For Immediate Release
December 13, 2022

Contact: Betsy Shelton

Volunteer Iowa Announces City Volunteer Engagement Initiative

DES MOINES, IA – Volunteer Iowa will launch a pilot initiative in early 2023, developed in partnership with VQ Volunteer Strategies, to equip city and county governments with everything they need to build capacity by leveraging volunteer talent. The City Volunteer Engagement Initiative will provide:

  • step-by-step support to leverage volunteer talent to address concrete community needs
  • a platform to come together as a community of practice to explore engagement trends, pilot new practices, and share learnings
  • a means for cities to position themselves to engage skilled volunteers to meet future needs
  • implementation funding and the opportunity to host an AmeriCorps VISTA member to support the initiative

City Volunteer Engagement Initiative Overview

The City Volunteer Engagement Initiative is a cohort-based program designed for city leaders to explore and innovate in volunteer engagement. This 6-month initiative includes training, coaching, and resources to help cities engage community members in meaningful service that helps build the city’s capacity to achieve its priorities.

To participate in the initiative, a city or county must commit a team of at least three individuals, including one senior level leader, to all components of the initiative:

  • Application
  • Pre-initiative assessment to establish baseline practice (a brief survey)
  • Four training sessions (three sessions are delivered virtually and one is an all-day in person session in central Iowa)
  • Four individual coaching calls for each team

Participating cities and counties can benefit by:

  • Gaining advanced training in volunteer engagement.
  • Building volunteer engagement infrastructure for addressing a pressing challenge through innovative engagement (e.g., developing a new volunteer team leader role, engaging a skilled volunteer consultant).
  • Acquiring tools and support to enhance volunteer engagement efforts.
  • Building strong staff and volunteer partnerships.
  • Practicing new skills and techniques in a supportive learning environment.
  • Creating a community of practice that will support ongoing efforts.
  • Receiving up to $4,000 in implementation funding.
  • Hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA member to support efforts.


Applications are due January 17th at noon and can be found at Up to 10 applicants will be selected for the pilot based on level of commitment and a mix of city and county sizes and geographic locations. It is recommended that applicants write their responses in another document, and then copy and paste responses into the application form. Questions about applications can be sent to


About Volunteer Iowa

Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at