New province-wide database matches volunteers with opportunities
A free, centralized website is now available to help match Nova Scotian non-profit organizations with like-minded volunteers.
Volunteerns.ca is hosted by the Kings Volunteer Resource Centre (KVRC) at Dalhousie University. The Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage provided $30,000 in funding. Project partner Volunteers Canada provide expertise. So far, uptake has been strong. “I am very proud to let you know that so far we are up to 1,400 absolute unique users of the site, 17,000 page views,” said KVRC Communications and Outreach Officer Jim Dorey. “We’ve also had very successful opportunity postings, such as one in the healthcare field that has had 187 views and 9 applicants. All of this before a formal launch!”
Site users can create a profile to save their searches and receive alerts based on profile preferences - interests, location, organizations they wish to track, and timeframe availability. Site visitors may also browse and search organizations anonymously.
Website usability is a top priority for project’s partners.
"We're taking a lot of time to do it right. We’re using technology called Volunteer Attract that's been implemented across Canada. That’s the database backend and our website sits on top of that."
The site is also supported by a “partnership table”, a group that meets regularly to discuss the site and push it forward. Members include Dept. of Community, Culture and Heritage, the Community Sector Council, County of Kings, IWK, NS 211, Engage Nova Scotia and Halifax Regional Municipality.
Dorey says there are approximately 400,000 Nova Scotians volunteering, predominantly youth and seniors. Youth are drawn to career-related opportunities. Seniors volunteer to give back to their communities or as expression of civic pride.
People without computers or access to the Internet can call Nova Scotia 211 to connect with opportunities. Representatives will be trained on the site to answer questions and troubleshoot issues.
A screenshot of the new Volunteerns.ca website where volunteers and organizations can find one another.