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May 5 Is Give Local America Day

Give Local America Day is the single biggest 24-hour crowdfunding event in the United States.  This day serves as a catalyst to reignite the spirit of local philanthropy, donating, and volunteering in communities across the country. Giving back to local organizations empowers people and strengthens the foundation of local communities.  In 2014 this event raised more than $53 million with roughly 300,000 participants (http://www.givelocalamerica.org/).  Although resources regarding promotion of local philanthropy haven’t surfaced in the Knowledge Network, I did find these ICMA resources on volunteering:

  1. Culpeper County, Virginia, developed a program (Entrepreneurial Energy) that gives participating high school students who have the entrepreneurial spirit a chance to begin to gain the knowledge and experience they need to succeed after high school. These students work with volunteer business leaders from the private, educational, and public sectors to create, on paper, real businesses and business plans. To encourage volunteers, Roseville, California, created a volunteer handbook to provide information and answer any questions volunteers may have. At the same time, Roseville recognized that staff members who work with volunteers play an important role in supporting volunteerism in their community.  This training manual helps ensure that those staff know how to train and manage volunteers effectively.
  2. This article describes the importance of conducting background checks when utilizing volunteers.
  3. As a city manager you may think you don’t have the time to volunteer and give back.  This PM Magazine article explains why that probably is NOT the case.  All local governmental leaders can learn how to pay it forward.

Is your local government promoting local philanthropy, and what is it doing to support volunteerism? Please share your stories below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern