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December 2022 Newsletter

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Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Awards Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2023 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Awards are now being accepted! Nominations must be submitted online or postmarked by January 20, 2023; honorees will be recognized during a special ceremony at the Capitol in the spring. Details and nomination materials are online at

Induction into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the highest state-level honor volunteers can receive; the people selected have changed the community, the state, the nation, or the world through the gifts of their time and talent. Inductees are recognized both during a special ceremony held in the State Capitol Building and by having their names engraved on the Volunteer Hall of Fame plaque on permanent display in the State Historical Museum. Since the award’s inception in 1989, over 175 Iowans have been honored.

Any Iowa individual, national service member (current or alum), family, group, organization, nonprofit, business, or corporation, who has made a long-lasting positive and meaningful difference in the lives of people through their volunteer service activities,
may be nominated for the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame.

Anyone with questions or needing assistance with the nomination form can contact Rebecca Gernes.

New Opportunity for City Governments

Through the support of the AmeriCorps Volunteer Generation Fund grant, Volunteer Iowa will be piloting a City Volunteer Engagement Initiative, to support city and local governments in developing or improving their strategy and systems for engaging citizens
as volunteers. Small teams from selected local governments will be invited to a multi-part hybrid workshop and receive individualized coaching from a national volunteer engagement expert, in addition to being eligible for additional funding to support their
implementation. Applications for the program, which will run February through May, will open soon. Please contact Michelle Raymer to be notified.

Volunteer Iowa announces a Request for Applications for AmeriCorps VISTA Projects

Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a public program designed to provide men and women who act as the resources for nonprofit organizations and public offices to increase their ability to assist in lifting communities out of 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. In exchange, VISTAs receive a living allowance as well as other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their term, members receive an education award to assist them in paying for costs at qualified institutions of higher education, to pay for educational workforce training, to repay qualified student loans, or they may opt for an end of term cash stipend.

Applications are now being accepted to begin a VISTA project in the spring or the summer of 2023. Applications must be received by January 31, 2023. All applicants will receive consultation by the Volunteer Iowa staff prior to and during the application process. You can find the VISTA application and accompanying guidance on the Volunteer Iowa VISTA page. To set up a consultation for your proposal to host a VISTA, or to learn more, please contact Julie Struck.

Iowa AmeriCorps State Funding Announcement

Volunteer Iowa is pleased to announce a Request for Applications for Iowa AmeriCorps State programs to operate in 2023-2024.

For the 2023-2024 application process, Volunteer Iowa particularly seeks programs that address the following priorities, drawn from Iowa's State Service Plan:

  • Programs that are part of or utilize a comprehensive community strategy.
  • Programs or strategies that engage underrepresented populations and those that provide a high return on investment.
  • Programs in geographic areas that are underserved or have the highest need.
  • Programs that address disparities in rural communities or with minorities.
  • New service opportunities to develop community capital in the following areas:
    • State legislative & national service focus areas
    • Governor’s priority areas such as Future Ready Iowa, supporting Iowa’s energy plan, childcare and enrichment, digital literacy and education

Application Materials
Applicants for this funding will need to reference the complete application materials to posted to the AmeriCorps State grants page of the Volunteer Iowa website.

Deadlines for submission of the required Pre-Application and Final Application can be found on the AmeriCorps State grants page.

Full details about the Request for Applications can be found in the announcement. For questions about the AmeriCorps State competition, contact Jamie Orozco Nagel.

Volunteer Iowa Accepting Applications for AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers

AmeriCorps Seniors are stipend volunteers 55+ who provide one-on-one services to children to encourage academic and social improvements in schools, childcare centers, and other community locations. Volunteer Iowa is pleased to offer this volunteer opportunity and help individuals 55+ find opportunities to serve in their community. To learn more about AmeriCorps Seniors, visit Get Connected to view the volunteer description and apply.

Iowa Organizations Invest in Strategic Volunteer Engagement

Congratulations to Ankeny Community School District, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, Central Iowa Shelter and Services, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program of Boone, Greene & Guthrie Counties, and the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus for completing the final Service Enterprise training session! These organizations are committed to ensuring volunteer time is effectively leveraged at all levels of their organizations to support their missions. They’ll now receive individualized coaching and work toward Service Enterprise Certification (or recertification) for their strategic volunteer engagement. Reach out to them or one of the over 50 certified organizations across the state if you’re looking for a high quality, meaningful way to volunteer in your community.

Applications for this capacity building program will be opening again soon for early 2023 training dates in central and eastern Iowa. Check our website or contact Michelle Raymer for more information.

Volunteer Engagement Training

In partnership with the Volunteer Centers of Iowa, join Volunteer Iowa for this 6 series virtual program training kicking off January 31. This engaging and interactive virtual training series, created by Points of Light, will provide a comprehensive understanding of
the major components of nonprofit volunteer engagement and provide the opportunity to develop volunteer recruitment, retention, and recognition strategies and methods of offering projects for diverse audiences.

Through the Training Program you will learn about:

  • Establishing the Framework
  • Planning for Volunteer Engagement
  • Opportunities and Outreach
  • Intake and Onboarding
  • Supervision and Support
  • Evaluation

Dates: January 31, February 7, February 14, February 21, February 28, and March 7. All
sessions run 10 a.m.-noon. Cost to participate is $125. Register today!

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.