Spring 2013
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The season for recognizing volunteers on a national level has just passed.  No matter what you did to thank your volunteers, we shouldn't forget to make validating volunteers a common practice. Ensuring volunteers feel appreciated on an ongoing basis should be part of your daily routine.  If you think you did something especially unique to recognize your volunteers - I want to hear about it!

The AJFCA Annual Conference in Phoenix is now only 3 weeks away!  We have two great groups attending the conference under the auspices of the Volunteer Initiative. Check out the Civic Engagement page of our website for details on who will be there.  Following the conference I will share resources from each session just in case you aren't able to join us.
jennie gates beckman
Another fantastic conference coming up is the 2013 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, D.C. June 19-21, 2013.  Repair the World is one of the sponsors and so representation from Jewish organizations should be high.  Folks who agree to volunteer for a 4-hour shift during the conference get a $250 discount on registration and other scholarship opportunities may be available - so this year you may want to consider attending!  If enough of our agencies attend I would love to bring us all together - please be in touch if you are interested in going.
Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming

Giving Back During National Volunteer Week huffington post  

This article gives an interesting perspective from one volunteer who discovered why others might hold back from considering volunteering as an option.  It might be a nice one to share with your own volunteers.  

The Power of an Enduring Relationship  stanford social innovation review

This article is written from an organization that asks its volunteers to "mentor for life."  Do you think this could be a successful model within the context of your agency?
11 Ways To Reach The Unengaged  darim
This article is written to address synagogues, but the tactics are clearly translatable to your good work at our agencies.  The author of this piece is one of the regional directors for NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation.  At the fast-approaching AJFCA Annual Conference, we'll have another amazing NEXT professional present Engaging the Birthright Israel Generation: Case Studies in Successful Models.
Lofty Goal Setting: Why Not Dream Big? 
This article talks about campaign & goal setting - but also digs deeper into a text which nicely frejewish philanthropyames our work in social service agencies.  "Now more than ever, the American Jewish community has successfully blended the core Jewish and American values and traditions. While our community is built with existing organizational and leadership structures and a limited number of available resources, we have worked hard to ensure that every voice can still be heard and every offer of participation can still be embraced."
Sheryl Sandberg Presents: Deeply Troubling Stats About Women
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Sheryl Sandberg

Have you been following all the press about Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In?  Many people have come out in support of her ideas and also very loudly against her  arguments.  This article highlights some of the statistics she shared in her book and a bit about how she thinks women can be part of the solution. In a woman-dominated field, I thought you all would be interested in checking it out.

I met with three great communities since our last newsletter and learned quite a bit about their volunteer departments and how they engage their communities in service.  Here are brief recaps of my visits: 
jfcs portlandPortland, OR: JF&CS Volunteer Coordinator Missy Fry, along with her colleague Melissa Bloom shared that their biggest challenge is creating volunteer opportunities that are attractive to  volunteers while still serving the needs of their clients.  Fellow communal professional Caron Blau Rothstein, Community Engagement Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland joined us to tell me more about their new endeavor, Portland Mitzvah Network
JFS Colorado
Denver, CO: Nancy Benyamin, JFS Director of Volunteer Services was gracious enough to give me a full tour of JFS Colorado's main campus - including their food pantry, storage area, and volunteer sorting area. I love that their agency's guiding values are prominently displayed on the wall of the Food Pantry. In her 7+ years at JFS she has made it a priority to weave a culture of volunteering into their agency's strategic plan. 

jfs omaha and jennie Omaha, NE: JFS Executive Director Karen Gustafson and Sandy Nogg, JFS Assistance Coordinator invited me to meet with Lois Wine, whose role as Director of Volunteers has recently expanded from Jewish Social Services to the entire campus - including the Federation, ADL,  JCC and more.  We had a great discussion on the unique nature of her position and how AJFCA could be a resource to smaller member agencies like Omaha.
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Millennials Civic Health Index Illustrates Where and How Young People Engage
We should all benefit greatly from the Millennials Civic Health Index's findings, as they highlight the areas that Millennials are already engaged and show the spaces where more work is needed to increase engagement. In addition to showing where Millennials engage, the study also illustrates how they prefer to engage.

Repair the World Launches Community Fellowship
The Repair Community Fellowship is part of Repair Communities, a Repair the World initiative that will engage volunteers in solving important local issues through their service in five U.S. cities.  This Fellowship offers an exciting opportunity for Jewish young adults age 21 to 26 to receive training, build service solutions, and engage the community amongst a group of their peers.  If you know anyone who might like to apply - please share with them this FAQ sheet.  
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