The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce has developed a unique partnership with Volunteer Wisconsin to use Volunteer Connection, a free resource for the 44 counties without a local Volunteer Center. The site is a database for nonprofits to recruit volunteers and for local residents to search for volunteer opportunities online.
Lara Reed is the Executive Director of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce and she says one of the biggest responsibilities of the Chamber is to be a resource for the overall life and well-being of the Rhinelander community. One way they do this, is by supporting nonprofits and community organizations that are in search of volunteers.
The Rhinelander Chamber encourages local nonprofits to post their volunteer opportunities on Volunteer Wisconsin’s Volunteer Connection website, enabling the Rhinelander Chamber to easily promote local volunteer opportunities.
“Since beginning our volunteer database we’ve had several organizations tell us they’ve found new volunteers through the system,” says Reed. “In addition, we’ve been able to highlight the importance of volunteering through the local media and have hopefully helped instill a desire to volunteer in more of our community members.”
Volunteer Wisconsin’s Volunteer Connection website can be found online by visiting www.volunteerwisconsin.org. Chambers interested in partnering should contact Melanie Gonring, Volunteer Connection Coordinator at
or (262) 338-8256. In addition to supporting the 44 counties without a local Volunteer Center, Volunteer Wisconsin partners with the 21 Volunteer Centers in the state on statewide promotion and a variety of initiatives.
Volunteer Wisconsin facilitates webinars and workshops on topics related to volunteer management targeted at improving nonprofit capacity and understanding of how to effectively engage volunteers. On April 10, Volunteer Wisconsin is facilitating a workshop in Rhinelander in partnership with the Rhinelander Chamber. Organizations can learn more and register for the training here.
“Volunteer Wisconsin gives us access to resources that a small Chamber would not normally be able to obtain,” says Reed.
According to Volunteer Wisconsin, the Rhinelander Chamber has been an exceptional partner. The Rhinelander Chamber Visitor Services Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator, Chrissy Peterson serves on the Volunteer Wisconsin Steering Committee, providing input and direction on Volunteer Wisconsin’s development and programming.
“It is vital for Volunteer Wisconsin to receive input from the local communities we are working to serve,” says Rachel Bruns, Director of Volunteer Wisconsin. “Our success is dependent on the local organizations and relationships we develop.”
If your Chamber is interested in co-hosting a volunteer management training for area businesses or nonprofits contact Rachel Bruns, Director of Volunteer Wisconsin at
or (414) 344-3933.
“I think it’s important for Chambers to set an example in their communities and to show people that we have a passion for not just our work and programs, but the community as a whole”, says Reed. “A strong community is a community that works together, a community that community members are invested in, and want to contribute. The desire to volunteer helps instill a sense of ownership in a community, which only helps it to grow and thrive, which benefits us all.”