2018 Winner
Wise 50 Over 50 Award™

Art Dunham – Vital Volunteers


I graduated from Queens University with a Computer Science degree and had a successful career as a programmer, manager and project manager (PMP certified) with Bell Canada, Nortel and Avaya. During my career I was involved in running many volunteer organizations – Big Clear Lake Association, Scouts, Frontenac Environmental Partnership, and Friends of Arden. I learned first hand the challenges of keeping these vital small groups, that are so important to our communities, going. The key to all groups is their volunteers!

I was laid off from Avaya due to downsizing at age 53 and I wasn’t ready to retire. As part of my volunteer work I had developed software that helped me do the associated day-to-day tasks easier and faster. I knew other volunteers running similar associations were facing the same challenges and would benefit from these solutions as well. It was time to give back to the community and help others, as well as generate some extra income to bridge the gap until my regular retirement age. Those were the incentives that led to the creation of Vital Volunteers Inc. later that same year.

The focus, passion, and vision we had when we started, remains the same today. We help those tireless volunteers running the executive of community-based associations, societies, clubs and not-for-profit with Cloud Based Solutions for Member Management, Communication, Events, Online Payments and more. This makes them more efficient and effective freeing up their volunteers to focus on their organization’s mission, rather than updating spreadsheets for member contact information, donations, dues etc. Our solutions also help to make information more readily available via the Cloud, as well as enhancing direct communication to an organization’s members. Getting these administrative type tasks done, without burning out your volunteers, is vital for any community-based organization.

No-one likes administrative type work. It is important but not motivating. We are saving people time, making them more effective, and enabling them to do things that weren’t possible before. Our solutions continue to evolve, and our customers love it. Before they used several different 3rd party software packages and now they can just use ours. Additionally, we have been able to deliver custom solutions to their individual problems that go beyond administrative boundaries such as BioBlitz tracking, interactive Lake Buoy mapping, revenue generating Business Directory and online Community Hall rentals.