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April 2023 Newsletter

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Now Accepting Nominations for the 2023 Governor's Volunteer Awards

Volunteer Iowa is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Governor’s Volunteer Awards; entry deadline is April 17.

The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program, established in 1982, provides an easy way for organizations to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level recognition award. Three award categories are available: Individual, Group, and Length of Service.

Award recipient information can be submitted using one of the following methods:

  • All organizations (including state government agencies) submit information, and the handling fee ($15 per nomination) directly through Volunteer Iowa in an online nomination form. Organizations will be able to submit the handling fee online.
  • State agencies will submit nominations through the same online form. Invoicing will be handled separately. (Staff of state government agencies must submit nominations through their agency's coordinator.)

Nominations are accepted from: City governments, community colleges, county governments, federal government units operating in Iowa, Iowa MENTOR certified programs, K-12 schools (public and parochial), national service programs operating in Iowa (AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors), nonprofit and charitable organizations, private colleges and universities, non-state government organizations.

To learn more, please visit the Governor's Volunteer Awards page of the Volunteer Iowa website.

Give Back Iowa Challenge

The 9th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge registration is now open! Now is the time to begin planning for the two-month challenge. The Give Back Iowa Challenge is an eight-week statewide challenge, which serves as a competitive way to encourage organizations and businesses alike to participate in community volunteering. The Challenge runs from April 1st through May 31st. It’s simple; register your organization, track the hours of your employees, record those hours on our system, and celebrate your employees and their dedication to volunteerism!

There are a variety of ways to help out in your community. There are many volunteer opportunities statewide, including youth mentoring, college and career mentoring, assisting food banks and food pantries with packaging and distribution, skills-based opportunities, and more. Search our statewide volunteer database for volunteer opportunities in your area.

Visit the Give Back Iowa Challenge website to learn more about this year's challenge. Contact Betsy Shelton with questions.

Apply Now! New School Funding Opportunity for Service-Learning & Mentoring Programs

Volunteer Iowa is accepting applications for two new funding opportunities to support school programs through the Volunteer Generation Fund American Rescue Plan. Schools may apply to receive funding to develop a school-based mentoring program, or to develop service-learning programming within classrooms. Youth Mentoring Grants will be awarded to four K-12 schools across the state of Iowa. Grantees will each receive $20,000 to support planning and starting new mentoring programs in any school serving students in any grades ranging from K-12. Youth Service-Learning Grants will be awarded to five K-12 schools across the state of Iowa. Grantees will each receive $15,000 fixed-price grants to support the development and strengthening of service-learning programming in K-12 school districts.  

To learn more about these funding opportunities or to apply, visit IowaGrants at Mentor Grants or Service-Learning Grants. Applications are due May 1, 2023.

Volunteer Iowa Awards Ceremony

Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg will induct the 2023 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame members and present the Excellence in Mentoring awards in a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol building on Thursday, April 27 at 2:30pm.

Being selected for the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the most prestigious state-level honor volunteers can receive as recognition of extraordinary donations of volunteer service to their communities. The Excellence in Mentoring Awards gives Iowa MENTOR certified programs the opportunity to recognize outstanding long-time youth mentors.

Learn more about the awardees:

Follow Volunteer Iowa on Facebook for further announcements regarding the ceremony.

Join Our Commission!

Do you have an interest in improving and expanding national service and volunteerism in the state of Iowa? Then you should apply to join our commission! We are accepting applications to fill open commission slots in the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Apply today at Iowa Talent Bank or contact

Skills Based Volunteer Training

Are you ready to gain a deeper understanding of how to build skilled volunteers into your organization? Join the Volunteer Centers of Iowa as we provide general concepts and start thinking about preparing for skilled volunteers that can help deliver your social mission on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m. - noon.

Cost to participate: $25.00

Register for the training today!

Questions? Email

Presented in Partnership with Volunteer Iowa and the Volunteer Centers of Iowa, with support from the Volunteer Generation Fund.

Global Volunteer Month

Global Volunteer Month is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger, more vibrant communities, and to take action that changes the world. A monthlong celebration of volunteer service, Global Volunteer Month provides the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the individuals and organizations that are making a difference in their communities.

Volunteering is good for you too! Studies show that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and stress. People report feeling a greater sense of purpose while learning valuable skills and developing new relationships while volunteering. Here are some ideas to get involved today:

Global Youth Service Day

Global Youth Service Day is April 28th to April 30th! Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and builds the capacity of all youth ages 5-25 to help our communities and democracy thrive by working together for the common good. Are you an organization interested in engaging young people in service? Complete the Youth Service America Pledge to commit to increasing youth participation and reach out to to connect on ways to support youth volunteering in your community.

Are you a youth interested in volunteering? Volunteer Iowa will be hosting a youth volunteer professional development webinar introducing youth to different types of service opportunities, how to describe volunteer experience on resumes, and examine potential careers in the service realm. Register for the webinar today!

National Survey for Volunteer Engagement Professionals

Do you spend a minimum of 25% of time spent on your role fulfilling volunteer engagement responsibilities (directly managing volunteers or building volunteer capacity for own organization or other organizations)? If so, your input is needed. The Association for Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE), the national association for the volunteer engagement profession, has launched this survey with a goal of creating a Career Pathways report that demonstrates the various job levels within our field and the competencies and skills for each level, giving practitioners and employers a roadmap of progression. The survey take 15-20 minutes to complete and responses are due by April 23, 2023.

Service in the News

Current Volunteer Iowa Opportunities

Volunteer with us! Volunteer Iowa is always on the lookout for individuals who want to give back and help support our work. Find general volunteer opportunities with Volunteer Iowa. We currently have one position open with immediate need:

  • Volunteer Iowa seeks a detail-oriented volunteer to assist with improvements to the statewide Get Connected database. This database provides the ability for individuals and groups across the state to find and register for meaningful volunteer opportunities and improves the ability for nonprofits and organizations who are in need of volunteer assistance to have those needs met. The volunteer will ensure the information contained in the database is up-to-date, create resources to ensure usability of the site, and develop a promotion plan to reach organizations and individuals who could benefit from the service. This opportunity can be completed virtually and scheduled at the volunteer’s discretion. Learn more and sign up today.

Join the ranks of other AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in organizations across the state helping to alleviate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans eighteen years of age and older from diverse backgrounds to dedicate a year of service with non-profit organizations or public entities (as a host organization) to create or to expand efforts designed to empower low-income individuals and communities. VISTA members serve for one year in full time position with a host organization. More information about joining VISTA and a current list of AmeriCorps VISTA opening in Iowa can be found on our AmeriCorps VISTA page.

Other Iowa AmeriCorps programs supported by Volunteer Iowa are also recruiting now.

Important Dates

Looking for a way to give back? Visit Get Connected today to find volunteer opportunities. Organizations can post volunteer opportunities on Get Connected as well at no cost.