Volunteer Florida Kicks Off #VGFWeek
This week, Volunteer Florida celebrates #VGFWeek.
Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) is a federally awarded grant administered by Volunteer Florida which helps nonprofits recruit and retain skills-based volunteers.
The main goals of VGF are:
- to build community resiliency
- to improve knowledge on disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation
- to reduce and/or prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse
- to teach financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship
The program focuses on recruiting skill-based volunteers. A skills-based volunteer utilizes the skills, experience and education to match the need of a nonprofit organization. The recruitment of these specific volunteers improves the impact of the program by harnessing their strengths and strategically delegating tasks.
The skills-based approach is a more effective way to capitalize on the resources, ensuring the volunteers are the best possible fit for the organizations.
Every year up to $15,000 is awarded to 24 grantees. To qualify as an applicant, it is federally required that the organization is community based or faith based. The organization must offer programs and services focusing on recognizing talents and skills to be shared, connecting people with opportunities to serve, promoting volunteering at any age and building or establishing partnerships with organizations within the community.
As a part of #VGFWeek, we are featuring our current grantees and highlighting the impact they have made in their communities as a result of this funding.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend served four elementary schools in Tallahassee: Hartsfield, Astoria Park, Oak Ridge and Bond Elementary. 236 kids were matched with a big brother/sister and received more than 2,300 hours in mentoring from Oct.1 through March 31.
Junior Achievement of Greater Miami engaged 151 new skills-based volunteers. Overall, the organization had 628 skills-based volunteers providing financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs to 13,678 students in Miami-Dade County.
Manna Foodbank of Pensacola had skills-based volunteers who helped package and deliver Tummy Bundles, a 7-meal weekend supply of food. 78% of the recipients showed improvement in their Body Mass Index and an average 80% were considered successful in their coursework, as defined by the Department of Education.
Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum utilized their skills-based volunteers to lead 1,007 museum tours and provide conservation treatment for 142 unique, Florida artifacts.
Seniors on a Mission in Jacksonville engaged and communicated with 363 active and recruited volunteers. Those who volunteered during the reporting period served 15 nonprofit organizations with 3,773 hours of service. Based on the Independent Sector’s value of volunteer time, the volunteers donated $92,520 in service to the local nonprofit sector in a 6-month period.
New Hope for Kids in Maitland bring hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses. This year, volunteers have provided over 8,000 hours of support to families.
St. Lucie County Oxbow Eco-Center hosted an alternative spring break group from Middlebury College in Vermont to assist them in a variety of activities. Volunteers cleaned and painted a new Eco-Heritage Visitor Center and butterfly garden and participated in a beach cleanup on the local spoil islands of St. Lucie.
Volunteer Florida is proud to recognize these organizations and their volunteers during #VGFWeek. Together these organizations have collectively contributed 72,000 hours of service throughout our state – a value of $1,442,880.
Do you think your organization could benefit from Volunteer Generation Fund grant funding? Follow us during #VGFWeek and learn more about our application opening soon!