Spotlight on National Volunteer Week & Business Volunteers for the Arts

Volunteers make the world go round. Those who give freely of their time and expertise for the benefit of others, without expecting anything in return, provide more value than they know. During National Volunteer Week (NVW), April 15-21, we take the time to say thank you to Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers and recognize their contributions to our communities.

Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, there’s no shortage of dedicated and passionate people who are willing to lend a helping hand. Through our Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) program, we have been fortunate to be able to pair dozens of volunteer lawyers, accountants, engineers, marketing and other professionals with local artists and arts organizations – giving artists the support they need to make their best work, while helping to strengthen and professionalize the creative community in the province.

Since the inception of the BVA program in spring 2016, these professionals have offered help, free of charge, to artists in a variety of areas – everything from contract reviews, tax counselling and marketing advice, to business plan help and strategic planning assistance. We have also been successful in facilitating several long-term board matches through the program, and have connected arts organizations/businesses with professionals willing to offer reduced rates for more involved projects such as year-end financial reporting. During our legal clinics this past year, artists also received pro bono advice and assistance from legal professionals from several different firms in the city. None of this would be possible without the generosity and dedication of our team of volunteers.

Currently, our volunteer database includes over 1,900 volunteer hours pledged, worth an estimated $272,500. Some other interesting stats about the BVA program, from the past year, include:

* 36 – the number of successful matches made.
* 150 – the estimated number of hours of pro bono services contributed by volunteers to artists, arts groups and arts organizations.
* 5 – the number of new, long-term volunteer placements facilitated on arts boards. (When added to ongoing board matches from previous years, this results in an estimated 250 hours of additional pro bono service delivered annually to the arts community.)

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many organizations, big and small. During National Volunteer Week, we tip our hat to all of our volunteers who have helped make the BVA program such a success, and who support the creative community in myriad ways. Thank you!