Volunteer Initiative Program (VIP) For Employees

The Volunteer Initiative Program was formalized in 1999 because Grinnell College understands that students, faculty, and staff have a tremendous impact on the quality of life in our area through the time and energy that they invest in community activities. For every employee who contributes 20 hours of volunteer time to a community organization, Grinnell College will grant $100 to that organization of choice. Encouraging employee volunteerism in the local community is consistent with the College's mission, values, and commitment to the community. This program encourages employees to volunteer in those projects that they feel most passionate about while allowing them to direct some of the College's contributions at the same time.

The four things that make a great photograph is the person behind the camera, having a camera with you at all times, being in the right place at the right time, and luck. For over 15 years, I have had the honor and privilege in volunteering for the Grinnell Fire Department taking photos. I have witnessed their dedication and commitment in serving the community.

Six years ago, I learned of the Grinnell College Volunteer Initiative Program that encourages employees to volunteer. With this great program, I've been able to direct $1,100 to the Grinnell Fire Department. Thank you to the college for establishing this program that benefits various organizations in the community.

Duane McClun, Facilities Management

Guidelines for $100 Recognition

Qualified Employees: Employees must be appointed to a regular or term (e.g., non-student) position at the College to be eligible to participate.

Qualified Activity: Program participants must contribute 20 hours of volunteer time to their organization of choice to receive financial support. Sponsored organizations are required to verify employee participation. The local community is not limited to Grinnell but includes the surrounding area, Des Moines, and Iowa City.

Exclusions: Generally, the program does not support: Individuals, business ventures, organizations without IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that are not governments, organizations that limit membership and services based on race, religion, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin, requests for loans or debt retirements, civic/labor/sorority/fraternal groups, political organizations and projects, or organizations that might in any way pose a conflict with the mission, goals, or programs of Grinnell College.

Funding Limits: No organization may receive more than $1,000 in total contributions through this program in a given fiscal year. Each employee may designate $100 in donations twice per fiscal year. The College’s fiscal year is July 1–June 30. Funds are limited and will be released in the order in which qualified applications are received.

Volunteer Examples

There are many nonprofit organizations that rely 100% on volunteers for their groups to be successful, carry out their missions, and make change happen. Each volunteer hour equals $28.54 (2020), which is huge when you are working with a limited budget.

Learn more about the different ways employees invest in our community as volunteers. Contact our office at 641-269-3900 or via email.

  • arts and culture
  • community development and support
  • health and safety
  • kids and education

Volunteer Resources

To explore volunteer opportunities in Grinnell, visit:

Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce

Submitting a Request

VIP Request Forms are also available by contacting the Office of Community Partnerships, Planning, and Research 641-269-3900. The completed form can be submitted via email or to our office at 1127 Park St., Grinnell, IA  50112. The College reserves the right to deny funding to any and/or all requests.

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