by Audrey Kidwell, Volunteer Florida
Volunteer Florida’s Volunteer Generation Fund is a skills-based volunteer program using evidence-based principles of service and the concept of volunteering as a pathway to work. The VGF funding helps organizations to more effectively recruit, manage, support and retain skills-based volunteers to serve in high value volunteer assignments. From accountants, to attorneys, IT providers, to management professionals, skills-based volunteering leverages the experience, talents and education of volunteers and matches them with the needs of nonprofits. Sub-grantees also receive comprehensive training, funding for program enhancements and ongoing technical assistance, and coaching to establish or strengthen their skills-based volunteer program.
In 2015, Volunteer Florida invested $150,000 in grants for 15 Florida nonprofits. These 15 Volunteer Generation Fund sub grantees recruited 6,476 skills based volunteers who served 90,443.50 hours valued at over $1.9 million. 743 skills based volunteers were engaged to support STEM and an additional 519 skills based volunteers for My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives. Volunteer Florida in partnership with the Florida Association of Volunteer Resource Managers (FAVRM) provided Excellence in Volunteer Management Training to 74 individuals. EVMT focuses on building the capacity of volunteer administrators, managers and coordinators throughout Florida by providing accessible, high quality training.
Parker Street Ministries
“I can’t begin to describe how Volunteer Florida’s funding has helped Parker Street Ministries. Having a dedicated volunteer coordinator to recruit in the areas of STEM has been huge. We were able to use the volunteer coordinator’s time to bring in local business leaders for a morning of small-group career visioning with our students. Another group came and presented a four-session robotics workshop. A nine-year-old told us she moved from not wanting to go to college to wanting to be an engineer over the course of our Summer-Bridge Camp program. These volunteers brought great value to the kids in our program, the majority of whom are in Title I schools where there is little opportunity for enriching activities and dreaming big.”
– As told by Kim Schell, Parker Street Ministries
“Chapman Partnership has two homeless shelters. We used the Volunteer Florida VGF fund to invest in software used to help manage volunteer hours while promoting efficiencies in volunteer promotion, engagement and retention. Through this tool, our organization has dramatically increased its volunteer capacity, as well as improved overall volunteer management. Now, volunteers can schedule volunteer time based on their skill sets and interests. This allows us to more effectively manage assignments and track volunteer hours. Thanks to this funding through Volunteer Florida, we have greatly improved Chapman Partnership’s response time and logged nearly 1,000 volunteer hours since the start of our grant. This is valued at $21,610.”
– As told by Victoria Hopta, Chapman Partnership
Community Youth Development
“Volunteer Florida’s VGF grant has allowed Community Youth Development to focus on youth volunteerism in Sarasota County. We used the funding to expand CYD’s reach to a larger, more diverse group of student volunteers, to effectively train volunteers, and to recognize how volunteers’ unique skills can fill the needs of Sarasota’s community in a meaningful and impactful way. We used the funding to support our service learning program to ensure that students develop essential 21st century skills that will serve as a pathway to employment.”
– As told by Suriya Khong, Community Youth Development
The Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. There are 17 state service commissions administering VGF grants to expand volunteer infrastructure by supporting volunteer management practices that increase volunteer recruitment and retention. Learn more at www.statecommissions.org.