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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Current Volunteers:
Volunteer Orientation Video
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.
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 at email@example.com 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.
2023 COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM
The goal of the 2023 Community Grant Program is to provide equitable access to flexible funding for organizations serving communities’ most pressing needs throughout Oregon.
OCF MISSION AND COMMITMENT TO EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The mission of Oregon Community Foundation is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. OCF aspires to pursue its mission across all Oregon communities and populations. 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. To be a responsive grant maker, OCF believes that we need to ensure that we have diverse perspectives and equitable outcomes. 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 letters of inquiry, providing objective, thoughtful, and relevant scoring, observations, and questions that inform multi-faceted decision-making. Grant evaluators apply the program’s review criteria to letters of inquiry from organizations in their region of Oregon. 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 the grant program guidelines and apply the program’s review criteria
- Read and analyze LOIs (Letter of Inquiry) independently
- Attend a grant evaluator group meeting
- Give concise verbal and written reports and analyses by established deadlines
- Declare potential conflicts of interest with applicant organizations
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE FOR GRANT EVALUATORS
- Experience as a nonprofit staff, board member, or volunteer
- Lived experience of one or more priority populations for the 2023 Community Grants program
- Awareness of the diversity and complexity of communities and the unique challenges of the nonprofit sector in Oregon
Qualities sought include curiosity, openness, willingness to learn, intercultural skills and interest in equitable practices, problem-solving and innovation.
Technology: Access to a computer and internet; Use email as the primary communication tool; Access and submit evaluations online. Meetings: Participate in required group meetings and trainings; Have the flexibility to conduct some activities during working hours,
In 2023, evaluators can expect to spend at least 20 hours and a maximum of 30 hours in this role between June-September. The time commitment may vary based on the number of LOIs assigned and evaluator experience. Refer to the separate cycle calendar for specific meeting dates and deadlines; most tasks are completed on the evaluator’s own schedule.
Estimated time commitment by step:
- Read grant program guidelines and view training sessions: 3-4 hours
- Review regular emails from OCF program staff: 2 hours
- Pre-cycle regional meetups (optional): 1-2 hours
Participate in Review Process
- Review LOIs: 5-10 hours
- Submit written feedback by deadline: 5-10 hours
- Attend report-out meeting: 4-6 hours
OCF provides an orientation to OCF, and online training on the grant guidelines, review technology, and review process. Office hours with program staff are offered to ask questions and connect.
For 2023, training sessions and program staff office hours will be held online. Regional meetups and more regional report-out meetings will be held in person at OCF regional offices.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ROLE
Contact Sonja McKenzie, Community Engagement Coordinator for Volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.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.
Contact Sonja McKenzie, community engagement coordinator, at email@example.com 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.
- 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
- 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
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 Scholarship Volunteer Handbook provides OCF scholarship program and general selection information to OCF scholarship volunteers.
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.
Sonja McKenzie, CVA Community Engagement Coordinator, Volunteers, firstname.lastname@example.org, (503) 227-6846.