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CPDC Hosts First Volunteer Leadership Summit

As a part of CPDC’s ongoing effort to increase capacity for volunteer engagement, for the first time, nearly 70 residents from 11 CPDC Communities participated in workshops designed to develop their skills as volunteers and community ambassadors. 

By: Jennifer Fauss, CPDC Director of Volunteer Engagement

One week ago, I was knee deep in the final details of preparing for the CPDC Volunteer 2Leadership Summit: print this, write that, grab these supplies, pack that box, check the list, confirm those volunteers, speakers and guests!

As with any new endeavor, I was nervous about how it would go.  Would the volunteers enjoy the day, the workshop sessions, the food, the other people?

Would they know how special the event was, not only because it’s the first time we’ve done it, but because it’s not the sort of thing typically invested in by other affordable housing developers?

Would they care?

Would it be beneficial for them?

These questions circled through my mind as I worked with a small and committed staff team that I had pulled away from their actual day-to-day work to help me execute this event.1

Our goal: for volunteers to enjoy the event – the food, music, photos, t-shirts, etc. – but most importantly, to benefit from the content of workshops; to find new ways to engage in their communities; and to connect with fellow volunteers from across CPDC’s portfolio of properties.

For the 20 CPDC staff and partners who who served as workshop facilitators and event volunteers, our goal was that they would experience the energy our volunteers bring and the power that giving time and talent to our communities can have in enriching our everyday work. Volunteer Leadership Summit partners included: the U.S. Coast Guard, Majestic Day, LLC, Illume Communications and Contemporary Family Services participated.

While CPDC has had a formal volunteer program since 2007 and is on the cusp of a 10-year anniversary celebration, we are still exploring new and better ways to invite volunteers in, match them with opportunities, and celebrate successes and outcomes.

Over the years, CPDC has built the capacity to have an average of 100 active volunteers at any given time of year, and our communities are constantly exploring new ways to engage partners and groups in events that offer much needed support and great relationship building opportunities.3

Still, we don’t take for granted that volunteers who give their time freely make sacrifices to do this service and may struggle to make hard choices regarding resources of money and time for themselves and their families.

As we closed out the Volunteer Leadership Summit, it was clear that the nearly 90 attendees had a rewarding experience and that it would shape how they continued to serve in their communities.  New ideas and skills were gained, fun was had and attendees left feeling energized and renewed.

I am honored to work for and with CPDC’s committed and dynamic group of volunteers. I too am energized by the passion, commitment, and talent volunteers bring each day to help our communities, their communities and the larger community grow and thrive!



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