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Sustaining a Volunteer Center
Establishing a volunteer center on Cape Cod is a means to an end, not the end itself. The larger goal is to strengthen the Cape's nonprofit sector and recognize the important role it plays in our economic development and in our efforts to address our social and environmental concerns.
To these ends, the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability is working to establish a program, CapeCorps, that will connect volunteers with nonprofit organizations. We're in the early stage of this venture where, like any start-up, our ambitions far exceed our resource capacity. But a lot of people are pitching in as volunteers.
There are a variety of motivations other than altruism that encourage people to volunteer. For example, young people of high school age see merit in the learning experiences gained by volunteering. As a consequence, we are working with three Cape school districts to develop fulfilling service-learning opportunities that may stimulate their interest to pursue longer-term educational and career ambitions.
For others who have completed their schooling, volunteering is a way to assume civic responsibilities and establish networks of people interested in common goals and ambitions. The relationships forged in the course of volunteer work often become enduring social and business friendships. But before anyone can realize these benefits, the onus falls on us to make sure that the volunteer opportunities we offer are fulfilling. It's why we need the participation and assistance of nonprofit directors, board members, supporters, and volunteers.
We welcome all nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations based on Cape Cod to make use of the database services we are developing. We are doing so with input from technology professionals and database managers. And in order to make this system work effectively, it's absolutely necessary that nonprofit organizations and individual volunteers help us shape a system that is familiar and easy to use.
We are interested to establish a volunteer center as a way to help nonprofits use volunteers' time, knowledge, and experience effectively. We are planning to host workshops, forums, and training sessions that bring professional trainers and advisers together with nonprofit managers and board members. There are many professional firms and individual trainers who design meaningful programs. Our goal is simply to integrate their professional efforts with ours as a convening host organization.
These general expressions of our interests as the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability come into sharper focus with the upcoming event scheduled in Hyannis on April 26 at the Four Points by Sheraton Resort. We've designed The Volunteer to Sustain Cape Cod Expo II to showcase the Cape's nonprofit organizations. Jane Secci of Suffolk University has put together a morning session of workshops geared especially to nonprofits that will cover a range of administrative issues common to nonprofit managers.
The Volunteer Expo to Sustain Cape Cod's exhibition hall will open at noon to members of the public and to business and community leaders interested to learn more about the purposes of the Cape's nonprofit sector. During this part of the Expo, we will showcase many businesses whose services and products reflect one of two interests, either to expand the organizational capabilities of nonprofit managers and their boards or to meet the growing demand in the marketplace for goods that enhance our region's quality of life.
We bring both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors together for two reasons: First, we wish to highlight the importance of the nonprofit sector as a large regional employer and purchaser of goods and services. And second, we wish to highlight the fact that many for-profit organizations also work hard to both develop and apply sustainable practices.
If you are interested to learn more about our purposes generally as well as our specific plans for the Expo on April 26, please e-mail your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
President, Cape Cod Center for Sustainability