With Help from VolunteerMatch, California Libraries Learn to Engage Skilled Volunteers and Promote the Spirit of Giving in the Community

Sep 27, 2011 11:00 AM ET

California Libraries Provide a Great Example of Effective Volunteer Engagement

Over the past few years, California Public Libraries have become a an inspiration to nonprofit volunteer managers with the success of their volunteer programs. Their adult literacy program, for example, is supported by 12,000 volunteers and serves close to 22,000 learners. It is one of the few free services available to adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills.

Programs like this one are so successful because the volunteer coordinators, needing highly-qualified volunteers, redesigned their volunteer engagement to meet the community’s demands.

Partnership with VolunteerMatch
Since 2008, VolunteerMatch has partnered with California Libraries as part of the Preferred Partnership Program for national nonprofits, offering free upgraded accounts for over 1,000 branches. Working together, we’ve set up a hub site, where all CA Library volunteer opportunities are searchable by zip code.

VolunteerMatch staff have conducted symposiums, training, online webinars and customer support, assisting in everything from tracking the number of volunteer referrals, crafting effective postings, to regular check-ins with volunteer coordinators.

Carla Lehn, the State Library’s Program Coordinator, says the training sessions have been the most helpful. VolunteerMatch provides an average of 500 referrals per month for their libraries, and staff have learned to expect more from their volunteers. They’ve discovered Volunteers in critical roles, who are involved in decision making and can see their impact on the library’s mission and goals, are much more likely to make a meaningful, long-term commitment. Continue reading…

Click here to read the full story | Read more stories of engagement & social change

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping great people and great causes to connect. Our award-winning online service, www.volunteermatch.org, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation's most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. As the #1 ranking for "volunteer" on Google and Yahoo!, the VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 190,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits across the country.