Summer 2014
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There is so much in this newsletter that I will keep my introduction SHORT so you can skip ahead to some great content - much of which is rather timely.
I can't skip highlighting the Community of Practice call scheduled for next week; Beth Hecht from JCS Baltimore will be leading a discussion on Changes in the Field of Youth Mentoring.  This call will serve both those currently doing work in the field, and those contemplating adding it as a service of your agency.  See below for a link to registration.
In addition, you should have already heard several times now about the opportunity for generous stipends to the National Conference on Service & Volunteering, June 16-18 in Atlanta, GA.  More than 8 of your fellow network professionals have signed up - don't miss this amazing opportunity to join them for incredible professional development.

Finally, it's never too early to think about submitting a proposal for a session at the 2015 AJFCA Annual Conference in Miami. See below for details.


Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming
Volunteer Professional Community of Practice Calls

AJFCA is excited to offer quarterly Volunteer Professional Community of Practice calls for you all to share with one another and learn about topics of interest. 


The format will be as follows:
  • A volunteer professional from one of our member agencies will volunteer to speak a bit about their experience with a given topic.
  • We will then open up the call for all to share their experiences with the topic. 
  • The professional will also act as the moderator to help facilitate the open conversation.
Next call:
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 - 3 pm EST

Changes in the Field of Youth Mentoring
Beth Land Hecht, LCSW-C

Senior Manager Volunteer Services, JCS Baltimore

Conversation will focus on Youth Mentoring Programs - what's working, what's not.  Who's doing them?  Some fall under the Big Brother Big Sister model, others have a buddy or pals program. We'll talk about creative responses to changes in the field.  Have a great model in your agency? Please share your experience.  Are you interested in starting a mentoring program?  Join us to learn more!

Please email Jennie if you have an idea for a topic you'd like covered, or you'd like to volunteer to lead a call. We are planning these calls based on your interests.
2014 National Conference on Service & Volunteering 
Click here to learn more about this amazing opportunity to network and learn with thousands of other volunteer professionals June 16-18, 2014 in Atlanta, GA.  A special conference rate as well as generous travel stipends are being provided by Repair the World.  A number of your colleagues in the AJFCA Network (including Jennie) are already signed up and are looking forward to seeing you there!   
2014 AJFCA Annual Conference - Volunteer Initiative Wrap-up

Wow.  This year's conference May 3-6, 2014 in Montreal was packed with great sessions and networking for all in attendance - volunteer professionals included!  As promised, here is more information on of some of this year's participants:


The 2014 Young Adult Ambassadors included representatives from 5 communities. Each community applied with a team of one professional and 2 volunteers between the ages of 21-39 who will focus on a project in their community to better engage young adults in their agency. Check out this document (complete with photos) to learn more about these incredible teams!
The 2014 Volunteer Professional Cohort brought 9 professionals together from a diverse array of member agencies, all of whom are working to better engage volunteers and/or young adults in their organizations.  This document shares their photos and bios, so you can get a sense of the fantastic talent assembled in Montreal.
  This year we had a growing number of professionals & lay leaders who decided that the Volunteer Track and the conference as a whole was valuable enough to fund their own way - which speaks volumes to the potential sustainability of the program.  We did our best to identify these participants and include them in Volunteer Initiative programming whenever possible.  We also welcomed participants from last year's Ambassador pilot to come present and share their experience with this year's group. You can find more info on these folks, as well as staff and Repair the World representatives, in this document.
A full outline of the sessions offered to each group of the Volunteer Track is available on the Volunteer Engagement homepage of the AJFCA website.  Any session materials we've received from all our presenters, including handouts and presentations, are shared where they are available on this page - so check it out!
Start thinking about the 2015 AJFCA Annual Conference TODAY

In Montreal it was announced that our next AJFCA Annual Conference will take place in Miami, Florida May 3-5, 2015.  I know it may seem early to think about submitting a session proposal, but before you know it the fall will be here with all the insanity that comes with holidays - so do yourself a favor and start thinking TODAY.  A formal request for proposals will likely be sent out in August, with a due date before the High Holidays.
Based on evaluations from previous conferences, the sessions making up our Volunteer Initiative track that are most valued are those presented by our member agencies. Sessions sharing programs, structures, best practices - all the types of resources you yourself are looking for... YOU could provide such a session!  Think about what works well for you, your department, your agency.  Think about the skills you might bring to the table from your past career experience!  Think about the possibility of partnering with a colleague or more from other network agencies to provide multiple perspectives.
If you already have an idea you're interested in pitching - consider using the Volunteer Professional forum to solicit input or feedback from your peers.  Feel free to call Jennie to talk through a proposal. AJFCA needs your great ideas to make this next conference a success!
AJFCA Awarded VISTA Grant to Focus on Serving Holocaust Survivors

