Reimagining Volunteerism with Days of Caring

 

Community volunteers had a new opportunity to apply their professional skills and innovative ideas to help local nonprofits

Community volunteers pitch solutions for local nonprofits

Community volunteers pitch solutions for local nonprofits

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Dubuque Days of Caring has a longstanding tradition of working with area businesses to engage hundreds of volunteers each year to help area nonprofits.

Traditionally, volunteer opportunities included manual labor experiences like painting, landscaping, and fall clean-up projects. Event organizers saw an opportunity to create new, skill-based opportunities to engage talented business volunteers.

THE APPROACH

We worked with Days of Caring to facilitate a Community Innovation Challenge that engaged more than 40 corporate volunteers, utilizing their specialized skills and business expertise to help 3 local nonprofits address high-impact challenges.

Through a 1-day innovation process, volunteers created solutions and implementation strategies to help improve branding & marketing, volunteer engagement & management, and information technology challenges presented by Opening Doors, United Way, and DuRide.

Nonprofits share some of their challenges with participants

Nonprofits share some of their challenges with participants

THE IMPACT

The results were stunning. In addition to delivering high-potential solution sets to the challenges presented, the event resulted in high-quality awareness of the work these nonprofits do in our community, engaged new volunteer supporters for each of the organizations that continue to last over a year past the event, and provided a new type of volunteer opportunity within the Days of Caring opportunity portfolio.

I learned a lot and saw great potential for events like this to jump-start people around critical issues, especially in organizations or communities that might be feeling ‘stuck.’
— Jason Neises / Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque