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VANtage: December 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

This year, my wife and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time at our house. We’ve been increasingly responsible for the meal over the last few years, and we decided that instead of bringing the turkey to the guests, this year the guests could come to the turkey. It was a small group, just five of us, but family coming together to enjoy each other’s company and complain about Lions and Browns football is what the fourth Thursday of November is all about.

For me, Thanksgiving is a much more relaxing holiday than Christmas, even with my nervous energy surrounding the composition of the pumpkin pie and the bringing of the turkey. There’s so much more expected around Christmas, and juggling the gifts and the parties and the family expectations has become a consistent stress on our December. There was talk in our house a few years ago about skipping the festivities altogether and flying somewhere warm, just the two of us, but the pull of the familial bonds were too strong.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. At the food pantry, our clients are just as worried about putting together the perfect holiday for their families as I am. I can sometimes see the exhaustion on the faces of the volunteers as they come for their shifts. Not to be too much of a Linus, but have the stresses, the commercialism, and the drive to have the most Norman Rockwell-like holiday driven us to the edge?

This year, I’m striving for a more relaxed holiday. I didn’t add anything new to the light display on the house. I’m not listening to the holiday music on the radio (even though I love Bing Crosby). I don’t even have the tree up yet. Maybe the stress of the season will hit me as we get closer to December 25, but I’m focused on providing a quiet, low-stress holiday season for my family and my volunteers. I hope that however you celebrate the holidays, yours may be warm and peaceful.

Sincerely,
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


ANNUAL VAN AWARDS

Each year VAN recognizes individuals and corporations that make a profound impact in our community through volunteerism. Please consider nominating an individual or organization for one or all of the categories outlined below.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 15.

Mary Merrill Award of Excellence
The Mary Merrill Award of Excellence annually recognizes a Central Ohio professional Administrator of Volunteers for his or her outstanding contributions to the field and the promotion of volunteerism in the community. Any individual who manages volunteers in a public, corporate or non-profit organization is eligible and can be nominated. Self-nominations are also accepted. Mary Merrill Award nomination form.

Corporate Champion Award
The Corporate Champion award recognizes for-profit organizations that promote, recognize, and have a commitment to employee volunteerism. It is presented annually to an organization that demonstrates excellence in community service through volunteerism at all levels of its workforce. Self-nominations are welcome. Corporate Champion Award nomination form.

Executive Leader Award
The Executive Leader award recognizes a high level leader in an organization for their support of their organization’s volunteer program. The nominee respects and values the work of the Volunteer Dept. staff and volunteers, ensures money is available for volunteer program management, and acknowledges the importance of volunteers within the organization. Executive Leader Award nomination form.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

VAN Holiday Luncheon
Thursday, December 14
12:00-2:30 PM
Marcellas
1319 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, Ohio 43240

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time for the annual VAN Holiday Luncheon! All VAN members are invited to attend this year’s celebration which will be held at Marcella’s Polaris.

Each year we choose a different local charity to learn about and support during our luncheon. This year we will be collecting donations for OSU Harding Hospital.

SEATING IS LIMITED – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY!


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: November 2017

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

We spend a lot of time as volunteer managers talking about how we can best recognize volunteers for their great service and dedication to our causes. At the ServeOhio Conference last week, there were a number of conversations about how thank volunteers when paying them isn’t an option. How do you balance the different ways people want to be recognized, how to we pay for recognition, what’s the best recognition gift? All these are important conversations to have, and there aren’t any easy answers. But have you asked yourself lately, how do I want to be appreciated for my work?
That’s what we want to talk about in November as part of International Volunteer Manager’s Day (which is scheduled on November 5, although we’re celebrating it November 9). Even though we’ve chosen this path as our career and we (hopefully) get compensated for doing it, we still want to feel appreciated for what we do. The VAN Awards are one way to recognize ourselves and the people in this field who are doing exemplary work.
This isn’t just about patting ourselves on the back, although that can feel pretty good. It’s about recognizing that volunteer management is an important piece of the puzzle for our organizations, even if our piece of the puzzle isn’t in the news as much as the fundraising successes and the operational efficiencies. By recognizing each other, maybe we can help spread the word that what we do is important, and that our volunteers do great work, in part, because they have fantastic volunteer administrators to support them.

P.S. – The November 9 meeting is early this month, so if you have the VAN meetings saved to a recurring event on your calendar like I do, you’ll need to remember to change it!

Sincerely,
Nick Linkenhoker
VAN Central Ohio President


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

November Monthly Meeting:
International Volunteer Managers Day Celebration
Thursday, November 9
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Columbus Metropolitan Library
96 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

PLEASE NOTE: The November monthly meeting is being moved up one week to Thursday, November 9th from 8:30am – 10:00am, to coincide with the celebration of International Volunteer Mangers Day (November 5th).

REGISTER TODAY

“Volunteering has a meaningful, positive impact on your community.” Mary V. Merrill, LSW
As managers of volunteers you support the amazing contribution volunteers make on our community each day. Help us celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day and the impact we make by joining us on November 9th. We will celebrate with a special treat to thank you for your contribution and a celebration of the work of a major contributor to the field of volunteer administration, Mary Merrill. Mary Merrill served as a trainer and author in volunteerism and was an adjunct faculty and co-teacher for Ohio State University’s Institute for Community Leadership. We will share a body of her work and discuss what it means to be an effective volunteer administrator. To cap the celebration we will re-introduce the Volunteer Administrators’ Network awards celebrating our community and the impact we make.


SAVE THE DATE!

VAN Holiday Luncheon on Thursday, December 14
Time, location, and festive details coming soon!


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: 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!