Kelly with Michelle and Elizabete from NorWest at their match meeting

Kelly with Michelle and Elizabete from NorWest at their match meeting

The Volunteer Manitoba Awards is this month and to celebrate we are profiling this year’s nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award and the incredible work they did with the local nonprofits we matched them with.

Today we are profiling Kelly Thibodeau.


Ask and people answer


Sometimes when you put out a call, people answer.  That is what happened with Kelly and how she became a Spark volunteer.  

NorWest Co-op Community Health, a multi-service and holistic health focused community based organization, came to us wanting assistance with social media.  Specifically, they needed help with bringing all of their programs and services (each with their own social media accounts) under one roof while still maintaining each program’s unique features.  To do this required a strong strategy, governance plan,and a detailed execution map.

To find the right volunteer for this project we did something a little differently- we put out a request our on our Facebook and LinkedIn, asking our connections if they knew any individuals or companies skilled in social media.  Within a few days we received multiple recommendations on LinkedIn for Kelly.

We reached out to Kelly through the platform and within a week we made our virtual connection a reality and met her at our office downtown.  After chatting for a bit, we learned more about her past work at Great West Life, her certification as a Usability Analyst, her digital marketing company Squarely Social, and her numerous teaching positions.  

She was a perfect for this project.  


Crafting a strategy


Soon after this meeting we brought Kelly together with Michelle and Elizabete from NorWest to further discuss the organization’s needs and goals and to begin planning the work ahead.

The first step was to conduct a social media audit on the entire organization.  While Kelly constructed the audit, Michelle and Elizabete were tasked with mapping the various platforms, users, and needs of each program.  It was an extensive project but once it was completed it resulted in a clearer picture for Kelly of what the organization’s social media strategy and governance structure might look like.

With these takeaways in mind, Kelly met with Michelle and Elizabete several times to go over the results.  With Kelly’s leadership, the group designed a social media plan that would work for the agency.

Currently,NorWest is in the process of implementing it.  To help with this, Kelly agreed to expend her pro bono work to assist with the roll out and training of management.


More effective and engaging communication


This match has made a significant impact on NorWest’s communications.  According to Elizabete, because of Kelly’s work, NorWest “will be able to effectively communicate with our surrounding community as well as the city of Winnipeg.” She continues, “our social media has been the source where we have been able to communicate our programming, articles on health, events, and other things that our community is interested in learning about.  With Kelly’s help we have been able to take her suggestions to provide more effective and engaging communication with our target audience.”

Thank you to all of our connections who, upon seeing our ask on social media recommended their friends, family members, and co-workers.  It resulted in a great volunteer connection for us!

Finally, thank you, Kelly for becoming a Spark volunteer and your incredible work with NorWest Co-op Community Health!


Interested in reading other nominees’ stories? Check out S3 Interior Design Inc, Gabriela Chavez Regato, Cecilly Hildebrand, Marcel Kreutzer, Jackie Hogue, and Dennis Dyck.