Nonprofit Partnership Get Connected

Get Connected- Joyce_20160901163409

About Us

In 2012, The Nonprofit Partnership and United Way of Erie County conducted a comprehensive assessment of volunteerism in Erie County over a six-month period.  This included researching best practices of other communities, surveying Erie County nonprofits and holding discussions with community partners and volunteer groups.

The results of this assessment identified the following: 
  • The majority of local nonprofits feel they will rely on volunteer support more in the future.
  • The most critical need of nonprofits is finding volunteers that are well matched to the needs of the organization.
  • There is a need for high-skilled volunteers in the areas of information technology, communications and marketing, special events, fundraising, and office support.
  • There are individuals and groups in our community that are looking for opportunities to get involved, but they don?t always know how to find them. 
After completing this assessment, the decision was made by United Way of Erie County and The Nonprofit Partnership to launch a collaborative volunteer mobilization effort in Erie County. 
The goal of this initiative is to elevate the role of volunteerism in our community by:
  • Providing the necessary capacity building support to the nonprofit community, enabling them to identify and develop meaningful volunteer opportunities at their respective organizations
  • Building on existing partnerships with area school districts, universities, and businesses to better develop volunteer engagement strategies and coordination efforts
  • Using a common platform to house and manage volunteer opportunities so community members can search a diverse set of opportunities and find one that matches their skills and interests

Additional information: Check out our Resource Page for additional information for nonprofit organizations and volunteers.

Volunteering is essential to a healthy community, it creates ownership, builds relationships,
fosters civic responsibility, 
and fulfills vital needs.  

Tips for Finding the Right Volunteer Opportunity

There are many volunteer opportunities available locally, but every assignment is not going to be right for every volunteer.  To make the most of your experience, consider the following questions before you start searching for volunteer opportunities:
What Type of Organizations Do You Want to Volunteer For? 
Nonprofit organizations vary greatly from those that promote arts and culture to those that provide social services, education, or health services.  Some volunteers have personal connections to a specific cause and choose volunteer experiences that let them support that cause.
  • Are there specific issues that you are passionate about supporting? (i.e. Youth mentoring, Mental Health, Homelessness, etc.) 
  • Are there certain types of organizations that you wouldn’t be interested in volunteering at? 
What Type of Work Are You Interested In Doing? 
Volunteer assignments can be diverse, even within the same organization.  Some volunteers want to use existing skills that they?ve developed, but others seek opportunities that let them do something completely different. If you know the type of work you are interested in doing, the process of finding a volunteer match will be easier.  
  • Do you want to be,on the front lines, working with clients, or would you be more comfortable in a behind-the-scenes role in the office?  
  • Are there specific skills and expertise that you are looking to use as a volunteer?  
  • Are there new interests you would like to explore as a volunteer?

What Time Commitment Can You Make?

Volunteer assignments can be one-day, 6 months, or indefinite!  Consider the following questions when reviewing available volunteer opportunities: 
  • Are you looking for a short-term commitment or a long-term opportunity?
  • How many hours each week do you have available?  
  • How flexible is your schedule?  (Can you volunteer any time?  Only mornings? Etc.)

Get Connected: Getting Started in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Visit
Step 2:  Create a free user account by clicking the orange LOGIN/JOIN button and entering your name, email address, and password of your choice.  
Step 3: Search current volunteer opportunities by clicking the blue ?Volunteer Opportunities? link on your screen.  Browse all of the opportunities or narrow the list by selecting your interests from the Filter Options on the right-hand side of your screen.  
Step 4: When you find an opportunity that you like, click ?Respond to Need? and the website will send your information to the organization directly. Then, they will contact you with the next steps for becoming a volunteer! 
Step 5:  Follow through with the organization when they contact you about volunteering.  Every organization has their own process for screening, interviewing, and placing volunteers so make sure you complete the necessary actions that the organization requires.  If you decide that an organization is not a good fit after receiving additional information, please contact them and let them know you?ve decided to explore other opportunities.  
If you have any questions or issues,
please contact: 

Melissa Fenn
Get Connected Volunteer Coordinator
814-454-8800 Ext. 2

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