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Policy & Advocacy to Increase the Capacity of Non-Profits Across Minnesota's Communities 

Annette Duncan | Published on 2/2/2022
Why is MAVA fighting so hard for funding to support the volunteer efforts of non-profits in Minnesota? I like to think they are fighting for those of us in Greater Minnesota that don’t have access to the same resources that are available in larger communities.  While I know that MAVA supports all nonprofits in Minnesota, I am in awe at the level of care they provide, regardless of your size.

United Way of Steele County was a recipient of a MAVA Volunteer grant in 2020.  Much like the bill that is before the house and the senate now, these funds were intended to assist non-profits to develop or expand volunteer programs to increase the capacity of non-profits across our communities.  This little bit of seed money was enough for us to start Volunteers United. 

In our first year, we gave over 1,000 hours of service to our non-profits through 119 volunteers.  Many individuals were first time volunteers.  We were able to assist non-profits with identifying volunteer tasks within their organizations and for the first time ever were able to provide skill-based volunteer opportunities.  In fact, one of our new volunteers took one of these positions, learned new skills, and secured a paid position within that organization. 

For us, that is success.  Placing people in meaningful positions that encourage personal growth and increase the capacity for nonprofits to fulfill their missions.  In our world, this is what it means to LIVE UNITED.