Program Report: Kim Shaw – Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Center

A few years ago, when Kim’s organization was still called the Volunteer Center and she was struggling with changing the name to something that better reflected the scope of what they did it was clear why the change was needed. As she explained to me why it was necessary, I became more amazed.  I had no idea, like many others, that that scope encompassed more than Durham or more than being a clearing house for those looking for opportunities to volunteer and organizations that needed help.  

The problem is that I’m not sure the new name, Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Center, does it justice either.  

Kim was introduced by Rotarian Danielle Kaspar, who serves on board TNLVC.  Kim’s background includes more than 25 years of leadership experience working in organizational development, marketing, communications, fundraising, human resources and finance. She is also an accomplished trainer.  Her experience includes executive management in several area nonprofits including the North Carolina Center for Voter Education, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, the Interfaith Council for  Social Services and Discover Durham when it was the Durham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  

And as if her professional life wasn’t devoted enough to service, she has served as Chair of the Durham County ABC Board, the Triangle United Way, The American Red Cross and Junior Leadership Durham. She also serves on our own Rotary Club Board of Directors.  

Kim began her presentation with apologies for leaving her notes at the office. However, that may explain why she came across as so genuine and authentic as a preacher who knows the Bible from cover to cover.  

She mentioned several areas of focus for the organization including being a resource for the 21,000 + non-profits in the area over half of which are 501(c)(3)s, including their role in maintaining a huge database of volunteers.  

She also ticked through a number of the projects that the directly support including Share Your Christmas, Christmas Dinners, Thanksgiving Dinner and providing backpacks with school supplies for kids in need. 

The meeting was also awarding scholarships to three students and hosting many children in a “bring your kids to Rotary” day so Kim emphasized another major focus of the organization which she calls “youth engagement.” These are efforts to develop opportunities for young people to become the next generation of volunteers and leaders of the community’s volunteer organizations.  

What better way to do this than bring in a couple of the youth who have participated. The first was Charles Cook who spoke about the Leadership Institute, his Capstone Project and the IMPACT Service Camps. Devin Desai spoke about the Student Action Board and Student Service Awards. Charles is still in high school but Devin will be going to Duke next year. Both were amazingly articulate and poised in front of an audience that often intimidates speakers who expect the intimate conversation with the audience that a 25-member Rotary Club might provide. 

The Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership Center is still using the web address www.thevolunteercenter.org but it’s worth spending more than a few minutes learning a little more about the organization. 

Before Durham became cool its reputation was that it was the poor point of the Triangle with a lot of needs. While we have generally prospered and fine dining and million-dollar condos are not foreign to us anymore, there are still a lot of people with needs. Kim and the organization she has run for many years are as important as ever to making progress towards a community that serves all our citizens well and provides know how and services to help us get there. 

Submitted by Jay Zenner 

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