Resources for Volunteers

Volunteers are indispensable in helping OCF fulfill its mission. In fact, OCF relies on our valued network of more than 1,800 volunteers statewide to review grant and scholarship applications and assess community needs. While we’re not actively recruiting for specific volunteer roles, positions open up from time to time. We always welcome inquiries from individuals committed to improving lives for all Oregonians. Learn more by contacting Sonja McKenzie, Community Engagement Coordinator, at smckenzie@oregoncf.org.

For Current Volunteers:

Volunteer Orientation Video

Resources

Leadership Councils

The Oregon Community Foundation’s Leadership Councils are vital to fulfilling the OCF’s mission to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. Volunteer members understand the importance and power of OCF and how it can best help meet local needs and concerns. Eight volunteer regional councils represent all of Oregon.

Council members have a commitment to public service and charitable activities. They have an interest in promoting private philanthropy to support those activities. Members have a general knowledge of the region, its nonprofit sector, and its community needs.

Members represent OCF in their communities and attend two Leadership Council meetings per year. Each Leadership Council reflects Oregon’s diversity, and is flexible in its approach to solutions. Leadership Council activities include:

  • Sharing personal and professional knowledge of community needs
  • Guiding OCF's Community Grant Program on local grant priorities
  • Strengthening Oregon’s economy and communities in cooperation with the OCF board committees by convening leaders, making grants and leveraging additional philanthropic resources
  • Promoting philanthropy and assisting in the development of philanthropic funds
  • Meeting with other Leadership Councils to foster statewide understanding, discuss statewide trends and issues, and report on strategic initiatives
  • Recommending future action by OCF and the philanthropic community

Council Member Qualifications

Leadership council members should demonstrate an appreciation for a variety of charitable activities in the community, and an interest in promoting private philanthropy to support those activities. Members must be willing to represent OCF in their communities and to attend leadership council meetings. Members should have a general knowledge of the region and its nonprofit sector, as well as an understanding of the variety and complexity of community needs. A term on a leadership council lasts three years, renewable once.

Grant Evaluators

If you're among the group of OCF volunteers, you'll find resources here to help your volunteer efforts. We are currently recruiting volunteers ! Please reach out to Sonja Mckenzie @ smckenzie@oregoncf.org for more information

Community Grant Evaluators

OCF recruits and trains volunteers to help evaluate Community Grant proposals. This is a broad statewide grants program responsive to community-identified needs. Volunteers assess grant applications from their region and meet at OCF’s closest regional office.

Grant evaluator volunteer position description.

2022 Community Grants Program

The goal of the 2022 Community Grants Program is to support healthy, thriving and sustainable communities with funding awarded through an open, responsive grantmaking program that offers flexible types of support to organizations in response to community-defined needs. This program prioritizes communities in Oregon most impacted by social, economic and/or racial injustices and inequities.

OCF Mission and Commitment to Equity Diversity and Inclusion

The mission of the Oregon Community Foundation is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. OCF administers permanent charitable funds established through gifts and bequests from individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. We believe in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work to fulfill our mission and achieve our vision. OCF believes that persistent disparities based on such characteristics as race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, culture, disability, age, faith, gender identity and sexual orientation -together with barriers imposed by poverty - prevent OCF's vision of a healthy, thriving, sustainable Oregon from being fully realized. We invite volunteers who share this belief and reflect the range of communities and experiences in Oregon.

Purpose and value of this volunteer position

Grant evaluators assess grant applications, providing objective, thoughtful, and relevant information for a multi-faceted decision-making process that is guided by the program’s funding objectives and responds to community needs. Grant evaluators provide insight into their area’s nonprofits and bring their unique understanding of local communities to the review process. Volunteers value this role because they learn about organizations in their community, appreciate the team approach, and collaborate with others

Grant Evaluator Responsibilities

  • Participate in training and review materials to understand and apply grant program guidelines and review practices
  • Read and analyze grant applications independently
  • Work with small teams to recommend applications for further review
  • Attend two group meetings (online or in person TBD for 2022)
  • Conduct fact-finding interviews with applicants (online or in person TBD for 2022)
  • Give concise verbal and written reports and analyses by established deadlines
  • Declare potential conflicts of interest with applicant organizations

Time Commitment

In 2022, evaluators can expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 40 hours in this role between mid-April to mid-June. Time commitment varies based on the number of applications assigned, participation in the full review process, and evaluator experience. Refer to the separate cycle calendar for specific meeting dates and deadlines; most of the time commitment is on the evaluator’s own schedule.

