Building and Sustaining Volunteer Engagement at the Writers' Exchange




Marck, Rory

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Established in 2011, the Writers’ Exchange is a small non-profit organization that operates in-school, after school, and summertime literacy programs for school-aged inner-city kids in East and South Vancouver, British Columbia. The service delivery model of the organization is dependent on volunteers, whose role as literacy mentors is to provide personalized attention and support to the kids participating in their programs. As the Writers’ Exchange has continued to grow, the primary barrier preventing the expansion of programs and services was ensuring sufficient levels of volunteer engagement and retention. The purpose of this research project is to examine different volunteer engagement and retention strategies with the aim of helping the Writers’ Exchange continue to build and sustain its literacy mentor program. The organization also sought to focus its efforts on fostering increased diversity amongst its volunteers in the expansion of its literacy mentor program.



volunteering, volunteer engagement, volunteer retention, diversity and inclusion in volunteering, third sector studies, non-profit organizations, case study, Vancouver non-profit