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Volunteer Center of Greater Duluth records

Identifier: S6026

Scope and Contents

The collection contains minutes, annual reports, summary financial information, tax records, audits, program and grants files, photographs and videos.


  • 1970-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Volunteer Center of Greater Duluth was formed as a corporation under Minnesota Statues 317 on July 30, 1970. It filed Articles of Incorporation August 6, 1970 as a non-profit organization under its original name Duluth Volunteer Services. Original funding appears to have been from an Office of Economic Opportunities Grant and varied community support, including a grant from the Ordean Foundation of Duluth. Its major function was to develop understanding of and volunteer participation in community health, welfare, recreation, education, civic and cultural services – mainly through volunteer recruitment and placement and the providing of standards for the use of volunteers to agencies. The first director was Charlene Gustafson (Kramer.) In 1971, it received its first funding from the United Way. Duluth Volunteer Services, Inc. membership voted March 28, 1973 to dissolve. Renamed, the Volunteer Action Center became a function of the United Way of Greater Duluth. The functions of the VAC remained similar.

In spite of being a function of the United Way, the VAC still went through the annual allocation process. In the mid-1980s the VAC budget was moved into the Central Services budget, a logical move as the VAC operated within the United Way office, and its director had assumed various United Way campaign responsibilities.

Mary Evans became the director of VAC at the death of Charlene Kramer. Under her directorship, the VAC developed closer ties with state and national volunteer organizations. Accreditation by VOLUNTEER was also achieved. During the 1980s more local organizations moved to using volunteers in a meaningful and important way and the professional “volunteer director” emerged ranging from a full-time professional to a part-time volunteer coordinator; VAC provided training for them.

VAC also introduced innovative ideas during the 1980s. Two of the most successful were Student Volunteer Leadership Program at UMD and the Corporate Volunteerism Council. Now called SERVE, SVLP was a forerunner in bringing college students into the volunteer community and proving them with leadership opportunities.

In the 1990s, Marsha Eisenberg became director.

The organization began dissolution in 2000, and was formally dissolved February 6, 2001. Marsha Eisenberg’s resignation was effective June 30. Established VAC programs were taken on by other organizations. Lutheran Social Services applied for the contract to manage Warmline; the Lakeside Lester Park Community Club wanted the YEP program and its equipment as soon as it had 501(c)3 status. The last VAC board meeting minutes are dated June 12, 2000.


5.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains minutes, annual reports, summary financial information, tax records, audits, program and grants files, photographs and videos.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Guide to the Volunteer Center of Greater Duluth records
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526