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Member Spotlight: Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners

Liz Erstad-Hicks, IOCP

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners

MAVA Member Since:
I’ve been a member since 2010, but I think the organization was a member much longer :)

Please describe your volunteer program:
Interfaith Outreach has engaged volunteers across all levels and areas of our work from the very beginning (1979!). Like many other community-based social service agencies, we were founded by passionate volunteers years ago. Really any and all success we’ve had along the way has been due to strong partnership leveraged, and volunteers are a key part of that story. From envisioning new services and opportunities, to acquiring resources, to planning and leading efforts, to delivering quality services to our families – volunteers have made it happen!

How has your organization been successful in partnering with other organizations and the communities you serve?
Partnerships are vital to our work, so much so that we have the word in our name, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners. We believe it takes an entire community – individuals, faith communities, schools, businesses, civic groups, health systems, everyone, everyone! – to truly bring our vision to life: To build a vibrant community where everyone counts and all sectors and systems work together for the good of all.

How has your organization and MAVA partnered? How has that impacted your work in your organization? What were the outcomes of MAVA’s impact?
We are so lucky to have MAVA in our community to offer trainings, networking opportunities and research in the area of Volunteer Engagement. MAVA has helped our organization sustain and grow how we leverage the talents of volunteers, something we’ve always believed in, but have been able to really develop with the support and expertise offered by MAVA. Many of our staff have gone through the MAVA Leadership Training Series and attended other trainings and workshops to hone their skills as Volunteer Engagement Professionals. In 2012 we also became one of the first organizations in the state of Minnesota to become Service Enterprise certified, with support from MAVA. We continue to look to MAVA to identify emerging trends and technologies in the field and invest in research to support the work of volunteer-powered organizations like ours.

What does it mean to you to be a MAVA member?
I’m so happy to have had the support of MAVA early in my career as a Volunteer Engagement Professional. MAVA has helped me to grow individually, while also sharing the skills and experience I’ve gained over the years with others.