Volunteer Lethbridge
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Volunteer Lethbridge Member Benefit Guide

Volunteer Lethbridge Member Benefit Guide

Get to know your benefits.

Volunteer Lethbridge has been a continuous part of the City of Lethbridge since 1981when we were known as the Lethbridge Volunteer Bureau.  In 2000, we made our most recent name change, and finally a partnership was struck with the University of Lethbridge that saw us move to our current home at 324-5 Street South, the Dr. Foster James Penny Building.

Over the years Volunteer Lethbridge has established a strong reputation as a leader in the voluntary and non-profit sector. Our services have grown and evolved to meet the needs of both member agencies and individual volunteers in the community. Our core funding comes from FCSS (Family & Community Support Services) administered through the City of Lethbridge, and Alberta Culture and Tourism – Government of Alberta. We supplement our funding with grants and fundraising projects. We have a strong partnership with both the City and the University of Lethbridge in order to provide support to the Voluntary Sector in our community.

Our Vision

Volunteer Lethbridge strengthens and sustains a healthy, vibrant community through support and advancement of volunteer excellence.

Our Mission

Volunteer Lethbridge builds connections and empowers individuals and organizations to enhance volunteerism and grow volunteer capacity.

Staff of Volunteer Lethbridge

Diana Sim - Executive Director

Call her when you want to talk about BIG IDEAS

 

Shelley Ducheminsky - Finance Administrator

Call her about invoices, Penny Building bookings, and payments

 

Sally Turner - Administrative Assistant

Assists in keeping the office running smoothly

 

Chelsea Eastman - Event and Resource Development Coordinator

Call her about all your volunteer resource needs

 

Keith Nalder - Membership Services Coordinator

Call him about all things membership

 

Justin Brown - Social Media Coordinator

He’s the one who puts out those great Social Media 

 

 

Paige Hutchison - Uvolunteer Coordinator

She's our liaison with the vast corp of volunteers from the University of Lethbridge

 

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Quick Start Guide for new Volunteer Managers

First time managing volunteers? Come in for a package of essential information to get you started. We’ll also provide ongoing support via phone and email for all your burning questions.

Recognition programs and awards for your Volunteers

Volunteer Recognition is an important volunteer retention tool. Let us help you recognize your volunteers! We hold an annual awards ceremony for youth volunteers (Leaders of Tomorrow).  Nominate your youth volunteers to be recognized at this gala event, held during National Volunteer Week.  For those youth volunteers that display exceptional leadership, nominate them for the Volunteer Excellence Award.  Did you know there is a national volunteer recognition award? The Sovereign’s Award for Volunteers is presented by the Governor General of Canada. Nominations for this award can be made at any time.  The Province of Alberta also likes to give awards to volunteers.  There’s the Great Kids Award and the Stars of Alberta Award.   Click on any of the links to be taken to their respective web pages for more information or to complete the nomination form.  In any case, plan ways to recognize your volunteers, especially during National Volunteer Week in April.

Promotion of your Volunteer Opportunities

Send us your volunteer opportunity and we will help you spread the word. We post to our website, our social media feeds and in the weekly Volunteer Opportunity column in the Lethbridge Herald. The weekly column is also distributed to educational institutions and local groups requesting this information.

Volunteer Directory on Radio

In a partnership deal with Clear Sky Radio, Inc. (94.1-CJOC and 98.1-The Bridge), we now feature 30 second radio commercials each week to highlight an agency and their needs.  This Mass Media Exposure reaches an audience of 65,000 weekly listeners.  The Volunteer Directory airs 15 times a week on the two radio stations.  That’s 1560 commercials per year in total.  Be a part of this new initiative and take advantage of some radio advertising.

Volunteer Referrals

We have a steady inflow of volunteers who are not always sure where to start. We meet with them, assess their skills and interests, and then refer them to those member agencies that might be the best fit. The better we understand your opportunities, the more effective pre-screening we can complete, to send appropriate volunteers your way.

