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August Meeting: What We Learned in Detroit -August 18, 8:30-10:30 AM

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Our Favorite Things…

What We Learned in Detroit

If you missed the Points of Light convened Conference On Volunteering and Service we have good news for you. Four of your distinguished fellow VAN members are sharing their favorite sessions with you this month.

Join us August 18, 2016 at Avondale at 5215 Avery Road in Dublin.

Here’s what we’ll share:
• Our favorite presentation from the opening plenary
• Strategies in Creating a Culture of Volunteer Engagement (Terri Gregoroff)
• Targeted Volunteer Recruitment (Liz Solomon)
• Beyond the Volunteer Event (Nick Linkenhoker)
• Innovation and Problem Solving (Sue Wolford)
To make sure we get all this information in, we’ll start with a panel, then break into small groups for discussion.
We’ll also encourage you to start now to budget for next year’s conference in Seattle.

View MapMap and Directions | Register


July VANtage

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President’s Message

VAN Members,

“You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.”
– Gene Mauch
We all know the important role volunteerism plays not only for oneself, but for the greater community.  We talk about it every day as we encourage people to get out and experience the world around them through service.  As we encourage others to engage in service it is important to do some self refection and see if we are really “walking our own talk.”

Last month, VAN members came together in service at the Worthington Resource Pantry.  Not only did it give us the opportunity to get to know each other better, it also provided us an opportunity to “be on the other side” and go through the steps as a volunteer.  As volunteer administrators it certainly helped us see how our colleague runs his program and walk away with tips and ideas.

But while there, it struck me that while I volunteer often in the community, I have never really volunteered for my own organization…..sure, I’ve volunteered at events and other activities, but I never fully experience my own organization as a volunteer.   It made me think about how our volunteer programs might change and improve if we all took a step back and put ourselves in the position of our volunteers.  What would happen if you took off your volunteer administrator hat and put on your volunteer hat to experience YOUR volunteer program as a VOLUNTEER.  Might that change your web presence?  Your application process?  Your orientation?  Give it a try.  You might just have some fun being your own volunteer!

Melanie Murphy, CVA
VAN Central Ohio President

July Meeting: Making the Most of Mentoring – July 21, 8:30-10:30 AM

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We are the Wise and the Trusted- Let’s buddy up and mentor one another!

Together we can guide one another to success. VAN is excited to connect you with other VAN members who can advise you and help you reach your professional goals. Plus, linking up with a buddy will provide each of us the opportunity to contribute our expertise to other volunteer managers. Please click the link below and complete the survey relating to your experiences and goals.


The VAN meeting on July 21 will focus on mentoring. We will introduce various mentoring strategies, have an opportunity to connect with your VAN buddy or mentor, and also explore ways to bring a mentoring program to your organization’s staff and volunteer program. Join us at the Worthington Christian Village located at 165 Highbluffs Blvd., Columbus.

Learn more about the importance of mentoring here!

Register Now!

May VANtage

Written by Nick Linkenhoker on . Posted in Uncategorized

President’s Message

VAN Members,

While recruiting volunteers, it’s so easy to get caught up in explaining why we need volunteers that we forget to market to potential volunteers the reasons they need us. Volunteering is a two way street and there is nothing wrong with promoting the many benefits potential volunteers will receive by giving their time to our organization. Try emphasizing some of these often overlooked value-adds when marketing your volunteer opportunities. Don’t bury benefits like these in the bottom of your job descriptions. Bring them front and center and tell everyone just what they will get from YOU while they give to others.

  1. Volunteering makes you a better learner.
  2. Volunteering makes you a better leader.
  3. Volunteering makes you healthier.
  4. Volunteering can round out your resume.

Melanie Murphy, CVA
VAN Central Ohio President


Strengths Finders
May 19, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Lincoln Theater*, 769 East Long Street


7 Million People Can’t Be Wrong!

Over 7 million people have taken the test, and now you can, too. VAN members will take the Strengths Finder test free of charge – but don’t delay! All tests must be taken by noon on Monday, May 16 so our facilitator receives your results prior to the May 19 meeting.

