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March 2022 Newsletter

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Governor's Volunteer Award

Volunteer Iowa is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Awards; entry deadline is April 15.

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. Organizations will be able to submit the handling fee online. Nomination form can be found HERE.
  • 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

AmeriCorps Week is March 13-19!

During AmeriCorps Week, we recognize the commitment of the more than 1.2 million Americans who have chosen to serve their country through AmeriCorps and millions more who have served in AmeriCorps Seniors and their community partners, and to encourage more Americans to follow their footsteps in service.

AmeriCorps engages 250,000 Americans each year in sustained, results-driven service through our AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs. These dedicated citizens help communities manage COVID-19 response, ensure students stay on track to graduate, combat hunger and homelessness, respond to natural disasters, restore natural habitats, help seniors live independently, support new refugees, and much more.

This AmeriCorps Week join with us as we celebrate the impact of our programs and offer our thanks to members and volunteers for making an impact and serve others.

Together, we can help the country recover and come back stronger. Together, we are insurmountable. Together, we are AmeriCorps.

Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol Recap

Volunteer Iowa and Iowa MENTOR hosted Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 2. This year, attendees representing over 20 organizations interacted with 62 Iowa legislators both in person and virtually to share the latest information on the tremendous contributions volunteers and mentors make in Iowa’s communities and the impact they have.

Staff members and participants from Volunteer Iowa programs (including AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors, RSVP, Volunteer Centers, and Mentoring Programs) educated lawmakers about the impact their programs have across the state and informed them about the high-quality program support and resources provided to them by Volunteer Iowa and Iowa MENTOR.

Thank you to the Commissioners and program staff served by Volunteer Iowa for joining us this year!

8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge

The 8th 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 for employees of your organization to help out in your community. For example, there are many volunteer opportunities statewide, from youth mentoring, college and career mentoring, assisting food banks and food pantries with packaging and distribution, skills-based opportunities, and more. Volunteer opportunities in your area can be found at

Visit to learn more about this year's challenge. Please contact Betsy Shelton at if you have any questions.

Volunteer Iowa Seeks Nominees for National Service Fellowship

Volunteer Iowa is seeking nominations for community leaders in Iowa who are affiliated with an organization that has an interest in building or expanding their relationship with AmeriCorps and national service. The Fellowship is focused on individuals who identify as rural residents or as Black, Indigenous, or other Persons of Color, to address the lack of Iowa national service programming led by and designed for members of these populations. As part of the Fellowship program, participants will gain knowledge or available AmeriCorps programming and the requirements of hosting or sponsoring AmeriCorps members. Fellows will also share information about their work with Volunteer Iowa so that the commission can examine how to make its programming more responsive to the needs of rural communities and to communities of color in Iowa. Fellowship recipients will be part of a cohort that will meet monthly and will receive funding to benefit their organization and cover the costs of their participation in the program.

Nominations will be accepted from those who want to recommend a local leader for participation or interested individuals can self-nominate. The nomination form is posted online HERE. A full overview of the fellowship program is found HERE.

The Volunteer Iowa National Service Fellowship is part of the National Service Challenge initiatives funded by the Schultz Family Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, and Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Volunteer Engagement Training Program

Join the Volunteer Centers of Iowa for this six-part virtual program training series, kicking off March 29. 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: March 29, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 24, and June 7. All sessions run 9:00 - 11:00am. Cost to participate is $125. To register, follow this link.

VMCI Mini Conference

Volunteer Managers of Central Iowa (VMCI) will be hosting their annual Mini Conference virtually on March 24, 2022, from 12:30-4:30pm. This engaging and interactive afternoon will feature presenters Jennifer Bennett of Volunteer Match and Karmit Bulman of Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA). Register today to join the conversation.

Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy

Volunteer Iowa is hosting a virtual session on Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy, on Wednesday, March 9th from 12:30-1:30pm. This session, which is geared toward nonprofits and organizations, will be focused on defining family volunteering, its benefits to organizations, and will walk participants through how to get started setting up your family volunteer strategy.

The session will be interactive and provide resources for organizations to leave ready to create or enhance their family volunteering opportunities, specifically with the goal to have a plan ready to implement for Global Youth Service Day (April 29-May 1).

CLICK HERE to register to attend Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy.

Now Hiring: AmeriCorps VISTA Leader

Volunteer Iowa is looking to add an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader to our team. The AmeriCorps VISTA Leaders program is open to individuals who have completed at least one year of full-time service with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps and is an exceptional opportunity to put leadership skills gained during their first year of service to work. VISTA Leaders provide peer-to-peer support for VISTAs serving across the state, create opportunities for member development, and work to raise awareness of national service opportunities throughout Iowa. The VISTA Leader will serve with Volunteer Iowa’s office in Des Moines but the position is eligible to be a remote service opportunity. Share the link to apply or apply today at

Mentors Needed in Information Technology and Healthcare Fields

Future Ready Iowa Virtual Mentoring continues to enroll students and mentors on an ongoing basis. Through engaging in this mentoring program, students establish meaningful career connections and strengthen their job readiness skills. Eligible students are recipients of the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship attending community colleges and eligible private colleges throughout the state.

Mentors are especially needed in healthcare (medical coding, radiation tech, medical assistant, nursing) and IT (software and web development, network administration, cybersecurity). Mentoring is conducted through messaging and video call. The average time commitment is 1 hour per month, although the expectations are flexible and unique to each mentoring match. You can help through:

  • Volunteering to mentor a student in your field, learn more or enroll here:
  • Sharing the opportunity to mentor a student with your personal and professional networks
  • Recommending employers or organizations we should add to our network
  • Sharing professional development opportunities that may be of interest and available to our students

Thank you for your consideration. Please direct any questions or connections to Jason Wiegand, Program Manager at or 515.348.6262.

Service in the News

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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.