Provide Groceries for Low-Income and Homeless Families at Our Annual “Share Your Bounty” This Thanksgiving

The Volunteer Center is once again looking for volunteers to provide holiday groceries to families and individuals in need at Good News Partners (GNP) this Thanksgiving. Any individual, family or group looking for a way to safely help during this particularly challenging time is invited to fill either a cloth or double bagged paper bag — or small box — with all of the items in the list below, then drop it off between 10am and noon on Thanksgiving morning to 1600 W. Jonquil, Chicago (Rogers Park area off of Howard).  Read on for more details.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our dedicated volunteers!

November 5, 2019

Maybe Your Nonprofit IS the Bomb. But Is It Hitting the Right Target?


Nonprofit Directors and Communications Officers, please join the VC — and 2 industry heavy-hitters — for breakfast and a highly motivational training program designed to help you build effective marketing and communications strategies for your nonprofit.  This will be a thought-provoking workshop that will also be a valuable opportunity for you to network with other nonprofits facing the same challenges you are.  The VC will also share a comprehensive local media contact list for attendees. Registration Required by November 18 am. Registration form below.

Tuesday, November 19

Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Avenue

Susan Noyes
Founder & Publisher of Make It Better Media Group

Susan will discuss “Activating Your Audience”, highlighting best communication practices that have proven to build awareness of and support for successful nonprofits – particularly online.  This Amplification & Connection Strategy is particularly effective in improving sponsorships, donations and ticket sales for major fundraising events.


Chris Hogan
Managing Director of i3Insights and Executive Service Corps Member

Chris will cover “Marketing Your Nonprofit”, with focus on applying Marketing Positioning to define and solidify your nonprofit’s image in the hearts and minds of your constituents. He will provide you a framework to help you articulate your nonprofit’s unique benefit,  and why your constituents will believe it, over other relevant non-profits.

About Our Presenters

About Susan Noyes
In 2007, Susan founded, a small, community website. It blossomed into a multi-platform publishing company, serving similar demographics throughout Chicagoland, Marin County and San Francisco Bay Area — with a vibrant digital ecosystem, print magazines, custom publishing partnerships, videos, awards and signature events.

All three publications–Better, Marin Magazine and SPACES and their corresponding digital platforms help generate those powerful, positive connections that will inspire you to live, love, work and play with greater purpose.

She also launched the Make It Better Foundation and annual Philanthropy Awards in 2012.  She occasionally appears on CNBC’s Closing Bell Investor Roundtable.   Susan practiced law for Sidley & Austin from 1983-1989, then focused her efforts as a philanthropist, and uber volunteer while raising 6 children.   She serves on multiple Chicago nonprofit boards including American Red Cross Chicago Chapter, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Poetry Foundation.

Better, formerly known as Make it Better began as a small website 12 years ago and has grown into a multi-platform publishing company, serving similar demographics throughout Chicagoland and the San Francisco Bay Area — with a vibrant digital ecosystem, print magazines, custom publishing partnerships, videos, awards and signature events.Better’s dream continues to be to create, strengthen, and connect communities across the country.  Simply put, Better helps generate those powerful, positive connections that will inspire you to live, love, work and play with greater purpose.


About Chris Hogan
Chris is the Founder and Managing Director of i3Insights, a marketing and consumer insights consultancy across many industries. Chris is also a member of Executive Service Corps (ESC) an organization which provides consulting for non-profit organizations. He brings to his clients the knowledge gained and lessons learned from 35 years of experience working in consumer insights, shopper insights, analytics and category management. Chris has also taught consumer research as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Chicago.

Previously, Chris was SVP Consumer Insight & Analytics at ConAgra.  His responsibilities included insights and analytics for both the Consumer and Commercial Business Units. Prior to ConAgra, Chris had a variety of insight positions with increasing responsibility at Kraft Foods including: VP Consumer Insights & Strategy Kraft International responsible for consumer and shopper insights in 70 countries around the globe; VP Category Management Kraft North America responsible for the creation and leadership of Kraft’s Shopper Insights team, as well as leading the Category Management initiatives for the Kraft Sales organization; Director Consumer Insights for multiple business units across the Kraft U.S. portfolio of products.

i3 Insights was founded by Chris Hogan, after Chris successfully accumulated 30+ years of experience leading Insights, Analytics and Category Management teams at multiple Fortune 100 companies. This includes both U.S. and International experience identifying marketing insights that drove Brand Strategy, Brand Communication, Innovation and Category Management Opportunities. As a result, i3 Insights provides an uncommon level of both breadth and depth of knowledge in activating consumer insights, shopper insights, analytics, and strategic marketing that influences, inspires and impacts your business results. Chris also is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Chicago,teaching consumer research design and analysis.


