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Volunteer Toronto receives new funding to explore barriers people face in securing a volunteer role

September 20, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cara Eaton
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Toronto, ON—Volunteer Toronto is pleased to announce it has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for $69,800. The grant will fund a one-year study for a placement support program that specifically helps job seekers, at-risk populations and low-income communities by empowering them to volunteer to enhance their employability.

“Through the grant and our research we will identify specific obstacles people face when searching and applying for volunteer roles across Toronto,” explains Camara Chambers, Director of Community Engagement at Volunteer Toronto. “The programming developed will make it easier for those who face challenging circumstances as they look to volunteer as a stepping stone on their life journey.”

Last year, Volunteer Toronto engaged nearly 4,000 people through outreach presentations, fairs and events—35% of which were job-seekers, 59% were newcomers and 77% were from communities considered at risk of poverty. Beyond this, over 1,800 people were supported one-on-one by Volunteer Toronto’s team, who explained the process of applying for a volunteer position and the types of positions available.

“Common barriers we see include access to technology, lack of English language skills and on the non-profit side, a lack of information in accommodating different needs when engaging volunteers,” adds Chambers. Volunteer Toronto worked with 597 non-profits from across Toronto last year, enhancing their volunteer recruitment and providing training on best practices.

A Program Developer, Lisa Robinson, has been recruited to lead the feasibility study. Robinson has a strong community engagement and research background in addition to experience managing diverse volunteers both locally and internationally. She will present at Volunteer Toronto’s upcoming conference for volunteer managers (November 8th) on the progress of the project and associated research.

If you’re a non-profit leader who engages volunteers and feel your organization is already a success story in breaking down barriers, Volunteer Toronto wants to hear from you! Please contact Lisa directly at


If you'd like to attend a session to learn more about this research, please contact:

Cara Eaton
Marketing & Communications Manager, Volunteer Toronto
416-961-6888 ex 231


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