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VANtage: August 2019

Published on 8/7/2019


Hello friends,

It's fiscal year reporting season here at Mid-Ohio Food Bank, and as daunting as it can sometimes be, I do enjoy sifting through the year in data, stories, learnings, and celebrations. Chasing patterns and anomalies often brings out my inner Sherlock.

This year my sleuthing has put me on the trail of the seemingly-elusive “value of engagement". We can quantify engagement actions, and we can quantify the dollars and hours given as a result. But what about the less straightforward products of engagement? Advocacy, referrals, access to new networks, impact of an informed community?

We recently hosted a pair of ticketed events that reached a total of 80 individuals. The majority of those individuals had never before donated or volunteered. The events were well attended, budget-neutral, and the feedback was extremely positive. Hours and dollars aside, were these events successful? If so, by what measure?

I found myself interrogating colleague after colleague, department by department. Hearing from different teams about their similar challenges fortifies my resolve to crack this dastardly cipher. To elucidate this perplexing puzzle… To vanquish this formidable foe? Ah well, this is probably why Watson did all of the writing.

If you have unraveled this riddle I’d love to hear ALL about it!

Elizabeth Garrabrant

VAN Central Ohio President



August Monthly Meeting
Webinar - Get Them To Come Back
Thursday, August15, 2019
8:30am- 10:30pm
Source Point - South Office
1070 Polaris Parkway, Suite 200
Columbus, OH43240

*If you are not a member, the cost to attend a monthly meeting is $20.


September Meeting:College Student Involvement-Thursday, September 19, 2019

October Meeting:What's On Your Dashboard -Thursday, October 17, 2019



It's finally here! The new VAN website has launched and is now up and running! Go check it out!You can access the public pages of the VAN website at

Check out the past and current VANtage on the News feed, register for Professional Development workshops on the Events Calendar, and nominate members of our community for VAN Awards. Currently, you do not need to login to register for any Professional Development workshops.

Member content, login access and member renewals will be available soon. Login instructions will be sent to your email address soon. Be on the lookout for more information.


It's that time of year again--we are accepting nominations for the 2019 VAN Awards now through August 31. Nominate your favorite Volunteer Administrator for the Mary Merrill Award of Excellence. Got a great for-profit partner? Nominate them for the Corporate Champion Award. Know a non-profit executive who fully embraces and lifts up the role of volunteers within an organization? Sounds like a great nominee for the Executive Leader Award.

Complete details and nomination forms are online. Click HERE to submit your nominations



Thursday, November 7, 2019
Dublin Community Recreation Center- located at 5600 Post Road Dublin, OH
Meeting Room 1 located on second floor
1 – 3 pm