United Way of Greater Portland http://www.unitedwaygp.org Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:55:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-Instagram1-32x32.png United Way of Greater Portland http://www.unitedwaygp.org 32 32 VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: DANIELLE CONWAY, DEAN & PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SCHOOL OF LAW http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-danielle-conway/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:12:33 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-ari-solotoff-copy/ During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

The post VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: DANIELLE CONWAY, DEAN & PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SCHOOL OF LAW appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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Volunteer Spotlight

During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

Danielle Conway,
Dean & Professor of Law,
University of Maine School of Law

How did you get involved with United Way of Greater Portland?

I was invited to a meeting with Liz Cotter Schlax [UWGP’s President], and she asked me about getting involved with United Way of Greater Portland. After she spelled out what United Way’s mission was [to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the power of our community], I was on board. I was hooked!

For people who may not know, can you explain the volunteer roles you currently hold with us?

When I first got involved with United Way, I began as a Board member. Through a period of movement of certain Board members, I was elevated to serve as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. I took up the challenge because I knew that it would be something that would be good for me and a way to learn about the organization. It was actually true; I found out a lot about the organization, and the skills I learned in chairing that committee have actually helped me with my job, and how I establish and staff committees and implement the law school’s work plan.

Could you share a little more about what serving on the Finance Committee entails?

The work on UWGP’s Finance Committee is very similar to the work at many other organizations. We’re responsible for monitoring the budget on a monthly basis, reviewing quarterly reports, evaluating the 990s that nonprofits have to file, and for following best practices in dealing with fiscal and budget requirements of the organization.

What skills have you used while volunteering with UWGP?

I’ve been really excited to serve on the Finance Committee, and I even had the opportunity to use my government procurement skills. There was a need to develop a request for proposals for finance and audit work, and I was able to reach back into my toolkit and pull out those skills to help the organization go through the proposal process to select a firm to assist us with our budget and our audit functions.

What motivates you or keeps you involved?

What keeps me involved with UWGP are the people and the mission. I have been able to meet people I don’t think I ever would have met if I hadn’t volunteered, and these are people who are really excited about serving our community. Having access to those people and knowing that what we’re doing together is helping the community keeps me involved.

Is there anything you’ve learned from your experience serving with us?

Definitely. There’s a lot to learn with an organization as sophisticated as United Way…and then what you learn gets transferred into your everyday work. I’ve learned how to use a strategic plan for the benefit of moving the organization forward and how to connect with the community using a very complex work plan. I don’t think I would have approached strategic planning at the University of Maine School of Law the same way, if I didn’t have this board experience.

What impact do you feel you’re making in your roles with UWGP?

I’m really excited about the Thrive2027 effort. I think the impact that I’ve been able to have is to infuse those concepts and ideas into the work that we do at the University of Maine School of Law. We’ve really jumped on Thrive2027 and made it a part of our goals and objectives. 

Specifically, we’ve started a program where our law students and faculty and staff read with students at Lyseth Elementary School. It’s been going for 18 months, and I’m really excited about the prospect of continuing the program. Our students read with the elementary students; one of the benefits of that has been to expose our international students to that program. We actually have our Master of Laws students – generally from different countries – practicing their English by reading to elementary school children; it’s really fantastic.

What advice do you have for someone thinking of volunteering or joining a Board?

Everyone should have the experience of joining a Board. Working for a common goal, a common mission, learning what our community needs, and being able to actually have some impact is so important. We can actually accomplish a lot of good by taking smaller steps to help our community. As I like to say, “many hands make light work,” and we will see our community advance as a result.

Is there a story that you may have had from your experience volunteering with UWGP that you would like to share?

One of my stories came from the various activities we had to do in preparation for a recent UWGP Board Retreat. My activity was to visit the Portland Public Library and walk around and observe what was happening there and see how people use that resource. It was so exciting, because the day I visited, there were King Middle School students there learning about the First Amendment! So I thought, “this is kismet – I get to do my volunteer Board work when professionals at the Portland Public Library are talking about the First Amendment with middle school students.” I felt like I was in the right place at the right time, doing the exact thing that I was put here to do – which is to promote the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. It was pretty cool.

I noticed that there was a level of diversity in the people who were using the library, and they were all coming to a common place to do very similar things. They were there to research, they were there building community, they were there learning about the U.S. Constitution, and they were there just relaxing and having coffee. And that, to me, is the definition of community. Preparing future generations for finding their common bonds…that’s what it was about.

Do you have any final thoughts to share about volunteerism?

I think volunteerism is something that we often take for granted. United Way, however, is very purposeful in its attempt to serve the community, and so they have really thought practically about how to get the most out of a volunteerism effort without overtaxing people. You can get volunteer fatigue, but the strategies that United Way uses preserve people’s energy and excitement about volunteerism, and that’s why I‘ll always be connected to United Way.

 

 

The post VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: DANIELLE CONWAY, DEAN & PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SCHOOL OF LAW appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: ARI SOLOTOFF, ATTORNEY, BERNSTEIN SHUR http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-ari-solotoff/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:30:41 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-ginny-petrovek-copy/ During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

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Volunteer Spotlight

During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

Ari Solotoff, Attorney, Bernstein Shur

When and how did you get involved in volunteering with United Way’s Brick & Beam Society?

I first became involved with United Way’s Brick & Beam Society about two years ago when Annie Drew of WEX asked me to consider joining Brick & Beam and the Impact Investing Committee in particular. The Impact Investing Committee is an effort to focus on gathering community leaders, volunteers, and young professionals together to think about how to maximize the impact of funds that are being contributed through the Brick & Beam Society. I became involved with that Committee and saw an opportunity to provide some very specific volunteer work in connection with one of the organizations receiving funds from Brick & Beam, CoCo Maine [Congolese Community of Maine].

