Volunteering in Oregon: Strengths and Opportunities in the Nonprofit Sector

OCF has long operated in the belief that community engagement and volunteerism are key elements of healthy, thriving Oregon communities. OCF commissioned the Volunteering in Oregon project to explore key questions related to volunteering in Oregon among nonprofits in the state.

From 2007 through 2013, with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies, OCF led Oregon’s Boomers and Babies project, a learning community of early childhood education providers that received grants, education and support to engage older adults as volunteers in their programs. The result showed that organizations increased their capacity to serve children and volunteerism by older adults increased substantially.

OCF continues to explore methods to support Oregon’s nonprofits through effective utilization of volunteer power. Because of the knowledge gained from the Boomers and Babies project, OCF commissioned the Volunteering in Oregon Report to learn more about strengths and opportunities in the nonprofit sector and to take some next steps to support the power of volunteer engagement.

The Volunteering in Oregon project included a statewide electronic survey with a random sample of nonprofit organizations, an electronic survey with a convenience sample of volunteers within these nonprofits, interviews with representatives from nonprofit organizations, and three case studies based on a document review and key stakeholder interviews with representatives of each organization. Ultimately, the aim of the VIO project was to identify recommendations and action steps for how OCF and its partners might best encourage and support effective volunteer engagement and service in Oregon.