in groups, for short periods to make the greatest impact?

If you struggle with this question, consider attending the Overview of Volunteer Management course. The cost is $199 for four days of learning and networking with other people responsible for administering volunteer resources.

The course runs two days one week and two days the next week so that you can keep on top of your typical duties. The break gives time for ideas to percolate and your understanding to deepen.

Your manual includes PowerPoint presentations, support materials, sample forms and online resources. Each session is facilitated by an experienced volunteer manager and peppered with individual activities, pair sharing and larger group discussions.

So what will you learn? Day one covers volunteer and donation trends in the morning and interpersonal communication styles in the afternoon.

Day two will involve you in budgeting, record keeping, drafting position descriptions and considering the impact of social networking.

By day three, you move on to screening, managing risk and training volunteers using all types of adult learning styles.

The final day allows you to focus on supervising, dismissing difficult volunteers, recognizing successful volunteer contributions, and evaluating your program in a variety of ways.

The workshop will run March 6, 7, 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone 250-763-8008 extension 25 or email to register.


Dawn Wilkinson is the coordinator for the Community Information and Volunteer Centre. Go to to create your volunteer profile and find out about other volunteer opportunities in the Central Okanagan.

250-763-8008, ext 24



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