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VANtage: April 2024

Alaina Reimer | Published on 4/8/2024


Dear VAN Members,
"It takes a village." This proverb rings true for any group trying to get something done. But how do we as volunteer leaders get the whole "village" to help? Who is even in our village?

The Furniture Bank's woodshop was featured years ago on the PBS show "American Woodshop" produced out of the Bowling Green station. It still gets rebroadcast every so often across all PBS stations. Every time it does, we get an increase in donations and furniture. Great! But it also increases the visibility of our volunteer program nationally. Once or twice, I have gotten the comment "Why does everyone in your woodshop look the same?" I don't have a satisfying answer for that. Sure, part of it is demographics. But at the same time, we've set up our woodshop to teach just about anybody who is willing and able. Central Ohio itself is increasingly more diverse. So why are we just attracting mainly one kind of person?

Part of it is that it's just easy to passively recruit from the same places. We're busy! But part of it is also that I don't know where to start. I know I'm limiting myself and what I can get done by not inviting new people in. Let's change that! Join us this month to learn about what we're all doing to include everyone possible!
Galen Roth, CVA
Volunteers Manager at the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
VAN President


Topic: Changing Diversity In Columbus & Volunteerism
Date: Thursday, April 18th, 2024
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
Location: Columbus Metro Library - 96 S. Grant Street Meeting Room 1A
Did you know that April is Global Volunteer Month? How are you adapting your organization’s volunteer efforts to engage the beautiful diversity within Central Ohio? Join us as we host, Michael Wilkos, Vice President of Community Engagement at the United Way of Central Ohio. He will share his insights about the changing societal demographics that are affecting the nonprofit and volunteerism landscape in Central Ohio. Then, collaborate with attendees on outreach and engagement solutions that you can apply now! See you there! 

Bring a friend to join you! The first meeting is always free! 

SAVE THE DATE for VAN's April Professional Development session on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 9 am.


Our website is full of job listings in central Ohio! If you're a VAN Central Ohio member looking for a position working with volunteers, you can click here to access the page. There are many local openings including positions at Canine Companions, BESA, Ronald McDonald House, and MORE! Postings are updated throughout the month, so log in and check back often!


Are you passionate about volunteer administration? Are you looking to give back in a big way while learning and growing professionally? Then joining the VAN Board may be the right fit for you! We are currently seeking value-added members to join our team in the following openings: Membership Co-Chair and Professional Development Co-Chair. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to take that next step in leadership and professional growth. If interested, please email groth(at) with a copy of your resume. 

  • NEW VAN Membership Pricing Structure: you asked, we answered! The VAN board is excited to announce that we have a new annual membership pricing structure available. New members can head here to pay their annual membership fee!
    • Individual Membership (unchanged): $75/person
    • AmeriCorps (NEW): $50/person
    • Organizational (NEW): $175/organization 
  • Columbus Academy Annual Service Day: Friday, Aug. 30 from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm - Does your organization need a group of approximately 10 teen volunteers (who come along with 1-2 adult chaperones) to help with various service projects? Reach out to the Columbus Academy's Service Board Advisor, Christy Bening at for more info. 
    • April is Global Volunteer Month
    • April 21-27, 2024 is National Volunteer Week