Connecting With Community – Volunteernow.org

Brenna Schlagenhauf

Brenna is a passionate contributor to the success of mission-driven organizations with outstanding strategic communications. She holds a B.A. in Communications and a master’s degree in Public Administration, with emphasis on nonprofit management, and 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications and public relations with nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership makes volunteering easier than ever.

When I first began volunteering again, after a 20+ year ‘hiatus’, I was a bit nervous and overwhelmed. There were so many service options and so many pressing needs in my community. It was spring 2020, Covid had settled in, stripping us from our comfortable ‘norms’, and radically changing how we navigated the new day-to-day. I personally found myself with more time on my hands and a yearning to help, in any way that I could.

But where to begin? 

I opted for the most obvious path, a word-of-mouth suggestion from a friend of a friend. I was lucky to get connected with CERES Community Project delivering healthy, home-cooked meals to community members recovering from critical illnesses. The work has been enriching and it feels rewarding to be helping others in my community, again.  

But where would I have turned if that distant friend hadn’t pointed me down that path? Or what if I didn’t have the skills or resources to meet that organization’s needs (a car, for example)? Or what if food delivery did not click with my volunteer interests? These questions and the myriad of options are enough to block someone like me from moving forward with what should be a relatively easy, and fun, opportunity.  

Then, this past June I began working with the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL). It turns out, one of CVNL’s core services is matching volunteers with community opportunities, and helping nonprofits promote their opportunities to volunteers.  And they’ve been doing this for over 50 years, as a free service to the community!  

In fact, from April 2020 – May 2021, CVNL helped connect over 109,500 volunteers with organizations in Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin. These volunteers collectively donated over 545,000 hours of their time supporting nonprofits that are addressing critical and timely needs in our local communities. 

Volunteernow.org – A Valuable New Resource for Volunteers and Nonprofits.

So, it goes without saying, I am extremely excited about CVNL’s new and improved website for volunteer engagement, Volunteernow.org! From a personal point of view – the site is clean, easy, and fun to use. It takes the guesswork out of how to get started volunteering.

From a nonprofit perspective, this website is an incredible resource and tool for any organization that relies on volunteers (or would like to!) to help accomplish its mission. To make it as easy as possible to get started and learn how to engage, CVNL has composed a series of video tutorials, watch here. And they have more information and training sessions beginning this fall, view the calendar here.

Click here to check out volunteernow.org.

And share the site with your friends!