The Barrington Area Development Council, in collaboration with the Barrington Area Library, is pleased to announce a new community initiative entitled “Barrington Area Volunteer Connection” (BAVC), which will enable interested volunteers to easily seek out opportunities at local nonprofit organizations. The project is a partnership between Barrington Area Development Council and the Barrington Area Library with the help of many community Ambassadors and will launch in January 2021.
The foundation of BAVC is a volunteer match software platform called “BAVC Get Connected,” which will serve as a clearinghouse to bring together organizations, volunteers, and collaborators to match volunteer interests with nonprofits needing assistance.
The Barrington Area Development Council has purchased the software license for this platform, and the software is FREE to local organizations.
The database is specific to organizations with a distinct Barrington-area connection in order to promote local engagement and interaction vs. using a national database with a much wider reach. Talent identification is customized to correlate with the needs of our local organizations.
Those in the community looking to volunteer will be able to use the Volunteer Connection to search for their perfect match to area nonprofits by interest category, time commitment ability, and other metrics, making it much easier to find entry into nonprofit organizations even without an initial personal connection.
“The goal of this project is to bring all of the 100-plus Barrington area nonprofits, churches and service organizations into one searchable database,” says Bob Lee, the project’s leader. “By centralizing this function in the community, the BAVC can foster relationship-building opportunities within the nonprofit community, build awareness for our nonprofits, and reach a larger pool of new volunteers. It’s a terrific resource for anyone in the community who may be seeking out volunteer opportunities but not know where to start. And as we all know, when we give back, we receive so much more in return.”
The benefits of volunteering are well-known. Volunteering your time for an organization you believe in creates a sense of well-being and helps counteract the effects of stress, wards off anxiety and depression, and provides a deep sense of purpose for those looking to make a difference in their communities.
Especially during uncertain times like these, the benefits of volunteering for a local organization can be more beneficial than ever, as we all crave human connection. The database will allow nonprofits to list virtual volunteer opportunities to specifically address the issues that have been created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date, over 70 nonprofits have been activated in the database since attending a BAVC information meeting. The goal is to have over 100 organizations listed by the January 1 launch date, when the public can begin using the software to find their perfect “volunteer match” in Barrington.
“The Volunteer Connection is a really wonderful new community resource that will become an outstanding resource for those either new to our community or those looking to seek out new volunteer opportunities,” said Karen Darch, Village of Barrington President and chair of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG). “As we all know, the Barrington area is an extremely giving and philanthropic community, and I can’t think of a better way to help our nonprofits seek out new talent while also allowing our residents to find a great match to their interest levels.”