For more information, email Barb Tubekis at, or call 847-441-7665




November 4, 2019

Please Join Us at Our School Service-Learning Workshop and Networking Event


Calling All Faith-based and School Parent Organization Presidents and Service-Learning Outreach Chairs





Need to spice up your faith-based or school’s community service program for your families and students? Don’t currently have a service program? This Volunteer Center workshop will give you a solid foundation to start — or enhance — one. We will provide new ideas to engage your youth in age appropriate service activities that benefit nonprofits who are making a difference in our community. Network with your volunteer colleagues and share insights at this best-practices training on how to plan Service Projects or full scale Service-Learning Programs that will inspire your congregations and students to a lifelong passion for service.

The Volunteer Center is also excited to introduce a new Junior Board for public, private and parochial middle school students! More information will be shared about this at the workshop as well.

Join Us!  If you have questions, please e-mail us at, or call Barb Tubekis 847-441-7665



October 18, 2019

Our Biggest Make A Difference Day Ever!

A Generous Community Cleaned  Its Closets to Benefit People and Animals in Need

Make A Difference Day is one of the North Shore’s favorite opportunities to lend a hand to local nonprofits serving people in need.  Even with the challenges of the pandemic, this year was no exception.  With support from our dedicated volunteer partners from Highcrest Middle School — and this year’s host Wilmette Junior High School — we were able to send our nonprofit partners away with cars and trucks bursting at the seams with valuable donations.    And our guest dog from Orphans of the Storm even found a home!  Many thanks to all who helped make this such an inspiring event.

Participating Nonprofits and Items Collected

Books4Cause —  Gently used books, all genres, including textbooks, CDs, DVDs and vinyl

Childcare Network of Evanston —  Infant Baby diapers, size newborn to 6. Baby wipes and pull-ups, especially 3T-4T boys and girls. Formula – Regular, Gentle Ease and Similac

Connections for the Homeless  — Men’s casual winter clothing and coats, hoodies and sweatshirts;  duffels, sleeping bags, suitcases

Counseling Center for the North Shore  —  Women’s clothing and coats

Gear 4 Goals —  Sports equipment

Glass Slipper Project  — Women’s jewelry and formal/dressy purses

Hadley Institute for the Blind and the Visually Impaired — Eyeglasses & Cases

Junior League of Evanston/North Shore  —  Casual purses, travel-sized toiletries

New Trier Township Food Pantry  — Non-perishable Food, paper goods, laundry detergent

Northwestern Settlement — Baby, toddler and children’s clothing, coats and shoes

Orphans of the Storm  —  Pet supplies, food, newspapers, pets to adopt!

Refugee One  — Winter boots for all ages and genders

Woman’s Club of Evanston  — Prom dresses and dress shoes

Working Bikes  — Adult bikes in repairable condition and gently-used kid’s bikes

YMCA of Metro Chicago  —  Toys, games and school supplies

Check Out Last Year’s Make A Difference Day

For More Information:



October 8, 2019

The Volunteer Center is Looking to Grow Its Board

Join Us!

The Volunteer Center is looking for board members who enjoy working with like-minded people who want to make a difference in our community by giving back to those in need.  We are a working board that also has a lot of fun!

At the heart of our work are the Days of Service we sponsor throughout the year, which encourage volunteers of all ages to get involved.  We also host training and networking events for our 160+ Nonprofit partners.

We’re currently seeking Board members in a variety of different roles, including marketing, communications, fundraising, project management, event planning, and finance and accounting.

Find out more about Board membership here.