For someone who is less familiar with Brick & Beam, and the recipients of their funds, can you share a little more about that organization and your role specifically in helping them?

The Brick & Beam Society is one of the most important leadership efforts within the young philanthropic community in Maine. It brings together not only individuals who are deeply committed to improving the lives of everyone in the community, but also gives them a very hands-on, engaging, and personal way to connect with the recipients of the programs that Brick & Beam supports. For example, there are opportunities to volunteer through book drives, by reading to kids, and by investing in and working directly with young people in our community, because that’s where Brick & Beam feels we can make the biggest difference in impacting the future trajectory of children and families, and ultimately our Portland and Maine communities.

Have you used any of your own professional skills while volunteering?

In my own case, the Impact Investing Committee allowed me to use my experience in the nonprofit sector as a former nonprofit administrator and now as a lawyer, in helping to provide pro bono legal assistance to an organization funded by Brick & Beam. CoCo Maine, as a Brick & Beam funding recipient, needed assistance and guidance with its nonprofit bylaws and with its application for tax-exempt status. They were no different from many other organizations that need to step back and think through structure, leadership, and taking care of all the paperwork that actually goes in to keeping a nonprofit healthy.

I was able to use my legal skills in a pro bono capacity to work directly with CoCo Maine’s leadership and governing Board, an amazing group of people who are highly dedicated to their organization. Recently, I visited with the entire Board to review and modify their organizational bylaws. This involved conversation about translating their local customs to ways of administering nonprofit organizations in the United States. The Coco Maine Board was deeply engaged in the discussion and wanted to learn more, not only to support their application for tax-exempt status, but also because of their genuine commitment to proceed with focus and integrity. From my perspective, it was a tremendous honor to work with the Coco Maine leadership and to think through how to structure the organization in a manner that will be familiar to them and also enable them to provide the greatest impact in the future, not just here in Portland but to the many other Congolese and immigrant communities throughout Maine.

Where are you in that process right now?

The Board of CoCo Maine has been working diligently to review and ultimately adopt their new bylaws that will ultimately allow them to apply for tax-exempt status. Another Brick & Beam Society member, Desmond Gilliard, has also provided tremendous support in helping Coco Maine navigate this process.

What motivates you to continue with the process and stay involved in that volunteering capacity?

I am motivated by the leadership of CoCo Maine and by the incredible commitment that the Board and members have demonstrated to our community. Like so many volunteer efforts, you start with one piece or one project, and it extends into a much longer conversation. This experience has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know the leaders of Coco Maine, which has been most gratifying and beneficial for all involved.

What have you learned from your volunteer experience?

There is an amazing amount of work happening day-to-day in so many parts of our community. We don’t always see it, but we benefit from the many cultural and educational programs that are produced at libraries, in our schools, or in other venues throughout Maine. It’s all contributing to this diversity within Portland and Maine, and that is what makes this such a special place. There are some extraordinary individuals doing unheralded work within their own communities, over and above what it takes to sustain themselves and their families. I have learned that we are all part of one community.

What impact do you feel you’re making as a volunteer?

I see impact like a pebble hitting a lake. When you throw a pebble in the lake, it has a ripple effect on the water. My hope is that the collective ripple effect of everyone that participates in Brick & Beam, or any of United Way’s volunteer programs, will have an amplifying effect on our community.

Do you have any advice for someone who may be just thinking about getting involved as a volunteer?

If you’re thinking of volunteering, I would encourage you to reflect on what you value, what interests you have, and what life experience you have that may be of interest to share with others. When you can align your volunteer interests with some of your personal interests, it helps to drive you forward. Volunteering is a reciprocal act in that the more that you do, the more that you and those around you benefit from it.

Do you have a story you’d like to share from your volunteering experience?

Meeting the CoCo Maine Board for the first time was moving in so many ways. I have worked with many nonprofit organizations. Yet, the Coco Maine Board was deeply engaged and fully prepared with questions; the level of discourse was pretty amazing. I thought to myself—if every Board could function the way that this Board is operating in this instance, the degree of nonprofit impact in our state would be tremendous. I was fully impressed by their commitment to the work and the organization. This will sustain the organization for years to come.

I recall one Board member in particular. She was so animated about the language and the work of thinking through the impact of changes on Coco Maine’s membership. Despite the language differences, you could see that she brought all of her energy and enthusiasm to the conversation. I see her as a model Board member, and I carry that with me when I think about the importance of candor in any conversation that one has when collaborating with a group of people.

Are there any final thoughts about volunteerism that you’d like to share?

One of the great things about Brick & Beam is that you can really scale your level of involvement, and in doing so, know that collectively Brick & Beam and United Way will harness that energy in a way that will make the biggest difference. Brick & Beam has been an excellent way to engage with colleagues in the community in a concerted and mutually beneficial way. We’re learning at the same time that we’re giving, and I think that’s the best form of volunteerism that one can hope for.

 

 

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: GINNY PETROVEK, DIRECTOR OF ROOMS, THE PRESS HOTEL http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-ginny-petrovek/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:20:42 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-samuel-ledue-copy/ During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

The post VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: GINNY PETROVEK, DIRECTOR OF ROOMS, THE PRESS HOTEL appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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Volunteer Spotlight

During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

Ginny Petrovek, Director of Rooms, The Press Hotel

When and how did you get involved in volunteering through United Way of Greater Portland?

