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OVCN CTW 2013 Case Study - Tables By Teens via Information Orillia
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OVCN CTW 2013 Case Study - Tables By Teens via Information Orillia


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  • 1. OVCN Case-Study: ‘Tables By Teens’ Presented by Manon Germain, Network Coordinator – OVCN With support from Shannon O’Donnell and Melody Madden of Information Orillia. July 4, 2013 Executive Summary: OVCN’s Communication Aim: Inspiring and strengthening leadership through community service and volunteer engagement. The purpose of this case-study was to evaluate the potential of Information Orillia’s ‘Tables By Teens’ ChangeTheWorld event becoming the model of a successful province-wide event and fundraiser for VCs. The event is focused on creating a meaningful youth volunteer opportunity to learn and gain building skills, support corporate/employee and group volunteering, as well as building connections for VCs to help minimize risk/overhead costs. The opportunity arose during a meeting between staff of Information Orillia (Shannon, Executive Director, and Melody Madden, Program Manager) and the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (Manon Germain, Network Coordinator). The Network Coordinator followed the trajectory of the ‘Tables By Teens’ event as a case-study for the OVCN to promote and support the innovative approach of creating a CTW event with dual purpose:  To offer youth a meaningful opportunity and gain building skills,  To develop a viable fundraising event to help sustain VC operations with low risk. OVCN’s purpose: The intent was to investigate the need to develop a new provincial strategy to support advocacy and fund-development in relation to CTW in partnership with local VCs. Initially, the objective was to perform a case-study with a VC that acknowledged the challenge with meeting CTW targets, operating on a small budget (>100,000 annual), and was transparent about concerns with the conceptual framework of the fundraising nature of the event being challenged. The goal was to identify new ways whereby the OVCN could support VCs via the administrative grant of CTW by promoting/advocating for a province- wide CTW event focused on skills-based youth volunteer learning opportunities, sponsored by corporations, whilst minimizing risk and enhancing the potential for a successful fundraising event for VCs. Information Orillia’s Situation: Since the fall of 2012, Information Orillia underwent major organizational changes, with all new staff (Executive Director and Program Manager), and challenges with tracking historical records of past CTW campaigns. Both Shannon and Melody acknowledged the need to use the CTW funding to build long-term relationships with community members, create a few new innovative CTW events/projects, and encourage community partnerships towards a sustainable approach to the delivery of CTW for 2013–2015. This situational change enabled them to gather new insights and apply new methodologies based on the importance of measuring impact (change, relationship building) by offering meaningful and valuable youth volunteer opportunities. “We were able to focus on the learning for youth as a CTW event, and not about the fundraising since there was no risk.” Shannon O’Donnell, Executive Director – Information Orillia
  • 2. OVCN Case-Study: ‘Tables By Teens’ Presented by Manon Germain, Network Coordinator – OVCN With support from Shannon O’Donnell and Melody Madden of Information Orillia. July 4, 2013 Insights: ‘Tables By Teens’ was one of Information Orillia’s CTW Events. The objective was to engage youth in teams to build picnic tables with one adult supervisor. The youth were able to get their volunteer hours as well as learn new skills. They could register individually, or have their friends join and make their own team. The picnic tables were pre-sold for $100 and the money went to Information Orillia for ongoing operational expenses dedicated to the Volunteer Centre’s youth programming. Initial targets:  100 tables X $100 = $10,000  100 youth (2-3 per team (youth & adults)  100% corporate sponsorship Methodology:  Solicitation of Home Depot  Solicitation of food sponsors, transportation sponsor (pick up and drop off of picnic tables), and media sponsors (i.e. SNAP Orillia)  Promotion via media sponsors (for the entire CTW Campaign) and online medias (website, city event pages, Facebook)  Promotion and registration via schools Final Outputs:  30 tables (at 100% sponsorship = value of $2500)  30 youth  4 staff (including 2 YMCA Youth Quest placements)  12 employee volunteers (Home Depot)  4 family / group volunteers o Including one family with 1 adult and 2 youth (6 & 13yrs old)  $400 in other corporate sponsorships (snacks, pizza, media) Fundraising result: The event raised $3,000 to support the Volunteer Centre’s ongoing youth engagement operations. The only CTW funds diverted to this event were for poster printing. Challenges & Successes: Challenges:  Youth commitment o 60+ youth were registered for the event via Information Orillia’s info-booths at schools, contact with school counsellors and follow-up by text, Facebook, email. However, only 30 confirmed pre-event. o School guidance counsellors identified the challenge with engaging youth and inspiring them to sign-up. At one school, over 40 youth were not going to graduate because their 40 hour community services requirement were unfulfilled “This is a great model for success to engage male youth.” Shannon O’Donnell, Executive Director – Information Orillia
  • 3. OVCN Case-Study: ‘Tables By Teens’ Presented by Manon Germain, Network Coordinator – OVCN With support from Shannon O’Donnell and Melody Madden of Information Orillia. July 4, 2013 o Issues of accountability were identified by both VC staff, and counsellors o Weather could have been a big challenge with the build outside, but it was sunny  CT timing o The timing of the event, for example, created challenges with getting special consideration from MCI to do this event ‘outside of CTW’ o Ideally, this event could ensure greater success if it occurred closer to summer time with cottage country visitors Successes  Sold 26 tables pre-event and 4 purchased post-event  Received 100% sponsorship from Home Depot for 30 picnic tables  No risk: Home Depot did not add any pressure as a donor  Home Depot offered staff support, space to build, and tools  Received additional sponsors for food/transportation  The local Mayor and other celebrities attended  Built relationships and interest for next year’s ‘Tables By Teens’ Findings & Recommendations: ‘Tables By Teens’ proved to be successful in both youth engagement and skills building as well as fundraising and relationship building for the VC. This is a great opportunity for ‘corporate and employee volunteering’ as well as family/group volunteering. There is potential to add skills- based learning by staining the tables, and selling them at a higher price for the added volunteer work. This event model has the potential to be replicated across Ontario, where Home Depots are present, as well as supported by the OVCN via communications, fund development and advocacy. Recommendations: That the OVCN support the creation of a detailed case-study with a detailed toolkit for VCs to replicate this event. To ensure mutual reciprocity with respects to Information Orillia’s lead in envisioning this event, the OVCN will continue to promote, support and participate at Information Orillia’s CTW ‘Tables By Teens’ event for 2014 and 2015. As well as include a feature of the 2013 event on the OVCN website in the summer/fall. Conclusion: Even though Information Orillia was not successful in meeting their CTW Targets of engaging 470 youth, and missed their target by 66% by engaging 161 youth, they were successful in envisioning, creating and delivering a meaningful CTW event that encompassed a lot more than the simple measure of youth engaged. Corporate, staff, citizen and community engagement was instrumental in the success of ‘Tables By Teens’ by offering an innovative skills-building opportunity for youth, engaging corporations, employees and families, as well as community members to donate and gain a valuable resource – a picnic table. The OVCN has a great opportunity to seek the support to deliver this event province-wide and enable VCs to develop project-management skills linked to corporate and citizen philanthropy. “At the end of the day I am still wondering what we are being evaluated on.” Shannon O’Donnell