Volunteer Retention and Engagement in the Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton (BCGBigs)

Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs) are non-profit organizations in communities across Canada and the USA, with the largest Canadian chapter in Edmonton, Alberta. These organizations deliver programming to support the physical, emotional, academic and overall wellness of children and youth, including mentorship programs and the provision of safe places for children after and during school. BGCBigs would not be able to deliver programming without a strong volunteer base. The Edmonton chapter has over 3,000 active volunteers, compared to 100 paid staff members. These numbers speak to the need for a large, active and engaged volunteer base. Recently, the withdrawal rate for volunteers has been increasing, largely before volunteers complete the intake and screening process. Anecdotally, volunteers cite lack of time as the reason for discontinuing. Through surveys, focus groups, and interviews, this project will deliver a more robust understanding of volunteer withdrawal, and will find ways to better engage and maintain volunteers.

Rebecca Best-Bertwistle
Faculty Supervisor: 
Lorna Stefanick
Partner University: