Volunteer Conference Workshops

Conference delegates gather in the ballroom for keynote presentation

2023 Volunteer Conference Workshops

Friday, November 17 at Delta Hotel, 8 am - 4:30 pm

Morning Workshops:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Panel   Shehab Matar, Halifax Regional Municipality; Russell Brooks, Halifax Regional Municipality; Melissa Myers, Halifax Regional Municipality.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is an important topic for all organizations in community. Volunteer organizations to take the time to look at their own diversity and inclusion practices to see where they can improve, become more effective, and, importantly, understand what does and doesn’t work. Join our expert panel to discuss and answer your questions.


Building Better Teams    Max Chauvin, Halifax Regional Municipality

In every walk of life and in every organization, people need to work with others.  A board of directors, a fund-raising committee, or event planning task force, it doesn’t matter, almost everything we do is working with others.  Therefore, working on and with a team is an essential ability to have if you and your organization is to be successful.

In this workshop we will explore what makes team work really well.  We will discuss why starting strong is so important and how to set up your team for success on day 1. We will look at tools you can use tomorrow to help get and keep your team on track. Finally, we will figure out why teams fail, how you can identify problems before they happen, and what you can do to get them performing well again.


Preventing Burnout, Mental Health, and Self-Care for Volunteers    Lindsay Miller, Canadian Mental Health Association; Glenn Rodgers, Canadian Mental Health Association 

As Nova Scotians we have experienced some very trying times in recent years.  As a result, our mental health has certainly been affected in a variety of ways.  It has never been more important to look after our mental health than now – both our individual and our collective mental health.  We need to focus on strengthening our mental health, practicing positive self-care, and protecting ourselves from the unhealthy stressors of life and the potential for burnout.

In this workshop, we will look at the difference between mental health and mental illness, discuss practicing positive self-care and community care, and learn some ways to deal effectively with excess stress in our lives. 

Being proactive in our mental well-being can help to lessen the chance of developing burnout while volunteering in various capacities. 


Meeting Changing Community Needs   Louise Adongo

This workshop provides an opportunity for attendees to reflect on what drives them to do the work they feel called to and how to energize other people around similar goals.

Following a 5-minute introduction and ‘pulse-check’, the facilitator will provide a 15-20 presentation on their own reflections in community engagement and connection. This will be followed by some group work at tables around three scenarios drawn from the participants. Tangible steps in ensuring inclusivity, shared space and agency in action will be considered.

Participants will leave with templates for information gathering, convening a meeting, making cold-calls to people they would not otherwise connect with and how to have difficult but necessary (vulnerable) conversations about what is and isn’t working in the service of a broader mission.


Micro-Neighbourliness: Building Strong Communities Through Small Acts  Kate Moon, Halifax Regional Municipality; Becca Bishop, Halifax Regional Municipality

In this engaging and interactive workshop, we will explore the power of micro-neighborliness and its potential to create stronger, more connected communities. Micro-neighborliness refers to the small but impactful acts of kindness, consideration, and support that can transform a neighborhood into a nurturing and compassionate environment. Participants will discover how these simple gestures can foster a sense of belonging, trust, and empathy among neighbors, leading to a thriving and harmonious community. By the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with practical skills, knowledge, and motivation to embrace micro-neighborliness and play an active role in cultivating a more caring, connected, and resilient community.


Project Management  Ashley MacPherson, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Are you working toward a new service or program for your organization, planning an upcoming renovation, fundraising event, or collaborating on a new initiative? Do you feel like you’re herding cats?! It might be time to get back to project management basics! Learn the essential tools and techniques to successfully plan, execute, and oversee projects that create positive change in your community. In this interactive workshop you will learn about project management principles helpful for volunteers so you can be efficient, well organized, and impactful.


Afternoon Workshops:

Level Up Your Grant Skills   Vanessa Burns, Vanessa Burns Consulting Group

Many organizations look for grants to help support new and ongoing projects. However, researching and submitting grant applications can be an overwhelming process. The good news is that it doesn't have to be. In this immersive grant workshop you will discover tips, tricks and tools to help you effectively uncover and craft compelling grant proposals. Don't miss this engaging opportunity to level up your grant skills.


Treasurer 101  Andrea Robinson, Certified Professional Accountant

This workshop is tailored to non-bookkeepers to give them the knowledge and confidence to take on this crucial role in an organization. The Workshop will help new Treasurers and Board Members better understand what's involved, best practices, the responsibilities, and a few general tips and tricks..


Cultural Humility: Volunteering for All  [FULL] Sylvia Calatayud, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

In a community with multiple worldviews, all worldviews must be considered. Cultural Humility is an approach that helps to create equity in communities and institutions through the intentional practice of meeting others where they are. 

In this workshop, you will: 

•Self-reflect, discuss and learn about Cultural Humility

•Gain tools on how to use Cultural Humility in your Volunteer work and daily life

•Understand the importance of cultural identity to create equity

•Maintain other-oriented stance with people that come from a different background than yours


Finding and Keeping Volunteers   Lindsay Cory, Halifax Regional Municipality

Working with volunteers brings essential new life into your organization but what are some best practices to keeping them engaged and returning year over year? This session will build upon other conference topics and attendees will walk away with some tools to connect, build, engage and develop their volunteer force


Creating an Ecosystem of Care: Grounding our work in Compassion   Conor O'Dea, Halifax Regional Municipality

This workshop is designed to explore and strengthen the unique dynamics that arise when volunteers work together in unspoken partnerships. Through interactive activities, discussions, and reflective exercises, participants will discover how to enhance nonverbal communication, empathy, and shared intentions to strengthen volunteer efforts and build a harmonious and productive team.


Fundamentals of Marketing & Promotion [CANCELLED] Penny Sears, Clean Foundation

This workshop will present the fundamentals like creating a marketing strategy, brand building, advertising and leveraging digital and social media channels to build awareness of your organization in community.