Click here to view the current Volunteer Wisconsin Strategic Plan
Volunteer Wisconsin History: Building resilient communities through volunteers
Volunteer Wisconsin was first funded in 2011 by a grant called the Volunteer Generation Fund Grant. For its first two years, Volunteer Wisconsin was managed by the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee. In 2014, Marshfield Clinic took over managing Volunteer Wisconsin, supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service through Serve Wisconsin. Since 2011, Volunteer Wisconsin has been fulfilling its mission of connecting volunteers to nonprofits through www.VolunteerWisconsin.org.
Volunteer Wisconsin is an initiative working in collaboration with Marshfield Clinic (Center for Community Outreach), Serve Wisconsin, and Volunteer Centers Association of Wisconsin to connect volunteers, promote volunteering, and support the capacity of nonprofits through volunteers. Our mission is to promote, support, and increase effective volunteerism for positive community impact.
In 2012, Volunteer Wisconsin facilitated and participated in 14 volunteer engagement training workshops around the state, as well as hosted seven community meetings with volunteer centers and nonprofits. Volunteer Wisconsin also worked with volunteer centers to release the Volunteer Center Impact Report, a report that started to be released annually in 2015.
In addition, Volunteer Wisconsin distributed two Days of Service mini-grants throughout the year. In January, eight MLK Day of Service mini-grants were given to nonprofits and volunteer centers in Wisconsin, resulting in 2,163 volunteers giving 5,180 hours through 90 different projects. A total of 1,205 people were served by these volunteers and grants. In October, 24 mini-grants were given for Make a Difference Day, which supported 6,892 volunteers who gave 20,862 hours of service.
2014 was a busy year for Volunteer Wisconsin. Through Marshfield Clinic, the Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps Volunteer Wisconsin program was created, helping provide national service members to nonprofits around the state to help develop volunteer programs. During the first program year, 25 members were placed in 15 different counties. In the second and third program years, 40 members were placed in 16 counties. In addition to the AmeriCorps program, in May 2014, Volunteer Wisconsin offered mini-grants in the form of $250 to 20 nonprofit organizations throughout Wisconsin.
Since 2014, Volunteer Wisconsin has been supported by the efforts of a full-time Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps Volunteer Wisconsin member. This member’s primary duties include overseeing the nonprofits and volunteer opportunities listed on the Volunteer Wisconsin website, updating and maintaining the website content and Facebook page, assisting with the regional trainings and webinars facilitated by Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps Volunteer Wisconsin every year, and gathering data for the Volunteer Center Impact Report.
In 2015, Volunteer Wisconsin created the Volunteer Rock Star program to recognize volunteers throughout Wisconsin. Any volunteer is eligible to be recognized, as long as they are volunteering in Wisconsin and haven’t been a Volunteer Rock Star in the past year. Volunteer Rock Stars are recognized on average every two weeks and receive a personalized certificate, a magnet, and a copy of their nomination. Since the program’s creation, 50 volunteers from 23 counties have been recognized as Volunteer Rock Stars.
In 2015, Volunteer Wisconsin presented at the annual Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association (WVCA) conference in Pewaukee on the topic of volunteer management essentials. This led to collaboration between Volunteer Wisconsin and WVCA. In 2016, Volunteer Wisconsin became an affiliate of the WVCA and a member of the WVCA board and once again presented at the WVCA annual conference. Volunteer Wisconsin staff members are currently co-chairs for the 2017 conference to be held in Stevens Point, WI.
www.VolunteerWisconsin.org has been the public face of Volunteer Wisconsin since its inception and has undergone a series of changes since 2011. Volunteer Wisconsin hosted a volunteer-matching platform known as Volunteer Solutions to help volunteers find opportunities around the state. Through Volunteer Solutions, the volunteer centers in Wisconsin shared their agencies and opportunities on the Volunteer Solutions platform, as well as their referral data. In 2015 and 2016, many of the volunteer centers switched to a newer volunteer-matching platform called Get Connected and in the summer of 2016, Volunteer Wisconsin also transitioned to the Get Connected platform to stay connected with the volunteer centers.
In the summer of 2017, www.VolunteerWisconsin.org went live with a website beyond the volunteer-matching platform, to better share resources with volunteer managers and volunteers alike.
Key Contact is Shelly Kaiser 715-221-8406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.