United Way of Larimer County’s planning grant is focused on supporting the northern Colorado nonprofit community to expand capacity for local nonprofit organizations that address the service categories of poverty and barriers to self-sufficiency. The proposed program will primarily focus on supporting innovative special projects and enhancing volunteer program offering of Volunteer Connector Organizations. UWLC will serve as the lead organization for AmeriCorps volunteers to be placed at and serve the critical needs of the nonprofit community in Larimer County, thus increasing the impact and value of volunteers while building capacity for partnering organizations. UWLC recently identified poverty and self-sufficiency as the most pressing concerns in Larimer County. Larimer County’s averaged poverty rate is 12.8%. This is a 38.8% increase since 2000 (Census Bureau’s 2000 Census and the 05-07 American Community Surveys).
Metro Volunteers hosted the 2009 Summit on Service. At the Summit they found that there is a need for volunteer infrastructure support, training, and recruitment strategies, including technology. 72.3% of responding agencies indicated that needed change in their volunteer infrastructure, including staffing and funding. Programs are having a difficult time finding volunteers who represent the demographics of the people served, and senior and executive staff are having a difficult time understanding the value of volunteers. The planning grant will allow Metro Volunteers to continue the Summit on Service, replicate training programs across the state, and develop a web-based application to track volunteers, service hours, and activities that many partner agencies can use.
The CVCN works to support the expansion of volunteer centers in the state, leverages resources to build volunteer center capacity, facilitates networking and information sharing to strengthen current centers, and works to build a statewide presence. The purpose of the planning grant will be to devise a plan to formalize CVCN’s operations as well as develop new programs and systems to effectively and efficiently map and share the assets of the network. Because the CVCN is directed and operated by volunteers representing each of the Volunteer Centers, the capacity of the network to increase volunteerism within its own ranks as well as support new centers across the state where needed is limited.
There is a vital need in the seven-county Metro Denver area for a program like BLCiH to address the lack of access to quality health care. Over 800,000 Colorado residents are uninsured and Denver is home to many low-income and diverse communities who are least likely to receive adequate care. Survey results from Denver health organizations working with underserved populations have identified many barriers to accessing quality health care: overly complex system, costs, benefits, policies, lack of transportation, difficult medical terminology, language, and cultural barriers. Boomers Leading Change in Health is focused on increasing volunteerism and service activities for adults age 55 and older in health care education and navigation, as well as increasing capacity among community-based organizations to better help their respective communities access quality health care. The planning grant will help BLCiH develop new opportunities to use older adults as AmeriCorps members while creating a model that other communities can adopt using AmeriCorps volunteers to greatly improve access to quality health care in communities across Colorado, as well as throughout the US. The planning grant will help BLCiH: Create a framework, with benchmarks and timelines, to build infrastructure to incorporate AmeriCorps Develop 3 year implementation plan Identify partner organizations Prepare partner sites for AmeriCorps Increase the visibility of AmeriCorps and BLCiH
Colorado Conference on Volunteerism Growing - and Strengthening - Communities Through the Volunteer Generation Program
1. Administer the AmeriCorps * State Program to meet community needs through national service
2. Promote Volunteerism and Community Service statewide, supporting and improving the infrastructure of volunteer connector organizations, CVCN, nonprofit organizations, volunteer management and training organizations, DOVIA, to effectively use volunteers to meet community needs.