As National Volunteer Week comes to a close, we tip our collective hats to all of our amazing volunteers who contribute their time, talents and skills to their communities. Thank you for all you do!
While the current pandemic brings with it certain challenges when it comes to daily life, our volunteers continue to step up and show that it’s still possible to contribute and make a difference, even during the most difficult times.
According to a 2018 report from The Conference Board of Canada, volunteers added over two billion hours to Canada’s work effort in 2017, valued at $55.9 billion (equivalent to 2.6 per cent of GDP). While communities benefit greatly from the contributions that volunteers make, the value of volunteering goes both ways. The same report also states that research suggests volunteers gain a range of business-relevant skills and can improve their work-related outcomes, and that volunteering can have a positive impact on health outcomes as well.
Here at Business & Arts NL, we are fortunate to have a pool of dedicated volunteers who go the distance for our arts community by way of our Business Volunteers for the Arts program and Business Workshops for Artists series. Here’s a quick snapshot of both programs:
Business Volunteers for the Arts
90 — Approximate number of volunteers in our database
1,800 — Number of potential volunteer hours/year
$270,000 — Estimated value of volunteer hours overall
12 — Number of connections successfully matched this year
170+ — Approximate hours of work contributed
$64,490 — Value of volunteer hours this year
Business Workshops for Artists
9 — Number of workshops hosted this year
85 — Number of artists who attended
$7,200 — Estimated value of volunteer hours this year
Over the last year, we’ve matched artists and arts organizations with professionals in a variety of fields including legal, accounting, human resources, and marketing and communications. These matches have helped artists navigate a range of areas, including everything from grant writing, logo design, and social media marketing and strategy to contract review and corporate tax filing, just to name a few.
The Business Volunteers for the Arts program not only helps artists run professional, sustainable businesses, it also gives members of the business community the chance to help, learn and take on leadership roles in the places they live and work. Local law firm Benson Buffett has been with the program since the beginning and has helped many artists along the way.
“Benson Buffett has been an enthusiastic participant in Business & Arts NL’s BVA program since its inception. We have provided seminars and individual counsel to members on a wide array of legal issues surrounding the operation of an artistic enterprise, from structural options, to employment issues, to intellectual property questions, to contract formation, and beyond,” says lawyer Jeffrey Benson.
“Our lawyers very much enjoy their interaction with Business & Arts members in this way and are quite pleased and proud to be able to help our vibrant and growing artistic community in whatever way we can.”
These contributions are integral to the success of this program and to all of our volunteers who have pitched in and provided their expertise over the years, we thank each and every one of you. Your contributions to the community are appreciated not just during National Volunteer Week, but all year round.