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The Role of Nonprofits on Salt Spring Island

    News & Events, People & Places    November 6, 2017

Volunteer and Community Resources invites VCR members and others in the community to join them at their AGM with keynote speaker, Peter Elson. Peter Elson who is a PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor with UVic’s School of Public Administration will present “Tacking Against the Wind: Nonprofits in a Climate of Uncertainty.”

His 20-minute talk on the health of the nonprofit sector, followed by a Q&A period, will explore the following questions:

  • why not-profit organizations exist at all,
  • Vital Signs and the opportunity it represents, and
  • the importance of stories and connecting community and the sector.

“The community isn’t fully aware of the benefits of a vibrant and sustainable not-for-profit sector, especially in an environment such as Salt Spring Island that relies so heavily on volunteers, not only in the delivery of services but also at a board level,” says Jacquie Stevulak, chair of VCR. “This is a wonderful chance to both acknowledge the importance of the sector but also begin to dialogue about the challenges and opportunities it faces, as a means of building resilience.”

“The timing for this type of conversation seems opportune, given not only the conversations rolling out from the incorporation referendum but also in light of the release of Salt Spring Island’s first Vital Signs report,” says Jacquie Stevulak, Board Chair for VCR. “We need to engage the not-for-profit sector in these discussions with an understanding of the key role they play delivering the services that meet those needs.”

Jacquie adds, “Our not-for-profit sector faces many challenges including dwindling resources, an aging demographic and competition for invaluable volunteers.”

“The insight and expertise that Peter Elson brings to this conversation is that while we are unique, we have much in common with many other rural communities across Canada that share our same realities. As such, we can take heart that there is room to learn from others, not only within our community but beyond our edges,” says Janine Fernandes-Hayden, VCR administrator.

Over the past number of years, VCR has overtaken the task of truly understanding the needs of the not-for-profit sector, seeing itself as a facilitator in the community around the dialogue and conversations required to support both volunteerism and the growth of nonprofit organizations.

Beyond VCR’s very visible volunteer initiatives, this work has included its recent administrative services hub needs assessment study, education through workshops and training, and one-one-one organizational mentorship opportunities with skilled mentors from the community. Hosting speakers such as Peter Elson is yet another way of supporting the exchange of information.

VCR’s AGM will take place on Thursday, November 9, from 4pm to 6pm at the Salt Spring Public Library in the program space. Peter Elson’s talk is from 4pm to 5pm, and you can come just for the talk. The cost is free!

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