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V Guy 30 years gifGreetings Volunteer Network Members,
Remember to mark your calendar for the Be More Awards celebration coming up on April 5th. This is the community's chance to publicly thank these extraordinary volunteers for all that they do to make Bloomington great!
Be More Awards Celebration
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
7 p.m.
Buskirk-Chumley Theater - FREE!

~Bet, Lucy & Mercedez
The City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
News from the Network

We need your input! National Civilian Community Corps Representative Visiting Bloomington on March 16

Please come to provide input about the feasibility of bringing an Americorps NCCC team to Monroe County.

The Volunteer Network is bringing together organizations that want to learn more about hosting an Americorps National Civilian Community Corp team.


What is NCCC? It's a full-time team-based national service program. Teams of 9 to 12 people ages 18-24 volunteer in a particular area for 6-8 weeks. They can work on a variety of projects. Members in other areas have tutored and mentored students, constructed low-income housing, built and repaired trails, managed community volunteers, and worked on disaster prevention, relief and recovery projects.


How does it work? Our region's headquarters is based in Iowa; they are currently soliciting projects from our area.  Our representative, David Gottesman, contacted the Volunteer Network and asked us to set up a meeting with local organizations to discuss the potential of hosting an NCCC team in our area.


Meeting details: March 16 at 3 p.m. in the Hooker Room of City Hall (401 N. Morton St.)


What would our responsibilities be? The team would have a 15 passenger van, so transportation would not be an issue. Community sponsors provide meals and lodging. At a minimum, that can be camping accomodations and the use of a kitchen.


Timing: For the next round, the concept form deadline is April 1, 2011; application is due April 15, 2011 and the members would be here from either July 18-Sept. 9 or Sept. 6-Nov. 8. I don't have the details for the rounds after that.


More information: 


To contact David directly:

David Gottesman

Project Outreach Liaison

AmeriCorps NCCC-North Central Region

1004 G. Ave.

Vinton, IA 52349




Get Involved Bloomington Expo Gears Up for 2011 

The Get Involved Bloomington Expo will be held on Wednesday evening, April 6th from 5pm until 8pm, at the Bloomington Convention Center.  Each year over 500 Bloomingtonians have the opportunity to learn about Bloomington's non-profit organizations and the volunteer opportunities that they offer.  To sweeten the pot, several local restaurants will be on hand with food and beverages. Local musicians will provide live music.  The organizers of the Expo wanted to make it a well-rounded event, so the vendors' list includes local recreational businesses, places of worship, and arts and music opportunities.  The Get Involved Bloomington Expo is a place where you can learn about your local community and yes, get involved.

The Get Involved Bloomington Expo is currently accepting applications for booths.  If your non-profit organization is in need of volunteers and/or community exposure, this event is for you.  The cost is $80 per table for nonprofit organizations and $100 for others. Please contact them directly at or visit them at

Upcoming Events & Trainings

RSVP Today for Volunteer VIPs - March 22

Topic: Creating a Culture of Extraordinary Customer Service

Date: March 22
Time: 3:30-5 p.m.
Location: Monroe County Public Library Meeting Room 1C
Attend this fun and interactive session led by the VIP's very own Trish Hausmann from the IU Department of Theatre and Drama. Join the discussion and learn some tips about how to develop a fantastic customer service program for your volunteers and staff.
RSVP here. 




Free Webinar from the Indiana Youth Institute: Working with Volunteers - March 16 

During these lean economic times, utilizing volunteers is more important than ever before. Learn best practices for "Recruiting and Retaining Great Volunteers" in a free Webinar presented on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, from 1p - 2:30p (EDT). Pre-registration is required. To register go to: 




Exercise Your Volunteering Funny Bone - Deadline March 31, 2011

Is Mother Nature or the economy getting you down? Could you use a good laugh? Energize Inc. wants you to find - or create - volunteer-related humor: cartoons, jokes, funny anecdotes, and other things that show the lighter side of working with volunteers. So Energize is running a contest: submit humor to them during the month of March, to be judged by colleagues on Facebook, and win a gift certificate for books in their online bookstore!  Join in the spirit of the humor contest and help to find or "commission" humor we can all use. They will also accept videos as submissions to the contest, so by all means send them short skits or fractured songs or anything else. If copyrights forbid reposting something, then they can simply link to the funny item.
Humor in languages other than English is very welcome, just translate the text!

