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Posts Tagged ‘volunteer burnout’


Grow A Community Garden…

Posted by: in North West

This is the season when things grow and flourish. So how do you make a community garden grow? You start with good soil, then till the rows, plant a variety of seeds, water and watch it grow. A good gardener will nurture the garden along by maintaining a schedule of watering, fertilizing and weeding, hoping for the right combination of rain and sunshine for the seeds to take root and grow.

Where am I going with this you ask….follow along.

Not only is it a season of growth but the opportunity for many communities to host outdoor festivals, jamborees, rodeos, farmers markets, baseball tournaments and concerts. Yup. And most of them are run by a group of community volunteers (successfully I might add). I also realized that it isn’t just my community (Grande Cache) where the same ten people (STP’s I like to call them) volunteer for everything, it’s throughout the north-west. For the past two months I have visited a variety of rural communities throughout North West Alberta and there is one reoccurring theme: how do we recruit and retain volunteers?

This got me to thinking: what is it that KnowledgeConnector is trying to achieve?

To put things in simpler terms, I am comparing KnowlegeConnector to a community gardener.

We know that people (the soil) are the most important valuable resource to our community organizations (our garden).  Community sustainability and growth relies on knowledgable volunteers and building leadership skills, creating that passion for learning.

Every good gardener will use a fertilizer to enhance growth. This is where Knowledgeconnector fits in, our role is to help rural Alberta nonprofits/volunteer organizations grow and flourish by linking volunteers to learning opportunities (fertilizer). By empowering  volunteers with knowledge and skills (nurturing the garden) leads to a better organization and a stronger community. So what knowledge is the right knowledge? Where do you start?

Getting started is easy, as the NW Regional Capacity Coordinator is my role to work with rural nonprofits and volunteer organizations (FREE of charge might I add)  to determine your individual or organizational learning priorities and to link them to learning resources in your community or region.

Goes back to the question… so how do we recruit and retain volunteers? Plant the seed – provide your volunteers with accessible, affordable learning opportunities in line with their specific interests and needs and watch your community garden grow!!

If you are interested in participating in a workshop or need further information, contact me your NW Regional Capacity Coordinator



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Volunteer Burnout: Wetaskiwin Leaders Working Smarter to Bust Burnout

Posted by: in Central East, Global News

In this day and age we are finding people working harder and harder to keep up with the demands of technology and our rapidly changing environment. As a result, we are seeing incidences of exhaustion and mental illness increase. What does this mean? Volunteers and staff alike are experiencing burnout.

I was recently in Wetaskiwin and had the opportunity to visit with an amazingly inspirational individual named Manisha Khetarn, Director of the Wetaskiwin Library. I had actually just dropped by after another meeting in town and was hoping to possibly share a few words with her. I definitely ended up getting more than I was looking for! I had met her once before and at this particular visit she let me know that she was more than willing to get engaged in KnowledgeConnector and to work with me the best she could to ensure everyone in her community would be aware of and utilize it as well.

In our discussions, I discovered one of the biggest issues facing the volunteer and non-profit sector in Wetaskiwin is burnout. The community is full of extremely dedicated volunteers that put in more than their fair share of volunteering. Take Manisha for example, although she is incredibly instrumental in supporting the community I was tempted to tell her she should take it easy! In the last month alone, she volunteered close to 200 hours while managing the bustling library. I got the impression that other like-minded individuals in Wetaskiwin are also eagerly dedicating many hours but taking no time for themselves.

There is always so much to do but little time. I believe this is why Manisha welcomed me with open arms when I informed her that KnowledgeConnector is here to support her and other volunteers to more effectively achieve their missions. Why work harder when you can work smarter?

So after our discussions, Manisha and I decided we should take action. We have planned a workshop for Thursday, May 19th, at 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm in the Wetaskiwin Library. There we will be assessing learning needs and matching learning opportunities for managers, board members and senior volunteers to create more efficiency and less burnout. Contact Manisha or me for more information on how you can get involved!

Victoria Poschadel,

Manisha Khetarn,

For more information on Volunteer Burnout click here!

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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