A good number of the professionals here at AJFCA have been working diligently alongside the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to develop a national project to utilize Americorps VISTA volunteers in our member agencies & partners, building capacity to better serve Holocaust Survivors. For those who may not be familiar, AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program of CNCS designed specifically to fight poverty by mobilizing one-year volunteers in organizations across the United States.
This past Friday AJFCA was officially awarded 14 VISTAs to work in 13 agencies across 7 states.  We are so excited to launch this program along with our site organizations. Details will be shared as they are available through the AJFCA weekly newsletter, but recruitment is underway for all positions as of this week.
In particular, one placement will be within the AJFCA offices, based in Baltimore, and will require the candidate to have previously served at least one year as a VISTA volunteer. Please see this listing for details and share with anyone you think might be interested in this fantastic opportunity to gain experience working with a national nonprofit.
AJFCA Partners with Verified Volunteers

As you may have heard, AJFCA has entered into a new partnership with Verified Volunteers. Verified Volunteers is truly the only background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the service sector and the first online community to mobilize repeat, vetted volunteers. We believe this platform has the potential to dramatically transform volunteer screening for the better for AJFCA member agencies throughout the United States and Canada. 
Click here for the letter sent to member agency CEOs on March 6th, 2014
Click here for a one-page overview on Verified Volunteers

>>> Free Webinar to Learn More About Verified Volunteers' Model


The Volunteer Fast-Pass: A New Model for Background Screening:

Click here to request the recorded webinar

Millennials & Nonprofit Boards: 10 Tips for Finding Each Other
This article from the LinkedIn blog shares great insights geared towards both the Millennial seeking board experience, as well as the professional looking for younger board members.
Speaking of Next Gen Engagement...

Last summer we had a really fantastic webinar, Innovation & Creating:  Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy, where JFCS Minneapolis presented their Next Gen engagement model (an encore presentation from the 2013 conference). This topic came up again at the conference in Montreal, so I thought I would re-post the presentation for the benefit of all who may not have been around last year.  
Go to the Volunteer Engagement page of our website, and scroll down to "From the Archives..." for the links to the power point presentation as well as the audio.

A huge amount of gratitude goes out to all the professionals and volunteers from Ometz in Montreal who helped to make the AJFCA & IAJVS annual conference such a success. A special thanks goes to Janice Heft, head of Volunteer Services, and Guylaine Wafer, for their enthusiasm and dedication in welcoming delegates from our network to Montreal.

Congratulations to Jane Deer-Hileman, Director of Volunteer Services at Jewish Family Service Seattle  for receiving Seattle University's Center for Service and Community Engagement Spirit of Community Award on May 15, 2014. 
This award recognizes a community partner (individual or agency) that exemplifies the CSCE goal of creating strong reciprocal partnerships in order to foster social change and contributes positively to the development of reflective, creative, compassionate, and just student leaders.  
Brandywine Village Network (an Aging-in-Place Initiative from Jewish Family Services of Delawarejust released their latest monthly Newsletter, the BVN Post.  Click here to view this 4-page spread to see an example of how you might communicate with your network of clients and/or volunteers. 
Want to be featured in Highlights from Our Agencies?  
Add Jennie to your volunteer mailing list so she can see what you're up to!   
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Ready for An Adventure? 


Spots are filling up for the second cohort of the Repair the World Fellowship! Repair is excited about the newly committed Fellows, and are actively recruiting for the remaining spots in the program. If you know any passionate go-getters between 21 and 26 who might be interested in devoting 10 months to Jewish learning, volunteer engagement, and social justice work in Baltimore, Detroit, Philly, or Pittsburgh, we would love for them to apply.
Ideal Fellows are passionate, creative, and entrepreneurial, and are committed to making a positive impact on the world and to inspiring local Jewish volunteerism.  
The Fellowship offers intensive training, housing, health insurance, travel reimbursement, and a monthly stipend, among other perks.
Learn more and apply here: 
Don't know folks this young???
Forward this announcement to your staff, volunteers or board members who might have children or grandchildren in this age range.
newsletter archive

If this is your first time receiving this newsletter - check out our Volunteer Engagement homepage for more valuable resources, including an archive of past Volunteer E-Newsletters.