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OTF helps us be Resilient
$73K grant strengthens resilience of volunteer centre for Peel

BRAMPTON ON – The Ontario Trillium Foundation once again demonstrated its commitment to enabling the community to withstand and recover from the impacts of the pandemic, this time with a $73,400 grant to Volunteer MBC through the Resilient Communities Fund.

MPP for Brampton South, Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, met with Volunteer MBC to share salutations ahead of its 2021 Annual General Meeting on May 27th.

OTF logo“It’s a great opportunity as I continue to learn about the incredible organizations that are out there in the community serving so many different needs, and Volunteer MBC is a great example of that. I am happy that the Ontario Trillium Foundation through the Government of  Ontario has been able to help,” said MPP Sarkaria, who understands the financial impacts, also serving as Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

On June 17th, Volunteer MBC held its annual volunteer recognition event, the 2021 Virtual V-Oscars. This was the second year the event was held virtually and tickets were free--a stark contrast from the annual gala dinner pre-COVID through which Volunteer MBC was able to raise much-needed funds via ticket sales and live auctions.

“I know COVID has been a very difficult year, in terms of the revenue and how you have been impacted. I’ve talked to many not-for-profits with respect to donations, gala dinners, holding events where so many sponsors would come out—so many community events that just couldn’t happen this year. So, we’ve seen a significant decline within that area of revenue generation. It’s important for us as we look toward opening programs like the Resilient Communities Fund. I am happy organizations like Volunteer MBC were able to benefit from that.”

The grant is to be used over the period of one year and has enabled Volunteer MBC to engage a consultant with expertise in fund development to develop a plan focused on financial sustainability and recovery. These skills are highly sought after in the not-for-profit sector and essential to Volunteer MBC’s 5-year Strategic Plan, explained Executive Director of the organization, Carine Strong.

“Sustainability is a key priority of our strategic plan and something many organizations are seeking in these uncertain times, but how to achieve it is complex and not readily understood,” said Strong, who founded the organization in 2008. “It requires a combination of tried and true methods like donor campaigns and new approaches like crowdsourcing and social enterprise. This funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation is making it possible for us to produce a fund development plan that works in the 21st century.”

Volunteer MBC is a collective comprised of hundreds of not-for-profit organizations providing important programs and services in Peel. The centre provides backbone supports to these members organizations in volunteer recruitment and recognition, learning, community engagement and collaboration. Its primary frontline service is a referral system that connects people to volunteer opportunities at www.volunteermbc.org.

Shan Abbasi
Manager, Community Engagement, Volunteer MBC