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VANtage: August 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

 

This summer, the mantra surrounding the weather seems to be “if it rains, it pours.” My neighbor, a water drainage engineer (who knew that was a thing?), told me that the worst storm we had this summer was categorized as a 50 year storm. According to him, that giant tunnel they built under Columbus to handle storm water drainage filled up in less than 10 minutes. My cabbages took in so much water so quickly that they literally burst open, splitting into two pieces (the coleslaw that they made still tastes delicious, though). I’ve started to make friends with the squirrels that have taken refuge from the storms on the front stoop.

Many of us have the same “rainy season” of volunteers as well. For me, it’s often summer, when school is over, fall sports haven’t kicked into high gear, and parents are looking for any excuse to kick their kids off the couch before their muscles begin to atrophy. Some think of us as a day care service where a kid can be dropped off for an afternoon, and we’ll find something for them to do. We get big groups that want to come in to the pantry as part of their back-to-school activities. I’m glad people are thinking of us, and I’m glad to have the help, but often it’s more than we’re able to use, especially when we aren’t receiving many large food donations.

That’s what I love so much about participating in VAN. It’s a great way for me to find ways to partner with other organizations, both to see how they utilize volunteers and to see how we can share the load and find volunteer opportunities that engage our community in a meaningful way. It’s also why I love hearing about the reports from conferences like the two that were offered this year. This month, join us to recap the national conferences from the VAN members who attended. Don’t forget, this is the time of year to renew your VAN membership if you haven’t done so already, so you don’t miss out on the fantastic things our team is planning!
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

August Monthly Meeting:
Bringing It Back

Thursday, August 17
8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Mid-Ohio Foodbank 3960 Brookham Dr.
Grove City, Ohio 43123

Bringing It Back Learning is even better when you can share it with others! Let’s face it, we can’t all get to every conference every year. In August, we’ll learn from those VAN members who were able to make the trip over the summer months.


MEMBERSHIP

REMINDER!

All memberships expired on June 30th. Please renew your membership for 2017-2018 by clicking here to visit the VAN website. We have some unique opportunities for networking and professional development lined up for the second half of this year and want to be sure you have continued access to these events and resources.

VANtage: July 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page, Uncategorized

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

VAN Members,

I love everything about travel – everything. I start planning my precious vacation time out months (or in at least one instance, years) in advance. I get every travel guide from the library, I read the newspapers from my destination, I meticulously plan the route, and I schedule my days in minute detail. Two years ago, my wife and I took a trip from the mountains of Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay, where we experienced 12 National Park Service sites in 6 days. Needless to say, my wife is a saint.

My process hit a bit of a wall on our vacation this year, though. As a celebration of my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary, my sister and I decided to take a trip with them and our significant others to Cape Cod. We haven’t been on a family vacation since we were in high school, so this was destined to be an adventure. My family doesn’t vacation the same way that I do; they look forward to the rest and relaxation, and a trip to the ocean sounded like an opportunity to do just that. To me, it sounded like a place where I could learn about whaling, experience seals and sharks in their habitat, take a fast boat ride, stand on the spot where the Mayflower first landed in the New World, you get the picture.

I’m happy to say we survived, but only by compromise and restraint. While I intended to learn about Thoreau, I learned more about the power of a good compromise. I think that’s true when working with volunteers as well. There are things that are required and expected of the volunteers we work with, but in many instances, they are the boots on the ground, reporting back to us about their experiences, needs, and wants. If we always consider ourselves to be the subject matter experts, how will we learn and grow? By listening and incorporating their ideas into our programs, we can expand our reach and help our programs shine a little brighter. Plus, as I learned this summer, sometimes sitting on a beach and just listening to the waves hit the breakwater can be a pretty great experience by itself.

Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

July Monthly Meeting:

VAN Gives Back!
Thursday, July 20
8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Nelson Park – 430 N. Nelson Rd.
Columbus, OH 43219

REGISTER TODAY
As Volunteer Administrators, we are always recruiting volunteers to help our organizations, but on July 20th, it’s our turn to GIVE BACK! Join the VAN board and other VAN members in a fun, outdoor project helping the Columbus Rec & Parks with a playground mulching/clean up. Please wear closed toed shoes and bring your own sunscreen, water bottle, etc. We will volunteer rain or shine (unless there is lightning)!


August Monthly Meeting:

Conference on Volunteering & Service Recap
Hear from VAN members as they share new best practices, innovative ideas, and more from the 2017 National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

 


Job Postings

Did you know VAN lists job postings in the ‘Members Only’ section of the website? Check out the two new listings below in further detail by clicking here.


MEMBERSHIP

REMINDER!

All memberships expired on June 30th. Please renew your membership for 2017-2018 by clicking here to visit the VAN website. We have some unique opportunities for networking and professional development lined up for the second half of this year and want to be sure you have continued access to these events and resources.


