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CFNEIA Celebrates Volunteers, Report Shows Volunteerism Adapts to "New Normal"

April 14, 2022

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA) is celebrating National Volunteer Week, held April 17-23, and Global Volunteer Month. CFNEIA is proud to recognize its more than 350 volunteers, serving 23 affiliate community foundations in a 20-county region. These volunteers exemplify the invaluable impact volunteers have on nonprofits and communities and demonstrate the desire to make a difference even during a global pandemic.

“We appreciate all the time, effort, and dedication our volunteers provide to Iowa communities not only during this week, but every single day,” said Kaye Englin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. “Their roles help support our work across our region and we hope others follow their lead of finding the value in volunteering.”

According to a 2020 report by volunteer service organization, Points of Light, 73% of participating adults agree volunteering to be more important even after COVID-19, whereas only 36% could recall participating in volunteer activities in the past year of 2019, pre-pandemic. Furthermore, 95% say they will either maintain their volunteering involvement or volunteer more as the pandemic declines. The generation most likely to improve their involvement in volunteering is Gen Z, at 53%.

Many organizations found a higher demand for their services because of the pandemic. Volunteer participants increased too, to some levels of at least double the number of volunteers compared to before the pandemic, according to Points of Light. To adapt to the new normal of a global pandemic, volunteers take extra precautions, participate virtually or tap into creative skillsets such as producing demanded supplies. When there is a call for a need, it is answered.

Not only does volunteering fill the missing support and build up organizations, volunteers improve their own self-esteem too. Other individual benefits include enriched mental health, improved physical health, and increased overall happiness. According to Points of Light, the top three personal motivations for getting involved include enriching one’s life, setting an example for the young, and bringing joy. Employers find those who volunteer develop valuable skills, increases employee engagement and morale, and may even lead to potential job prospects.

CFNEIA suggests individuals interested in volunteering contact their local volunteer center to see what area opportunities are available. Individuals may also search for organizations or causes that are important to them and identify skills or talents that can be used to help others.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, contact Laurie Everhardt, development director with CFNEIA at or 319-243-1352.