If you know of any Web sites with a collection of volunteer-related humor, even if it is related to a specific type of setting, please give the URL (often the keywords can be changed to reflect another setting and still apply). If you know anyone with skill as a cartoonist, invite him or her to create an original humorous image.  S/he can retain the copyright, but needs to give them permission to post to their site (with full attribution, of course). Then vote for your favorites on Facebook! They will post your submissions to a special "photo album" on their page on Facebook.  Go to the album and select "like" for each of your favorite pieces of humor. The top three winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to shop in the Energize Online Bookstore.  Please submit your entries by March 31, 2011. Energize Inc. will announce the winners on Facebook on April 1st (no fooling!). Example: "Community Service: It isn't just for celebrity offenders."  Send your submissions to "Like" your favorites in the special contest "photo album" on their Facebook site.



Save the Date(s)

IU Student Involvement Fair - Sept. 7

This popular fair is attended by throngs of IU students interested in getting involved. Don't miss it! Registration begins during the late summer. Check for details regarding this year's Student Involvement Fair!


Volunteer Fair Scheduled for Sept. 17

The Volunteer Network's Annual Community Volunteer Fair at Farmers' Market is coming on Saturday, September 17 on the Showers plaza. Make plans now to attend and to bring your recruiting A-game! Registration will begin mid-summer.  

Volunteer Management: The Essentials - September 30 

This comprehensive training is offered only twice a year (spring and fall). Don't miss the opportunity to fine tune your program with this best practices overview - or if you are new to the field - to get off to a good start! This training is for staff and volunteers of Volunteer Network member agencies.*
Event Date: 9/30/2011
Event Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (lunch provided) registration from 8:30-9 a.m.
Location: McCloskey Room, City Hall (401 N. Morton Street)
Cost: $40 for Volunteer Network member agencies / $50 for non-member agencies
Registration is limited to 20.  Register here
The Essentials gives you a great understanding of the components necessary for a successful volunteer management program.

You'll learn about:
  • Planning your program
  • Recruiting & supervising volunteers
  • Successful training & orientation models
  • Evaluation and recognition that works
  • Trends in volunteerism and how they can help in your program development
  • Utilizing the services of the Volunteer Network to the max!

This popular training always fills up, so register today to secure your spot! 

Register here or call 349-3472.

*If your agency is not a member of the Volunteer Network, please contact us directly about registration.
Grants, Funding & Recognition Programs

YSA's SODEXO Youth Grants -  New Deadline March 14 

YSA (Youth Service America) and Sodexo are calling on young people, ages 5-25, to help make sure your peers don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from. 17 million children across the United States need your ideas and commitment to solving this issue through service.  YSA will award 100 Sodexo Youth Grants of $500 each to support youth-led service projects that address the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011.)  The application deadline has been extended to midnight on Monday, March 14. Learn more at


Discounted Consulting Available - Apply March 14-15 

Could your organization benefit from professional consulting services?
If your organization is located in the Duke Energy service area, take advantage of this consulting sale - for a limited time only!
Receive up to 40 hours of professional consulting at just $5 an hour - a significant discount from IYI's standard rate of $30 per hour. Opportunities include:
  • board development,
  • strategic planning,
  • program evaluation, and
  • fund development planning
Requests must be submitted via the Consulting Services intake form (Word or PDF) to Carolyn Langan ( between 9 a.m. EDT Monday, March 14 and 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 15.

Selected agencies will be notified by March 21.

Any Indiana youth-serving nonprofit located in the Duke Energy service area is eligible. Only 10 organizations will be chosen. Priority will be given to smaller organizations, first-time clients of IYI consulting services, and applicants that complete the intake form completely and submit in a timely manner.

Special thanks to Duke Energy Foundation for their generous support of Indiana youth-serving organizations.

Enter the 3rd Annual Be Big in Your Community Contest! Running Deadline through June 17 

The BE BIG Campaign invites everyone, big and small, to take action and raise awareness for how Clifford's BIG Ideas (Share, Be Kind, Help Others, Be a Good Friend, Play Fair, Have Respect, Be Truthful, Believe in Yourself, Work Together and Be Responsible) can make the world a better place.

As part of the BE BIG Campaign, the 3rd Annual BE BIG in Your Community Contest will award $75,000 in community grants* to the BIGGEST ideas that best demonstrate Clifford's BIG Ideas!

