Nonprofit Institute at CSM Matches Volunteers with Community Opportunities at Volunteer Southern Maryland

The Nonprofit Institute at the College of Southern Maryland has expanded its support of the community’s organizations by offering Volunteer Southern Maryland (VSMD). This free and comprehensive online database serves as a one-stop shop for connecting volunteers who wish to serve with local nonprofit agencies that have specific needs.

“Volunteer Southern Maryland will become an integral part of the services that our Nonprofit Institute provides,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. ”All nonprofits struggle to find good volunteers and this site provides opportunities for them to find the people they need.”

The Nonprofit Institute manages the database, a volunteer technology management system that improves the volunteer experience and helps nonprofits improve their efficiencies in such areas as planning and implementing events, helping with office functions, or providing assistance to clients.

“I’m excited that we are able to offer this service to the community. The matchmaking aspect of the site should lead to greater satisfaction on the part of volunteers, the nonprofit community, and the people of Southern Maryland,” said Harriet Yaffe, coordinator of the St. Mary’s County Nonprofit Institute.

For the partnering nonprofits, VSMD provides volunteer management functionality without increasing costs. Partners can create an account, post opportunities for events or ongoing needs, and track volunteer hours. Providing a free, easily accessible tool will aim organizations towards a successful volunteer program, regardless of budget constraints, according to Yaffe.

Vivian Mills, coordinator of the Charles County Nonprofit Institute, said, “The program helps enhance the quality of the volunteer experience while helping organizations do a better job of planning their events and building public support.”

Having a centralized location for volunteer openings in Southern Maryland makes it easy for volunteers to find relevant and meaningful opportunities and strengthen the community, added Mills. Groups and individuals looking for matches can search Volunteer Southern Maryland to find the best fit. Doing a detailed search, people can match their interest, location and schedule. Potential volunteers can search by cause, organization name, skills needed, impact area or calendar dates. After volunteering, individuals can use VSMD to rate their experience, provide feedback and share stories through social networking features.

The web site can be visited at http://vsmd.csmd.edu/ . Additionally, VSMD promotes local volunteerism through its facebook presence at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Volunteer-Southern-Maryland/86157204836.

For information about VSMD or the Nonprofit Institute, contact Program Assistant Megan Timmens, 301-529-4744 or mtimmens@csmd.edu .

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