Volunteers Needed: Focus Group Facilitators and Note Takers

Two years after initial Community Conversations that resulted in Thrive2027, United Way of Greater Portland is interested in convening focus groups to gather more information from the community about our shared educational goals.

We will convene three different focus groups from participating school districts;

  1. Middle & high school staff
  2. Elementary school staff
  3. High school students

We are seeking community volunteers to help facilitate and note take at these focus groups.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Prepare for, facilitate and/or take notes for two, 90-minute discussions with identified audience.
  • Ensure attendees are clear on the desired outcome of the conversation.
  • Create an environment where all attendees feel comfortable participating in the conversation.
  • Guide and control the conversation so all have the opportunity to speak.
  • Work with note taker/ scribe to ensure all appropriate information is captured.
  • Note takers to provide notes to CI Director within five business days.


  • Relationship development – Strong school and community relationships are key to reaching Thrive2027 goals, particularly Goals 1 & 2.
  • Focus groups will provide an opportunity to engage education partners and provide essential data to the Thrive2027 goal cabinets about existing school/ community opportunities to support educational outcomes.
  • Goal cabinets will use data to identify gaps and opportunities.

Training & Support Provided:

  • UWGP will provide a project overview and a 2-hour training in September. The training will be held at United Way of Greater Portland and facilitated by our Director, Evaluation.
  • Volunteers will be provided with a specific set of questions for each focus group.

Time Commitment/Schedule:

  • Volunteers must attend a 2-hour training/ orientation in September.
  • Volunteers must commit to two, 90 minute focus group sessions (most likely from 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.).
  • Scheduling is flexible within the chosen dates.

Qualifications & Skills Needed:

  • Comfort leading a group conversation.
  • Strong listening skills and ability to use supportive language and encourage conversation.
  • Must work well with others as volunteers will be assigned in pairs.


  • Experience in group facilitation.
  • Volunteers will gain insight about Thrive2027, community needs and issues.
  • Work with United Way of Greater Portland’s, Director, Evaluation.

Please contact Karen Stephenson to express an interest volunteering or for more information.