For more information, please contact Barb Tubekis at



September 19, 2019

Historic Wagner Farm Bonfire and Barndance

The annual Bonfire and Barndance is a fun event for all and includes country music, games, s’mores making and general fun around the farm. Volunteers help with tending the bonfires, handing out s’mores fixings, admissions, set up and clean up. If you’d like to come and enjoy a great evening at the farm and help out at the same time, this event is for you!

July 26, 2019

2019-2020 Networking and Training Events for VC Nonprofit Partners


Planning is underway for this year’s Nonprofit training and networking events  — and there are more to come!  We’ll be tackling some important topics with this year’s programs, so you won’t want to miss these informative sessions that also offer a great opportunity to connect — and exchange ideas — with other Nonprofit professionals.  Watch this website for more details to come.



November 6, 2019
Winnetka Park District Community Room
Click Here to Register
Join us for a networking event and discussion about service learning and how the Volunteer Center can help you build or enhance your school’s community service programming.   We will provide new ideas to engage your youth in age-appropriate service activities that benefit nonprofits who will inspire them to a lifelong commitment to giving back.  This is also a great opportunity to network with your colleagues and share ideas.


November 19, 2019  
Marketing/Communications: New Strategies to Reach Your Nonprofit’s Audience!

Join the VC for breakfast and this special nonprofit training on building effective marketing and communications strategies, featuring Susan Noyes, Founder & Publisher of Make It Better Media Group, who will discuss “Activating Your Audience” and Chris Hogan, Managing Director of i3Insights and Executive Service Corps member who will cover “Marketing Your Nonprofit”. Comprehensive media contact list also provided attendees. REGISTRATION Required on VC website –  Location: Community House, Winnetka, 620 Lincoln, Winnetka. Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:30am

February 12th, 2020
“How to Fully Fund Your Nonprofit Every Year”
Luncheon and Program co-sponsored by The Volunteer Center and Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce

Sherry Quam Taylor, President of Quam Taylor LLC, will teach you how to confidently prepare and ask for the donations that fully fund your programs and mission every year. Together, we’ll each create a practical step-by-step path to grow your organization’s funding. And she’ll also share the things you might be doing that’s keeping larger donors from giving to you. You’ll walk away with strategies you can start to use immediately to help you get larger donations.  Check out Sherry’s website:
For more details — and to register — click here.



July 19, 2019

Four Exceptional Volunteers. One Exceptional Performer. One Amazing Celebration!

In celebration of the spirit of volunteerism, we paid tribute to 4 amazing volunteers and celebrated the human experience at our 2019 Recognition Event.  First we heard from volunteers who inspire us every day with their selflessness and compassion, giving generously of themselves to those in need.  Then guests were treated to an intimate acoustic concert by Manny Torres, who inspired with his soulful music and stories of his experience pursuing his dreams.  All was made magical by the unique setting of the Winnetka Chapel Stage, which provided a spiritual and cozy space for such a meaningful celebration.  Truly a special evening!



Click here to learn more about Manny’s journey and his music.

The Volunteer Center was proud to partner with Valslist and The Winnetka Chapel for this event.  




Want to know more about how you can become a volunteer — or want to know more about the Volunteer Center?  E-mail us at

June 12, 2019

Award-Winning Nonprofit Resale Shop Seeking Volunteers to Help Launch New Store at Old Orchard

North Shore Exchange, the award-winning, nonprofit luxury resale shop, is opening a third location in the Old Orchard Shopping Center on June 1!  Our first two locations in Glencoe and at 900 North Shops in Chicago, and our online store, have raised $1.5 million for dozens of inspiring Chicagoland organizations doing important work to change the lives of families, individuals, and children with the greatest need.

If you’re energetic, friendly, and have a passion for our mission, please consider joining our amazing volunteer team as a retail assistant in our new store.  Sell a wide variety of high-end merchandise, including women’s fashion, jewelry, accessories, art, decor, furniture and much more.

To learn more about North Shore Exchange visit the website here.

To apply for this position, click here.

April 29, 2019

Welcome Our New Nonprofit Partner: Madonna Mission

Madonna Mission opens the doors of welcome through education. We are a nonprofit organization providing education and resettlement support programs for refugee individuals and their families.

To find out how you can volunteer as a tutor or homework helper click here.

April 4, 2019
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