From Skills Bank and Greatconnections to GreatConnections: a new name and direction for LV’s Social Impact Program

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  What is GreatConnections?

GreatConnections is the name now being used for our social impact program to make a direct impact on the community and community organisations. We do this by matching our alumni to work as skilled “transformational” volunteers on community projects and with community organisations. Our alumni volunteer program has previously been called “Skills Bank”.

In 2012, LV merged with Greatconnections, which also matches skilled volunteers to community projects and community organisations. Greatconnections volunteers are not LV alumni, but have similar significant career experience and skills.

2.  Why does LV plan to change the name?

For the past twelve months, LV has been developing our social impact program so that we can make an even bigger difference in the community. We want to undertake more community projects, with more alumni and volunteers, in more community organisations.

To do this, we have re-shaped how we coordinate and promote our volunteer program, to increase our capacity, and to provide a better experience and outcomes for both the skilled volunteers and the community organisations.

Now that we have integrated our Greatconnections and Skills Bank volunteer programs, we think it is confusing and inefficient to retain two names.   

We are now ready to re-launch our improved and expanded volunteer program. This will include marketing to community organisations and to potential volunteers and raising the profile of our program. 

We have not previously marketed our Skills Bank program to community organisations in a concerted way, and the Skills Bank name is not well-known outside LV. Even within our alumni, it is often confused with one of our former leadership programs, “Experience Bank”. GreatConnections is better known with community organisations and so re-naming Skills Bank is part of our strategy to develop and grow our social impact program.

3.  Why has the name "GreatConnections” been chosen?

The name GreatConnections appropriately describes our program to connect transformational volunteers with community projects and organisations: linking experience with need.

The brand of Greatconnections is already quite widely known in the community. When Lynne Landy founded the original Greatconnections in 2006, she and her team (including Greatconnections ambassadors Peter Bartels AO, Elaine Canty,  Peter Clemenger AM and Laurie Cox AO) started building the Greatconnections brand within community organisations. 

Following the merger, we now have the opportunity to utilise this established brand to raise the profile of the LV volunteer program so that we can make even greater impact.

4.  Are there any other changes to the LV Social Impact program?

Yes, we have made a number of changes to the way we coordinate and structure the program.

These changes have been made to improve the capacity and outcomes of the program – to provide better matching of skilled volunteers to community projects; to provide better support to both the volunteers and the community organisations through volunteer “Client Managers”; to increase our efficiency so that we can undertake more projects; and to improve the outcomes for the community organisations. This is based on the Greatconnections well established model.

5.  How does this change affect LV Alumni?

The expectations of both LV and Alumni to contribute to social impact projects remains unchanged, and the need for alumni to contribute is as strong as ever.

Alumni will continue to be invited to contribute as board members, mentors, or to bring their skills and experience to strategic community projects. There will be more projects and more volunteering opportunities available.

Alumni will also be invited to participate as volunteer Client Managers to assist with the coordination of volunteers, matching them to community projects, and working with the community organisation to scope and monitor their projects.

6.  How does this change affect Greatconnections volunteers?

There will be little change for GreatConnections volunteers. They will need to keep their contact details up to date using the LV website and will have the opportunity to work on a broader range of projects, sometimes with LV Alumni.

The way GreatConnections volunteers work on their projects and with Client Managers remains unchanged.

7.  How does this change affect community organisations?

The GreatConnections skilled volunteer program will be promoted throughout the community sector. We will be encouraging more community organisations to utilise our valuable network of skilled transformational volunteers.

With a bigger pool of volunteers, we can specialise more and provide even better support.  This will accelerate our positive impact in Victoria.

8.  Will community organisations be asked to contribute to the program?

Not-for-profit and Community organisations are eligible to become a member of the GreatConnections program to benefit from transformational volunteering.

To register with GreatConnections at Leadership Victoria you need:

  • To be not-for-profit organisation
  • A current Certificate of Currency for Public Liability Insurance.

Please see our website for more information http://www.leadershipvictoria.org/great-connections/greatconnections  

9.  Will the GreatConnections program be sustainable?

Our social impact program is one of our core priorities and will always be subsidised by other LV activities. 

However, the changes we have made will increase the capacity and strengthen the framework for our skilled volunteer program. Better outcomes for volunteers and community organisations will enhance the reputation of the program, and attract more support.

Through the LV Foundation, we will be actively seeking philanthropic, government and corporate funding for our social impact activities.

10.  How can I find out more information?

We will be sending our GreatConnections stakeholders regular updates about our skilled volunteer program.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspects of this announcement further, feel free to email or phone Richard Dent, LV's Chief Executive, on 03 9651 6590 or richard@leadershipvictoria.org

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