Professional Development – BUZZ Sessions

Every month we offer professional development sessions on topics relating to Volunteer Management (recruitment, retention, recognition, performance management & tracking).  We also provide other non-profit sessions (board development, leadership development, etc.). We’ll help you learn, keep on top of trends & best practices and connect with your peers from other agencies.

Support on Metrics Tracking

Do you need help tracking and reporting the hard facts of how great your volunteer program is?  We can help with that.  We can provide you with some best practices, resources and help you evaluate your process.  Volunteer statistics are important to include in grant reports and proposals for your agency.  We can assist you in deciding on a system that will work for you.

On-Call Advice for your Volunteer Resource person

Are you writing a proposal and need some statistics on volunteering? Do you have a situation with a volunteer and are just not sure how to handle it? Do you need to revamp your screening? Or do you need volunteers IN AN HOUR? There is no question too big or too small – if it’s about volunteers, we’ll help however we can.

 Understanding the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement

Did you know there was guidebook for the Voluntary Sector?  While they are not regulations, they are a Best Practices guide to support your Volunteer Management.  We’ll consult with you on how to implement the standards contained within the ‘Code’.

EXECUTIVE & BOARD SUPPORT

Network Partnerships & Initiatives

Because we spend a lot of time with agencies, at events and in the community, we often hear about trends, emerging issues and potential collaborations. The more we know what you have going on, the better we can keep you in mind when we hear about other potential opportunities.

Professional Development Opportunities – BUZZ Sessions

Every month (usually the third Thursday) we offer professional development sessions (discounted or free for members) on topics relating to Volunteer Management (recruitment, retention, recognition, performance management, tracking, etc.) or other non-profit issues (board development, leadership development, etc.). Come to learn some helpful information, keep on top of trends & best practices and connect with your peers from other agencies.

Board Governance Training & Development

We work with Alberta Culture & Tourism to host Board Governance training. Please contact us for the date of the next session. These are full-day events with breakout sessions that teach and review the responsibilities and risks of being on a board, the basics of reading financial statements, etc. It’s an excellent event for new board members, or those considering joining your board. Even experienced board members often learn new things! Sessions for your individual Board may also be scheduled by contacting the Board Development Program directly at [email protected]

 Advocacy for Non-Profit Issues and Concerns

We help give a collective voice to the Voluntary Sector. We keep an eye on local, provincial and national trends, initiatives and issues and keep you in the loop. We often have the opportunity to consult with government and alliances on behalf of the Voluntary Sector, and we make sure your voice is part of that chorus.

 Discounted Meeting Space at the Penny Building

As a member, you are entitled to a discount on the two meeting rooms in the University of Lethbridge’s Dr. Foster James Penny building downtown. The room capacity for each space is 60 people and is equipped with Wi-Fi, teleconference & webinar capabilities. Please contact us for current pricing information and booking. (For all-day sessions, your caterer of choice is welcome)

 MARKETING PROGRAM Support

Membership Directory profile

Your membership includes a profile on our website that outlines your organization’s mission, vision, contact information and links to any currently posted Volunteer or Employment Opportunities. The directory is a great place for potential volunteers to learn more about your organization.

 Featured Agency of the Week

Each week we feature an agency on our website, social media and in the Lethbridge Sun Times as our “Agency of the Week”. We include a brief description of each agency and their role in the community, as well as how the community at large can give support. Ideally, we feature the organization at a time that works best for them, that highlights an important event or time of year. If you have a special date request, let us know and we will do our very best to accommodate it.

 Representation on your behalf at Community Events and Fairs

We attend events in the community throughout the year, where we set up and staff a table to promote organizations and volunteer opportunities. We are proud to be your ambassadors at these events, and to share your promotional material, and direct interested community members your way.

 Promote your event on our WebsiteCalendar of Community Events and Social Media feeds

Let us help you get the word out! When you have special events, let us know about them and we will promote them on our website calendar, as well as on our social media.  We also advertise them on our social media feeds.  Just send us your volunteer opportunityjob posting or event and we will make some noise. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Member Profile in our Online Directory
  • Agency of the Week; featured in the Sun Times as well as on the front page of our website, and all of our Social Media outlets
  • Promotion of your volunteer opportunities via: Facebook, Twitter, our website, and our exclusive weekly Volunteer Opportunity column in the Lethbridge Herald
  • Newly added - Radio Advertising.  With a recent agreement, we now have access to 20 radio spots per week.  Each spot will be a 30 second ad featuring a member agency's volunteer opportunity.  

 

Brochure display at Volunteer Lethbridge

We will proudly display your promotional material at Volunteer Lethbridge for our visitors and for building guest access.

 

FUND DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Exclusive Software Access

We have license to access a Fundraising & Prospect Research software program that is a made-in-Canada program.  It is a very thorough grant research database based on CRA data. Book an appointment with us to find other potential funding sources for your events, programs and services.

OTHER WAYS WE CAN HELP

We may not be experts on all areas of non-profit management, and we are certainly not experts on your specific services or programming, but what we are is well connected and good problem-solvers. Our goal is to get you the right information or introduce you to the person with the right information.

** EXPERT TIP: When your organization becomes a member or affiliate, your whole staff, your board and even your volunteers can take advantage of our workshops and other benefits.

 

CHECKLIST TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BENEFITS

  • Read this booklet, then share it with your staff so they know what’s available to them for services & support
  • Ensure you are on the BUZZ Newsletter email list to stay current on workshops, networking functions and government invitations; your staff can sign up as well. Call Volunteer Lethbridge if you are not receiving these emails monthly.
  • Book an appointment for anyone at your agency to come and explore grant research opportunities
  • Add Volunteer Lethbridge to YOUR mailing list; [email protected] This way, if you send out information on special events or volunteer opportunities, we will be able to post them quickly without you having to take an extra step.
  • Add a reminder to your calendar to review your profile page on Volunteer Lethbridge Let us know if your Volunteer or Employment Opportunities need to be refreshed, or if anything has changed. Check our calendar and ensure your events are posted.
  • Attend the BUZZ sessions, workshops and professional development sessions whenever time and interest allows. If you cannot attend, invite another staff member, volunteer or board member to attend.
  • Drop off updated marketing materials/pamphlets. We do inventories periodically of our marketing materials, but if you have something fresh that you’d like promoted at community events, by all means drop it off!

 

RESOURCES

 

Key Sections in a VOLUNTEER MANAGER HANDBOOK

  • Agency Mission, Vision and Objectives
  • Volunteer Recruitment Processes
    1. How do we advertise our positions?
      1. Is there a budget for advertising?
      2. Newspaper, bulletin boards, other media, Volunteer Lethbridge, events, etc.
    2. Guidelines for first contacts (if someone expresses interest, who fields the calls? How soon will we get back to them? Do we let them know what to expect next?)
  • Volunteer Screening Process
    1. Assess each volunteer position. Include:
      1. Job description for each role
      2. Level of risk (does the role work with vulnerable persons or handle cash or confidential information?)
  • Screening Process needed for each position. This might include:
    • Volunteer Enrollment Form
    • Oath of Confidentiality
    • Media Release
    • An initial interview
    • Reference Checks
    • Police Check
    • Youth Intervention Check
  • **Best practice to remember; use any screening tools necessary to ensure safety, confidentiality and best service provision, but don’t make the process so onerous that it creates unnecessary barriers and dissuades volunteers. Also, remember that screening doesn’t end at enrollment. Keep alert to issues and concerns and deal with them promptly**
  • Volunteer Orientation
    1. Once a volunteer has been selected, what will you need to go through with them?
      1. Tour of building(s) & staff introductions
      2. Emergency procedures
  • Training checklist
  • VERY IMPORTANT: How will you record their hours? Do you have a sign-in/out sheet? This lets you assess how much time you need to allocate for different activities, and can be extremely beneficial in grant-writing activities

 

  • Volunteer Recognition and Performance Management
  • How do you recognize and celebrate your volunteers?
  • Do you review their work periodically? How will you do that?
  • What is the discipline procedure if something goes wrong?