I always knew United Way was a great resource. My dad was pretty involved when he was here in Portland, so I knew that would be my first stop for finding out what opportunities would be available in the area. I found out about Youth and Family Outreach (YFO) needing folks to go and read to children for Read Across America Day, and I thought, selfishly, that that would be super fun to do, so I immediately signed up. After having that one experience, I thought that there must be a way for me to do a little bit more. I connected with Karen from United Way and she connected me with YFO’s Director, and I started volunteering at YFO once a month.  

It’s my favorite day of the month, honestly, every first Friday. I come in right when the kids are in their story time, and then they have an hour of station play where they can choose which area of the classroom they want to enjoy. I typically find myself with some girls in the “play pretend zone.” When I’m there, I can be an extra set of hands for the teachers. I feel that I’ve allowed them time to think about what their next lesson is, clean up and prepare for lunch, and set themselves up for success later in the day. And I get to have fun with four and five year olds for two hours. It’s just the best!

Tell us about your first day at YFO.

I was a little nervous on my first day, but it was so easy to just fall right in with the kids. I think I walked in, and all the kids gave me that “who is this new person in our classroom?” look. The teachers said, “this is Ginny, she’s just here to have fun with you guys today,” and I thought to myself, “yes, I am!”

The first day I just started by bopping around to the different stations that they had set up throughout the room. I shortly realized that some of the kids had just hooked on to me like glue, and we ended up following each other around. We did a lot of coloring and creative play. I don’t know why, but it seems that all of a sudden, when you become an adult, you lose your creativity and that sense of wonder. It’s so fun to watch and see them in their element.

What skills have you used while volunteering?

Volunteering has pulled out the inner child in me. I’ve always enjoyed working with children, and I did a lot of volunteer work along these lines when I was in high school and college. Honestly, it’s just an escape for me to have a lot of fun for two hours and read books and play pretend. I get to pull in this creativity that I kind of forget that I have until I’m surrounded by these kids. It’s great.

What keeps you coming back to volunteer? What motivates you?

This will be my fourth month, and at this point, all the kids know me and what I do. They get excited when I walk into the room, which is reason enough for me to keep going back!

When I first read at YFO, I was interested in doing it too because I was seven months pregnant at the time, and I was starting to feel like “oh my gosh, I’m going to have a child, I should probably hang out with some kids!” Spending time at YFO with these kids makes me so excited for when my ten month old starts talking with me. It’s amazing what kids will say and what they think. It’s a lot of fun to be around.

How does this opportunity connect with what you do for work?

Here at The Press Hotel, we concentrate all the time on the written word, with books and a literary theme all throughout the building, so this reading opportunity was perfectly in line with that for me.

In the coming months, once the weather starts to change, I am hoping to have the kids visit our property and tour the hotel. Perhaps, we could even pair up with our Executive Chef, Josh Berry, at Union to do cooking demos for them and talk more about the farms he works with and how he got to where he is in his career.

What have you learned from the experience?

I’ve loved having the opportunity to make relationships with the staff and kiddos at YFO. The kids are from all different backgrounds and have different experiences outside of YFO. I like being part of the effort to spend the time that they have at this establishment really wisely in order to benefit them in the long run. I enjoy working alongside the teachers as they pinpoint students who may need a little extra one-on-one reading assistance or attention. It’s nice to think that I’m playing even a really small part in their own personal development too.

What impact do you feel that you’re making?

I think that just coming in and spending two hours a month can still make a really positive impact in that little one’s life. When I spend one-on-one time with these kids, not only does it affect my day and makes it as amazing as it can be, I think it brings a little light and change into their world as well. They do such good work at YFO, and I think that there are so many more opportunities for myself and others to do more there. Whether it’s maintenance throughout the building or bringing fresh food over for their lunch program—there’s just lots of ways to help. I’ve experienced that just volunteering two hours a month. It doesn’t take much to feel like you can really make an impact. That’s what I’ve learned throughout the whole volunteer experience. There are many opportunities where you can go, even just for a couple hours, and really have a positive impact on where you are, and hopefully, in turn, you get a little positive boost too.

Do you have any advice for someone starting to think about volunteering?

Just do it! Stop making excuses. Stop saying that you don’t have time, because everyone has time. Everyone can put aside one or two hours a month. Definitely use the resources that UWGP provides with the monthly newsletters and connections in Portland.

For me, I knew that I wanted to do something with children, so it was so easy to get a couple different options and figure out what would work best for me and my schedule. Now it’s part of my routine! All of my associates know, too. They all know, it’s the first Friday of the month, so Ginny’s gone for two hours. I definitely want to bring more of that into the environment at the hotel. Many of our associates are very interested in volunteering and it would be great to really make it accessible to everyone.

Is there anything else you would like to share about volunteerism?

I would just reiterate to everyone that if you’ve been thinking about volunteering, just do it! I think I had put it on the back burner for myself for so long, and made so many excuses, and then working with United Way and really figuring out what opportunities were possible based on what I was really looking for, it became so obvious and easy that I could be involved in the level I knew I could commit to. I feel that for anyone who is interested in volunteering, UWGP can be a great place to start in your search to find an organization that will make you tick and get you excited!