VAN Member Spotlight

To highlight VAN members and VAN Member organizations we are introducing the new VAN Member Spotlight. This will be a great way for us to learn about who is a part of the organization and how we might be able to support each other in the work that we do.

July’s Member Spotlight is Shining On:

Name, Job Title, Organization
Sheri McLane, Asst. Volunteer Coordinator, Columbus Association. for the Performing Arts (CAPA)

How long have you been in the field of Volunteer Administration?
Professionally, almost 7 yrs. I have several more as a Volunteer in many organizations from PTA’s, music and sports booster organizations, and Military Family Support groups. I have had many roles in those organizations which included coordinating other volunteers. Which is a good background, since it puts me in the position of knowing how I expect to be worked with and treated as a Volunteer, and trying to implement that within my profession.

Describe the work you do . . .
My primary function is to keep Volunteers informed on events, scheduling Volunteers for events, and providing support for both the Volunteers and the staff they work with. That is the simplified version! It is also called “juggling”.

What do you like best about the work you do?
I really enjoy getting to know the Volunteers in our organization, we have about 650. They are so passionate about what they do. The idea of working for an organization that preserves and promotes the Arts and History in our community, and knowing that I have a role in that is amazing to me!

What would you like to learn more about in the field of Volunteer Administration?
How to bridge the gap between Volunteer and paid staff with better results. Showing others the value of our Volunteers, so they see, respect, and appreciate them the way I do.

What are your areas of strength that you are willing to share?
I think one of my biggest strengths in working with Volunteers is, I can communicate with them on a whole level, as well as individually. I can read the Volunteer, in order to know what type of communication and interaction works better for them, what will motivate them, and what they may need to spur them on. You need good communication skills, humor, and the personal touch. I know when the Volunteers come up to me at a show to chat or to thank me for remembering their name, or that they just took some time off for a medical condition, or they just had a new grandchild, I know I must be doing something right.

VANtage: May 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

President’s Message

I spent this past weekend as one of the chaperones for my sister’s high school quiz bowl team at the national tournament. Apart from the high schoolers that come to volunteer with us at the Worthington Resource Pantry, I don’t spend much time with teens, and it was a bit of a culture shock. They spent much of our time together trying to pry embarrassing information about their teacher, my younger sister, much of which I was glad to provide. But one student asked me questions about that period of life between college and middle age, the period where, as she described it, “you’ve got to figure it all out.” She’s been told what goals to aspire to and she knows what success looks like, but there are some points in between where she might have to take a few shots in the dark.

I know that I sometimes feel the same way. I know what I want my volunteer program to look like, and I know my goals, but I need some help getting there. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about our conversation with Sheri Chaney Jones this month. She knows that too much data isn’t always helpful, and she can help us sort out the flowers from the weeds. In other words, she’s here to help us figure it all out. I hope you can join us.

Sincerely,
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

May Meeting:
Measure It! Turning Data into Dollars
Thursday, May 18
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Thurber House
77 Jefferson Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

REGISTER TODAY
Sheri Chaney Jones, President of Measurement Resources Company and author of “Impact & Excellence” will join us to present on the importance of developing a high-performance culture for engaging volunteers and greater overall organizational impact. Inspiring research from Impact & Excellence will be shared around how social sector organizations who establish these goals are more successful at engaging volunteers and raising more dollars. She will share practical strategies that will allow volunteer coordinators and social sector leaders to use data to increase revenues, strengthen relationships with funders, engage more volunteers, and prove their social return on investment and impact to the world.

Sign up here today!


MEMBERSHIP

VAN Membership Renewal

VAN Half Year Memberships are now available! If you know anyone who is thinking about joining VAN this is a great time! This $30 membership is a great way to get involved with VAN at a discounted rate. All memberships expire at the end of June.

Click here to join today!

VANtage: April 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

President’s Message

The political and philosophical atmosphere in our country and around the world is becoming increasingly divisive, and as Volunteer Administrators, we might feel stuck in the middle of competing ideas and interests. On one hand, we are seeing threats to our funding sources, changes to the ways in which we collect volunteer data, and clients and volunteers who are questioning whether they are welcome in our nation any longer. On the other, citizen engagement is increasing, people are stepping up to help where they can, and many are becoming more thoughtful about how the words they use are heard by others.
The tension may be high, but I choose to stay positive. I was talking with a gentleman a few weeks ago who believes that cutting back on federal spending is a good thing, but in the same breath he said that it means people who have the means and opportunity to help need to step up. I recruited him as a volunteer on the spot. We won’t agree with every person we interact with, but it won’t help our causes to isolate ourselves in cocoons of sameness. Let involvement and volunteerism be a bridge that holds our communities together.
That doesn’t mean we have to give up our convictions. As VAN President, I will be sending a letter to the Corporation for National and Community Service encouraging them to continue to collect valuable data on the status of volunteer service in the United States, and I encourage all volunteer leaders to do the same. Information on the proposed changes to the Volunteer and Civic Life Assessment is available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-02-08/pdf/2017-02527.pdf. If we work together, we can carry out the changes that will make the world better.

