21NTC Session

Leveraging Skills-Based Volunteers for COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery


History demonstrates that the year after crisis can be especially hard for nonprofits; the impact lingers, but elevated support doesn’t. One way for nonprofits – particularly smaller or BIPOC-led organizations that have historically been overlooked for service and giving opportunities – to build their capacity to recover and rebound from the double pandemic of COVID-19 and systemic racism is leveraging skills-based volunteering.

Join Common Impact’s Chief Program Officer, Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald, for a conversation about how nonprofits of all sizes and mission areas can engage in skills-based volunteer projects that build resiliency, even in a virtual environment. Using the latest version of Common Impact’s “COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Report,” Elizabeth will share the wide variety of pro bono project models available, including the “hotline” model, which is particularly effective for nonprofit leaders who need strategic support, but are strapped for time due to dramatically increased demand for their organizations’ services.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Leverage skills-based volunteering (SBV) for immediate and long-term resilience-building needs
  • Design a targeted SBV program for your nonprofit’s mission area and crisis response type
  • Make the case to your leadership, Board, and/or staff about why SBV is worth time & effort during COVID-19

Target Audience

Organization & program leaders –particularly at smaller nonprofits– looking for capacity building support on the road to COVID-19 recovery


Program DevelopmentProject ManagementStrategyVolunteers


Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald

Chief Program Officer

Common Impact

Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald is a recognized expert in cross-sector partnerships, skilled volunteering, leadership development and capacity building for the nonprofit sector. She has worked with Fortune 500 and 100 companies, government and the social sector to build, lead and advance the use of service and civic engagement as a resource for communities worldwide.

Before joining Common Impact, Elizabeth served as the Vice President of Supporter Relations at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), an organization committed to developing leaders to engage civically within their communities to end educational inequity. Prior to joining LEE, she was the Chief External Relations Officer at the Taproot Foundation, overseeing partnerships, marketing and communications. During her nine-year tenure there, she launched and implemented initiatives that advanced the landscape of pro bono, including the strategic partnership component of the build and introduction of Taproot+, an online matching platform for pro bono; Pro Bono Week, an annual worldwide celebration of the impact of business pro bono; and the Global Pro Bono Network, an international association of pro bono providers.

Previously, Elizabeth founded 20% Theatre, an all-women’s theatre company dedicated to addressing gender inequitty and the power imbalance in the theatre arena. In addition, Elizabeth founded J.A. Consulting, a practice dedicated to innovation, equity, leadership development, program approach and positioning to enable the achievement of critical social goals. Clients include The Fedcap Group, Benevolent, Team4Tech, West Side Forward and Authentifiy. Elizabeth is a lecturer on social impact, the nonprofit sector and partnership development at the Kellogg School of Business, Executive Education at Northwestern University and Smith College Executive Education. Her 20+ year nonprofit fundraising career spans some of Chicago’s most prominent arts organizations.

Elizabeth holds a BA from Smith College in English and Theatre and is a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy.



March 25, 2021


12:15pm – 12:45pm