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Inspire Generosity - Action 5

CFPA Volunteers Gather for 2015 Annual Dinner

Action:  Grow base of volunteers to further CFPA’s mission and sustain a community of like-minded people.

What is it? 

Every year, there are hundreds of volunteers who extend the impact of CFPA’s conservation vision.  Many volunteers come to single day work events, but there are about 265 volunteers who have specific “jobs” that they bring time and attention to throughout the year.  Together, CFPA volunteers dedicated approximately 24,000 hours to various efforts this year.  This time commitment of volunteers is equivalent to 3,000 eight-hour work days, and if it were monetized at the current volunteer labor rate of $26.79/hour, this is equivalent to an additional $640,000+ of in-kind service to Connecticut’s forests, parks, and trails that CFPA leverages each year. There is a lot of information for volunteers on our website.

Why is it important? 

If CFPA were a tree, the staff would be the trunk and our volunteers would be both the roots and the branches.  At the very top of the CFPA tree, we are led by volunteers (Board Members), and at our roots we have always relied on dedicated community members to maintain the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, to enact land protection and management, to spread their knowledge of conservation to educate others, and to serve as our powerful grassroots on critical advocacy efforts.  Because of the dramatic importance of volunteers to our success, CFPA invests in recruiting, training, encouraging, building community, and acknowledging volunteer excellence in many ways. 

Providing outstanding experiences for volunteers is also a recruiting opportunity for CFPA.  For example, offering volunteer experiences for corporate and other supporters can transform them into life-long CFPA boosters.  Also, the in-kind volunteer support provided by volunteers helps to leverage grants and other funding … $640,000 from 24,000 hours provides a lot of leverage. 

What will the impact be? 

Volunteers are often the best advocates for CFPA (in all meanings of the word “advocate”), and if we wish to be successful in implementing “Today’s Land, Tomorrow’s Legacy,” we must continue to engage and grow our volunteer ranks.

Some financial supporters of CFPA began as volunteers who were inspired by the CFPA’s impact on quality of life in Connecticut, and some volunteers began as financial supporters who decided that they also wanted to support CFPA’s efforts with their time and energy.  Indeed, a number of CFPA staff originally began as volunteers.  Volunteer efforts on forests, parks, and trails are symbiotically reinforced with CFPA membership support.  Fulfilled volunteers (just like enthusiastic members) bring their friends into the CFPA family, grow both our volunteer and membership ranks, and enhance our overall capacity to accomplish great things.