Last year's Grand Prize Winner, Jennifer O. and her team's BIG Idea to create a hospital classroom for young cancer patients in her local hospital won $25,000 from the BE BIG Fund.  Your BIG Idea might just be next!

Scholastic, HandsOn Network and American Family Insurance will work with the winners to bring their Big Ideas to life!  Everyone is invited-parents, kids, teachers or community leaders-to submit their ideas now through June 17, 2011.

For contest entry forms and official rules visit

One (1) Grand Prize BIG Idea will win a $25,000 Grant, Ten (10) first place BIG Ideas will win a $2,500 Grant and Nineteen (19) second place BIG Ideas will be selected to receive a $1,315.79 Grant (via HandsOn Network affiliate organizations or designees) from the BE BIG Fund to be used towards implementing the winning proposals.
Volunteer Resources & Materials

High School Youth Group Available - June 6-10 

The Volunteer Network was contacted by the Youth Minister for a high school youth group in Franklin, Indiana.  They will be on a service/mission trip in the Bloomington area during the week of June 6-10. He is looking for places where his young people (a group of about 30 people total) might be able to serve. They hope to do any type of service ranging from manual labor (painting, light construction work, cleaning, etc.) to working with children, animals, or anything else you might be able to come up with. His name is  Eric Lecher ( contact him directly.

Is Volunteering Tax Deductible?

Volunteer write-off rules: First, time spent volunteering is not deductible. For example, you're a graphic artist and you volunteer your services to create a poster for a charity's annual holiday food drive. It took you six hours to come up with the perfect announcement. You charge your paying clients $75 an hour. But you do not get to deduct $450 (your regular pay rate of $75 times six hours) as a gift to the charity.

However, the materials you bought to create the charity's poster are deductible if they meet some IRS guidelines:
  • The costs aren't reimbursed. In this case, the charity did not pay you for the poster board, pens, etc.
  • The costs are directly connected with the service you provided. You bought fuchsia pens specially to match the charity's logo.
  • You incurred these expenses only because of the services you donated. Again with the pen, you never would have bought that outlandish attention-grabbing color if not for this volunteer project.
  • The costs were not for personal, living or family expenses.
Don't forget driving: In many cases, you can deduct transportation costs that are part of the time you give to your favorite charity.

This could include the mileage to the art supply store to pick up the special charity poster material. Just make sure that your driving is dedicated to your charitable purpose. You can't claim it if there is any "significant personal pleasure" involved. That means that if on your week-long vacation you popped over to help clean up some oil from the Gulf Shore, you can't claim that mileage for the one day you spent cleaning up after BP.

When it comes to calculating charitable driving, the process is the same as with business mileage. You can claim either your auto's actual costs, such as gas, maintenance and the like that are connected to the charitable activity you provide. Or you can claim the standard mileage rate for charitable deductions. This paltry amount is 14 cents per mile. One of the reasons it's so low is that it's set by statute, not adjusted for inflation. So it's 14 cents a mile for 2010 and 2011 charity-related travel. Whether you use the actual or standard mileage method, remember to include any toll and parking fees in your deductible mileage amount.

Since every cent helps when it comes not only to giving to a charity but also to reducing your taxes, be sure to track your mileage and include the value as a donation on your 2010 Form 1040 Schedule A.

CBVN logo Newsflash
In This Issue
Upcoming Events & Trainings
Grants, Funding & Recognition Programs
Volunteer Resources & Materials
Quick Links


Save the date for these events and opportunities:
March 22
Volunteer VIP:
Creating a Culture of Extraordinary Customer Service
MCPL Room 1C
RSVP here

April 5
Be More Award Celebration

April 6
Get Involved
Bloomington Expo

April 10-16
National Volunteer Week

June 6-8
National Conference on Volunteering and Service
New Orleans, LA

Sept. 7
IU Student
Involvement Fair

Sept. 17
Volunteer Network Community Volunteer Fair at Farmers' Market

September 30
The Essentials: Volunteer Management Training
read more

Kathy Obrakta

The staff at the Animal Shelter wanted to share with you that they lost their friend and co-worker, Kathy Obrakta, on February 25th after a courageous fight with cancer.  Kathy had been the Volunteer Coordinator there since November, 2000.  She touched many lives, both human and animal, and will be sadly missed.  They ask for your thoughts and prayers for her family during this difficult time.

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