Community Services Council Newfoundland and Labrador
The Community Services Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (CSC) is
a charitable organization dedicated to social and economic well-being.
At any given time, CSC is working on dozens of projects that help to
advance the voluntary, community-based sector (VCBS). There are over
4,000 voluntary, community-based organizations (VCBOs) throughout the
province and operating in such a large geographic area is often associated
with high costs. As a way of coping, CSC has turned to the Internet
in an effort to assist VCBOs in the use of technology to increase their
capacity. CSC, along with champions from a number of government agencies,
saw the value in using the Internet to strengthen the sector in order
to increase the social and economic development within communities.
In 2002, CSC launched the first ever Internet vortal for the VCBS in
Newfoundland and Labrador – www.enVision.ca.
enVision.ca is a virtual resource centre based on recommendations by
organizations who wanted a new communications mechanism that would better
link the sector and encourage information-sharing and skills enhancement.
Today, the enVision.ca vortal contains almost 4,000 pages of information,
and it is constantly growing. A combination of static information pieces
and interactive tools make enVision.ca a unique resource. At enVision.ca,
groups can learn about organization management, board development and
volunteer coordination as well as keep up with current news about legislation,
research and policy affecting the VCBS. There is also an interactive
calendar of events, a listing of organizations throughout the province
and a volunteer opportunities board.
In addition, the CSC created sophisticated databases available online
covering topics from possible funding sources to sample volunteer job
descriptions. enVision.ca also offers website creation and hosting as
well as toll-free support for organizations who need technical assistance.
With the recent development of online interactive training in such areas
as Public Relations for the Non-profit, Volunteer Management and Risk
Management, enVision.ca has hit its stride.
The enVision.ca project required the recruitment of human resources
specialists with a solid understanding of the VCBS as the third sector
of the economy, combined with both research and technical skills. As
information technology skills become increasingly valuable to organizations
in all sectors, CSC recognized this challenge upfront and ensured the
recruitment and orientation of staff with the necessary combination
of skills. CSC staff travel across the province to train VCBOs and provide
one-on-one orientation sessions. Individuals are also contracted throughout
the province to ensure that enVision.ca is a valuable resource for rural
and remote organizations.
A successful initiative, the vortal currently receives about 33,000
visits per month!
These best practices are an excellent way of sharing your experiences
with other organizations in the voluntary sector. If you also have positive
experiences on the use of technology in the voluntary sector, the IM-IT
Secretariat will be pleased to post your stories. Please contact the
IM/IT Secretariat by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.