Sincerely,
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President

 


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

April Meeting:
Is a CVA Right for You?
Thursday, April 20
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Alvis, Inc.
2100 Stella Court
Columbus, Ohio 43215

REGISTER TODAY
Have you heard of or ever considered obtaining your Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA)?

Do you want to learn more about:
• The value of the CVA to you as a professional and the organization you work for?
• The requirements to take the test?
• How the application and testing process works?
Join us April 20th at the VAN monthly meeting to learn all these things and more. We will also have fellow CVAs on hand to share how this professional certification has shaped and boosted their career, as well as to answer any questions about the certification.
Sign up here today!


May Meeting:
How Do You Measure Success?
Thursday, May 18
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Location TBD
Mark your calendar to join us May 18 where we will be joined by speaker Sheri Chaney Jones. Sheri has over 17 years of experience in improving government agencies and nonprofits through the use of performance management, evaluation, and organizational behavior best practices. Her experience and expertise has transformed measurement cultures and as a result, saved public dollars, improved outcomes, demonstrated effectiveness, and increased revenues.


VAN: Looking for Members to Join Task Forces Aimed at Strengthening Programs
The VAN Board is looking for you to help us gain a better understanding of the programs and services our members want and need and insights into the best way to communicate those services to our members. Please consider joining one of three task forces:

• Marketing Plan led by Nora Lyons (nora.lyons@uwcentralohio.org) and Kathryn Wagonrod (kathryn.wagonrod@uwcentralohio.org)
• Professional Development and Networking led by Jackie Haight (jackie.haight@alvis180.org) and Liz Garrabrant (lgarrabrant@midohiofoodbank.org)
• Benchmark Survey led by Liz Solomon (lsolomon@local-matters.org) and Carla Mello (cmello@cosi.org).

Please contact the Task Force leaders or info@vancentralohio.org to sign up!


MEMBERSHIP

VAN Half Year Membership

VAN Half Year Memberships are now available! If you know anyone who is thinking about joining VAN this is a great time! This $30 membership is a great way to get involved with VAN at a discounted rate. All memberships expire at the end of June.

Click here to join today!

VANtage: March 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

President’s Message

Of all the seasons of the Catholic year, Lent is the one that most affects me. This 40 day period before Easter wasn’t always my favorite, since it usually meant giving up chocolate or ice cream or TV, but as I have grown older and thought more about why we fast and reflect on the ways we can improve ourselves, it has become a meaningful and helpful time for me every year (although my wife will tell you I like them because of the fish frys). Similar observances can be found in Judaism and Islam, and that got me thinking about why in every culture I know, there’s at least some emphasis on self-improvement.

For many volunteers, self-improvement is part of their service. They want to use their time of service to reflect on where there is still need in this world and to help affect change. As Volunteer Administrators, we can’t provide absolution for past sins, but we can recognize the good work volunteers are doing every day for the betterment of the communities we serve. How do we thank them and recognize their service? We’ll be talking about just that this month in preparation for National Volunteer Week in April. I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

March Meeting:
Many Thanks
Thursday, March 16
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Columbus Public Library
Main Branch – Auditorium
96 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

REGISTER TODAY
What’s your best, or most memorable, or most meaningful “Thank You” moment? Were you the thank-er or the thank-ee? How did you feel afterwards? What action(s) did it inspire?

With National Volunteer Week kicking off April 23rd, it’s time to get into the spirit of Volunteer Appreciation/Recognition. We’ll kick off the meeting by sharing our “best” moments. We’ll then hear more from a few of our members on how their organizations lift up Volunteers in April and beyond.

Sign up here today!


VAN is Looking for Members to Join Task Forces Aimed at Strengthening Programs
The VAN Board is looking for you to help us gain a better understanding of the programs and services our members want and need and insights into the best way to communicate those services to our members. Please consider joining one of three task forces:

• Marketing Plan led by Nora Lyons (nora.lyons@uwcentralohio.org) and Kathryn Wagonrod (kathryn.wagonrod@uwcentralohio.org)
• Professional Development and Networking led by Jackie Haight (jackie.haight@alvis180.org) and Liz Garrabrant (lgarrabrant@midohiofoodbank.org)
• Benchmark Survey led by Liz Solomon (lsolomon@local-matters.org) and Carla Mello (cmello@cosi.org).
Please contact the Task Force leaders or info@vancentralohio.org to sign up!


MEMBERSHIP

VAN Half Year Membership

VAN Half Year Memberships are now available! If you know anyone who is thinking about joining VAN this is a great time! This $30 membership is a great way to get involved with VAN at a discounted rate. All memberships expire at the end of June.

Click here to join today!