Fall 2014
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Can you believe it's September already?  I cannot believe how fast the summer went; maybe for me, it's flown by since we at AJFCA have been so busy working on both new & ongoing projects to serve you and your agency!

One such resource is the Community of Practice call scheduled for next week; Melinda Wilkes from JFS San Diego will be leading a discussion on Preparing Your Staff to Work with Volunteers.  This call will focus on creating a volunteer culture in your agency and share tips on how you can get the rest of your organizational professionals on board with the work of your department.  See below for a link to registration.
I mentioned last time that you should think about submitting a proposal for a session at the 2015 AJFCA Annual Conference in Miami. The deadline is now fast approaching and we are depending on you to make a contribution! See below for details, particularly regarding the Volunteer Track.

One of the biggest projects of this summer has been launching a program with 11 Americorps VISTAs serving in agencies across the country to build capacity for their organizations to better serve aging & impoverished Holocaust Survivors.  Check out details on this program below; our hope is that the resources produced in these 11 agencies can be shared with the entire network!

Finally, I'd like to share a personal project I've been working on the entire year, which if all goes well should see a successful launch in early October.  My husband & I are expecting our first child!  So just a heads up that if there are any bur
ning questions you've been meaning to reach out to me on - the time is now.  I'll be taking 12 weeks leave following the birth, and while you will all be in the capable hands of my colleagues at AJFCA for ongoing support - you will not be able to pick my brain in particular.  

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:
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - 4 pm EST

Preparing Your Staff to Work With Volunteers
Melinda Wilkes, MA, CNP, CVA

Director of Volunteer Engagement, JFS of San Diego

Conversation will focus on creating a volunteer culture in your agency. Volunteer managers wear many hats in the agency. We are expected to have volunteers in our back pocket at a moment's notice as well as maintaining meaningful experiences for the volunteers. Much of the volunteer manager's role is the power of persuasion - especially persuading staff to work with volunteers. Listen and share tips on successful strategies to engage the whole team in a culture of volunteer engagement. 

Please email Jennie if you have an idea for a topic you'd like covered on a future call, or you'd like to volunteer to lead a call. We are planning these calls based on your interests.
2015 AJFCA Annual Conference RFPs Due September 19

Our next AJFCA Annual Conference will take place in Miami, Florida May 3-5, 2015. The Conference is a 2.5 day interactive and informative experience for professional and lay leaders from AJFCA member agencies throughout North America and Israel. 
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!  

The Request for Proposal (RFP) period for the 2015 Conference is now open. 


We are seeking workshop proposals that will enhance the Conference theme: connect/miami: building community together, by focusing on leveraging the collective impact of our network, with an eye toward building resilience in our agencies.

Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement
The Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement track will focus on bringing up to date information from the field on best practices in meaningful volunteer/young adult engagement. Sessions may be geared to address not only Volunteer Professionals, but a wider audience as well, including CEOs, executive management, board members and volunteers.

Preferred topic areas include:
  1. Successful volunteer programming models (or absolute failures, and how the agency has learned from these mistakes)
  2. Core competencies for volunteer engagement: innovative ways to engage, acknowledge and sustain volunteers in the work of the agency
  3. Metrics/evaluating the impact of a volunteer program - return on investment (ROI)
  4. Sessions that may be geared to an audience of CEOs together with their agency's Volunteer Professional, with the goal of leveraging the collaboration & support of the entire agency in order to effectively sustain volunteer engagement
  5. Models for recruiting volunteers in a more collaborative, communal manner - not focused on one agency but on an area of need which involves multiple organizations
  6. Agencies that can demonstrate a proven track record of engaging young adults - through volunteering, leadership development, philanthropic or social opportunities
  7. Incorporating Jewish Service Learning in the agency's volunteer experience (this may focus only on service learning, only on providing a Jewish framework, or a combination of the two)
Prior to submitting, please carefully review the RFP Guidelines. This document contains important information on the Conference and detailed guidelines for each of the areas of focus.


Please complete your Workshop Proposal Form no later than September 19, 2014.  If you have any questions, email Zahava Klein.

Feel free to call Jennie to talk through your proposal. AJFCA needs your great ideas to make this next conference a success!
AJFCA Project Focused on Serving Holocaust Survivors: 
11 Americorps VISTA Members Begin Service This Month

This week marks the first official week of service for all the VISTA members participating in the AJFCA Holocaust Survivor Services Initiative.  

Please visit the Volunteer Engagement page of our website to read all about the reception we held in their honor!
Pledge to Serve in Honor of the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps

This Friday, Sept. 12th, AmeriCorps celebrates its 20th birthday with events across the country. 

Every AmeriCorps member 
takes a pledge to "get things done for America." In that same spirit, every citizen can make a difference for our nation. As AmeriCorps marks 20 years of service, show your support by committing to get things done. Whether you're an AmeriCorps alum, current member, relative, fan, or friend -- you can show the world the power of service.

