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Are You Ready To Govern Your Grassroots Organization?

Posted By Louroz Mercader, Outreach Coordinator - Grassroots Growth, September 22, 2016
Updated: September 21, 2016
 

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A governance structure is a system of guidance and organization. And we could all use a little guidance and organization in our lives! You need to implement a governance structure for the same reason you need to write mission and vision statements: because not having these can harm your legitimacy and volunteers may not be as willing to contribute their time to your group.

But governance structures will also help your team to make decisions and provide you with accountability. Have you ever found that your team seems to have lots of exciting ideas but they don’t ever get accomplished? Do you find that your meetings frequently go off on tangents? If your core volunteers are your friends and family, you’re probably particularly susceptible to this. A governance structure can help! Establishing a group of leaders will ensure you stay on track and carry out your work in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, if you wish to register as a charity or incorporate your grassroots group, you will be required to follow a traditional governance structure.

Governance structures are like relationships – you have to be ready for them. Spending an extra six months preparing your structure is a far better practice than rushing into one before you’re ready and finding you’re in way over your head.

The map below will help to guide you in determining whether or not you’re ready to implement a governance structure right now. If it turns out that the answer is no, but you’re interested in professionalizing your grassroots group, try taking some of the steps to professionalizing, and revisit these questions at a later date to see if you’re ready then!

 

 

In the pursuit of establishing governance and building legitimacy, it is easy to become overwhelmed. There is a tendency to lose sight of the objective when one is inundated with policies, guidelines, best practices and documentation. Thankfully the Grassroots Project is here to support volunteer-run groups across Ontario with in-person workshops, informative handbooks, downloadable templates and an online community.

 Access all our free grassroots resources by joining us at www.GrassrootsGrowth.ca, or register for one of our free Grassroots Governance workshops at www.volunteertoronto.ca/page/GrassrootsWorkshops

 

Grassroots Growth Website

 

As Community Outreach Coordinator for the Grassroots Growth project, Louroz reaches out to volunteer-run groups in Toronto and across Ontario to help spread the word about the project and get our services out to those who need them most.

Tags:  grassroots governance  grassroots organizations  Identifying Grassroots Resources  Resources for Grassroots groups  volunteer-run groups 

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What We're Doing To Help Grassroots Groups Grow

Posted By Melina Condren, Director of Engaging Organizations, January 19, 2016
Updated: January 19, 2016
 
 

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Grassroots groups are an incredible resource for communities across Ontario. They’re powered by passion and dedication to a cause—a group of people who come together in their free time to spark social change. These amazing volunteers often don’t have access to the same resources and support that larger non-profits have, so about a year ago, Volunteer Toronto set out to help them.

But we weren’t sure where to start. So we asked, we listened, and we learned some important lessons. Through focus groups, a survey, and a series of case studies, we got to know grassroots groups in Toronto and across Ontario. We learned that they’re often formed casually, when a group of friends or neighbours see a problem that needs to be solved. We learned that they’re generous not only with their time, but also with their money, since many of them are self-funded. We learned that they’re resourceful, resilient, and innovative. And we learned that they face challenges that keep them from reaching their full potential—challenges that we hope to help them overcome.

Here's only a handful of the challenges they face and the solutions we've come up with to help. 

Challenges faced by Grassroots Groups in Ontario and our solutions to help them grow 

 

All this barely scratches the surface of what we learned and how we plan to offer support. To learn more, you can read our research report, sign up for a workshop, or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on everything the project has to offer.

 

  Melina oversees all of Volunteer Toronto's services for organizations, including our training program, volunteer management conference, subscriptions program, and new Grassroots Growth project. Her priority is to ensure our services are effectively helping non-profits build capacity through volunteer involvement and continue to meet the
ever-evolving needs of the voluntary sector.

Tags:  Burnout  Challenges for Grassroots Organizations  Free Access To Online Volunteer Opportunity Databa  From The Bottom Up Research Report  Grassroots  Grassroots Growth  Identifying Grassroots Resources  Isolation From Other Grassroots Organizations  Mentorship  Networking  Volunteer Recruitment 

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