The nonprofit leap: Turning a volunteer gig into paid employment

Rugby players in action

Photo Source: Microsoft Office Images

For more than ten years, Tyler Coad had been a volunteer in Ontario’s rugby community. From refereeing games every weekend from May to November, to coaching junior teams in Toronto and Barrie, Coad’s springs, summers, and falls were dedicated to sport he loved.

The decade of volunteering, combined with countless hours spent at province-wide rugby pitches, made Coad very well-known among Ontario’s rugby ranks.

While Coad’s volunteering was consistent, his work life was anything but. After years of bouncing around jobs in the service and hospitality sector, Coad could not find a position that left him satisfied with the work he was doing. His passion was rugby, but he needed to hold other jobs in order to pay the bills.

Upon graduating from Humber College’s police foundations program last September, Coad was ready to make the leap into law enforcement when he found that a position opened up with Rugby Ontario, the sport’s nonprofit provincial administrative arm.

“After I finished refereeing a match, one of the coaches approached me to let me know that Rugby Ontario was hiring,” said Coad. “At first, I was shocked they were hiring, because they only have six full-time employees, and there is typically very little turnover in the office, so I knew an opportunity like this didn’t come around very often.”

Read more of Brock Smith’s article on Charity Village!