OTTUMWA — Emma Kain, United Way of Wapello County community engagement director, wants people to know there is no limit as to what skills a person can offer to United Way or different nonprofits.
“We need to utilize our community members because they have skills that can help us get stronger and work harder and get better together,” she said, “whether that’s someone who donates some of their time and they’re a graphic designer, maybe they put together a brochure for an organization that is skills based volunteering or a lawyer who gives up a little of their time to answer some questions for an organization.”
In order to increase volunteerism in the community and give other nonprofit organizations encouragement to volunteer, United Way will host a “Nonprofit Lunch and Learn” from noon – 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 at their location. Different non profits will come to the luncheon to learn about the efforts of other non profits.
“We are going to be talking about how to use skills-based volunteers,” Community Engagement Director Emma Kain said. Skills-based volunteers are volunteers who have professional skills in their careers with the ability to incorporate them in volunteer efforts.
People at the luncheon will talk about how to connect people with skills as well as provide advice for overcoming challenges at their non profit.
“Training will help our organizations including our own,” Kain said, “kind of recognize some of the steps that we can take in order to build our nonprofit stronger and get more volunteers involved in our work. Our community organizations do let us know if there’s a specific need that they have. Then we can reach out to all other partners and all of the volunteers and community members to say, ‘hey you know this is a need that this organization is having, can you help? That’s one way that organizations can connect with skills based volunteers.”
“In terms of recognizing what needs you have as an organization,” Kain said, “that’s a matter of sitting down with current volunteers, board of directors saying, ‘what are areas are we struggling? How can we use volunteers to fill those gaps? It does take some frank conversations to say ‘these are the areas where we need help and that’s okay. It’s okay to have those conversations.”
For more information or to RSVP contact Kain at email@example.com or at 641-682-1264.