GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Volunteer Center in Greensboro aimed to build on a surge it has seen in corporate volunteerism and enlist more companies to participate in its annual Martin Luther King Day of Service event today.
Visitors at the event, being held at Four Seasons Town Centre, can participate in on-site service projects, learn about local nonprofits at a Nonprofit Fair, and take part in the Volunteer Center’s Community Art Project.
The Center began in 1963 as the Greensboro Volunteer Bureau, a department of the Greensboro Community Council, which now is United Way of Greater Greensboro.
In 2014, the Center mobilized 102,000 volunteers who contributed 239,000 service hours, or the equivalent of $5.38 million in local economic impact, based on estimates by Independent Sector that one volunteer hour of service is worth $22.55.
The Center also worked in partnership with 135 schools, 112 faith-based groups, 10 government agencies, 225 nonprofits, 85 civic groups, and 200 corporations and businesses.
Each summer, at a Corporate Volunteer Council Open House the Center hosts, company representatives can meet with nonprofits.
The Center also provides a referral list of nonprofit service projects for corporate volunteers, offers a service that matches companies with small, short-term projects, and lets companies select larger assembly-line service projects it manages.
In 2015, the Center connected 10 companies with a total of 317 employees who contributed 634 volunteer hours to smaller projects, and it managed larger projects for five companies with 228 employees who contributed 688 hours, assembling over 3,000 trail-mix snack bags and over 400 toiletry kits.
In 2014, in comparison, the Center connected seven companies for smaller projects and managed only one larger project for a corporation.
The Center has a pledge card that Guilford County residents can turn in by the end of the month that lets them make a commitment to volunteer whatever number of hours they like.
Operating with an annual budget that ranges from $235,000 to $250,000 and a staff of three full-time employees, the Center is set to launch a new volunteer database this month, a new website in February, new membership options for nonprofit partners, and a new cross-membership partnership with the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.