Langley Together for community leadership

School is in session on Feb. 22 for local non-profit groups.

Langley Together is hosting Community Leadership 102, a follow-up to last year’s Community Leadership 101.

Langley Together is the group created to help local non-profits and community groups (think chamber of commerce for non-profits).

Langley is home to over 6,000 volunteer board members who guide hundreds of non-profit societies, charities, sports clubs, and other informal groups, noted workshop organizer Dave Stark, of Langley Together.

The sessions can educate board members, which will give them a greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities, which in turn will allow the boards to more efficiently and effectively do what they were set up to do.

“We really don’t have any local opportunities to develop and educate our board members,” he said. “Expensive, cost-prohibitive courses exist in Vancouver, but they are too far.”

By standing back and taking a broader, sector-wide view, it’s easy to see that most groups, although having different mandates and purposes, have very similar concerns, needs, and desires, Stark said.

“After years of this broader perspective, it frustrated me a lot. My desire was to find a way to save these groups frustration, and make them better,” he noted. “When these hundreds of groups, and thousands of volunteers do better, our communities benefit. It is a very cost-effective approach to build the capacity of volunteers, groups, and the sector. We don’t need large sums of money from governments to help our communities.”

The sessions include the Abundant Non-Profit, which involves finding the right governance structure.

There will also be a session on traditional leadership and governance, as used by aboriginal communities.

“For non-aboriginal organizations wishing to engage with aboriginal communities, it is important to understand ‘traditional leadership’. It is more than a consensus process. It involves respecting protocols, coalition building, developing relationships, and aim for agreement amongst all parties,” Stark said.

There will also be time for questions and networking.

There’s room for 50 people and the event takes place at the Renaissance Retirement Resort, 6676 203rd St.

Community Leadership 102 runs 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and costs $20 per person. Payment is accepted at the door (cash or cheque made payable to Aldergrove Neighourbourhood Services).

People are asked to register in advance at langleytog@gmail.com. If people have any questions, they can also  email to that address.

Langley Together has held a variety of events, including speed dating for non-profits, for groups to tell each other about what they do and how.

The event is sponsored by Langley Together, the Township and Vantage Point, a non-profit leadership training organization.

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