Interested in volunteering but don’t know where to find opportunities?
United Way just launched a searchable online database of volunteer and donor needs designed to connect the area’s nonprofits and organizations with willing participants. The Volunteer Center has it all–the ability to search by need, organization, or event, and to be alerted of nonprofits’ requests by creating a customized profile of interests, becoming a fan of a favorite organization, or responding to a need through site searches.
Launched partly in response to the increase of socially-minded corporations seeking opportunities for their employees, the online center provides both individuals and groups an easy and effective tool to learn where the needs are. Members are also able to log volunteer hours, advocate for causes, join volunteer groups, and donate needed items to nonprofits.
“It’s a one stop shop and a gateway to getting involved in the community,” said Cole Forstedt, Director of Volunteerism and Community Engagement at United Way California Capital Region.
Since launching in early May, approximately 75 nonprofits have created profiles and that number is growing. The hope is that the community will soon be able to connect with all of United Way’s 160 local nonprofit partners as well as other local nonprofits who complete the steps of joining.
Forstedt pointed out that nonprofits have a great need for volunteers and donors, especially since hard economic times have forced many nonprofits to decrease staff just to keep their doors open or programs afloat. They need the “heads, hands, and hearts” of volunteers to really survive.
“It’s important for us all to be a community,” said Forstedt. “That’s kind of the message of United Way’s ‘Live United‘ movement–that together we can accomplish so much more. We ask people to join the movement with us, to get involved, to get their hands dirty.”
Forstedt also added that volunteering just “feels good and makes a real difference.” And now with an online menu of choices, finding volunteer or donor opportunities is simple. As Forstedt discerningly said, “If you build it, they will come.”
To sign up, search needs (and there’s many!), or learn more, visit the Volunteer Center at www.volunteercenter.uwccr.org.