 

 

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: SAMUEL LEDUE, SITE LOCATION ANALYST II, RBS, AN AHOLD DELHAIZE USA COMPANY http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-samuel-ledue/ Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-spotlight-molly-reinfried-copy-2/ During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

The post VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: SAMUEL LEDUE, SITE LOCATION ANALYST II, RBS, AN AHOLD DELHAIZE USA COMPANY appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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Volunteer Spotlight

During National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting the efforts of several key UWGP volunteers. We hope you enjoy their interviews and are inspired by their service to our community! Looking for a new opportunity to give back? Check out http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

Samuel Ledue, Site Location Analyst II, RBS, An Ahold Delhaize USA company

How did you get involved in volunteering with United Way of Greater Portland?

I was pulled into United Way of Greater Portland in 2016 as a Loaned Executive. [Loaned Executives are employees who are loaned to United Way from local companies and focus on fundraising during United Way’s annual campaign.] I knew I supported United Way and the festivities and volunteer opportunities that they put together, but I didn’t know a whole lot about United Way itself and its internal working. When I became a Loaned Executive, I began to understand a whole lot more.

You’ve also held a couple of other roles with us. Can you share a little more about those?

I’ve been on a couple review committees. Basically, applications are submitted to United Way for a couple different purposes, and people of all different walks of life are needed to review these applications.

I served on the review committee for the UNITED We Thrive Awards [UWGP’s community awards process which celebrates and recognizes some of the amazing organizations and individuals helping our community thrive through their work to improve quality of children’s early learning experiences, increase opportunities for people to build financial stability, and/or improve people’s health]. I was also a member of the Impact Investing Committee for the Brick and Beam Society, and am currently part of the review committee for the 2019 United Way Community Investments.

For someone who is unfamiliar with that process, can you describe a little about what goes into it as a volunteer?

As review committee members, we read the applications and then give them quantitative grades. These grades are then used to make a recommendation to a steering committee about who should receive funding or awards.

Out of all of the ways you’ve volunteered with us, do you have a particular favorite?

I would say I enjoyed the Loaned Executive program the most so far. I learned a whole lot in a short amount of time and was able to teach the community about it. It was pretty overwhelming but you learn a lot when you’re pushed out of your comfort zone. Public speaking was one thing I had to do—to stand in front of people and talk about something that I was just learning myself.

You may have started to touch on this a little but what skills have you used while volunteering with UWGP?

One skill I’ve used while volunteering with United Way was collaboration with my peers and my mentors. You learn different things from your peers than you do from your mentors. I’ve also practiced my public speaking and leadership skills. In front of a group, you have to have a certain presence to make people understand and agree with you.

What have you learned from this experience?

I’ve learned a whole lot in my roles with United Way. Not just about the organization, but about my peers and myself. When you’re pushed outside of your comfort zone, you grow the most I believe. What makes you uncomfortable are the things you don’t quite understand, so as you gain a better understanding of them you become more comfortable.

We also learned a bit about strategy, and it’s amazing, you wouldn’t always think to invest time in thinking about the strategy of a business or an organization, but once you understand the strategy, it’s easier to convince other people about the benefits.

Additionally, before I began volunteering with United Way, I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of organizations that help the community that aren’t necessarily supported by a government entity. They’re doing it by themselves and that’s why they reach out to United Way for funding and help through volunteerism.

What keeps you coming back to UWGP since you’ve held a couple different roles with us?

I believe in United Way’s go-to-business strategy. Organizations themselves do not have the ability to fundraise in the way that they need to cover the programs that they sponsor, and so that is a part of the program that United Way adds to the organizations that do the great work themselves. I come back to United Way because they support all of the organizations that I believe are beneficial to this community. Without those organizations, we’d have a lot of unmet needs in the community. United Way provides a way for all of us to work together to make sure needs are met.

What impact do you feel that you’ve made while volunteering with us?

The impact I’ve made as a volunteer with UWGP has been through my peer-to-peer mentorship. I have taught others about United Way, I have used my public speaking and my organizational skills to further United Way’s campaign, and I use my time the best I can on the review committees and volunteering outside of that.

For someone that is just starting to think about volunteering, what advice would you share?

Look for as many opportunities in as many different areas as you can. Outside your comfort zone, you learn the most. Don’t stay necessarily within the things that you do or the things that you like. Try to reach out and go beyond that, and you’ll find the most fulfillment.

Do you have a story from your volunteering experiences?

One thing that sticks out to me is the conference room that Loaned Executives were stationed in within United Way’s office. We called it the “War Room,” because that’s where it all happened. There was a U-shaped table of ten people all doing the same thing. We were all on the phones talking to different people but all progressing with the same goal in mind and helping each other along the way. It was new to all of us, and we learned a lot from each other as well as from our mentors, United Way, and the community.

Any final thoughts to share about volunteerism?

In volunteerism, you make friends, and I find that to be one of the most beneficial things. You definitely help organizations and the community, but the friends you make along the way are part of your journey, as well as the journey of the community. You share stories and experiences, and you learn from each other. You create bonds. Especially as Loaned Executives, after ten weeks together you create bonds that are unbreakable.

 

The post VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: SAMUEL LEDUE, SITE LOCATION ANALYST II, RBS, AN AHOLD DELHAIZE USA COMPANY appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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VOLUNTEER TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH – APRIL 2018 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-top-picks-of-the-month-april-18/ Thu, 29 Mar 2018 20:24:15 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-top-picks-of-the-month-march-18-copy/ Looking for a way to meet new people while positively impacting the community where you live, work, or play? Check out the April top volunteer picks and get started today.

The post VOLUNTEER TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH – APRIL 2018 appeared first on United Way of Greater Portland.

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VOLUNTEER TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH

Looking for a way to meet new people while positively impacting the community where you live, work, or play? Check out the April top volunteer picks and get started today.

