Tired of ‘one and done’ volunteering? Getting the most out of giving back.

By United Way of King County, on November 21, 2014 | In Volunteering

Many people, like you, want to volunteer at the end of the year, yet are disappointed to learn that nonprofits are maxed out. While our community’s nonprofits would love to use more volunteers, often they can’t because they don’t have sufficient capacity to manage those volunteers. United Way’s Volunteer Impact Partnership is working to fix that, and you can help too.

LaurieLaurie Mason, a Senior Manager with Deloitte, did. She volunteered for just five months to help Art with Heart increase their ability to engage more volunteers.

Art with Heart helps children overcome trauma like illness, rape, divorce, separation and grief, through creative expression. With this great mission and programming, the organization had lots of people wanting to volunteer with them, but had no structure or opportunities developed to engage them.  They knew that engaging more volunteers would help them accomplish more of their mission, but didn’t know where to start.

United Way’s Volunteer Impact Partnership was just what they needed. This is a free 4-month program to help organizations more effectively recruit, engage, and retain high-value volunteers. With our partner, 501 Commons, we match people like Laurie to organizations like Art with Heart, to coach and facilitate them through a structured reflection and prioritizing process.

Now Art with Heart has dedicated more staff time to volunteer management, launched their volunteer program, held their first volunteer training and trained 14 volunteers to lead creative expression through therapeutic books and curricula who have reached over 40 children in King County so far.

More people working with children and teens … so their hearts can mend and they can thrive once again.

And what did Laurie get out of the volunteer experience?

Being able to take what I do day-to-day and apply that to helping an organization like Art with Heart was incredibly rewarding.  Engaging with the team there reminded me of what I can do to help organizations like theirs.  I have the desire to give back, but find it difficult to find the time to do something that’s really meaningful, where I feel like I made an impact.  VIP 360 helped me structure the time, so I could spend enough time to make a real change in the organization.  It also reminded me how important it is to stop your day to day to remind yourself what’s out there, work with new people, and test your skills.

Learn more about United Way’s Volunteer Impact Program here, and about volunteering like Laurie did here.


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