CLICK HERE to register for the meeting and learn your strengths!

More than 30 years of research went into discovering the 34 strengths that make people tick. By going to the VAN website and signing up for May’s meeting you will receive a code via email that will give you access to the test that will reveal your unique strength combination. Since VAN is paying for this opportunity for you, please make sure that you are able to attend this meeting before registering!

The concept is simple. Your weaknesses will always be your weaknesses. You can work on them day and night, and they’ll still be there. This approach, developed by Donald Clifton, is to develop your natural strengths so that they can compensate for your weaknesses. Build on what you naturally do well.

At the May meeting a certified Gallup trainer will walk us through exercises to explain how to use our strengths. If you’ve taken the test, you know how enlightening this is. If you took the test a few years ago, we recommend you take it again. Over time new experiences will cause your strengths to shift.

Have team members interested in taking the test but they aren’t VAN members? They can join us for this special meeting for $10 each—that’s a great price for access to these online materials.

One more way VAN helps you build your career: Let’s develop our strengths together.

*Please enter through the red door in the right, front of the building. Parking is to the west of the theater and across the street.


Making the Most of Mentoring
June 16, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Worthington Christian Village, 165 Highbluffs Boulevard Columbus, Ohio 43235


At some point in your career you need guidance. Even if you’re at the top of your profession, a mentor can help you stay on the path to continued success.

For some, mentoring is a scary word and it doesn’t have to be. Like networking, mentoring can be nothing more than a conversation about business practices, which direction to take, sharing life experiences, and giving and taking advice. It’s not very different from every other discussion you have with trusted coworkers.

Mentoring can go up or down in an organization, it can happen in a group, it can be peer-to-peer, but it’s all about sharing.

If you completed the VAN Mentoring survey, you received an email from Saundra with your mentor or mentee’s name and contact information. If you got the email, call your contact and invite them to this meeting! There will be time for you two to connect.

  • If you didn’t get Saundra’s email, you didn’t complete the survey. Join us at the June meeting, and a couple things can happen.
  • You can get matched with a mentor or mentee on the spot or
  • Join one of the mentor teams and experience group mentoring!

The sharing that takes place in a mentoring situation can be transformational. We’ll be guiding each other through the daily storm of volunteer management.
See you on June 16 at Worthington Christian Village at 165 Highbluffs Boulevard, just off Route 23 north of 270. Pull around the building and park in back.

Check it Out!

MVAVA Spring 2016 Workshop: The Contemporary Classics of Volunteer Administration
June 20, 8:30 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

The Miami Valley Association of Volunteer Administrators presents their Spring 2016 Workshop, June 20, 8:30 a.m – 2:00 p.m., focusing on how to build a volunteer program and integrate contemporary concepts of virtual volunteering.

Click here for more information – Registration ends May 18th.

Points of Light Conference on Volunteering & Service

One of the best ways to gain expertise in the Volunteer Management profession is to join the national network of professionals at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service hosted by the Points of Light Foundation. This year’s annual conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan from June 27-29. Click here to learn more!

Save money on transportation costs by joining the VAN carpool for this important event. VAN will host transportation to and from the conference for all members interested in carpooling.

If you budgeted for the conference and would like to save money on transportation, email Sue Wolford at swolford@columbuslibrary.org and let her know. Costs for the trip will depend on the number of people who join us.


Special Message from Membership Co-Chairs, Carla Stokes & Terri Gregoroff

Hello VAN Members! Carla Stokes and Terri Gregoroff, VAN Membership Co-Chairs, would like to thank you for being a part of this amazing network of Volunteer Administrators. We are excited about the roll out of the new mentor program and then benefits it will bring to our members.

Just a reminder that your membership will expire on June 30th at which time you will be able to go online and renew your membership through the VAN website. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to continue to network and learn from others in our field. The work we do is so important in making a difference in the lives of others through volunteer service. Thank you for what you do!