REACH Edmonton

Implement. Engage. Retain. These are the three core elements of a successful volunteer program.

With a volunteer base of 32 people, REACH Edmonton is able to frequently connect with the community at public events, conferences and resource fairs. Since January 2017, REACH volunteers have interacted with 5,814 people at 12 events.

"Our volunteers are the ambassadors of REACH," said Kelly Holland, community engagement manager at REACH Edmonton. "My goal is to empower them so that they make a difference in our communities and our world."

Following National Volunteer Week (April 23-29), Holland attended the Leading for Transformation: Advancing the Volunteer Management Profession conference in Victoria, May 10-12.

This national conference covered an array of topics including evaluation, engagement via social media, workplace appreciation, understanding personality, leading through organizational change, managing reputation and tackling challenging situations.

While there, Holland facilitated two hot topic tables on change and transformation. The conversation tables provided an opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions to volunteer management issues.

With more than 40 years of volunteer experience, Holland called on her wealth of expertise (ranging from early childhood development to justice to community stakeholder groups) to share lessons she has learned in managing REACH's volunteer program since 2010.

"It was a great opportunity to discuss the challenges and possible solutions related to volunteer management issues," said Holland.

One of the lessons that Holland shared with conference delegates included investing and building skills in volunteers. At REACH, volunteers are part of the team. They aid the organization in achieving its mandate, vision and mission.

REACH leads transformation not only in the REACH volunteer program, but also in the lives of the volunteers by tailoring tasks to their own unique interests and passions.