Are you a ‘Cameo’ – style volunteer, who wants occasional, flexible opportunities to develop your skills? Or are you a ‘Type A’, a highly motivated leader, driven to contribute to a cause that means the most to you?

Volunteer Canada, together with Manulife Financial, is introducing a new digital tool that categorizes Canadians into six distinct volunteer types and recommends available roles suited to their volunteer profiles and specific interests. The Volunteer Quiz, or VQ, is the latest addition to a suite of digital assets that is part of a national two – year campaign. This national campaign is aimed at enriching the volunteer experience of Canadians and strengthening the country’s voluntary sector in order to build and sustain healthy communities.

According to the landmark Bridging the Gap research study, led by Volunteer Canada in partnership with Manulife, technology is creating an opportunity to address a disconnect between what Canadians look for in volunteer experiences and what organizations offer.

“Today’s volunteers are more goal – oriented, autonomous, tech – savvy, and mobile,” said Ruth MacKenzie, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada. “It’s essential that organizations recognize the changes that technology brings and adapt to meet the needs of the next generation of volunteers.”

Rookie, Roving Consultant, Type ‘A’, Groupie, Juggler, and Cameo are the six volunteer types identified by the VQ, and are based on the Bridging the Gap research findings. The VQ is the first online tool in Canada to provide volunteer opportunities best suited to the individual’s profile.

The ‘Groupie’, for example, enjoys the camaraderie of group volunteering activities, and is best suited to large organizations with short- term o r one- day volunteer activities, while the ‘Roving Consultant’ is better suited to work on specific short – term projects with real need for a specialized skill set.

“All Canadians have a role to play along a broad spectrum of engagement – everything from quick bursts of volunteering on mobile handsets to front – line volunteer aid in war- torn regions of the world,” said MacKenzie. “The VQ can help boost volunteer engagement, but it’s essential to maintain a balance between episodic and long- term volunteering.”

“As the leading corporate supporter of this campaign , Manulife is committed to building tools and resources that inspire Canadians to get involved in their communities and help the not- for-profit sector respond to the unique needs of today’s volunteers,” said Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications at Manulife Canada. ” The VQ is an interactive tool that helps people identify their unique volunteer style, which in turn allows them to focus their search on experiences that they’re likely to find most rewarding.”

Canadians can access the VQ as a feature on the interactive campaign website. The resource connects individuals to suitable volunteer opportunities made available through a powerful volunteer matching tool, sponsored by Manulife Financial. Building the Bridge Campaign In December 2010, Volunteer Canada and Manulife Financial unveiled Bridging the Gap , a pan -Canada research study identifying gaps between what Canadians look for when they consider volunteering and how organizations engage their volunteers. The research gathered practical information organizations can use to engage volunteers in four distinct demographic groups: youth, family, baby boomers, and employer- supported volunteers. Volunteer Canada and
Manulife are currently focused on filling these gaps through their Building the Bridge campaign.

Launched on March 7, 2011, this multi – faceted effort includes a suite of digital components including: the Volunteer Quiz ( VQ); a ‘Get Volunteering’ web portal, Facebook page and application; a volunteer matching tool, at the recently enhanced Getinvolved.ca, sponsored by Manulife Financial; a digital ad campaign; and the new Action Bénévole . New tools and resources will continue to roll out throughout 2011.

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