WATERLOO — Top prospects, free agents and team players can line up for the first-ever Nonprofit Draft Day 2019.
The event is Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at SingleSpeed Brewing Co., 325 Commercial St.
“We want people to come, grab a draft beer and be drafted as a volunteer into an organization or event,” says Lauren Finke, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley.
The center is partnering with Community Main Street, Main Street Waterloo, Experience Waterloo, Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and the Chamber to host the event.
Scouts from a number of local nonprofit organizations, community events and festivals will promote their activities during Draft Day. Organizers hope to attract at least 100 free agents who will sign up to volunteer on nonprofit various committees and boards.
The come-and-go event is expected to encourage conversation and mingling between potential draftees and scouts. “Scouts are looking for people to get involved with planning and organizing events, for example, not just staffing. The free agents can check a box on a draft card expressing interest in an organization. We don’t want people to feel obligated to put their name down. We want the choosing aspect to happen without pressure,” Finke explains.
Nonprofit Draft Day is an outgrowth of a spring 2018 gathering in which community event planners discussed future sustainability of their events and activities. Longtime board and committee members were stepping down to pursue other interests or retiring.
“They talked about needing new blood in their organizations, new participants and volunteers to work on boards and committees and provide leadership skills to keep these great events going. It became ‘let’s have an event to reach out and get new people involved.’ The number one reason people don’t get involved is that they’re not asked to do so. We wanted to set up an event so people could find out more about opportunities available and how to get involved,” Finke explains.
Through volunteering, people gain new skills in such areas as team-building, marketing, problem-solving and financial management, for example, while helping a nonprofit group or agency fulfill its mission, according to the Volunteer Center.
Nonprofits can only select from the free agents who have checked their organization’s name on the draft card. Those nonprofits and free agents can then connect and discuss further commitment. The draft cards are non-binding.
Scouts are expected to attend from College Hill Arts Festival, Cedar Valley Pridefest, Irish Fest, My Waterloo Days, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of the Hearst Center, Beyond Pink TEAM, Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Waterloo Community Playhouse, Black Hawk Children’s Theatre and others.