Consider visiting this page to learn more about this exciting celebration & to take the pledge yourself!
AJFCA Webinar: Cultivation Across the Generations

This past August, professionals from four AJFCA agencies addressed their methods of attracting younger donors to participate in the work of their agency in this "re-run" of a session at the 2014 Annual Conference in Montreal.


Presenters covered:

  • using an agency program to promote community outreach and engagement,
  • creating hands-on experiences to engage younger donors on a deeper level,
  • messaging the value of engaging with the agency in a way that resonates with younger donors, and
  • creating opportunities to link the donor's engagement with their Jewish values.

The presenters relayed their experiences in working with programs at their agencies aimed at teens, families and young adults. 

Bonnie Schwartzbaum - Director, Kosher Food Bank, JCS of South Florida

Click here for a video on the Food Bank.

Lara Wellerstein - Director of Community Programs & Services, JF&CS of Greater Mercer County, NJ spoke about t
he Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) philanthropy program for grades 8th-12th

Lauren Harris
 - Lay Leader, and Miriam Friedman - Chief Development Officer, JF&CS of Atlanta, spoke about their family-focused program, Artscape.

Roselle Ungar - Board President, Jewish Family Service of New Orleans and Owner, Strategic Nonprofit Consulting gave an overview of the 4 generations and how we can best engage each of them in our work.

A recording of the webinar is available by dialing 877-919-4059 followed by 70045124#.

Save the Date for a Verified Volunteers Webinar: 
Working with Vulnerable Populations -  
Learn How to Spot and Manage the Risks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 2 pm EST**

Presenter: Rick Braschler, Director of Risk Management/Kanakuk Kamps, Senior Risk Consultant/Youth Protection 

Does your organization work with children, the elderly or individuals with disabilities? 

It's a sad fact that 85-90% of episodes of abuse or neglect among vulnerable populations involve acquaintances such as caregivers, coaches, and clergy.  More than ever before, organizations that provide programming or care for these vulnerable populations are charged with a duty to protect them.  

Join us for a valuable webinar to:
  • Understand the abuse cycle, including abuser types and their methods
  • Learn how to create effective programs and policies that protect vulnerable populations from potential abusers 
Registration will open later this fall; but mark your calendars today!

Verified Volunteers is 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. 

**Nov. 5th happens to be International Volunteer Managers Day (#IVMday14).
All the more reason to treat yourself to some free professional development!
Ten Time-Tested Volunteer Recruitment Tips that Still Work


Recruitment is a critical activity for leaders of volunteer involvement and, of course, finding the right volunteers makes all the difference in the success and impact of the work to be done. 

Click here to read the full article
from Susan J. Ellis, one of the premier resources for professional development in the realm of volunteer engagement.

Do you have your own tips for volunteer recruitment?  Share them on the AJFCA Volunteer Professional Forum!

Free JFFixler Group Webinars

JFFixler Group is pleased to offer free 55-minute webinars. Connect with their team, gain cutting edge tools, and join a national community of practice by participating in these popular webinars. Pre-registration is required & space is limited so register early! 

High Impact Volunteer Engagement 

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 - 11am PT/2pm ET

Vanguards of Excellence: Case Studies from the Field 

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 - 11am PT/2pm ET

Leveraging Volunteer Talent for Organizational Change 

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 - 11am PT/2pm ET

For webinar descriptions and links to registration, go to the JFFixler website.
2014 National Conference on Volunteering & Service
June 16-18, AJFCA network members attended the National Conference on Volunteering & Service (#NCVS) in Atlanta as part of Repair the World's Jewish Community Delegation. Our volunteer professionals numbered 11, making up more than the delegation. NCVS provides an opportunity for thousands of leaders from the service and volunteering community to gather, build connections and be inspired around the impact of volunteerism in communities across the United States. The fantastic turnout of our professionals led to many opportunities for networking & sharing of resources.  

Check out more photos of the delegation in this album on AJFCA's Facebook page.

August 7th, the AJFCA Young Adult Ambassador team from Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati, including Food Pantry and Volunteer Manager Sandee Golden, held a happy hour & informational session for their Cincinnati Hunger Assistance Initiative (CHAI) project at the JFS Vital Services Center.  18 potential volunteers gathered for drinks & appetizers to learn more about how they can contribute to the work of the agency; 2 individuals have already volunteered in the pantry since the event.
August 21st Jewish Family Service of Greater Kansas City held an extremely successful kick-off event targeting young adults.  Over 130 people who joined them for the first ever JFS Trivia Bash, raising over $1000 for the JFS Food Pantry. Board member and MC for the night Noah Slabotsky assembled all the trivia himself - connecting questions to both general popular trivia & fun facts about the agency and their work.  AJFCA congratulates Director of Volunteer Engagement Taly Friedman and her committee on this exciting first event.  Check out photos of the event in this album of their facebook page.   

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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2nd Cohort of Repair the World Fellows Begin this Month


Orientation begins this week for Repair the World Fellows committed to devoting 10 months to Jewish learning, volunteer engagement, and social justice work in Baltimore, Detroit, Philly, Pittsburgh, & New York City.

For more information on Repair the World, visit www.werepair.org 
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.