Making Community Connections: Megan Orndorff Huffman ’03

Megan Huffman poses in front of a small community food pantry

Megan Orndorff Huffman ’03 has passion for nonprofit collaboration work “in her DNA.” Huffman, whose mother started a nonprofit when she was young, has always been involved in service organizations and connected to her community. Huffman majored in communication studies and minored in psychology at Bridgewater College and earned a master’s in nonprofit public relations from Boston University. She credits her time at Bridgewater for fueling her love of guiding and helping others. The small school size and approachability of professors enabled her to build confidence in her skills.

“My Bridgewater degree was truly in leadership,” says Huffman, who is the permanent class president for the class of 2003 and a member of the College’s President’s Advisory Council.

Huffman and her husband, Dr. Matt Huffman ’02, strive to balance time for family with work and social causes as they raise their two young girls in Lynchburg, Va. She values supporting entrepreneurial grassroots organizations and elevating the voices of those without big advertising dollars. Her nonprofit leadership positions and extensive volunteer board positions, such as serving as Vice President of the PTO at her children’s school, are a testament to her devotion to community.

“I can’t stop my inclination to give back, as I am most drawn to the intersection between nonprofits and businesses,” Huffman says.

When COVID-19 hit her city, Huffman knew it was time to build up the vital nonprofit sector that was hurt by the economic recession. Citing data that volunteerism as well as donations to nonprofits are on the rise, she went to the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation with her vision to bring together nonprofits, businesses and volunteers to enrich the community.

The community foundation had a similar aspiration and contracted with the SHARE Good platform based in Omaha, Neb., to bring an easy-to-use website to the region. SHARE Greater Lynchburg was born, and Huffman’s work as its executive director allows her “to touch all the organizations dear to my heart.” The SHARE Greater Lynchburg platform allows community members and businesses to connect with 109 nonprofits, as well as search for more than 100 volunteer opportunities and even purchase items from nonprofits’ wish lists. Huffman’s vision includes more collaboration between same-sector groups, and eventually offering nonprofit networking events.

Huffman, whose “favorite space is connecting,” is thrilled that her latest undertaking touches the lives of many and supports community revitalization during such a critical time.

“My faith foundation, my upbringing and major influences like Bridgewater College have taught me that I’m most fulfilled when I put down deep roots, bloom where I’m planted and serve my community well,” she says.

— By Kylie Lehman Mohler ’03