Winter 2015
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This newsletter is again packed with resources, as well as timely requests for your input, so I will be brief in my introduction.  For each topic, scroll down for more detail!

Please consider joining AJFCA in Miami for our 2015 Annual Conference. We are again quite excited about the sessions submitted for the Volunteer/Young Engagement Track, as well as the opportunity for professionals to apply for subsidized registration.  Please note: the deadline has been extended to Thursday, Feb. 19th.

The single-most valuable resource of our network is YOU.  By engaging as an active participant in our forums, on conference calls, and at our annual conference, the collective experience & expertise of agency professionals is accessible to us all.  Please respond to the Questions for our Network segment ASAP.

Do you wish you had attended the National Mentoring Summit last month in DC?  Join in a call with your peers for the next best thing!  This is part of our quarterly series to connect you with one another on topics vital to your work; what would you like to see covered on the next call?

Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming
Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement Track in Miami


AJFCA is excited to offer a range of sessions on Volunteer & Young Adult Engagement at our Annual Conference this year, May 3-5.  Sessions open to all conference attendees include:

  • L'Dor V'dor: Making Volunteering a Family Affair
  • From the Top Down: Embracing Volunteer Engagement as an Organization-Wide Strategy
  • Agency Showcase: Engaging Young Adults in the Work of Your Organization

Click here for the full session descriptions.


There will again be two different opportunities to receive subsidized conference rates.

Please read this email in full for all the details and links to apply.

 The deadline for both applications has been extended to Thursday, Feb. 19th.

Important Questions for the Network:


These questions have all been posted to the AJFCA forum for your input, but we're working through some glitches on post notifications and I didn't want you all to miss them.

Does your agency have opportunities which allow families to volunteer together?  If so, please email Jennie ASAP with a brief description of what you offer and/or a link to your programming.  One of the sessions at the 2015 Annual Conference is focused on Engaging Family Volunteers and we would like to be able to share examples from our network.

JFS East Bay is looking for input on software modules used for volunteer sign-up via your website.  Do you have a company you use and like?

Do any of you provide volunteer referral services to agencies outside your own?  

Do you have a creative model of engagement for Bnai Mitzvah students looking for service opportunities? 

Please share your volunteer satisfaction surveys with our network (and check out the articles below!).  Surveys will be shared in the AJFCA Resource Library.  

Go to the AJFCA Volunteer Professional Forum to share your experience today.

(you will need to log in to access the forums - email Jennie for help with your password)

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:
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 2 pm EST

National Mentoring Summit
Janice Heft
Manager, Volunteer Services, Ometz Montreal

Ometz professionals Janice Heft and Linda Mestel attended the 2015 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. This event brings together practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, and youth-serving organizations to explore and advance mentoring's positive impact on individuals and communities.  Join Janice to hear highlights from the sessions she attended and engage in the sharing of best practices with fellow professionals who work with mentoring programs in their agencies.

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.
Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys: Two Perspectives


I was asked recently what types of surveys folks in our network use to gauge volunteer satisfaction.  Here are two different articles delving into what you should consider in creating & evaluating your surveys.  Share your own agency's survey on the forum!


Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys: Ten Ways to Get It Right

Why Do We Love Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys?

Americans' Engagement With Organizations Wanes, Report Says


chronicile of philanthropy A new federal report shows declines in 16 of 20 indicators of civic health, including falling rates of volunteerism and engagement with community organizations and flagging trust in public institutions.  Click here to read the full article by Megan O'Neil in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Findings in Canada seem to be in line with those reported in the US, according to Volunteer Canada.

Do you see these statistics reflected in the work of your agency?

Verified Volunteers Webinars: 
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.

Volunteer Background Checks in 2015: 7 Things You Need to Know

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2 PM EST

Presenter: Tom Klein, Executive Director, Verified Volunteers

Volunteer screening. It can be confusing. How do you know if your background check report is reliable...accurate...complete? How do you know what you need...and what you're actually getting? Let's tackle this issue together. In this webinar you will learn:

What's truly required from a legal perspective
Some very common volunteer background screening misconceptions
How to get your volunteer screening program right this year
Working with Vulnerable Populations

Presented in November 2014 (re-play recorded webinars at your leisure)


Presenter: Rick Braschler, Director of Risk Management, Kanakuk Kamps

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.  

Part 1: How to Spot the Risks
In this first session, you will learn how to identify threats to the vulnerable populations you serve and, at a high level, how you can develop a strategy to protect those populations from potential dangers.

Part 2: How to Manage the Risks
Join us for Part 2 of this valuable 2-part webinar. You'll learn specific tactics and steps to create effective programs and policies that protect vulnerable populations from potential abusers.  

repair header
Black History Month at Repair the World
February is Black History Month - a month dedicated to honoring the many achievements and contributions African American people have made in this country.

All February long, Repair the World will commemorate Black History Month. RTW will be celebrating the great work of organizations around the country working as the leaders of the justice movement - check back to the RTW blog this month for posts and interviews.

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.