VOCBC History

The Voluntary Organizations Consortium of British Columbia (VOCBC) is a communications and convening network of provincial and coalition organizations, community benefit organizations that involve volunteers in a wide variety of sectors: health, education, social services, sport, recreation, arts, culture, multiculturalism, aboriginal, disabilities, children/youth, business, environment and others. VOCBC is the one overarching network for the sector which is inclusive of all not-for-profits who are mission-based in community and voluntary action.
VOCBC shares the sector’s vision of a society that recognizes the essential role, value and diversity of voluntary action and service in improving the quality of life in our province. Specifically, our focus is on the organizations that are created by people to provide enabling structures and support for effective community impact, continuity and achievement of purpose.
We are bringing together groups that do not normally come together. As a sector, we have many sub-groups and silos, but many of the issues we face we have in common. It is this disconnect that can be relieved with the aid of the VOCBC network of networks. We know that by paving the way to working together, we can maximize the impact of volunteers and voluntary organizations in British Columbia.
Why do we need another organization?
We are not a formal organization, but operate through a Steering Committee that invites interested colleagues to join us. Our intention is to continue developing as a node for connection, a ‘link-tank’ and brain trust using communications technology effectively and collaborating with existing organizations and networks to achieve our goals.
There is no other group in BC that brings together such a wide range of voluntary organizations for a common purpose – strengthening our individual and collective capacities for improving the quality of life in our province.
How could my organization benefit from VOCBC?
Your organization will benefit by being in touch with sources of “cutting edge information” on voluntary sector developments. VOCBC intends to be a conduit for subscribers on the latest in trends, issues and developments, as well as a facilitator of information exchange amongst members of our networks. Subscribe to our e-list, and you will be linked with peers in other sectors – sectors with which you may not normally associate. Thus, individual organizational capacity will be increased. As a connector in the network, you will also be working with a broad diversity of groups to maximize the contribution of volunteers and voluntary organizations in BC.

Vision & Mission & Goals

VOCBC Vision
We will be leaders in the promotion of a society that recognizes the essential role, value and diversity of volunteers in improving the quality of life in our province.
VOCBC Mission
To maximize the impact of the contributions of volunteers and voluntary organizations in British Columbia.
VOCBC will serve as a welcome and necessary addition to the sector and not be seen as replacing nor unnecessarily duplicating the work of existing organizations.

  • To create and sustain a body that will promote and unite voluntary organizations
  • To promote organizational excellence in the voluntary sector
  • To promote and advance research efforts in the voluntary sector
  • To encourage the capacity within voluntary organizations for planning, analysis and policy development
  • To work together with the public and private sector in policy development and planning
  • To facilitate dialogue on voluntary sector issues, community trends and socio-economic needs in BC communities
  • To provide informed advice to government partners on policy issues and future directions

Core Values
We operate in a way that is:

  • Promoting excellence
  • Pro-active
  • Inclusive
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Transparent and accountable
  • Cognizant of the diversity among us
  • Celebratory of our successes and strengths


Background & History

VOCBC was launched September 2002.
How is VOCBC Structured?
The consortium is led by representatives from different member organizations, as elected by the broad membership. Committees are formed as decided by the consortium and VOCBC is sponsored by Volunteer BC. Participating organizations become members of Volunteer BC
What is the Composition of the Consortium?
Participating organizations must have the capacity and commitment to communicate within their own sub-sector, in order to hear concerns and to disseminate information.

  • Provincial organizations that represent the diversity of groups that involve volunteers: health, education, social services, sport, recreation & leisure, arts, culture, multicultural, aboriginal, children’s/youth; business, environment, service groups, faith and others
  • Organizational representation may be by leadership volunteers and/or senior staff. Staff / board partnerships are encouraged.
  • Provincial organizations that are coalitions of the groups they represent, or
  • Provincial organizations, where no coalitions exist, or
  • Community organizations that are coalitions of the groups they represent

How is the VOCBC Supported?
Administrative support to the consortium will be provided by Volunteer BC and any other partners who agree to provide support
For more information, please email us at contact (at) vocbc.org

Activities & Initiatives

The founders of VOCBC have identified a number of strategic priorities for our network:

  • Encouraging organizations to work together on specific projects
  • Promoting and advancing research efforts in the voluntary sector
  • Creating and sustaining a body that will unite and promote voluntary organizations
  • Facilitating dialogue on voluntary sector issues, community trends and socio-economic needs in BC communities
  • Helping to build the capacity within voluntary  organizations for planning, analysis and policy development

VOCBC was launched September 26, 2002 and since then we have been involved in many activities.
Since the fall of 2004, VOCBC has played a leading role in several events to discuss the future needs of the voluntary sector in British Columbia. They were the Provincial Summit in September 2004 “Developing Strategies to Meet the Challenges in the Voluntary Sector” (with Volunteer BC); “Time to Act: Positioning the Voluntary Sector” (with the Centre for Nonprofit Management) in January 2005, and “Moving On Together” in March 2005.
A three point focus for our work with government has emerged as a result of these discussions. They are to work towards:
•  A legacy from 2010 for volunteerism in BC;
•  A Minister/Ministry or central agency responsible for non-profit organizations and community, with a vehicle for effective communication; and
•  A significant financial investment in social infrastructure for the province to build healthy and engaged communities.
One of the recommendations was that VOCBC encourage its members to talk about the strength of the voluntary sector and the importance of its relationship with government during the pre and post election period of May 2005. VOCBC was asked to provide information on the impact of the sector and some questions that anyone interested in the sector might discuss with their colleagues and ask of their local candidates for office.
These questions have been developed by the VOCBC Steering Committee as a basis for further discussion. The committee would be very interested in hearing your organization’s additions, comments and ideas for further dialogue. Please share these documents with board members, staff and volunteers if you feel this would be useful.
The Steering Committee will continue to encourage dialogue, and will develop resources and tools, with your input.

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