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Project Title

GVFB Volunteer Pool Engagement Research

Organization Name

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank


Food bank, volunteer, asset mapping, survey design, motivation

Organization Information

Organization Name

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Mission and Vision of Organization

  • Vision: Accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all.
  • Mission: To create empowering environments that provide and promote access to healthy food, education and training.

Guiding Principles + Values

Guiding Principles + Values: Organizational values:

  • Accountability
  • Trust
  • Collaboration
  • Justice
  • Respect

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Raelynne Gagnon
  • Email:
  • Address: 1150 Raymur Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6A 3T2
  • Phone: 604.216.3076
  • Website:
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Information

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to gather data to assist us in engaging our volunteer pool. We will design a survey (paper and electronic), plan data collection, and implement data collection.

Following data collection, we will collate and analyze data, and summarize in a brief project report. Depending on student availability, we would like to involve them in all stages of the project (design to reporting), however we have the flexibility to scope the work to ensure it is viable for the students with respect to their availability and timeline.

Project Goal

Collected and analyzed data, relevant for an improved understanding of our volunteer pool.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Basic computer and Microsoft office skills, including Excel

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed)

  • Interpersonal skills for working with community and individuals/groups with complex health needs
  • Excel and Survey Monkey for use in research

Criminal record check required?

Yes (vulnerable sector) – GVFB will assist students with submitting the check.

Project Location

1150 Raymur Ave Vancouver, and data collection at other sites in Vancouver/Burnaby/New Westminster/North Vancouver (dependent on student availability).

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Flexible (Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 3:30 pm)

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

  • GVFB will provide students with an in-person orientation on January 16
  • Students be able to participate in GVFB's general volunteer orientation session (multiple dates available throughout the project time frame).
  • Visit the website for additional background context
  • GVFB will provide the annual community report that provides an overview of the work we do (upon request/in first meeting).

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

  • Yes! We will provide opportunities to engage with our community throughout the project (staff, members, volunteers).
  • If they wish, students can volunteer in addition to the project work for further opportunity to engage with the community (volunteers and members at sites, and in our warehouse/office).
  • Students with availability in the mornings Monday – Friday will have the greatest opportunities to engage with the community as this is when our food distribution sites are open (various locations).
  • Morning availability is not required, but those with at least one morning a week will find the project work the most engaging and enjoyable. We can be flexible with scheduling work.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about

  • Designing surveys to collect data targeting community groups
  • Data collection, data entry, simple analysis
  • Applied research
  • Benefits of using easily available software/applications to do community-based research (Excel, Survey Monkey)

I think students will come to appreciate

  • Difficulties in data collection – the importance of piloting tools (e.g. surveys) with sample population
  • The complexity of research design in community-based research

Through this project, students will develop basic skills related to quantitative research:

  • Data collection through surveys
  • Data entry and analysis

Organizational Outcomes

Improved understanding of our volunteer pool, enabling us to strategically design volunteer engagement and recruitment.

More broadly, this project advances our organization’s goals by...

Our organization runs on volunteers. We currently have around 1,000 active volunteers. Volunteer work doubles our paid staff capacity, and we could not operate without them. However, we have little insight into various important aspects, including:

  • Start date (many of our volunteers have been with us >20 years)
  • If they also donate
  • If they are also members (i.e. collect food from the GVFB)
  • If they have any disabilities (seen and unseen), and how we are accommodating them or could do better
  • What motivated them to start volunteering, and what has kept them engaged in their volunteering
  • If they feel valued and appreciated, if their volunteer role is meaningful to them