Strengthening our federation: Connecting with members and increasing engagement

“Community engagement means listening to the voices, needs, and ideas of the community. It means reporting back on the outcomes of engagement and honouring people’s time and ideas.” – Federation Member

Last week in this space, I reflected on the road trip I took when I started my role at The Federation. I have been thinking a lot about the impact of that trip above and beyond the extent to which it prepared me for this position.

It was valuable to hear directly from so many members the things that are important to you, the barriers you face, and the goals you want to accomplish. And I’m confident that, in many cases, these talks were just as valuable for you as it was for me.

That kind of engagement is vital to organizations like ours. It’s why one of The Federation’s strategic directives is to provide services that support members’ organizational capacity and participation. We’re a federation and you—our members—are the key partners in achieving our shared mission.

While I don’t travel across the province as often as I might like, I always try to make myself available and accessible. Some members, after speaking with me recently, admitted that they were worried about bothering me with their requests or questions. You aren’t. I promise.

It is my job to answer member questions—your questions—and to explain our projects and initiatives, to listen to your requests or ideas, and to update you on issues that affect your organizations.

As such, starting later this month, I will be holding virtual office hours on Friday afternoons as often as possible. You can call me at 250-655-3949 with any questions, ideas, or requests you may have. If I don’t pick up, I’m likely on a call with another member. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The first Office Hours will be on the afternoon of Friday, November 25 from 12:00–4:00 pm. These will continue on Friday, December 16 and on into the new year. Other dates and times will be included in the News Clippings and my Weekly Emails in the future.

I don’t mean to say that this is the only way that you can get in touch with me. I welcome your calls or emails at any time, but these dates will be blocked off so I am available for this purpose only. It is one new attempt to support and strengthen the connections with our members, to facilitate easy and direct communication. If you want to, or need to, talk to me, just call.

And if you have other ideas for ways our federation can connect, please contact me. If there are additional things we can do to help you in your work, just let me know. We will be rolling out more tools to support members and increase engagement over the coming months. So stay tuned.

I look forward to talking with you.