How do we increase community engagement?

StatsThe Centre for Global and Community Engagement is a member of the core research team that is developing a research project to address questions around ways to increase community engagement in the areas of volunteering and donating.

Engagement = Mobilizing Communities and Collaboration (E = MC2) is an innovative project being carried out over the next few years by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Ottawa. With the guidance of an advisory committee of stakeholders in government, private, academic and non-profit sectors, the core team of researchers, students and staff will be trying to answer how we can increase community engagement.

The 2010 Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP) provides a great deal of data that will inform the project. Using data from the 2010 survey combined with information from other sources, the research team will develop testable interventions designed to increase rates of engagement behaviours like giving to charity and volunteering. The team is currently working on selecting the communities where these interventions will be tested and what forms they will take. The study results are expected to benefit not only these specific communities but also other communities and organizations in a variety of sectors.

The first Project Advisory Committee Meeting took place on May 14, 2013, in the Social Sciences Building on the University of Ottawa campus. Presentations by researchers and students combined with fruitful discussions provided helpful feedback and suggestions to consider as the project advances. In addition to presentations, by students, on volunteering with particular populations and individuals in different life stages, presentations were given on the work currently being done on developing a theoretical model of engagement behaviour—which can guide the development of interventions, the data analysis plan and a knowledge mobilization framework. Members of the advisory committee provided feedback on the focus for the project, the use of existing networks, sharing results, understanding various definitions of diversity as well as key considerations for working effectively with community organizations and charities.

The project leaders and research team are hard at work this summer incorporating what they’ve learned and moving forward on the project objectives. This project is funded in part by a grant from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Social Sciences.

For more information about the E=MC2 project, email the project coordinator, Kathryn Norman, at or visit the E = MC2 project website.

Text written by Kathryn Norman, coordinator, E = MC2 project

About Le Bénévole / The Volunteer

Le Bénévole est le bulletin d’information produit par le Centre d'engagement mondial et communautaire de l'Université d'Ottawa. Le Bulletin est publié cinq fois par année et comprend des articles, des histoires de réussites, des rapports statistiques, des rappels, des biographies sur les lauréats et plus encore! The Volunteer is the Newsletter produced by the Centre of Global and Community engagement of the University of Ottawa. The Newsletter is published fives times a year and includes articles, success stories, statistics reports, reminders, award recipients biographies and more!
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