 

SIGN UP TO READ WITH A WESTBROOK KINDERGARTEN OR FIRST GRADE STUDENT

Read with Me is a community-based initiative, sponsored by The Westbrook Children’s Project, that matches caring reading mentors with every kindergarten and first grade student in Westbrook. Volunteers read aloud to one or two students at their school every week for 20-30 minute sessions from now until June 4. Training and books are provided. Click here to start the registration process. For more information about Read with Me, contact Karen Stephenson, kstephenson@unitedwaygp.org.

VOLUNTEER WITH MAINE AUDUBON DURING EARTH DAY AND NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

In celebration of Earth Day and National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, Maine Audubon will be leading a series of volunteer opportunities designed to make their little corner of the world a better place. Interested volunteers can learn more and register at www.maineaudubon.org. Live registration links will be posted closer to the event dates. For more information, contact Annica McGuirk, amcguirk@maineaudubon.org.

SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE FOR SARSSM

Want to help others and lend a listening ear? Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM) is looking for volunteer advocates to respond to their 24-hour helpline and make a difference in the lives of people affected by sexual violence. Volunteer advocates receive extensive training and support to prepare them to effectively respond to callers. The 40-hour training begins on Monday, April 30 and spans a three week period. Please contact Bridget at bridget@sarsonline.org to learn more.

LET’S DO LUNCH AT LARRABEE VILLAGE

Southern Maine Agency on Aging has an immediate need for weekend volunteers to serve lunch at Larrabee Village, an affordable senior housing facility at 30 Liza Harmon Drive in Westbrook. One volunteer is needed from 11am-12:30pm on Saturday and/or Sunday each week. Volunteers assist kitchen staff at lunchtime with tasks such as making coffee, pouring cold drinks, and serving plated food to residents. After lunch, volunteers sanitize and set tables, scrape, rinse, and place dishes in the dishwasher, and then put dishes away. No food preparation experience is needed, however volunteers need to be team players and adapt to changes during the lunch service. Call Judie at (207) 396-6595 or email volunteer@smaaa.org to apply.

TEACH FINANCIAL LITERACY IN THE CLASSROOM

Junior Achievement (JA) is looking for volunteers to teach their financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness programs in Kindergarten-12th grade classrooms. Partnering with local businesses and educators, JA brings the real work to students, opening their minds to their potential and preparing them for the world of work. JA provides materials and training to volunteers. The time commitment can range from five to seven classroom visits, depending on the grade level, with each lesson lasting about 30-45 minutes. A list of current classroom openings can be found here. To learn more about volunteering with JA, contact Jenna Jeffrey at jjeffrey@jamaine.org.

 

Check out our April 2018 Volunteer Engagement Newsletter for more opportunities or search online at http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

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SUPPORT STATE FUNDING TO STOP CHILD ABUSE TODAY (LD1874)! http://www.unitedwaygp.org/support-ld1874/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:04:43 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/brick-beam-winter-2018-investments-copy/ The Health and Human Services Committee is expected to vote TODAY whether to fund programs that prevent child abuse. The Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a network of community providers and residents who are working to eliminate child abuse and neglect.

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Support State Funding to Stop Child Abuse Today (LD1874)!

The Health and Human Services Committee is expected to vote TODAY whether to fund programs that prevent child abuse. The Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a network of community providers and residents who are working to eliminate child abuse and neglect. They have been working together in Southern Maine for 12 years and have 62 signed partner organizations that include schools, law enforcement, faith communities, municipalities, and many social services including DHHS. The Westbrook Children’s Project works with CPPC.

CPPC coordinates community supports and services to “wrap around” parents at risk of child welfare intervention (Child Protective Services). These include formal supports – substance abuse, mental health, crisis services, financial stability (TANF, SNAP) and informal supports – faith based connections, neighbors, and community centers. CPPC brings together parents, neighbors and providers to expand and leverage existing community supports. CPPC Hubs become neighborhood centers decreasing isolation, and providing a safe and neutral place for parents and children to access basic needs such as donated food, summer youth lunch programs, healthy activities.

Here are some of the things CPPC partners have accomplished together:

  • Increased the community’s investment in child safety and well-being. In 2017, community volunteers and donors invested over $300,000 in time and dollars directly into neighborhoods with the highest rates of child abuse and neglect.
  • Connected families in these neighborhoods to concrete supports like food, clothing and transportation through community gathering spaces called Neighborhood Hubs. Over 1,000 community resource referrals were made through Hubs in 2017, and 92% of families connected to the Hubs reported having someone they could call when they need help.
  • Helped parents with the highest levels of stress build resilience by connecting them with peers who have overcome similar challenges. Since 2009, CPPC Parent Partners have helped over 150 parents who needed to make great personal changes or risk of having their children permanently removed by child protective services. 68% of parents succeeded in accomplishing their goals and having care of their children maintained safely by their families.
  • Built a community safety net for children. CPPC community partners provide support for families who are experiencing challenges but are not yet in crisis, making sure kids and families in our communities are safe and supported.

DHHS Child Protective staff are key partners in reaching CPPC’s goals. The relationships created through monthly provider meetings, community meals and events, family team meetings, and other collaborative efforts, assist DHHS staff with assessing those families at risk of child endangerment. This is accomplished by the local resources supporting the families before a crisis occurs, and quickly alerting DHHS staff if a situation needs more attention.

