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Inspiring Action - Volunteer Toronto 2015-2016 Annual Report
Transcript of Inspiring Action - Volunteer Toronto 2015-2016 Annual Report
don't tell you what to do,
they show you how it's done."
Volunteer Toronto has a long history of building healthy communities through volunteer action. For over 40 years, we have been connecting volunteers to the causes that need them through our website, information sessions, events, and training workshops.
With each passing year, we learn and adapt to the changes in the voluntary sector; improving our services so we can lead our clients on the path to success.
Last year, we hit the ground running in developing brand new research on the unique needs of completely volunteer-run grassroots organizations. We also set new standards in the sector by creating an array of online training courses and resources for managers of volunteers, which are now being used by volunteer centres and non-profit organizations across Ontario.
Our new Strategic Plan strives to increase our relevance to clients, the community and funders, and establish Volunteer Toronto as a thought leader in voluntarism. On our new course, we are exploring ways to provide those facing barriers to volunteering with more intensive matching support, on top of our existing referral services. We will also continue to extend our current expertise and practice in new ways to build on its existing culture that supports innovation.
We are thankful to our funders (Ontario Government, City of Toronto and United Way Toronto & York Region) for their continued support.
We also want to thank our 75 volunteers who gave 4,476 hours last year in support of our various activities.
We envision a Toronto that is caring, inclusive, and engaged where volunteering is an important avenue through which everyone has the opportunity to participate and contribute meaningfully.
Volunteer Toronto increases the positive impact that volunteering has on the City of Toronto through innovative initiatives that inspire, inform, and connect volunteers and the organizations that need them.
people followed us on
people were served through
website profiles and referral
people attended our
special events, info
training resources were
downloaded from our website
increase in subscribers to our newsletters
non-profit and community
to our services
Ontario Ministry of Health &
United Way Toronto &
City of Toronto
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship
Subscription, Training &
Grassroots Growth Project
In October of 2015, we held our first ever Youth Expo. This one-day event was geared to Toronto high school students looking to connect with organizations. It was held at the Toronto Reference Library and over 80 organizations participated and 1,000 youth attended.
watch the video highlights!
In April 2015, in celebration of National Volunteer Week, we reintroduced our annual Legacy Awards. The awards recognize 25 exceptional volunteers from across Toronto who work to make the city a better place through volunteering. The recipients were selected by a committee of local community leaders and honoured at a special ceremony at the Carlu.
In conjunction with the Legacy Awards, we launched a new storytelling site called “Volunteers of Toronto.” The site provides a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people working to address the issues that affect us all. Using a mixture of photography and digital stories our goal was to inspire viewers to take action and join the movement to build a better Toronto.
“Approximately 85% of all Dixon Hall’s current volunteer base learned about the opportunity through Volunteer Toronto. Being a subscriber provides Dixon Hall with access to educational workshops, member discussion forums, and the personal support of industry savvy staff in areas such as training, recruitment, and legislation. Being a subscriber with Volunteer Toronto is my department’s most valuable resource tool to connect with and stay connected to the volunteer engagement industry in Toronto.”
Manager, Volunteer Programs and Human Resources
Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services
"As a single parent of two moving to Canada a year ago was nothing less than an ordeal. However, I easily removed all my frustrations and depression by volunteering. Through my roles at Volunteer Toronto, I have learned to share smiles, act as a beacon of hope for newcomers and youth; as well as help build up communities by voicing the importance of volunteering. I have grown in my own capacity not only as an individual but have developed my strengths to pursue my dream career of becoming a learning and development specialist."
Referral Counsellor & Outreach Presenter
Board of Directors
Director of Programs, Community
ABC Life Literacy Canada
Wal-Mart Canada Corp
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications GS1 Canada
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Director, Compensation Client Services
Associate Vice President, Corporate Development
Canadian Tire Corporation
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
The Youth Innovators Project was an
initiative that worked closely with
a group of ten ambitious high
school students to provide them
with the skills, resources, and support
they needed to create their own
community improvement projects.
The ten-week program gave the
students leadership training and access to an adult mentor enabling them to create individual acts of change that they led in their local community.
