Innovations Overview

Thank you for visiting our California Volunteers’ Innovations web page! California Volunteers is proud to showcase some of its most innovative programs and initiatives with you. Our hope is that we can continue to share best practices and resources, and collaborate on new ideas that will continue to push the service and volunteering movement forward!

To learn more about each of our programs and initiatives, please click on the desired program below or continue to scroll down:



Business Partner Program


The California Volunteers Business Partner Program was developed to support an expanded culture of volunteering among California’s businesses – of all sizes and from all industries. The initial development of the Business Partner Program was led by a team of pro bono consultants from Deloitte LLP in collaboration with California Volunteers staff. The program design is informed by significant local, state and national thought-leaders in the national service arena, as well as a wide variety of business leaders who have a strong commitment to employee volunteering. In September 2009, California Volunteers will launch the state’s first Business Advisory Council (BAC) focusing on employee volunteering and service to communities. The BAC is a cornerstone of California Volunteers’ new Business Partner Program (BPP), and will serve to inform California Volunteers’ efforts to increase and strengthen business volunteering across the state in collaboration with local, regional and national leaders.

Key Program Elements

The Business Partner Program utilizes various strategies to support program development and outreach. The following elements comprise the cornerstone of the Business Partner Program:

  • A Business Partner Program section on the California website, which includes a robust reference section linking users – both businesses and nonprofits that provide volunteer opportunities for businesses – to a wide array of online resources.
  • A Business Advisory Council, which will serve to inform California Volunteers’ efforts to increase and strengthen business volunteering across the state in collaboration with local, regional and national leaders.

Need Addressed

The Business Partner Program provides a statewide platform and associated programming to increase business volunteering in all California businesses.


Budget Implications

Program development was conducted through a pro bono partnership with Deloitte LLP. California Volunteers is currently seeking grant funding to support the implementation and management of the Business Partner Program.


Program development for the Business Partner Program began in November 2008. The Business Partner Program website will launch in June 2009 and the Business Advisory Council will launch in September 2009.

Lessons Learned

Key lessons learned about the Business Partner Program:

  • Businesses and nonprofits are enthusiastic about the potential of this program.
  • Dozens of businesses have already indicated early interest in joining the Business Advisory Council and/or participating in future Business Partner Program programming.
  • The pro bono support from Deloitte was invaluable in getting this program designed and off the ground.

Key Program Partners

Key program partners are Deloitte LLP, who has provided significant pro bono consulting for the development and launch of this program. California Volunteers also solicited input from 75 business and nonprofit leaders. The Business Advisory Council work group will also be a key program partner as the program evolves.

Contact Us for More Information

Justin Knighten

Director of Strategic Communications and External Affairs


Email Justin

CaliforniaVolunteers Disaster Corps


DisasterCorps will be a cadre of 1,000 government-affiliated volunteers that meet Disaster Corps training, typing, certification, and security screening guidelines. These volunteers are part of local government disaster volunteer programs and represent a mutual aid resource that can be utilized statewide.

Key Program Elements

The CaliforniaVolunteers Disaster Corps is built upon integrating disaster volunteers into the state’s emergency management system and providing them valuable benefits for affiliation. The key program elements and benefits include:

  • Volunteer Classification, Typing, Training, and Credentialing Guidelines
  • Disaster Volunteer Resource Inventory
  • Connection to the Statewide Emergency Management System.

Need Addressed

The Disaster Corps program will integrate volunteers into the state’s emergency management system, using the mutual aid system to coordinate volunteer resources on a statewide basis in the event of an emergency or disaster.



Budget Implications

The CaliforniaVolunteers Disaster Corps has received limited funding through the Citizen Corps Program and the State Homeland Security Grant Program. More diverse funding sources are needed to ensure the program can expand beyond its initial cadre of disaster volunteer programs.



The CaliforniaVolunteers Disaster Corps program rollout is scheduled for June 2010.





Contact Us for More Information

Sharron Leaon

Senior Emergency Officer

Email Sharron