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United Way puts out call for volunteers to help nonprofits

Friday, January 07, 2011  
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By Matt Williams
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Jan 07, 2011 @ 12:01 AM
Last update Jan 07, 2011 @ 12:03 AM

ROCKFORD — Cash-strapped nonprofit organizations may need volunteer help more than ever, United Way of Rock River Valley President Paul Logli said.

As funding levels drop and agencies are forced to cut staff, Logli said they need to form a better plan to get people to donate their time.

The United Way, in a partnership with the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence as well as various other agencies, will unveil Volunteer Connections, an initiative to increase local volunteerism.

"This very generous baby-boomer generation is moving on, retiring, dying, and some of the younger generations are not quite as engaged in philanthropy,” Logli said. "We are told if we are going to make a better impact with philanthropy among the younger (generations) … it is going to be getting them first engaged as volunteers.”

Volunteer Connections is a result of discussions held during the Beyond Charities Summit in May 2009. About 60 local organizations, including Kids Around the World, Lutheran Social Services and The Salvation Army, will be a part of an informational meeting today at Rockford College.

The United Way has already established a Web-based volunteer hub for people to be linked with the appropriate organization.

Through the wevolunteer.org website, people can select times and days that work with their schedules as well as activity interests that will help narrow down their volunteer opportunity search.
Logli, citing figures from Volunteering in America, said that about 27.6 percent of Rockford’s population volunteers with an average of 34.5 hours per resident a year.

"Our mission is to recruit, retain and to find volunteer opportunities for residents and organizations to strengthen our community,” Logli said.

Reach staff writer Matt Williams at mwilliams@rrstar.com or 815-987-1389.

This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/news/yourtown/boone/x1926722748/United-Way-puts-out-call-for-volunteers-to-come-to-aid-of-nonprofits on January 7, 2011 and at http://www.rrstar.com/carousel/x944353356/Our-Views-Volunteers-make-Rockford-community-vibrant on January 9, 2011.

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