 

 

10 Steps to VOLUNTEER SCREENING

Volunteer Canada has prepared an outstanding guide to Volunteer Screening. The complete guide can be found here.

 

  1. Determine policies & risks| Set standard policies and identify potential risks to participants/organization.

 

  1. Write clear volunteer position/role descriptions| Set guidelines and behavioural standards for volunteer positions, and clarify roles and responsibilities.

 

  1. Establish a formal recruitment process| Commit to a thorough recruitment process and make this commitment clear to potential volunteers by informing them of your recruitment process up front.

 

  1. Use an application form| Limit the collection of information to what is necessary to carry-out an interview for the volunteer role, and ask for permission to call references.

 

  1. Conduct interviews – get to know the volunteer| Communicate your organization’s expectations and assess the suitability of the candidate for the role. Ask about past employment and volunteer positions. Remember to use your intuition!

 

  1. Follow-up with references| Always do more than one reference check. Be sure to explain the position/role, the potential vulnerability of participants, and ask for open comments.

 

  1. When necessary, request the appropriate Police Information Check| If you have determined a Police Information Check is necessary for a volunteer role, contact your local police service to clarify which type of check you need. Be sure to include the volunteer role description for the benefit of the police service, your organization, and the volunteer during this process.

 

  1. Conduct orientation & training sessions| Ensure that the candidate is aware of organizational structures and policies, and assess their approach, work style and skills. At this point, you may still decide if they are the right person for the volunteer role or not.

 

  1. Supervise & evaluate| Using the position description as a reference point, evaluate the volunteer at least once a year, and preferably 2-3 times a year. Clarify expectations and identify challenges.

 

  1. Participant/recipient follow-up & feedback| Listen to feedback about the service provided by the volunteer. Ensure that volunteers are aware that follow-ups will be conducted.

 

 

Volunteer Screening Program

Formerly known as the Volunteer Police Screening Program (also replaces the VOAN-Voluntary Organization Authorization Number program), the Volunteer Screening Program supports non-profits to implement effective volunteer screening practices.  It provides better volunteer matches, improves safety and quality of programs, and reduces risks and liabilities. Screening is about making informed, reasonable judgements about people based on information gathered from a variety of sources. It begins before onboarding a volunteer and continues throughout their involvement with your organization.

The program has two primary components:

  1. Education & Training
  2. Financial Support

In order to access and qualify for the Vulnerable Sector Check Fee Waiver and/or the Volunteer Screening Development Grant, nonprofit organizations must serve/work with vulnerable populations and must engage volunteers in positions of trust or authority with vulnerable populations.

For the purposes of the Volunteer Screening Program:

vulnerable person is defined as: one who, because of their age (under the age of 18 or over the age of 65), or a disability (mental or physical disability or mental illness): is in a position of dependence on others or; is otherwise at greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person in a position of trust or authority towards them.

position of trust or authority is defined as a: situation in which a volunteer has significant degree of authority or decision-making power over a vulnerable person and unsupervised access to a vulnerable individual. A position of trust may also include the development of a close, personal bond between the volunteer and the individual (e.g. mentor).

 

Volunteer Screening Development Grant:

The Volunteer Screening Development Grant is designed to help support the development of effective screening practices and processes. The grant provides $2000 to support nonprofit organizations facing resource and capacity challenges in the area of volunteer screening. Eligible organizations must work with vulnerable populations and engage volunteers in approved positions of trust or authority. Check the Volunteer Screening Development Grant eligibility criteria.

  1. Approved applicants for the Grant must participate in foundational learning by attending the webinar, Screening Volunteers In. Not Out.  Approved applicants will receive an access code to participate in this webinar for free and can attend the webinar after submitting the application

 

 

Using the GRANT RESEARCH PROGRAM

You have access to the Fundraising & Prospect Research software program that we hold a license for. It is a made-in-Canada program that is a very thorough grant research database based on CRA data.

Because the license is tied to our IP address, you will need to come into our office to use the program. Call us to book a time (403-332-4320); plan on about an hour to do your preliminary research. You may book as many follow up sessions as you’d like; there is no limit on your use of this program.