No Skirting Around
Plastic Echo Action Fair
Over the course of four weeks, the teens took workshops on idea creation, project planning, team management, public speaking, fundraising, leadership, and time management.
The Innovators created projects on issues they were passionate about such as increasing community cohesion, raising awareness of rape culture, and reducing plastic waste.
The final projects were delivered during ChangeTheWorld: Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge, a province-wide initiative led by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, where young people are encouraged to volunteer over six-weeks in the spring.
408 high school students participated in the Innovators' acts of change.
Elizabeth Montoya, a 16-year-old student who had only moved to Canada from Venezuela six months before, created the "Multicultural Cafe," a project to increase community cohesion amongst teens in her neighbourhood. She brought 98 youth together to share and teach each other about their cultures through an exchange of stories, food, and language lessons. The volunteers donated 584 hours of time and the project led to an increased understanding and appreciation of the diversity amongst youth in Elizabeth’s community.
Gabriela Smith, a 17-year-old from East York, created a campaign focused on rape culture and victim blaming. Cleverly entitled, “No Skirting Around,” the project involved awareness raising at Gabriela’s high school and two schools in her local area. Male students wore skirts for a day and engaged in conversations with peers about victim blaming. The project also raised money for the United Nation’s HeForShe campaign through an arts night where teens performed poetry and music about rape culture. Gabriella's project resulted in 40 of her peers volunteering 120 hours.
Lisa Wang, a 14-year-old student and one of the youngest in the group, chose to raise awareness of the many alternative uses for plastic bags. After noticing how often people in her community threw away their grocery bags, she created the "Plastic Action Eco Fair" to reduce plastic waste. Held at Evergreen Brick Works, a local environmental charity, her team of 55 volunteers taught children and adults about these alternative uses through hands-on activities and workshops.
No Skirting Around
Plastic Action Eco Fair
"Volunteering with Volunteer Toronto for the past three years has been an incredible experience for me. It has allowed me to spread my love and passion for volunteering to my peers, whether it be through promoting volunteer opportunities for youth in their community, helping organize a volunteer fair or providing insight to a plethora of non-profit volunteer programs. Volunteering has definitely enabled me to grow as an individual and through my experiences at Volunteer Toronto I hope to inspire others to make a positive change in the world by supporting causes they are passionate about!"
Youth Auditor &
Youth Social Media Coordinator
Our Referral Counselling service provides an opportunity for members of the public to meet one-on-one with a trained volunteer counsellor who will support their volunteer search.
The service is often utilized by those who face barriers such as people with disabilities, newcomers with limited knowledge of the city, and people who are not able to use a computer. The service provides an accessible way of helping clients connect with the right volunteer opportunities.
We trained 18 Referral Counsellors
1,685 people were served by telephone, email, and in-person
344 Bloor St. West, Suite 404
In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, we conducted a major research project and produced a comprehensive report examining the volunteer management needs of the grassroots sector. Based on those findings, we created and pilot tested workshops and training materials, and started work on an online community where groups could connect and share resources. The revised workshops and the online community are set to launch in September 2016.
View all 8 video interviews!
A series of eight video interviews with grassroots leaders sharing their experience starting, sustaining, and expanding their
groups were created to be used during workshops and for future webinars.
Supports organizations in adopting best practices in volunteer engagement through specialized training, resources, and advice;
Inspires volunteers and helps them to find suitable positions and organizations through accessible systems, counselling services, and public awareness initiatives; and
Works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify knowledge gaps in the voluntary sector, conduct research, test new strategies, and publish results.
We now offer Canada's largest selection of online courses for volunteer managers. With courses and materials tailored to the unique needs of the voluntary sector in Toronto, we grew our library of online courses from five to 11 with our CCVI workshop being the most popular.
Our Resource Library now contains 15 downloadable workbooks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced volunteer managers. Our workbooks have been downloaded 7,548 times.
our online learning guide!
145 stakeholders engaged in the research process through focus groups, agency consultations, key informant interviews and an online survey.
79 leaders of grassroots groups attended the launch event for the research report.
Eight training modules were developed and combined to form four workshops, with eight accompanying training manuals and 27 templates.
Four pilot sessions were held during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, with 61 attendees.