Volunteer

Get Involved 

ACCESS is making a positive impact on its targeted communities.  We sincerely appreciate your interest in joining us in our mission to improve lives by supporting business owners and organizations making an impact in their communities.  Economic impact is central to our belief that as small businesses become more successful there is a trickle down affect that improves the lives of employees, owners allowing for more sustainable communities, charitable organizations and civic engagement.  

Volunteers support a broad range of initiatives at ACCESS including, but not limited to, providing technical assistance, business coaching, administrative support, community outreach, fundraising, and a plethora of other very important aspects to our mission.  Together, we can achieve greatness and make a meaningful difference to many.

We encourage volunteers to join us even if you are not yet sure how you can help.  Let’s sit down and figure out how to utilize your many skill sets or pick a few to focus on.  We welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds as we truly believe diverse organizations achieve the best results.  

Volunteer Opportunities

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses that receive three or more hours of mentoring achieve higher revenues and increased business growth. Even better, they report: “according to a 2014 survey, 70 percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than five years – double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.” The same survey found that 88 percent of business owners with a mentor say that having one is invaluable.

And yet small business owners – and particularly diverse small business owners – face challenges finding advisors. Many often want help in areas less familiar to them but don’t have access to affordable advisors or networks that can help them. For example, nearly half of women and one-third of minority small business owners lack available mentors and advisors even if they’re actively looking for one.

Small business advising and mentoring platforms, like BusinessAdvising.org for example, reduce barriers to offering technical assistance pre- and post-loan while giving you the ability to offer your clients expert advice and guidance on any issue their business is facing, without the need to hire an army of staff.

By pairing a small business owner with an expert advisor, you can help that business owner shore up an area of their business they might not be as strong in, and allow them to seize new opportunities and more sustainably grow their revenues. That also means you reduce the risk to your loans

Our business consulting is critical to supporting clients who may need help in refining a business plan or developing specific skills to operate their business more effectively.  Our business consultants offer real world experience providing insight to business owners to help them avoid the pitfalls other owners face and navigate through challenges that often affect us all.   Each client will have its own unique circumstances, making this partnership both a challenge and rewarding.  

Related Skills & Experience:

  • Hands-on experience as a business owner, with startups or advising small businesses and/or subject matter expertise relevant to supporting small business owners (e.g. online marketing, sales, product development, social media, accounting, etc.).
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A good listener, empathetic, patient and client-centric.
  • Community experience (or an interest in) working with low-income, culturally diverse communities.
  • Second language an asset.

Commitment: Six months to one year depending on the coaching assignment. Business Coaches are expected to meet with clients on an agreed-upon schedule and provide feedback on the progress of the partnership. Depending on client needs and availability of the coach, meetings may be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly during the coaching period. A customized schedule is developed in collaboration with the client to meet their goals and to accommodate the availability of the client and coach. 

Plan, design and deliver business and financial related presentations, workshops, events and webinars relevant to the specific needs of small business owners.  Topics are geared to preparing new entrepreneurs and growing small businesses.  Our presenters work in collaboration with our executive management to develop informational materials. 

ACCESS provides input to our presenting volunteers on general training topics that would be relevant to the needs of our clients. At times, it is possible for volunteers to pre-record presentations for use as part of our business library.  The expertise of each volunteer and desire to develop and design training sessions is very much welcomed.

This role will assist with fundraising efforts to increase brand awareness and ultimately grow our community of donors. The objective is to spread our message and encourage our community of supporters to make donations to ACCESS Community Capital. Upon marketing manager approval, access may be granted to use any appropriate digital marketing outlets (website, blog, newsletter, press releases, etc.) and/or social media channels to promote active fundraising campaigns, encouraging public support.

This role directly contributes to ACCESS Community Capital’s vision and mission to promote social impact by contributing to the economic development of undervalued businesses.  ACCESS was created to address the inequities in the current lending landscape.  Together, we can make the change we envision, via the organization’s advocacy, awareness, and education initiatives. Predetermined issues promoted by ACCESS Community Capital include, but are not limited to: inequities in lending, bridging the racial wealth gap, use of technology to make lending more efficient, and eliminating the reliance on predatory lending products.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist with the planning and management of ACCESS Community Capital year-long fundraising initiatives.
  • Collaborate with staff & other volunteers on giving campaigns and year-end fundraising efforts.
  • Work with the fundraising team to prospect and solicit major and corporate donors.
  • Identify potential business partners as sponsors.
  • Help increase communications with supporters and current donors.
  • Assist in creating the annual fundraising plan.
  • Contribute creative ideas for new fundraising opportunities.

Even if you’ve never raised money before, you can succeed as a fundraiser. Fundraising isn’t just about collecting money; it also entails effectively communicating why the donations are needed. If you have good communication skills, or want to improve in that area, then volunteering for a position that involves fundraising might be a good fit for you. We provide communication tips and tools to make raising money easy and fun. Depending on which volunteer activity you participate in, you could receive information on creative fundraising ideas; e-cards, social media messages, and emails for you to share; and even your own personalized fundraising webpage.

 Commitment: Will vary based on needs and availability. Workshop presenters can expect to participate in two or more presentations per year.

To apply:

For more information or to apply, contact a loan officer at Partner@accesscdfi.com.