San Francisco’s Women’s Community Clinic Marks 10 Years of Service by Sharing its Approach to Effectively Leveraging a Volunteer Community

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New report offers comprehensive guide to creating a successful volunteer-based business model.

womenscommunityclinic.org

We have found that our volunteer structure has given us additional financial stability, while offering leadership development opportunities in a time when they are in high demand. Our volunteers are saving us money, but more importantly, we are leveraging the experience of the members of our local community to support women in need. We feel like this is an important time to share our experience.

In a report released today, the volunteer-based Women’s Community Clinic outlines how leveraging a volunteer community can do more than just save money. Done effectively, building a volunteer infrastructure can significantly improve the quality of service, expand an organization’s impact, and cultivate the next generation of community leaders.

"A Winning Volunteer Strategy: Leverage Your Most Underutilized Resource," offers insight into the Clinic’s innovative volunteer-based model of care. Since 1999, the Women’s Community Clinic has provided free health care services to more than 20,000 women and trained over 500 health care volunteers. Over the years, the Clinic has earned a reputation as a safe, welcoming environment where uninsured women can access health services.

“In tough economic times, nonprofit organizations are called on to do more, while simultaneously facing funding cut backs,” said Carlina Hansen, Clinic Executive Director. “We have found that our volunteer structure has given us additional financial stability, while offering leadership development opportunities in a time when they are in high demand. Our volunteers are saving us money, but more importantly, we are leveraging the experience of the members of our local community to support women in need. We feel like this is an important time to share our experience.”

As a pioneer in volunteer-based health care, the Clinic shares its foundational principles and best practices in volunteer recruiting, training and retention. Although the report focuses on volunteers in a clinical setting, the concepts are transferrable to any direct service organization.

Increase Access, Improve Quality. The passion and dedication that volunteers bring to service delivery can lead to higher quality and improved client outcomes. Over 95 percent of Women’s Community Clinic clients rate services as excellent.

Reduce Costs. A volunteer infrastructure can enable organizations to increase the quantity and quality of services provided. The Clinic’s volunteer-based model of care, the first of its kind in the Bay Area, provides $5 worth of services for every $1 donation the Clinic receives.

Multiply Impact. A volunteer model enables organizations to simultaneously increase access to needed services while training the next generation of leaders. Over 60 percent of the Clinic’s entry-level health worker volunteers go on to careers in health-related fields.

“A Winning Volunteer Strategy” provides a road map for nonprofits to customize their volunteer-based model, develop effective curriculum, and create a strategically planned and integrated program essential to the organization’s mission. For more information and to view the report, go to womenscommunityclinic.org.

About the Women’s Community Clinic
Since 1999, the Women’s Community Clinic has honored its mission to improve the health and well-being of women and girls by providing free women’s health services, outreach services and health career training programs.

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Lakiesha McGhee
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