 

What you will need to bring:

  • A list of programs and events in your agency that require funding (just so you remember them)
  • A USB stick
  • Your agenda (for recording granting deadlines if needed)

When you arrive:

  • You will get a quick tour of the building so you know your way around (bathrooms, emergency exit, where we are if you need us).
  • We will log into the program on the computer that you will be using.
  • We will give you a tour of the program. There are two main ways to search:
    • By Funder (based on funding focus, target client group, etc.)
    • By Charity (by finding agencies similar to yours, and researching how they are funded)
    • We encourage you to save your notes and relevant information to your USB or to take notes of Foundation names, etc. The printer is available for your use if needed, but please be thrifty with your printing!

 

VOLUNTEER POSITION TEMPLATE

 

Position title

Brief title to describe the position
Reports to  Staff or Volunteer Supervisor

 

Position purpose

Describe the main purpose of the position and who the person reports to.

Duties and responsibilities

Categorize the areas of responsibility and list in point form the duties and responsibilities. Some categories may be: Administration; Coordination; Finance; Human Resources; Marketing

Qualifications

Qualifications include:

  • Education:
  • Specialized knowledge:
  • Skills and abilities:
  • Personal Characteristics:
  • Experience:
  • Other:

 

Physical requirements

Where does the activity take place? Onsite? Off-site?

Are there specific expectations? (Lifting, standing, sorting)

Specific Section added for this position

  • Key indicators
  • Hours required
  • Specific deliverables

 

 

Approved by: Name, Position
Date approved: Month/date/year
Reviewed: Month/date/year (schedule for an annual review cycle)

 

SCiP TIPS

This information adapted from www.joinscip.ca – make sure you check it out!

 

SCiP is a non-profit internship program for Post-Secondary students in Alberta. Your organization has the opportunity to bring on a student intern, who can receive a $1,000 bursary from Volunteer Alberta at the end of the internship.

ORGANIZATION ELIGIBILITY

To participate in SCiP, your organization must be a nonprofit/voluntary sector organization. This means your organization:

  • Is self-governing and exists to serve the public benefit
  • Does not distribute profits to owners, members, directors, shareholders, or managers
  • Is voluntary (benefits to some degree from voluntary contributions of time or money)
  • Is currently operating in the Province of Alberta and has been for at least one year
  • Is independent or institutionally separate from the formal structures of the federal and provincial government and the profit sector (municipal programs and services DO qualify)

 

HERE ARE THE STEPS TO SETTING UP YOUR SCIP INTERNSHIP

  • Apply to the program (joinscip.ca); your organization will be approved or denied within 5 business days 10 minutes
  • Create an internship (familiarize yourself with your responsibilities, create a role description, post the internship) 1-2 hours
  • Hire an intern and complete a Letter of Agreement 2-4 hours depending on your hiring/screening process
  • Complete the internship (submit final Declaration, student will have a form to submit as well as proof of enrollment) 1 hour

 

NOTE – every SCiP internship must be a meaningful, skill-based opportunity that offers mutual benefit to both your organization and your intern. It also must be part-time and flexible around a student schedule.

you may not offer a wage, honorarium, or any other compensation for a SCiP internship. Also, your intern cannot use a SCiP internship for course credits.

 

 

Submitting your VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES to us

You can submit volunteer opportunities to us by filling out the online or paper form, or send us an email that contains the same information, or call us with the information!

:

  • Online web form (go here and click “Submit Volunteer Opportunity”)
  • By email ([email protected])
  • Phone (403-332-4320) or fax (403-332-4321)
  • In person (324 – 5th S, Lethbridge, AB)

** EXPERT TIP: If you include your volunteer opportunities in a regular e-newsletter or mailing list email, add us to your list! If your opportunity includes all of the details we need, we will go ahead and post it – no additional steps necessary!

DR. FOSTER JAMES PENNY BUILDING
324 5TH STREET SOUTH
LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA
T1J 2B5
PHONE: 403-332-4320
FAX: 403-332-4321

 

All Content © Copyright 2018 Volunteer Lethbridge. All Rights Reserved.