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The Importance of Volunteering

December 10, 2020


Post Contributed By: Nicole Fontaine, Leadership Winnipeg Class of 2020-21

On November 20th, during our Leadership Winnipeg class, we received Board Governance Training from the Executive Director of Volunteer Manitoba (VM) Jackie Hunt. We learnt through her presentation that the topic of Board Governance is so important! She also shared her passion for giving as she too has served and is serving on several Boards. We must understand our roles when choosing to volunteer on a board. This is crucial to how effective the committee and/or organization will be!

Why do people choose to sit on a board? Well when I think back on my history of volunteering on boards and committees, it started in high school. I wanted to make a difference, an impact and give back. Pretty sure I inherited my father’s love of participating on several boards. I remember when he was President of “Les Éducatrices et éducateurs francophones du Manitoba (ÉFM) ” as well as several other committees. He shared how it was important to promote the needs of francophone teachers in Manitoba. His passion was contagious, he was making a meaningful difference and effecting change with his colleagues!

Therefore, I volunteered on my High School Student Council and a few provincial committees. Then had children and wanted to volunteer with Mini Franco-fun, a parent and toddler group. I was President for 7 years and it was so empowering. Once the children grew up it was natural to decide to join the Parent Council and take on the Presidency in my second year. I’m presently enjoying being on the board of Economic Developers Association of Manitoba (EDAM) for a 2 term. As well as finishing up 5 years with French Toast Club, a Toastmasters International Club where I held several roles such as President, Secretary, VP of Education to name a few.

If people don’t step up to the plate there wouldn’t be so many great groups, clubs, charities and organisations. So many services wouldn’t be available!

Volunteering builds our skills, network and allows us to support a cause that is close to our hearts! You can make a difference independent of the size of board you choose to be on. It’s paramount to be on an effective board. One that is well organized, follows the proper codes of ethics and has the proper liability insurance. As Jackie shared with us “good people leave ineffective boards”. That is why we each need to know our roles, responsibilities, work as a team and if everyone pitches in, fascinating results can be achieved!

It’s wonderful that Volunteer Manitoba has had the Volunteer Awards for the last 37 years! Be sure to watch their 37th Annual Virtual Volunteer Awards here: https://www.volunteermanitoba.ca/awards.php. A wonderful celebration of people with big hearts who have given of their time to make an amazing difference in our Province.

Merci Jackie for sharing that we are not alone and that VM has resources and tools to help our boards. Read More Here. As well, feel free to reach out to receive specific Board Governance training.

In these difficult times volunteers are still needed. Your strengths and skills can really make a difference! It will bring you a lot more than you think. Personally, I feel a sense of empowerment, community and connection! Wishing you all the best in heading into our holiday season.

Nicole Fontaine,
Business Development Officer for World Trade Centre Winnipeg

Leadership Winnipeg is supported by:

Vision Partners:

Canada Life
IG Wealth Management
The Winnipeg Foundation
Johnston Group
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Proud Partner:

Assiniboine CU

Proud Supporters:

Asper School of Business
Boston Pizza
Honest Agency
Wawanesa Insurance


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