Volunteer for Long-term Projects
One of the most helpful ways you can give forward is to manage a volunteer project for a nonprofit organization. As you explore project ideas, we encourage you to consider the following projects, suggested by our nonprofit partners. If you are interested in one of these projects, contact us and we will introduce you to our nonprofit partner to discuss the opportunity.
We welcome new project ideas too! Please get in touch with us if you know of other long-term volunteer projects for another nonprofit that also advance SAGE’s mission to create opportunity for younger and future generations. Together, we might be able to find a great volunteer to do the project!
Belching smokestacks and polar bears are the emblems of environmental bad guys and victims; but neither image hits close to home for Oregonians. OEC proposes a project that helps Portlanders understand climate change in their backyard. By developing a self-led day tour, we can highlight local features that are vulnerable to climate change (such as floods and heat islands), solutions already in place (public transportation, solar installations), and sources of climate pollution that can be remedied (high-traffic roadways, etc). The SAGE Fellow will also assist in developing additional outreach materials, such as a series of infographics on climate change.
Changing out a light bulb is not enough to address climate change; but what more can people do? OEC has a "citizen action guide" that coaches people to write letters to the editor and to decision-makers, and to prepare and deliver citizen testimony. We propose that a SAGE leader conduct a series of intergenerational "kitchen table conversations" that discuss climate change and what's at stake in Oregon and culminate in a group letter-writing session and other actions the Fellow defines.
Over the next 10 years as much as half of the current manufacturing workforce will be retired. This will result in approximately 30,000 well-paying jobs that will need to be filled. Impact NW’s Pathway to Manufacturing program seeks to capture this knowledge capital by creating a platform that will provide mentoring opportunities to students and schools for recently retired manufacturing sector workers. Budget limitations have drastically limited vocational training programs at schools, these have typically been the educational foundation of the manufacturing workforce. We believe that this retiring population could assist in mitigating this funding and educational gap.
Impact NW is seeking to grow its Pathways to Manufacturing (PTM) program into a for-profit direct placement services staffing company. As the program expands to additional high schools located across the Portland metro region there is significant opportunity to develop a sizable and trained candidate pool that could meet the entry level worker needs of Portland-based manufacturing and skilled trade companies. We are hoping that a Sage Fellow could help us develop a business plan.
Social Justice Program Assistant. The Social Justice Program works as a catalyst for social justice by providing trainings around various forms of oppression, conducting advocacy work, and having events that support social justice (voter registration drives, community forums, anti-poverty summits). The aim of the Program is to inform, equip and mobilize our community to help build a more equitable world. Depending on interest, the Fellow could help research new training topics and identify presenters, develop and help implement community events, and help to build partnerships with the range of community organizations and other stakeholders. This position reports to the Social Justice Program Manager.
PROJECT 4 (Impact NW on behalf of Bikes for Humanity PDX):
Bookkeeping Automation Leader. Impact NW is the fiscal sponsor for Bikes for Humanity PDX and recruits volunteers on their behalf. B4H currently uses a manual/paper purchase and expense system at their store. The fellow will automate the point-of-sale data entry, acquire QuickBooks (or similar software) hardware and set-up the process. Ongoing bookkeeping will then be needed to maintain timely submission. Other duties include scanning donation paperwork, download Square.com transactions, enter cash flow control data, weekly reconciliation and generate check requests.
Fiscal Sponsor Liaison. Impact NW provides administrative services (HR, accounting, volunteer background checks, etc.) to other small non-profits. We now have enough sponsorees that this process needs to be streamlined and documented. The fellow will work to establish central trainings for new fiscal sponsorees; write SOP’s and ensure compliance, filter all incoming questions from sponsorees, identify system weaknesses, and maintain the 2 – 3 hour monthly meetings with sponsorees. This position reports to the Executive Director.
Wisdom of the Elders
Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. has developed Discovering Yidong Xinag for Portland’s Native American community. This Native youth leadership initiative includes a workforce development plan to engage Native youth and adults in conservation restoration work. This population has been determined by research to be Multnomah County’s lowest income group, with a poverty rate triple that of the mainstream community (from The Native American Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, Coalition of Communities of Color and PSU, 2011). The SAGE Fellow will help Wisdom plan and coordinate community engagement and educational activities linking government and educational partners with Native community.
Growing Gardens has developed a garden box kit made from Juniper, a beautiful and durable hardwood ideally suited for organic gardening. The Juniplanter Project Manager will help Growing Gardens create a supply chain, market and install the kits to build a small business which will produce revenue that supports the organization’s mission. The Manager will learn nonprofit management skills, how to create a small business, how to set and achieve business goals and how to supervise volunteers, basic woodworking, and marketing/communications skills.
Create a “Sage Circle” of friends, colleagues, and neighbors who work together to support a young organizer with Oregon Climate. Countless Millennials in Portland are driven to advocate for effective and equitable climate policy, but are held back by student debt and lack of job opportunities in meaningful environmental work. This project builds on the model of southern Oregon’s pilot Sage Circle. There, older adults donate 10 hours and $100/month to fuel our young leadership team in a reciprocal relationship of experience, connections and support.