Message from the Executive Director

Looking back on the history & looking forward to the future of Vantage Point

Our work is in walking with our fellow not-for-profits in navigating the complex terrain of funding, government regulation, and economic structures.

Headshot of Alison Brewin wearing an orange shirt in front of a grey background.

 

Vantage Point has been serving organizations for more than 75 years. Our work has evolved from matching volunteers to community need, to supporting governance volunteers, to providing training to not-for-profit leadership more broadly, and finally into overall organizational development and capacity-building supports. Last year we began to embrace our next evolution: support for the systemic overall needs of our sector. Everyday we see the individual challenges not-for-profit leaders face, the pressure to advance vitally important missions and meet the demands of our time, whether they are environmental, social, artistic, or economic. We see the struggle to cobble together financial resources, respond to increased needs in the community, communicate the urgency of BC residents in crisis, and offer opportunities and platforms for well-being, play, and artistic voice.

 

COVID-19 put these challenges in relief, turned up the volume, illuminated the experiences. Vantage Point intends to be there for its members, for not-for-profits across the province, to give you the confidence to pursue your own visions and missions. We have learned from this experience that government relations is one tactic for uplifiting that voice but the work for us is really in identifying and understanding the issues, then designing inclusive strategies to ensure the right investments and tools are in place across the sector. Our work is in walking with our fellow not-for-profits in navigating the complex terrain of funding, government regulation, and economic structures.

 

Our work continues to be the provision of high-quality, practical training and tools for individual organizational success. However, COVID-19 has taught us how to offer high quality, practical tools for overall sector success in all its diversity.

 

I am so honoured and excited to work with this brilliant, passionate, committed team of staff members, knowledge philanthropists, and board members to pursue this work before us. My thanks to the staff team, in particular, for understanding the moment for ‘all hands on deck’ and getting through the confusion and adrenaline of the pandemic. As Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.’ I will close by reminding us of another quote Margaret Mead said:‘Always remember you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.’ As we head into the new normal for Vantage Point in 2020 and beyond, let us remember how important a team of dedicated people is, but also the importance of celebrating our sector in all of its diversity AND its commonality.

 

The year ahead looks hopeful. We are financially stable, thanks to the income we earn with our work, and the support of funders like Vancouver Coastal Health, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Foundation. Our monthly donors and members keep us going, financially and in spirit, and we can see the path ahead. We look forward to a dynamic BOSS conference in the fall, likely a hybrid of virtual and in-person, and continuing our growing virtual presence as we build on our successful history to meet the new normal in the months ahead.

 

Sincerely,

Alison Brewin