As Chief Roberts of the Westbrook Police Department stated in their testimony supporting this bill, “Within the last few years, the success experienced in the CPPC neighborhoods of Biddeford, Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook was recognized to the point that the State supported expanding CPPC into additional communities where the volume of children coming into DHHS custody was noticeably high. In southern Maine, this includes Sanford/Springvale and Bridgton. It doesn’t make sense that a couple years later the funding would be eliminated.”

To encourage passage of this bill (LD1874), please take a moment to click here, find your state legislator, and contact them today!

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BRICK & BEAM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES $51,400 INVESTMENT IN TWO COMMUNITY PROGRAMS http://www.unitedwaygp.org/brick-beam-winter-2018-investments/ Fri, 02 Mar 2018 21:37:07 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/women-united-investment-copy/ At its inaugural annual meeting on February 13th, United Way of Greater Portland’s Brick & Beam Society announced $51,400 of investments in community programs working to ensure that every child has quality early learning experiences beginning at birth and advance Thrive2027.

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Brick & Beam Society Announces $51,400 Investment in Two Community Programs

At its inaugural annual meeting on February 13th, United Way of Greater Portland’s Brick & Beam Society announced $51,400 of investments in community programs working to ensure that every child has quality early learning experiences beginning at birth and advance Thrive2027.

Mayo Street Arts, Summer Programs for Community & Youth: $26,400
The Brick & Beam Society’s $26,400 investment in Mayo Street Arts provides programmatic support to continue expanded Summer Programs for Youth, including the morning tutoring program taught by East End Community School staff, the RAD (Reading, Arts, Dance) program taught by Mayo Street Arts staff and visiting artists, and the free lunch program provided by the Opportunity Alliance.

Youth and Family Outreach, Families Matter Program: $25,000
The Brick & Beam Society’s $25,000 investment in Youth and Family Outreach’s Families Matter Program focuses on creating building blocks that families can use to create habits of eating healthy meals together. The program will educate families on how to prepare meals, shop and cook on a budget.

The pair of investments were the result of a year of work by the Brick & Beam Impact Investment Committee (IIC), culminating in the second annual Community Night in fall 2017, where funding applicants presented to the Brick & Beam Society membership and the community at large. Brick & Beam Society investments are funded through member donations and decided on by member volunteers. IIC volunteers are dedicated to investing in work that is holistic, with opportunities to invest not just dollars, but valuable time and expertise.

The Brick & Beam Society awarded $50,000 at their fall 2016 Community Night and has funded a round of investments to curb summer learning loss in each of the last two summers. They also host frequent in-kind donation drives, including next month’s 3rd Annual Bring Your Own Book Event. The event, which is open to the public, collects books for local elementary schools.

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VOLUNTEER TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH – MARCH 2018 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-top-picks-of-the-month-march-18/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:31:31 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/volunteer-top-picks-of-the-month-february-18-copy-2/ Looking for a way to meet new people while positively impacting the community where you live, work, or play? Check out the March top volunteer picks and get started today.

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VOLUNTEER TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH

Looking for a way to meet new people while positively impacting the community where you live, work, or play? Check out the March top volunteer picks and get started today.

SIGN UP TO READ WITH A WESTBROOK KINDERGARTEN OR FIRST GRADE STUDENT

Read with Me is a community-based initiative, sponsored by The Westbrook Children’s Project, that matches caring reading mentors with every kindergarten and first grade student in Westbrook. Volunteers read aloud to one or two students at their school every week for 20-30 minute sessions. Training and books are provided. Read with Me will launch Monday, March 12 and conclude on June 4. Click here to start the application process. For more information about Read with Me, contact Karen Stephenson, kstephenson@unitedwaygp.org.

SHARE COMPUTER SCIENCE OR COMPUTER ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE WITH STUDENTS

USM seeks female Computer Science or Computer Engineering professionals to expose middle school girls to those fields during the King Middle School Day of Code on Thursday, March 22 from 8am-11am. Three to six women are needed to help groups or individual girls throughout the day’s planned activities as they learn ways to think like a computer scientist. The event organizers are also looking for one or two women who have presented to students before about opportunities in the fields of computer science or computer engineering. To learn more or sign up, contact Sarah Chang, sarah.chang@maine.edu.

VOLUNTEER FOR STRIVE ROCKS

STRIVE Rocks Weekend is STRIVE’s biggest fundraising event of the year. As a weekend-long 24-hour event, STRIVE relies heavily upon volunteers to help make the event a success. Convening at the Cross Insurance Arena on Saturday, March 24, STRIVE Rocks All Day is a family-friendly large-scale event for people of all ages and ability levels. As night falls, STRIVE Rocks All Day turns into STRIVE Rocks All Night, STRIVE’s overnight Dance Marathon. The dancing, music, activities, and more continue all night until 8am the next morning. Volunteers are needed to help plan and implement activities at the event. If interested, contact Olivia Fraioli, OFraioli@pslstrive.org.

WELCOME FAMILIES, CLEAN, OR COOK DINNER AT THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

The Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) seeks volunteers to serve in three-hour shifts at their 21- room facility at 250 Brackett Street in Portland’s West End. Volunteers will help with tasks from checking guests in/out, cleaning rooms and the dining area, to special projects of the volunteers’ choice! RMHC also needs “Guest Chefs” to come to the house and cook dinner for guests after they return from a long day at the hospital. Individuals or groups of up to eight people can sign up as Guest Chefs. To learn more, contact Georgia Doucette, hmportland@rmhcmaine.org.

