Give Back Tahoe Makes Volunteering with Local Nonprofits Simple
The needs of nonprofit organizations do not begin and end with dollars. Our local nonprofits depend on our community members’ greatest asset: time. In a 2015 Give Back Tahoe survey, nonprofits agreed that one of their greatest needs was volunteers. Taking that feedback very seriously, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) officially launched the Give Back Tahoe online volunteer module in October 2015.
Volunteer connecting began in 2002 with Hands on Tahoe (HoT). Lisa Dobey, TTCF’s former CEO, Lynette Eddy, and Lorna Leyton began streamlining volunteer recruitment through HoT to fulfill the immediate goals of our local nonprofits by connecting them with volunteers committed to their causes. In 2005, George Brooks created a fully web-based volunteer portal, and the operating team formalized under Arlene Becker, Brooks, Sue Klabunde, and Linda Stewart.
Volunteer-extraordinaires Becker, Brooks, and Stewart acted as equal operators until 2012, when Brooks and Stewart moved on. Becker became senior member of the volunteer staff and recruited Diana Pruski, Lorna Shepard, and Gayla Georgieva to continue leading the group and training volunteers. Recently, Becker approached TTCF to announce that she was ready to retire.
Throughout its twelve years, HoT connected volunteers with nonprofits to impact the entire region. Approximately 130 different nonprofits utilized the services with volunteer requests from 30-35 nonprofits posted at any one time. While an average of 150 volunteers were normally registered, many volunteers contacted nonprofit organizations directly after reading the postings on the HoT site.
“One of the greatest needs our local nonprofits shared is the need for volunteers. We were just launching, in partnership with Sierra Sun, the Give Back Tahoe Holiday Giving Guide. We saw an opportunity to use the Give Back Tahoe online portal as a tool to impact our community all year round instead of just the giving season,” said Stacy Caldwell, TTCF CEO, 2015.
The capability to expediently connect nonprofit efforts with volunteers serves both the individual missions of our nonprofit organizations and the overall mission of our larger nonprofit community. Hands on Tahoe, with Becker’s support, began to make a natural transition from a separate entity to a part of the Give Back Tahoe campaign.
The 2016 Give Back Tahoe Giving Guide features 73 nonprofit participants. Upon registration, organizations posted available volunteer positions and will continue to update opportunities the whole year round. In January 2016, TTCF will release the next version of our volunteer module. In mid-November 2015, there were already over 80 volunteer opportunities listed on the site. The new volunteer element is a perfect fit for Give Back Tahoe, which seeks to connect community members with opportunities to impact our region.
TTCF expresses immense gratitude, on behalf of the entire North Tahoe-Truckee region, for the tireless and imperative work of Hands on Tahoe’s volunteer directors.
If you would like to learn more about local nonprofit opportunities or register as a volunteer, visit www.givebacktahoe.org.