Training

OCF provides a detailed training manual for application review, orientation to OCF, and online training on the grant guidelines and review process. Office hours with program staff are regularly offered to ask questions and connect. A basic training on technology or online platforms will also be provided.

Location

The health of OCF volunteers, staff, and community members is priority #1. For 2022, training sessions and program staff office hours will be held online. Small group meetings and applicant site visits may be conducted online; there may also be options to meet in person.

To Learn More About This Role

Contact Sonja McKenzie, Community Engagement Coordinator for Volunteers at smckenzie@oregoncf.org

Walker Fund Grant Evaluators

OCF also engages volunteers to evaluate applications to the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund, a permanent endowment with earnings to be used exclusively to support programs for the needy in Jackson County. The process and schedule vary slightly but most activities occur in February/March, and OCF awards about $2 million per year through this program.

Questions

Contact Sonja McKenzie, community engagement coordinator, at smckenzie@oregoncf.org or (503) 227-6846 or contact the OCF office in your region. OCF is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We strive to maintain a diverse volunteer corps and promote effective work in partnership with all communities and population groups in Oregon. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants to volunteer positions.

Scholarship Advisory Committees

The Foundation places a high priority on education and works to ensure that all Oregonians have the resources available for post-secondary education. OCF administers the largest and most diverse community foundation scholarship programs in the United States; over 1,100 volunteers serve on scholarship advisory committees throughout Oregon. Scholarship selection committees use scholarship eligibility criteria while reviewing applications and then make recommendations within the available spending policy.

Responsibilities include:

  • Apply the unique guidelines of the fund while reviewing applications
  • Read, discuss, and select the awardees as a committee in a fair and objective manner
  • Protect the privacy of students by keeping their information confidential
  • Declare any conflicts of interest that arise when an applicant under consideration is someone related to you or someone with a professional or financial connection with you
  • Return the appropriate awarding paperwork to OCF or the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion, OSAC, as direct in the packet

Tasks for the Selection Committee

  • Ensure the donor’s intent, as spelled out in the scholarship guidelines/checklist, is honored during the selection process
  • If the donor has left the purpose of the scholarship fairly broad, develop specific criteria as a committee to reduce the applicant pool to an appropriate size
  • Unless the donor has specified a particular amount for each scholarship, recommend the amount for each recipient selected (preferably $1,000 or more per award)
  • In all cases, scholarship recommendations are forwarded to the OCF Education Committee for final approval

Qualifications

  • Experience reviewing scholarship applications (preferred)
  • Knowledge of college student financial aid issues (preferred)
  • Experience working within volunteer committees
  • Detail oriented, and timely in follow through

Time Commitment

Scholarship advisory committee members commit to serve for two years but may serve much longer. The effort of a typical committee is spread over two to four weeks. The time commitment can vary widely depending on the fund and how many students qualify.

  • Review & analyze applications: 2-10 hours over two to four weeks
  • Attend committee meeting to discuss proposal assessments: 1-2 hours

Recruitment for scholarship committees typically occurs between March and June.

The 2021 Scholarship Volunteer Handbook provides OCF scholarship program and general selection information to OCF scholarship volunteers.

If you are interested in the scholarship committee role, please complete the Volunteer Profile Form and return it to Sonja McKenzie, smckenzie@oregoncf.org.

Special Projects and Advisors

Community Fund Advisors

Community field of interest funds are developed by individuals or groups of donors to address a particular community need or geographic focus. Community fund advisors develop recommendations for program direction and grant recipients.

Staff Contact:

Sonja McKenzie, CVA  Community Engagement Coordinator, Volunteers, smckenzie@oregoncf.org,  (503) 227-6846.