Check out our March 2018 Volunteer Engagement Newsletter for more opportunities or search online at http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

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WE’RE HIRING! RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT ANALYST http://www.unitedwaygp.org/resource-development-analyst/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:10:55 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/hiring-relationship-manager-copy/ Job Posting Resource Development Analyst General Summary: Join a team of successful professionals who work to support and advance United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP’s) mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities. The RD Analyst supports and advances United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP) mission of improving lives through…

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Job Posting

Resource Development Analyst

General Summary:

Join a team of successful professionals who work to support and advance United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP’s) mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities.

The RD Analyst supports and advances United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP) mission of improving lives through strategic and methodical collection, synthesis, and analysis of data to inform and grow the resource development (fundraising) and marketing program.

This position reports to the SVP of Resource Development & Marketing and works with the department to oversee all reporting functions and related business processes associated with UWGPs annual campaign, serving both internal and external stakeholders.

Key focus areas and initiatives include: campaign performance reporting, RD & Marketing program performance reporting, creation and management of metrics dashboard and data-based benchmarking tools, and project implementation assistance for a new digital constituent communications platform (DSOG). Additionally, this position will administer the ePledge process, ensuring that company ePledge campaigns are implemented successfully.

Essential Functions:

  • Provides timely reporting and analysis to increase annual campaign growth and constituent engagement.
  • Develops and implements business processes and procedures to ensure consistent inputs and outputs of data with UWGPs donor management database (Andar).
  • Promotes accurate data capture and entry to achieve accurate and consistent reports and historical analysis.
  • Develops processes to augment relationship management efforts with donors, volunteers and organizations.
  • Collaborates with Relationship Managers and partner organizations to generate presentation-quality CEO reports and custom historical reports and analysis to inform partner growth strategies.
  • Serves as the organization’s go-to resource for ‘moves management’ tracking of donors and prospects.
  • Ensures company ePledge campaigns run successfully and provides a positive and quality online campaign experience with UWGPs ePledge partners.
  • Responsible for annual organization-wide collection and submission of accurate data to United Way Worldwide.
  • Assists IT staff with database administration functions of UWGP’s donor management database (Andar).
  • Assists IT staff with training and guidance on Andar and any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functions developed.
  • Designs and supports processes that foster strong relationships with companies, individuals, community leaders, and agency partners.
  • Proactively mines donor database for major planned gift prospects and highly engaged constituents.
  • Provides regular recommendations to SVP of Resource Development & Marketing on growth opportunities based on current donor analysis.

Other

  • Demonstrate UWGP’s Core Values in all internal and external interactions.
  • Participate as a team member in Resource Development & Marketing and organizational activities.
  • Champion exceptional service both internally and externally.
  • Performs other duties as opportunities are presented and/or assigned.

Required Education:

Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 3+ years progressive experience in database administration, data analysis and/or non-profit prospect research using business intelligence applications, SQL and CRM software.
  • Commitment to excellence and to the mission of UWGP
  • Curiosity – proactively seeks to find clues and answers to key questions that will drive fundraising efforts forward and looks to establish relevant correlations to seemingly disparate data.
  • Analytical skills – ability to process information and raw data and synthesize into meaningful, actionable conclusions and/or recommendations.
  • Problem solving – ability to recognize courses of action that can be taken to handle problems, and apply contingency plans to solve those problems.
  • Self-motivated – ability to reach a goal or perform a task with little supervision or direction.
  • Customer-Oriented – desire to serve clients by focusing on meeting their needs, understanding their concerns and seeking to build trust.
  • Written and verbal communication – ability to communicate concise, clear analyses and recommendations that support RD goals and objectives.
  • Creative – ability to think in new ways that lead to new or novel ideas for exploration.
  • Strong computer skills with experience in Microsoft Office suite including Excel, Access and data base administration.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States.

Travel:

Travel is infrequent and primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected for purposes of training.

Why choose United Way of Greater Portland?

Advancing the common good is about helping one person at a time, and about creating community level change that benefits every member of the community. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy.

We have a staff of 32 dedicated employees to help us achieve our goals and fulfill our mission. To support the great work of our employees, we offer a competitive salary and a robust benefits package including health and dental insurance, a 403 (b) plan, life insurance, generous vacation and holiday pay and paid sick time off.

Additionally, United Way of Greater Portland offers:

  • Convenient downtown location with free parking
  • Tuition assistance and opportunities for professional development
  • Health Club membership at a deeply discounted monthly rate
  • Wellness resources and Employee Assistance Program access
  • Paid volunteer time off
  • A great team of top-notch professionals that share your passion for strengthening our community

United Way of Greater Portland is committed to seeking and sustaining a culturally and ethnically diverse environment and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. We are dedicated to building a diverse staff with expertise and interest in serving our communities, and encourage persons of all types of diversity to apply.

Organizational Core Values:

At United Way of Greater Portland we are:

  • Community Centered
  • Results Focused
  • Intentionally Collaborative
  • Committed to Excellence
  • Leading with Integrity

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Daisy Wilson, hr@unitedwaygp.org. Applications will be accepted until March 6, 2018

Download a Printable PDF of this Posting

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WE’RE HIRING! RELATIONSHIP MANAGER http://www.unitedwaygp.org/hiring-relationship-manager/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 22:02:04 +0000 http://www.unitedwaygp.org/hiring-finance-associate-copy-5/ Job Posting Relationship Manager General Summary: Join a team of successful professionals who work to support and advance United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP’s) mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities. The Relationship Manager identifies, develops and maintains high quality relationships with organizations and individuals to attract and sustain…

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Job Posting

Relationship Manager

General Summary:

Join a team of successful professionals who work to support and advance United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP’s) mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities.

The Relationship Manager identifies, develops and maintains high quality relationships with organizations and individuals to attract and sustain resources to support UWGP’s community impact agenda. This position maximizes fundraising growth through concerted, collaborative efforts among assigned areas and accounts via self-initiative, volunteer engagement and other Resource Development team members as applicable.

This is a great opportunity for an individual to actively engage in the community with both large and small businesses to reach revenue goals, to engage the community in United Way’s work and to create a consistent, positive experience for donors and organizations at every touch point. This outward facing role will require the Relationship Manager to be a leader with a demonstrated ability to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships.

The ideal candidate will have a dynamic and high energy approach to achieve results and a keen interest in the areas of education, financial stability and health, including the 10-year community goals, Thrive2027. The candidate will highly value the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

Essential Job Functions:

Manage a variety of corporate and individual relationships

  • Develops and grows meaningful year-round relationships with key company leaders, company influencers, and other individuals within assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Works effectively with other teams at UWGP to be able to provide appropriate support and value to partners.
  • Leverages relationships to create additional opportunities with other organizations and individuals.
  • Conducts regular in-person meetings with partners and prospects with assigned relationships in order to expand UWGP influence within each organization.
  • Develops and uses knowledge about UWGP organizational mission, goals, community impact strategies and community needs to effectively communicate the UWGP message to external parties.

Update and set goals on account plans to realize significant growth in each account

  • Develops and implements strategies to achieve revenue goals.
  • Sets goals and action steps needed to engage accounts on a year-round basis with UWGP.
  • Works with staff and volunteers to drive plan execution and manage action steps and results from these efforts.
  • Tracks and analyzes revenue generation, retention, visits and key business activity throughout the year.
  • Provides regular activity status, updates projections and conducts account analysis to build and deliver on business goals, to monitor results, and to address challenges as they arise.

Cultivate volunteer relationships that connect companies and individuals with UWGP

  • Provides a positive experience for volunteers and temporary campaign assistants to achieve revenue goals.
  • Assists volunteer campaign chairs at companies in planning and executing employee
    campaigns using effective communication, organization and customer service skills.
  • Fosters creative thinking and facilitates future partnerships within the corporate accounts.
  • Supports volunteers on key visits throughout the year.

Manage and inspire volunteers and volunteer campaign groups

  • Develops and deepens connections within the community through year-round engagement.
  • Inspires Employee Campaign Manager (ECM) to dedicate generosity of time, influence and resources.
  • Provides opportunities for ECMs to recognize the valuable role they play in community impact work through their successful workforce campaigns, year-round communication, increased volunteerism and advocacy.

Organize relationship management and donor responsibilities efficiently and effectively

  • Develops and executes a comprehensive plan to successfully deploy individual time, UWGP resources and volunteer time against revenue objectives.
  • Maintains accurate and detailed donor and account records in donor database (Andar) and with other systems to analyze the effectiveness of the plan against delivering objectives.

Other

  • Demonstrate UWGP’s Core Values in all internal and external interactions.
  • Participate as a team member in Resource Development & Marketing and organizational activities.
  • Champion exceptional service both internally and externally.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Education Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • 3+ years of fundraising or sales experience.
  • High-energy, outcome-focused individual with a positive “can-do” outlook who can manage ambiguity and change
  • Commitment to excellence and to the mission and values of United Way of Greater Portland.
  • Success working independently and as a team player.
  • Focused sales/marketing experience with an applied emphasis on customer relationship building; significant applied consulting sales skills; demonstrated success with effective listening skills.
  • Superb communications skills (written and verbal) with an ability to relate with a diverse group of individuals or organizations in an effective manner.
  • Proven ability to successfully execute on a plan utilizing strategic thinking.
  • Proactive problem-solver.
  • Solid computer skills (familiarity with customer relationship management systems preferred); Significant experience and comfort in Excel is a requirement.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a portfolio of assigned relationships to achieve results. Demonstrated ability to influence others to invest in UWGP community impact strategies and programs.
  • Valid driver’s license and access to working automobile for frequent off-site meetings required.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States.

Supervisory Responsibility:

Leads team of temporary campaign assistants for three months per year.

Work Environment:

This job operates in a professional office environment.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:

Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday 8:30 – 5:00. During peak times, this position may require long hours and/or weekend work.

Travel:

Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected (up to 3x/year).

Why choose United Way of Greater Portland?

Advancing the common good is about helping one person at a time, and about creating community level change that benefits every member of the community. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy.

We have a staff of 32 dedicated employees to help us achieve our goals and fulfill our mission. To support the great work of our employees, we offer a competitive salary and a robust benefits package including health and dental insurance, a 403 (b) plan, life insurance, generous vacation and holiday pay and paid sick time off.

Additionally, United Way of Greater Portland offers:

  • Convenient downtown location with free parking
  • Tuition assistance and opportunities for professional development
  • Health Club membership at a deeply discounted monthly rate
  • Wellness resources and Employee Assistance Program access
  • Paid volunteer time off
  • A great team of top-notch professionals that share your passion for strengthening our community

United Way of Greater Portland is committed to seeking and sustaining a culturally and ethnically diverse environment and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. We are dedicated to building a diverse staff with expertise and interest in serving our communities, and encourage persons of all types of diversity to apply.

Organizational Core Values:

At United Way of Greater Portland we are:

  • Community Centered
  • Results Focused
  • Intentionally Collaborative
  • Committed to Excellence
  • Leading with Integrity

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Daisy Wilson, hr@unitedwaygp.org. Applications will be accepted until February 21, 2018.

Download a Printable PDF of this Posting

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