Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren Long

U.S. Digital Response
2 min readNov 17, 2021


During a much-needed break from working with big consumer brands like Tide and Skittles, Lauren answered a call to use her marketing skills with U.S. Digital Response and help spotlight stories on the Economic Stability Team.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you found your way to USDR?

During a self-imposed sabbatical from the “real world,” I was interested in gaining experience in the nonprofit and civic spaces — and ideally serve in some way in the fight against COVID-19. I can’t remember how I first heard about USDR, but I was so impressed with how the organization had established itself in such a short time.

Q: What were you doing before you joined USDR?

I worked in marketing and communications agencies for 15 years, working on big consumer brands, from Tide to Skittles. In addition, I co-lead the Chicago-area chapter of Sister District Project, a progressive grassroots organization focused on state legislative races, and I serve on the board of a local nonprofit called Christopher House.

Q: What have you been working on while you were a volunteer at USDR?

I’ve been embedded in the marketing team, with a focus on serving the awesome Unemployment Insurance (now Economic Stability) team. I’ve helped shine a spotlight on the team’s impactful work, primarily by creating content, like blog posts and web pages. I’ve also acted as a thought partner to marketing leadership on longer-term content and earned media strategies.

Q: What has been your favorite part about volunteering at USDR?

Being surrounded by brilliant and passionate people I never would have crossed paths with outside of USDR. I can’t believe how many people are willing and able to dedicate their time and talents to helping make government and other institutions work better for everyday people. It gives me hope.

Q: What have you learned while working with USDR?

I didn’t quite understand how simple it can be to make the experience 50x better for all users — so long as the right people, with the right mindset, are engaged. Specifically in the Economic Stability space, I’ve witnessed the impact USDR has made, month over month, in shifting mindsets and processes, implementing simple solutions, and ultimately making people’s lives better.

Q: What makes this work meaningful?

Everyone at USDR has so much pride in their work, it’s been exciting to help them share it with the world in ways that open up new opportunities to make an impact.

Interested in using your skills to help people in your community?

From content strategists to software engineers, there’s a spot for you at USDR. Learn more about USDR or sign up to volunteer your time at www.usdigitalresponse.org/volunteers.

Have more questions? Watch a recording of a past Volunteer Info Session or register to attend an upcoming session.



U.S. Digital Response

Connecting governments and nonprofits with pro bono technologists and assistance to quickly respond to the critical needs of the public.