Postponed: MCF Member Briefing: Creating Sustainability through the Power of Volunteers

Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT

This event has been postponed.

Communities across the country are struggling to respond to the pandemic crisis, a faltering economy and racial injustices. In this time of rising needs and shrinking funds, we all want nonprofits to remain viable for the long term. Volunteers are a core strategy for meeting today’s challenges of capacity, budget and scale. Not only are volunteers critical to the response in these turbulent times, but research demonstrates a strong connection between organizations that operate with volunteer engagement as a core mission strategy and the overall health and effectiveness of the organization.

Presenters will discuss the pivotal role community volunteers can play in nonprofit sustainability. Join this session to consider ways to increase support for volunteer engagement in your day-to-day grantmaking or community giving program.

Learn how strategic volunteer engagement can spark transformations and build capacity. We’ll explore the latest research and share successful funder-nonprofit collaborations that demonstrate the impact of strategic volunteer engagement. Attendees will gain new tools to drive this important conversation with their grantees and increase their own return on investment.

Log-in details will be provided in your confirmation email. MCF members may log-in and register. Philanthropy Colorado and Philanthropy New York members may register by sending an email to Paul Masiarchin.


Rina Cohen works at UJA-Federation of New York as a Planning Executive in the Caring and Network departments. She manages a grants portfolio of $2 million for programs that engage volunteers to deliver critical social services to combat poverty, reduce social isolation, address mental health challenges and bolster employment services. Additionally, Rina leads the application process for unrestricted funding for UJA’s 65 core partners, totaling $34 million. Rina completed her master’s in Nonprofit Management at the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and received her bachelor’s degree at Barnard College.

Catherine Gray joined The Minneapolis Foundation in 2013 as Director of Impact Strategy, Civic Engagement. Her work prioritizes cultivating and fueling diverse civic leadership and community activism to advance equitable public policies. Her leadership is informed by her broad life experience as an entrepreneur, a filmmaker, and as a nonprofit director working to equip women to run for public office. Catherine serves as a co-chair of MCF’s Government Relations and Public Policy Committee.

Jane Leighty Justis is the President of The Leighty Foundation (, founded in Waterloo, Iowa by her father in 1985. For thirty years she has spearheaded their local and national initiatives to ensure that volunteer engagement is embraced as a core strategy by nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and the public sector to meet rising community needs as well as affect systems change. She is a national speaker for family philanthropy and former board member of Women's Philanthropy Institute, National Center for Family Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy and Pikes Peak Community Foundation.

From a successful career in corporate finance, Lynne Telford is now the CEO of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. She is a visionary and strong leader who previously served as Vice President at Pikes Peak United Way and Executive Director of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Lynne volunteers on the Colorado State Board of Human Services and speaks on a variety of topics including leadership, philanthropy and food insecurity. In 2013, she earned the distinction of Business Leader of the Year from the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.


  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Minneapolis Foundation


  • Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration
  • Minnesota Council on Foundations
  • Philanthropy Colorado
  • Philanthropy New York
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