Paying it forward

January 21, 2020
Post contributed by Stephanie Halligan as a part of the Leadership Winnipeg program.

​The culture in Winnipeg has long been one of generosity and volunteerism. As a city we are surrounded by incredible organizations that are community minded and driven, from internationally acclaimed events such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival and Folklorama, to those that serve the basic needs of citizens like Winnipeg Harvest and Siloam Mission. The non-profit organizations in our city thrive year after year thanks to the passion and hard work of so many volunteers. Day 4 of Leadership Winnipeg focused on the impact of volunteering and the importance of good governance.

We started our morning with a presentation by Leadership Winnipeg alumni, Kamillah El-Giadaa, on the landscape of volunteering in Manitoba. We discussed the vast number of opportunities that span across the non-profit sector, highlighting the need and abilities for all Winnipeggers to get involved. In the afternoon, we were joined by Lindsey McBain and Colleen Simard from SPARK, a non-profit in Winnipeg committed to matching skilled professionals with short-term, project-based, volunteer opportunities. Both presentations reiterated a common theme; there is a space for everyone to get involved in the community.

Most of our day was spent with Jackie Hunt, Executive Director of Volunteer Manitoba, going through governance training. One of the many valuable opportunities individuals have to support an organization is through its board. There are a variety of types of boards, based on the needs of the non-profit, but they all require oversight and a commitment from dedicated volunteers. Given the impact board decisions have on an organization, this training provided context around the roles and responsibilities of the board, liabilities, and the pivotal role of good governance.

Today’s theme of giving back was a great reminder of the gifts and skills we all have to give, and the rippling impact it can have. Be it through helping serve a meal, providing graphic design support, or sitting on a board of directors, our community thrives when we choose to stand behind it.

Thank you to everyone who came out and spoke to our group, and to anyone interested in exploring current volunteer opportunities across the city, check out Volunteer Manitoba’s website.