Your Connection to Canada’s Volunteering Community

New Digital Tool Classifies Canadians According to Six Volunteer Types and Suggests Suitable Volunteer Opportunities

May 12, 2011

Volunteer Canada, together with Manulife Financial, is introducing a new digital tool that categorizes Canadians into six distinct volunteer types and recommends available roles suited to their volunteer profiles and specific interests. The Volunteer Quiz, or VQ, is the latest addition to a suite of digital assets that is part of a national two-year campaign. This national campaign is aimed at enriching the volunteer experience of Canadians and strengthening the country’s voluntary sector in order to build and sustain healthy communities.

According to the landmark Bridging the Gap research study, led by Volunteer Canada in partnership with Manulife, technology is creating an opportunity to address a disconnect between what Canadians look for in volunteer experiences and what organizations offer.

“Today’s volunteers are more goal-oriented, autonomous, tech-savvy, and mobile,” said Ruth MacKenzie, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada. “It’s essential that organizations recognize the changes that technology brings and adapt to meet the needs of the next generation of volunteers.”

Rookie, Roving Consultant, Type ‘A’, Groupie, Juggler, and Cameo are the six volunteer types identified by the VQ, and are based on the Bridging the Gap research findings. The VQ is the first online tool in Canada to provide volunteer opportunities best suited to the individual’s profile. The ‘Groupie’, for example, enjoys the camaraderie of group volunteering activities, and is best suited to large organizations with short-term or one-day volunteer activities, while the ‘Roving Consultant’ is better suited to work on specific short-term projects with real need for a specialized skill set.

“All Canadians have a role to play along a broad spectrum of engagement – everything from quick bursts of volunteering on mobile handsets to front-line volunteer aid in war-torn regions of the world,” said MacKenzie. “The VQ can help boost volunteer engagement, but it’s essential to maintain a balance between episodic and long-term volunteering.”

“As the leading corporate supporter of this campaign, Manulife is committed to building tools and resources that inspire Canadians to get involved in their communities and help the not-for-profit sector respond to the unique needs of today's volunteers," said Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications at Manulife Canada.  "The VQ is an interactive tool that helps people identify their unique volunteer style, which in turn allows them to focus their search on experiences that they're likely to find most rewarding."

Canadians can access the VQ as a feature on the interactive campaign website. The resource connects individuals to suitable volunteer opportunities made available through a powerful volunteer matching tool, sponsored by Manulife Financial.

Building the Bridge Campaign

In December 2010, Volunteer Canada and Manulife Financial unveiled Bridging the Gap, a pan-Canada research study identifying gaps between what Canadians look for when they consider volunteering and how organizations engage their volunteers. The research gathered practical information organizations can use to engage volunteers in four distinct demographic groups: youth, family, baby boomers, and employer-supported volunteers. Volunteer Canada and Manulife are currently focused on filling these gaps through their Building the Bridge campaign. 

Launched on March 7, 2011, this multi-faceted effort includes a suite of digital components including: the Volunteer Quiz (VQ); a ‘Get Volunteering’ web portal, Facebook page and application; a volunteer matching tool, at the recently enhanced, sponsored by Manulife Financial; a digital ad campaign; and the new Action Bénévole. New tools and resources will continue to roll out throughout 2011.

Volunteer Canada – The National Voice for Volunteerism in Canada

With more than 30 years of passionate commitment to the cause of volunteering and civic participation, Volunteer Canada inspires Canadians to be engaged from coast to coast to coast.  Volunteer Canada develops programs, leads national initiatives, creates tools, and conducts vital research for the non-profit sector.

Focused on influencing social policy and developing valuable resources around volunteerism, the organization helps non-profits and businesses build capacity for the changing culture of volunteerism.  It recognizes the impact of Canada’s 12.5 million volunteers through national campaigns and works with its Corporate Council on Volunteering to catalyze conversations about corporate community involvement. Volunteer Canada works collaboratively with volunteer centres, business, and non-profit organizations to support volunteerism and the ultimate agents of social change, Canada’s volunteers.

Manulife’s Commitment to Volunteerism

Preparing for the future is something Manulife gets behind every day. The Manulife Volunteer Commitment focuses on helping Canadians build a better future on three important levels: by inspiring Canadians to want to get involved and give back; by supporting initiatives that help Canadians match their unique skills and talents with meaningful volunteer opportunities; and by engaging Canadians in the idea of volunteerism and its value to the future of our country.  

Media Note: Visit Volunteer Canada for a backgrounder on the VQ, along with details on all other campaign components including,, and the Get Volunteering Facebook page and application.