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  Volunteer and Donations Management

Volunteer and Donations Management

Following a year-long, statewide, grassroots project called Illinois Homeland Security Vision 2020, a series of town hall meetings that engaged all public safety disciplines, schools, elected officials, the private sector, and private citizens, Illinois updated its Homeland Security Strategy and established eight strategic priorities. Priority #7 is to create a comprehensive and integrated volunteer program for use before, during and after emergencies and disasters and to develop a tool-kit whereby this program can be tailored for use by local units of government as well as nongovernmental organizations. The following information is designed to serve as a “one-stop shop” for resources to assist in the management of volunteers and donations.

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)/Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)

Illinois VOAD is the state chapter of the national VOAD. Illinois VOAD’s role is to bring voluntary organizations active in disaster response throughout the state together for response, relief and recovery efforts. The Illinois VOAD adheres to the “4Cs”: cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration. These principles serve as the foundation for the Illinois VOAD as it collaborates with local, regional and national partners in times of disaster. COADs use community disaster education, hazard analysis, training exercises, classes for community leadership, local emergency management plans, and the expertise of its members to increase disaster awareness for the whole community. The link below is to a map of the known local VOADs/COADs in Illinois. For specific contact information or to add to this list, please contact IEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaison (VAL), Michelle Hanneken, at

Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs)

A primary focus of LTRCs is to address the remaining disaster-related needs of families once they have received the maximum assistance available through federal and state disaster assistance programs. The maximum awards as established by law do not always cover the needs of a family that has lost everything. LTRCs concentrate on sharing information, simplifying client access and jointly resolving cases of unmet needs, as well as helping affected families develop a plan and receive adequate assistance for the recovery. Services offered range from financial assistance, clean up, minor and major home repair to crisis and spiritual counseling. LTRCs are also known as Long Term Recovery Groups (LRTGs). The link below is to a map of the known local LTRCs in Illinois. For specific contact information or to add to this list, please contact IEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaison (VAL), Michelle Hanneken, at

Local Volunteers and Donations Annexes

Following are some examples of how local units of government in Illinois have implemented emergency operations plans that allow them to effectively manage volunteers and donations during disaster.

State Volunteer and Donations Management Annex

The Volunteer and Donations Management Annex documents the design and operations of a flexible state-level volunteer and donation management system. This system is designed to receive, process and distribute a wide variety of donated goods and services to assist emergency and disaster victims. This annex provides procedures for the coordination, acceptance, control, receipt, storage, distribution and disposal of donations-in-kind, as well as the coordination of volunteers, donated services and funding.

Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers

Spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers – neighbors and ordinary citizens – often arrive on-site at a disaster ready to help. Yet because they are not associated with any part of the existing emergency management response system, their offers of help are often underutilized and even problematic to professional responders. Following are some resources to assist in effectively planning for this specific category of volunteer.

Volunteer and Donations Management Training

Training opportunities specifically related to volunteers and donations exist at both the state and federal levels. Below are two available training courses.

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