Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program:
Better volunteer engagement breeds success
B.C.’s Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program (NSOBP) is the last hope for one of Canada’s most endangered species. By breeding birds in captivity, NSOBP aims to prevent the northern spotted owl from disappearing from this country. Fortunately, 2019 was a banner year for the organization, thanks in large part to a revamped volunteer program.
In 2018, NSOBP approached the Gosling Foundation for operating funding. However, after in-depth discussion about the organization and its goals, we recommended applying Engagement Organizing techniques to deepen supporter involvement and boost the program’s capacity.
They brought in Organize BC to design and deliver a customized learning program on how to increase support from both new and existing supporters. Then NSOBP staff got to work, overhauling volunteer positions to make them more accessible and meaningful.
Those efforts paid off. In 2019, more than 25 new volunteers donated over 1,300 hours of their time, contributing directly to the success of the record-breaking breeding season. NSOBP may have come to the Gosling Foundation looking for operating funds, but they left with much more: a powerful volunteer engagement program.