Archive for October, 2016

October Update

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page

President’s Message

VAN Members,

It’s hard to believe that this year is quickly coming to a close. These next few months will likely pass by in a blur as your organizations are likely to be filled with holiday volunteers, requests for holiday opportunities, donations of goods, turkeys, gifts and more! It’s no surprise that people feel compelled to volunteer this time of year as we are surrounded by messages of thankfulness and gratitude. But for many of us, it can also be quite frustrating as we wonder where the outpouring of support is year-round. Of course, we are all very thankful and appreciative of volunteers who give of their time and energy during the holiday season, but how do we as volunteer administrators keep that motivation going throughout the year? How do we transfer our “holiday volunteers” to year-round supporters and advocates for our work? We all have our own strategies and ideas, so let’s share our ideas and thoughts with each other. A great opportunity to have this conversation is during downtime at the Ohio Conference on Service and Volunteerism coming up later this month. We can also continue the conversation at our VAN Networking event to be held after the conference. See you all soon and Happy Fall!
Melanie Murphy, CVA
VAN Central Ohio President


ServeOhio Conference + Happy Hour =
October Monthly Meeting

Each year in place of our October Monthly Meeting, we encourage VAN Members to check out the annual ServeOhio Conference. This year the conference is taking place on October 25 with a focus on creating opportunities for inspiration, connection, and building 21st century skill sets that support the continued evolution and impact of Ohio’s service and volunteerism professions.

Additionally, VAN will be hosting a post-conference happy hour at 101 Beer Kitchen located right by the conference center at 817 Polaris Pkwy. Westerville, Ohio 43028. So join us for networking, continued discussion, and appetizers! (The drinks are on you.)

You don’t want to miss this incredible opportunity for dynamic and inspiring speakers, as well as great networking with volunteerism professionals from all across the state!

When: Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 5:00pm

Where: 101 Beer Kitchen, 817 Polaris Pkwy, Westerville, Ohio


Working Those Strengths: Strength Finders Revisited

November is your last chance this year to discover your strengths.
Earlier this year we took the first steps in our personal professional development based on each of our strengths. After taking the test we talked about how we can put our strengths to work in developing skills, improving how we work together and how we manage our jobs. For many it was an eye-opening meeting that offered great personal discovery.
In November we will come together again and talk about how we’ve used this new knowledge and learn new steps to take in furthering our development.
If you didn’t have a chance to join us for the discovery earlier this year, you have one more chance to join in!
Find the Email Us link on our homepage (in the Contact Us section), and send us a message requesting a Strength Finders code and link to take your personal test. For VAN members, the test is free. For non-VAN members, there is a $10 charge for the code.
To view the complete list of strengths as defined by the Gallup organization, see:

November Monthly Meeting:
Working Those Strengths: Strength Finders Revisited
Thursday, November 17
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Location: TBA

Register HERE

Volgistics User Meeting
Thursday, November 3
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Deer Haven Park
4183 Liberty Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015

If you use Volgistics software to manage volunteers, attend the Volgistics User meeting on Thursday, November 3 at Deer Haven Park from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Share with and learn from others using this tool, and leave the meeting better equipped to use Volgistics to its potential and make your job a breeze.


We Did It!
We succeeded in meeting and exceeding our VAN Membership Goal of 60 memberships in 2016. Thank you for being a member of VAN. There are many types of organizations that involve volunteers in their day-to-day operations. Our members come from the nonprofit community where volunteers help to accomplish more and broaden the reach of the organization. Volunteers are also used in some for-profit organizations to expand their capacity. We also welcome members from corporations who seek opportunities for their employees. Click here to check out the full list of organizations that make up VAN and be sure to read on as we introduce the new VAN Member Spotlight to our monthly newsletter!

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.

October’s Spotlight is Shining On:
Name: Danielle Rennick
Organization: Ohio History Connection
Title: Lead Volunteer Coordinator


How long have you been in volunteer administration?
I have been in volunteer administration for about 4 ½ years.

Tell us a little bit about your organization.
The Ohio History Connection is a history museum that connects people to the stories of Ohio history through many different educational efforts. Our volunteers are engaged in various aspects of the Center from the Library, to Educational Programs, and even working behind the scenes in our administrative offices. We currently have Volunteers working in Archaeology, Collections, the Library, State Archives, Digital Services, Education Programs, Public Programs, Special Events, the Ohio Village, Museum Floor, Marketing, Publications, and the State Historic Preservation Office to name a few!

What is a challenge you face or an area you would like to grow in volunteer administration?
I believe recruiting will always be a challenge at some point. You might have a great month or quarter in recruiting then the next month might be slow, at a time when you need volunteers the most. It can be unpredictable. There’s always room for improvement, so I use my creativity to develop new, innovative ways to streamline processes to bring volunteers and interns on board.

What is a joy you have experienced as a volunteer administrator?
I like the fact that I get to wear many hats. I am responsible for the overall administration of the Volunteer Office at the Ohio History Center. This includes coordination of volunteers, internships, federal work-study programs, job shadows, and group service projects as well as overseeing volunteer data management for our sites throughout Ohio. As I say all the time, there is no typical day in volunteer management, every day is different. I have to be able to be flexible and go with the flow, which brings new challenges. I enjoy meeting and engaging with a diverse group of volunteers with different personalities, special gifts and qualities.

Why is volunteering and service important to you?
Volunteering and service is important to me because I believe it strengthens communities and has the ability to unite people no matter the cause. This might be cliché but volunteering can really be a physical and mental reward.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
At the moment I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I’m just going to imagine if I did, it would be traveling. I like to go on small road trips visiting local attractions throughout the city and throughout the state.

VAN Membership Renewal
Just as a reminder, all memberships expired on June 30th and now is the time to renew your VAN Membership. There is a new VAN Membership category: Individual Membership (Paid for by Organization). With this category the membership is transferable to a new individual with-in the organization if you leave the organization or your position changes. The Individual Membership (Paid for by the Individual) is not transferable. If you leave the organization, the membership goes with you. If you have 4 or more individuals within the organization that are joining VAN, please e-mail VAN to receive the discount code reducing the rate of an Individual membership by $10.

We are looking forward to another exciting year with VAN as we roll out the mentoring program as a way to strengthen relationships and skills among our members.
VAN Member Raffle
In recognition of attendance at monthly VAN meetings, we will be hosting a raffle at the annual holiday event in December. Each month that you attend a meeting (starting in July) and sign-in, your name will be entered in the raffle to win a prize. We look forward to seeing you at the monthly VAN meetings!