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Celebrating the engines of the charitable world

International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD) is a day to recognize, celebrate, and thank the leaders in our community behind so many volunteer experiences, opportunities and memories.

November 5th marked the twentieth year of celebrating International Volunteer Managers Day, and we at the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations are thrilled to acknowledge the volunteer engagement specialists, volunteer managers, resource coordinators and anyone who works with volunteers and say thank you for all the fantastic work you do building and shaping our community.

At ECVO, we tend to refer to those in this position as Volunteer Engagement Specialists—in our eyes, a more accurate description of what the typical volunteer “manager” position entails. I encourage you to check out our post on this year topic, in which Sharon discusses why Volunteer Management…is dead! Despite the dramatic title, we certainly don’t mean to diminish the work of those who drive volunteerism in our communities and continue to spin the wheel of the charitable world in one of the most demanding jobs out there, motivating individuals to give their time and energy for free.

We’re simply recognizing that the position and its demands are changing rapidly. So why not rethink the title to reflect this?

This year’s theme of IVMD is “Change the Tune.” Volunteerism has always been evolving world, and the changes have been especially dramatic in the last two decades, spurred by the growing impact of technology on how we communicate, congregate, and donate.

We’ve had many of these questions and conversations surface year after year with Volunteer Engagement Specialists, and we are indeed listening. We’re eager to launch a new initiative that has been percolating for some time: a network for those who work in volunteerism to share practices, struggles, ideas, successes and failures—so that we can learn from each other and further the impact that volunteerism has on society.

Volunteer Alberta's Karen Link leads a discussion on IVMDay 2019.

At our IVMD celebration event on November 5, we welcomed many individuals who work in volunteerism to continue building this conversation around collaboration. It was energizing to hear so many shared ideas, common challenges, and massive appetites to work together on so many initiates.

We are just in the infancy of this community of practice and are thrilled to get it off the ground to further enrich the volunteer community. If you wish to participate in this network do not hesitate to contact me, Ilya, at I would love to hear from you as we enter the exploratory stage of what this initiative can look like for the sector.

As a collective and as a network we can together accomplish so much more, find new ways to work together, and celebrate the incredible benefits of collaboration.