August 2012 
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Volunteer Initiative Webinar
"Young Adult Engagement"
Monday, September 24th, 3:00pm ET
Email Jennie by September 14th to register.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the conversation over on the forums regarding the "What's in a Name?" prompt from last month's newsletter. I just conducted a super high-tech drawing (picking one out of several names on little paper slips out of a bag) from those who posted a response, and our winner is Sandra Lusher-Waterhouse from JFSA in Cleveland, OH. Sandra - let me know which of these two Repair the World prizes you would like to claim.
jennie with repair swag  

If you haven't wandered over to the topic string on the forum - I would recommend you do so. Many of your colleagues shared their thoughts on how we should refer to volunteer professionals (a phrase which is just one example of how our clients and supporters can be confused by our titles) and what it means in regard to your compensation as well as your standing in the organization.


Somewhat tied to your place within your larger agency - check out this post I wrote for the AJFCA blog. I tried to cater more to the non-volunteer agency professional rather than you all, with the hopes that I might spark some conversation from the other end of your agency. Let me know if anyone from your organization reads it and ends up talking to you as a result. I'm curious... how often do you interact with professionals in your agency to assess the landscape for your volunteers? Do all agency employees know that you are the person to talk to regarding volunteer engagement? Would they have reason to? Share your thoughts on the forum and you'll get another chance to take home exciting Repair the World swag.

This article from the Association for Psychological Science shares how "Helping, giving, volunteering, and other actions undertaken to benefit others play a critical role in protecting health, promoapsting education, fighting poverty and hunger, and providing disaster relief."
Many of us already know the above-quoted sentiment, but I like how the article helps us realize that people are more motivated by talking about how they have given, than how they have received.  Something to keep in mind when crafting recruitment materials or volunteer interview questions.
How do you get the help and support you need from other staff members for your volunteer program? What are the most critical things a volunteer manager needs to know? What are the best ways to get your volunteers involved in engaging other volunteers? How can volunteer matchhunger-related organizations best use VolunteerMatch to fight hunger?
All of these questions and more will be answered in the upcoming free webinars being offered in the VolunteerMatch Learning Center. Check them out and register today:
9/06/12: Making Volunteer Engagement Everyone's Job
9/12/12: Fighting Hunger Together: Make the Most of Your VolunteerMatch Account
9/18/12: The New Volunteer Manager's Toolkit
9/20/12: Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in Your Volunteer Engagement Program
Many of us in the Jewish world - single and married, younger and older - are tasked with creating "Jewish engagement" opportunities every day. Some of us even have the actual word in our professional titles; for others, it's implied. But the one thing everyone agrees on is that no one knows what "engagement" really means.

Read Getting Engaged: Part I and Getting Engaged: Part II-Courting Engagement to delve into why the Jewish community has so deeply embraced the term "engagement," particularly those who work with the so-called "NextGen." Perhaps there may be something deeply resonant about the choice of this word to describe Jewish connection.
Breaking News
National Service Teams Activated for Hurricane Isaac Response
As Hurricane Isaac continues moving through the Gulf Coast, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps teams are responding in four Gulf Coast states, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced today.
CNCS is working in close coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Red Cross, and state and local authorities. CNCS is a part of a local, state and nationally coordinated effort and has activated national service participants, at the request of local communities for deployment to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Read about more than 1,000 members and volunteers on standby to deploy here.
Just for Fun
I found this blog through the Chronicle of Philanthropy this month - if you are in need of a little Onion-esque non-profit humor, this is the place to go.  A few highlights focused on volunteers:
jsut for fun
Every position at Metro charity downgraded to "coordinator" - hilarious, especially considering the conversation we prompted in the last newsletter regarding titles.

Leading for Innovation
In my thirty
Misha Galperin
Misha Galperin
years of work, I believe that the greatest struggle is to stay inspired. We all have the transformational moments that make us want to make a difference. The problem is that to keep making a difference we need to be nourished by inspiration. If it's a flash-in-the-pan experience, then our leadership doesn't truly stand a chance. Instead, we have to understand what inspires us and try to put ourselves closer to sources of inspiration so that we get an almost daily injection. Without it, we put our leadership into jeopardy.
  ejewish philanthropy
Misha Galperin writes about innovation in this article, and even though it is not explicitly volunteer-centric, he translates a Jewish teaching into more of a daily non-profit mantra:  Something new every day will inspire us to innovation!   
featured agency
Michelle Friedman
Michelle Friedman

Michelle Friedman recently began volunteering with  Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago Family Commons after school, inclusive recreation program. Family Commons allows children with special needs to take classes with their typically developing siblings, such as sports, tae kwon do, cooking, study hall, dance, theater, and more. Classes for parents, such as yoga, knitting and Zumba, are offered for parents to learn something new at the same time, or just take a couple of hours on their own.
jcfs chicago  
Click here to view the entire Q&A posted on JCFS Chicago's blog; a unique way to recognize the fantastic efforts of a volunteer. Thank you to Karen Goldman for sharing this write-up. 
Repair the World Featured Article
This article, Back to School Service Make Sure Every Student Heads to Class Fully Equipped is from the Repair the World blog. Many of the articles on their blog (like this one) are geared toward volunteers themselves, or are more targeted in teaching the reader about the work of RepaRepair the Worldir and sharing information on their initiatives. For those of you looking for content to share with to your volunteer base via your newsletter or other e-communications, I think this would be a great resource to you. In contrast, the article in last month's newsletter was sourced from RepairLabs.org, also an initiative of Repair the World, which features content by and for Jewish nonprofit staff, educators and leaders. I just wanted to highlight these two separate resources and their slight variance in intended audience. 
The State of Volunteering in North American Jewish Organizations
Repair the World is conducting a national study of Jewish institutions with the following goals:
  1. Understand the current state of volunteering in the Jewish social sector - getting at issues of how volunteers are recruited, deployed and sustained; the benefits and challenges that organizations experience in working with volunteers; and the social impact of volunteering.
  2. Learn about the specific needs of organizations to better make use of volunteers in their work.repair the world-square
  3. Share our learning from the survey with the organized Jewish community - including your organization.  
This survey is best filled out by the professional or volunteer who directly manages the volunteers in your agency, and may take a bit of research and time to complete. Knowing this, Repair has put together an incentive to complete the survey. One randomly selected participating organization will receive a grant of $3,000, and two additional randomly selected organizations will receive grants of $1,500, to support the creation, development, or enhancement of each organization's service-learning or volunteer program(s).
Repair has extended the deadline for the survey to October 1st.  If you have not already taken the time to fill this out - please do so immediately.  In addition, if you have a network of volunteer managers at other Jewish institutions in your community, it would be really fantastic to share the link with them to help broaden the sample for the study.  Thank you.