Prose and Consulting

Hi, my name is Jeff D’Silva and I’m the new Manager, Consulting at Volunteer Calgary.

Jeff D’Silva, Manager, Consulting

As a born and raised Calgarian, I am extremely passionate about ensuring that our city continues to grow as a vibrant and diverse community. As a direct result of volunteering, I have been able to realize some of my greatest dreams: I have said “hi” to my mom on live TV, walked the red carpet for the premiere of a movie I starred in, gone back to school to get my MBA, and even met and worked for my childhood hero Conan O’Brien.

One of the reasons I chose to pursue my current role with Volunteer Calgary is that it granted me the opportunity to help strengthen the organizations that have given so much to me. It was important for me to feel like the work I was doing actually “meant” something and that I was using my unusual talents and skills to make the greatest contribution I could to my community. During my brief time at Volunteer Calgary, I have been energized by the fact that the work that I do every day is actually, to put it cheesily, “making a difference!”

Volunteer Calgary’s Consulting Services connects organizations with highly skilled consultants experienced in the non-profit sector. The customized projects that result from these connections often lead to real transformative change for these organizations. In the coming weeks, I’d like to shine the spotlight on some of these connections.   

Recently, a Volunteer Calgary consultant, Sharlene Coulter, facilitated an interactive learning session with TELUS Spark (Calgary’s New Science Centre) to discuss the core areas of best practices in volunteer engagement. According to Sandy Bray, Manager, Volunteer Resources the results were “Awesome!”

Sandy continued:

 “Sharlene’s presentation had a good mix of information, role play and interaction. Our staff now understand the volunteer process and how their support/coaching of the volunteers is key to the success of our program. I would like to do this particular presentation every Fall during new staff training week. I was very pleased with how everything went and I am looking forward to Sharlene’s final summary and recommendations”

An article in the Harvard Business Review by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer states:

“Foundations can create more value if they move from the role of capital provider to the role of engaged partner, thereby improving the grantee’s effectiveness as an organization. The value created in this way extends beyond the impact of one grant. It raises the social impact of the grantee in all that it does and, to the extent that grantees are willing to learn from one another, it can increase the effectiveness of other organizations as well.” (http://tinyurl.com/porterkramer)

A distinguishing feature of Volunteer Calgary’s Consulting Services is the focus on strengthening organizations. In the case of TELUS Spark, the organization’s funding dollars were used to engage in a customized consultation that addressed their current need to educate their staff about volunteerism, provided feedback and directives for change, and gave the organization a tool that they can use for years to come. The value added aspect of this consultation is found in the access to support and full range of services that Volunteer Calgary provides to all of their clients.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns or would like to learn more about Volunteer Calgary’s Consulting Services, feel free to contact me, Jeff D’Silva, at 403-231-1431 or by email at jdsilva@volunteercalgary.ab.ca

About the Contributor

Jeff and Chappelle

Jeff D’Silva is a born and raised Calgarian who has had a unique range of professional experiences over his career. Jeff holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business. Jeff has worked in a diverse group of industries including residential finance, non-profit, and even entertainment.

His passion for volunteering and desire to strengthen organizations began as a volunteer for Calgary’s famed Loose Moose Theatre Company. Jeff has also volunteered for the Calgary International Film Festival, Quickdraw Animation Society, and the Calgary Zoo. In 2009, Jeff was awarded the Allan Clowes Family MBA Fellowship for Community Involvement. Among other things, Jeff has won a Big Rock Eddie Award, written and starred in a feature film, and interned at the Conan O’Brien show. In his spare time Jeff likes to perform and write comedy and spend time with his wife and their miniature Dachshund “Chappelle”.

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About Propellus

Propellus is a non-profit organization that has been empowering organizations since 1955. Through a dynamic range of consulting, training and member services, it helps organizations envision and realize new paths, practices and possibilities. Propellus guides, mentors and educates clients, arming them with tools and resources to help boost organizational effectiveness. Propellus strengthens organizations; in doing so, it leads the way toward building thriving communities.
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