Network Voluntours

The Pitch

Network Voluntours’ mission is to create mutually beneficial experiences for volunteer groups and the community in order to help build capacity of local nonprofits and make volunteering more meaningful.

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Zach Cheney & Melissa Garber & Theodore Nathan

Zach Cheney & Melissa Garber & Theodore Nathan

The Entrepreneur

Born in west Texas, Zach Cheney grew up in transition; moving to Louisiana, California and back to Texas before attending LSU in 2005. After graduating, he arrived in New Orleans in 2009 and discovered a place to call home. Working various positions in the hospitality and service industry, he has developed a strong bond with the culture and community that makes New Orleans unique. Cheney met Nathan in 2011 and has since applied his understanding and expertise of New Orleans’ hospitality to improve the impact and experience of volunteers in New Orleans.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, Garber moved to Louisiana in 2009 to tutor and mentor students in Baton Rouge with City Year, an AmeriCorps National Service program. She continued her AmeriCorps service with HandsOn New Orleans after falling in love with the city and has since worked for the Covenant House and the Neighborhoods Partnership Network. Garber holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has experience in development, volunteer management and communications for the nonprofit community.

Teddy Nathan came to New Orleans one year following Hurricane Katrina as a freshman at Tulane and was immediately inspired by the rebuilding effort led by local nonprofits. As a result, Nathan dedicated much of his time to volunteering with different nonprofits, completing an AmeriCorps term with the AmeriCorps Literacy Alliance and receiving the Jim Runsdorf Excellence in Public Service Student Award and the Student Crest Leadership in Service Award his senior year. Upon graduating, he was awarded a mayoral fellowship with Mayor Landrieu’s Office where he first thought of CCC. After the fellowship, Nathan took a position as the Senior Program Coordinator for Campus-Community Partnerships at Tulane’s Center for Public Service (CPS), which has allowed him to continue to work with and support nonprofits in New Orleans. Nathan has used his experience working with and for nonprofits in New Orleans to help create Network Voluntours.

The Opportunity/Challenge

Nonprofits play a leading role in the rebuilding and advancement of New Orleans; however many are suffering from a decrease in funds and volunteers, which threatens their potential impact. Network Voluntours works with the business, tourism, and education sectors to help meet these needs through facilitated volunteer relationships.

The Impact

  • 548 volunteers, 5788 volunteer hours, 48 local non-profits served
  • $47,000 in total revenue
  • $6,000 donated to local partners
  • $128,088.44 economic impact of volunteer labor
  • $4,700.00 donated directly to nonprofits


2013-2014 Ventures


  • Economic & Workforce Development



Press Coverage

News Posts

“Propeller provides an environment of support and professionalism that encourages growth, trying new things, asking the tough questions and doing what it takes to get the answers. Their dedicated staff’s ability to follow through has been invaluable, and they have helped us to overcome constructively the challenges we have faced as a new start-up. Propeller’s pro-bono network has a variety of diverse professionals and skills that have provided much-needed support at important times throughout our launch and expansion. The Accelerator has provided us with the legitimacy to talk with potential clients and supporters and given us the visibility we needed to be successful.”

Teddy Nathan
Co-Founder, Crescent City Connections ('14)