September 2012 
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The high holidays are often a time of personal reflection and goal-setting for the New Year. Working in the Jewish Communal field, we may also be asked to take an inventory of our work for the agency at this time. I personally always associate the Jewish New Year with a new year of school, even though it has been years now since the fall has meant returning to the classroom. It's a time when, even if you are not a student, you may buy a new calendar or be starting a new session of programming (or a new campaign year), bringing your attention to the shift in season and t  he shortening days.

I invite you all to share on the forum - what is one thing you'd like to change during 5773 in your agency's work with volunteers? 

Congrats to Karen Goldman of Chicago's Jewish Child & Family Services for winning this month's Repair swag.  We're going to keep going with this push to the forums - head on over there today to share your thoughts on this month's question. While you are there - if you have a challenge that has been sjennie gates beckmantealing your focus during these hectic high holiday weeks - why not ask for your colleague's advice?

One more important note: at the bottom of this newsletter is a link to the Repair the World Institutional Survey. If you have not yet filled it out, the deadline for the grant drawing is October 1st.  I'm not sure I believe this, but according to the calendar, that's next week. Please do take the time to complete the survey if you haven't already. 

AJFCA Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming
On this Friday, September 28th, 1:00-2:00pm ET, Repair the World is hosting a conference call with The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to provide an overview of the
To join us, simply call in using the following details: 1-866-740-1260, access code: 695-2700#.
Click here for more details. 
The AJFCA Annual Conference is a networking and training opportunity for professional and lay leaders from AJFCA member agencies throughout North America. Building on the success of last year, there will be a volunteer track of sessions for the conference in Phoenix, Arizona May 19-21, 2013.
2013 AJFCA AC logo
Please consider submitting a proposal geared toward volunteer professionals for the 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference. We encourage proposals that are interactive; results-oriented; focus on success stories and lessons learned; and/or provide strategies that show attendees how to strive for excellence in their agencies. Presenters may put forward more than one proposal and each must be submitted separately. 

Click here for more details on the theme and requirements for sessions. You may email your saved completed Proposal Application Form as an attachment to Ann Zeller no later than October 6, 2012. You will be notified as to the status of your submission by the end of December 2012. 
Our Canadian agewild apricotncies might appreciate that this article was sourced locally to them, however all of us can benefit from reading about youth volunteer engagement strategies. There are a ton of links to other resources, but main points are nicely outlined in the text of the piece so you can skim it all in one place if you don't have time to read all the sourced articles.  
Last month NPnprR collected stories of people actively helping other people, animals and the planet. I always find it nice to see a collection of volunteer stories like this since it can spark a new program idea for your own agency. Go to this page to see a summary with links to all the articles. 
In conversation with many of you, I have heard your struggles of time management - how can we possibly get everythingfast company done in the time we have allotted? Whether you are a full-time volunteer manager with an over-flowing "plate", have one foot in the volunteer arena and the other on the clinical side of things, or only two days a week total - it can be difficult staying on top of it all. This article reviews one popular time management strategy, and includes several easy tips to put you on your way towards a better-managed work load. 
Reimagining Service has recently re-launched their website, which includes lots of new reimagining service research, case studies, and resources for organizations and companies looking to enhance their volunteer engagement practices. Reimagining Service believes that one way to increase the impact of volunteering is to encourage the creation of more service enterprises. They define a service enterprise as an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on the social mission of the organization. Both AJFCA and Repair the World are big fans of the work Reimagining Service does - so take a look at their new online face. 
Volunteer Recognition - From the Top! president volunteer service award
Did you know you can honor a volunteer with a letter from the President of the United States? It's not that difficult a process either - you just need to have tracked their hours and register as a certified organization online. The President's Volunteer Service Award is issued by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service, and civic participation. There is a small fee involved for the certificate and/or pin plus shipping, but at less than $15 total, it's quite a bargain for such a prestigious award. Click here for a comprehensive FAQ list outlining the process.

Canadians - I didn't forget you! Unfortunately, there is more chance involved in the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, since you may nominate a volunteer but only a limited number of people are given awards. So it may not be an easy form of recognition, but for the right volunteer it could be worth your time. Check out this site for details.
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
  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.