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Vermont Connector

$690 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 14 people in 12 months
VT Connector – Connecting People, Place and Passion

“Volunteerism is a basic expression of human relationships. It is about people's need to participate in their societies and to feel that they matter to others.”

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Growing up, I spent a many a childhood days sprawled out on the floor in my grandma's bedroom, reading National Geographic.  Between those pages of wonder, discovery, travel and adventure, I innately knew that I wanted to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in French-speaking Africa.  I wanted to experience Africa in all of its richness, to be a change agent, and to be of service to others.

After college I fulfilled this lifelong dream when I became an agroforestry and environmental education volunteer in Sahelian Cameroon.  The experience was transformative not only for my cultural exposure, but also by instilling a profound sense of the power of community in me.  And I better understood how many people working together using their heads (intellect), hands (labor), and heart (passion) could build community, creatively problem solve, and do good.

To this day, building community and serving others are core values for me.  From first hand experience, community engagement and volunteerism has many individual benefits.  My life has been endlessly enriched by countless volunteer opportunities I've had and my communities have been positively impacted.

Volunteerism has also been shown to produce important societal benefits as well. For example, non-profits that employ volunteers can better achieve their important missions and can leverage more philanthropic and in-kind resources.  Businesses with corporate volunteer programs build community goodwill and better recruit and retain a skilled workforce. And individuals who volunteer regularly are happier, healthier and more employable. 

The ability to scale the rate of volunteerism in Vermont underscores my  Go Fund Me request.  According to the Corporation for National and Community Service Vermont ranks 8th in the nation for volunteerism and service.  Approximately one in three (33.1%) Vermonters volunteer in-state each year, yielding over 20 million hours of service collectively. This equates to over $451 million of contributed services to our communities and local non-profits.

While the rate of volunteerism in Vermont is impressive, the potential to do even more good in our communities is vast.   The ability to scale, however, is limited by  understaffed nonprofits who often lack the capacity and infrastructure to manage volunteers.  Similarly businesses rarely have a designated corporate volunteer program, so volunteer connections are underutilized.

This Go Fund Me campaign would enable me to create Vermont Connector, a small woman-owned business, that would connect people, place, and passion through a coordinated approach to community service.  The goal of this campaign is to enable me to develop a business and marketing plan, to assess the community and volunteer landscape in Vermont, to directly coordinate volunteer engagement between businesses and non-profit organizations, and to develop resources for more timely and efficient community engagement.  

Our approach is rooted in a deep understanding of the Vermont landscape and a desire to create enduring partnerships and alliances.  At its core, VT Connector amplifies business and non-profit linkages and heightens the collective impact of working together.
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Check out my member profile pages for the Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Women Business Owners Network!

https://web.vermont.org/Community-NonProfit/Vermont-Connector-6149

https://www.wbon.org/Sys/PublicProfile/51004936/3981918

https://vbsr.org/member-directory/

I'd love your support getting this business really off the ground. Things you can do to help me include:

1. Check out my web page (vermontconnector.com) and sign up for occasional newsletters and to volunteer or partner with my organization.
2. Write me a testimonial if you have ever worked with me in volunteer or resource coordination capacity.
3. Refer me to Vermont business and non-profit leaders who are interested in building their community engagement capacity.
4. Donate to my GoFundMe to help defray business start-up costs.
5. Like my Facebook page.
6. Take my non-profit, business, and individual surveys to be included in my state-wide directory of community engagement resources.
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Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant that I received, Vermont Connector is now a proud member of the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Women Business Owner's Networks, and VTWomenpreneurs.

This grant is pivotal to helping me to network, develop my client pipeline, market my services, and access professional mentoring from business leaders statewide.

I am honored to have received this grant and I am looking forward to leveraging my community development skills with businesses and non-profits alike.

Will you support my community building efforts with a small donation to my GoFundMe?
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Hot off the presses! My interview with the Lieutenant Governor and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Gina Pandolfo about the value of volunteering and community service.

Won't you help me get my start-up, Vermont Connector, off the ground with a show of support today? Thank you for helping me to build strong, resilient, and vibrant communities in Vermont.

https://ltgov.vermont.gov/digital-town-hall/volunteering-vermont-and-united-states
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I am pleased to share that I have been invited by the Lieutenant Governor to speak about the importance of volunteerism and community service in an upcoming Digital Town Hall Meeting. I'm looking forward to opportunity to share my experiences and to talk about servant leadership.
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$690 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 14 people in 12 months
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$20
Catherine Palmer
1 month ago
AQ
$20
Allison Qualls
3 months ago
JG
$25
James Gage
8 months ago
LH
$25
Lori Houghton
8 months ago
KM
$50
Kirsten McGregor
8 months ago
AP
$50
Anisha Paul
8 months ago
AQ
$50
Allison Qualls
8 months ago
TG
$50
Tina Giangrande
12 months ago
$100
Jennifer Salo
12 months ago
MH
$50
Mara Hayes
12 months ago
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