National Volunteer Week is here once again, where we acknowledge all of those who selflessly give of their time, talents and expertise to help out others in their communities. And here at Business & Arts NL, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for.
In a year that’s been filled with uncertainty and has seen the world turn upside down, so to speak, one thing that has remained steadfast through it all is the generosity and dedication of our amazing volunteers. From lending their expertise as a volunteer board member, to leading workshops to help build skills, or helping out with an income tax or a contract question, our volunteers have been there for our arts members through thick and thin, helping build confidence, competence, connections and community.
This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is “The Value of One, The Power of Many” and whether it’s a big or small gesture, the impact that our volunteers have had on individual artists and arts organizations within our community cannot be understated. For all of their efforts, we say a big thank you.
Our Business Workshops for Artists series headed online this year, and we were also able to increase the number of offerings, reaching even more artists across the province. This year, 470 artists participated in 14 workshops, which covered a variety of topics to help artists and organizations gain skills and knowledge to run their businesses. (We thank Cox & Palmer for their extraordinary generosity in sponsoring this series.)
Our Business Volunteers for the Arts program has continued to make an impact, even during this past tumultuous year. This program connects local artists and arts organizations with volunteers to work through roadblocks and develop sound business practices (helping enhance the sustainability of the arts sector, and strengthening creative networks throughout the province). In 2020, we matched 12 arts members with over $3,000 worth of pro bono support though this program. Professionals in the legal, accounting, HR, and marketing and communications fields helped with everything from contract reviews and budgeting and financial projections, to copyright and tax filing questions and website consultations, just to name a few.
While some may think they don’t have enough time to volunteer, or a skill that’s worth sharing, it often doesn’t take much to make a big difference in someone else’s life (and chances are, you have some knowledge or skills that would be invaluable to somebody else). And volunteering has other positive impacts as well. According to a discussion paper on skills-based volunteerism (SBV) shared by Volunteer Canada, “Companies have found that engaging their employees in non-profit work increases those employees’ creativity and problem-solving abilities, and is an effective means for building critical business and leadership skills.” The paper also states that “SBV programs help companies to recruit and retain employees, as job seekers are increasingly interested in a company’s community engagement, particularly young people entering the workforce.” In addition to improving recruitment and retention, it adds, SBV also enhances employee morale, loyalty and productivity.
Volunteers are the beating heart of their communities and during this week (and every other), we say a huge thank you!
Want to make an impact in the arts? We’re currently looking for volunteers to lend some of their time and talents to our Business Volunteers for the Arts program. Click here to learn more.