December 2015

I encourage you not to delay your reading of this issue!  I've tried to really limit what I've included so you can zero in on a couple things in particular:

1. Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 AJFCA/Repair the World Young Ambassador Program.  We've made significant changes to the program, so please read below about this year-long opportunity to receive support in engaging you
ng adults in the work of your agency. 

2. Repair the World has launched information about their National Campaign to "Act for Racial Justice on MLK Weekend 2016."  Think about how you might host volunteers at your own agency January 15-18, partner with another community organization as a means of outreach to younger volunteers, or even take the day off to personally volunteer with fellow community members! Depending on what you end up doing - there may be funds available to help you participate. (Participation in this campaign is a pre-requisite to applying for the Ambassador Program) 
Director of Volunteer Strategy 
Apply Now for AJFCA/Repair the World's Ambassador Program
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This year AJFCA is thrilled to once again partner with Repair the World to present this opportunity to increase the engagement of young adults (people in their 20s & 30s) in your agency, some of whom may go on to become donors and board members, thereby increasing the sustainability of your organization.

As part of the application process, your agency must select two young adult volunteers currently on your agency's radar to participate in the creation of an initiative to recruit their peers to engage with your agency.  This team of two volunteers and you, their professional counterpart, will be given coaching and materials to support you in achieving set goals, will participate in monthly conference calls with the other teams, and will receive ongoing technical support from our Director of Volunteer Strategy to ensure program success.  The Ambassador program is a year-long commitment, involving participation in Repair the World's National Campaigns described in the article below.

If accepted as an Ambassador community, all three participants will receive free registration for the 2016 AJFCA Annual Conference May 15-17 in San Diego.  Upon completion of certain benchmarks in the 2nd half of the year, communities will receive a small program grant (up to $500) to help fund their engagement initiative moving forward.

  • The 1 Professional Applicant should be from an AJFCA member agency in good standing
  • The 2 Volunteer Applicants should be between the ages of 21 and 39
  • As part of the application process, your agency must host at least one event as part of Repair the World's MLK Weekend Campaign
  • All 3 applicants must be able to attend the 2016 AJFCA conference in full (approx. 7 pm May 14 - noon May 17. Accommodations may be made for those who observe Shabbat; speak to Jennie if this is a concern)
  • Please read this entire PDF document before applying for the program
  • Application must be submitted by 3 pm EST on Friday, January 22nd.
Click here to apply for the 2016 Young Adult Ambassador Program

If you have any questions, please be in touch with Jennie Gates Beckman directly.

Applicants will be sent a confirmation email to verify your application has been received. If you do not receive this email please assume your application is not complete.  
There are limited slots in this program. AJFCA will review all submissions and respond to each applicant no later than January 29th.  Professionals and/or volunteers who apply but are not accepted are welcome to join us in San Diego and participate in Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement track sessions which are open to all conference-goers, provided they are able to secure their own funding.
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In the Fight for Racial Equality, Your Voice is Important. Amplify It. Repair the World invites you to join the conversation and take action on one of today's most pressing national issues this MLK Weekend: Racial Justice. Racial Justice means addressing disparity in opportunity and treatment that results from someone's race, and working to eliminate structural, institutional and social barriers that limit opportunities and choices based on race.

There are four ways to get involved:
  1. Join the conversation: Use #AmplifyVoices on social media and follow us @RepairTheWorld
  2. Create a Project:  Become a Repair the World movement leader and create your own volunteer project.
  3. Volunteer: Find a  project near you and participate!
  4. Host a Turn the Tables Dinner: We believe that meaningful discussion can be the catalyst that leads to action. Sign up to host a  Turn the Tables shabbat dinner - and hold these important conversations! - a project of Repair the World nourished by OneTable* and  Gather.

    *OneTable supports Hosts with Nourishment credit valued at up to $150 per dinner, meant to nourish you and your guests, and help elevate your Shabbat dinner experience.
Looking for more details on how a Volunteer Professional at an AJFCA member agency might get in on exciting national initiatives like this one?  
Join AJFCA's Volunteer Professional Facebook Group Today! 
We've created this group to replace the member forums, which for years served as a platform for vibrant discussion and the exchange of information amongst AJFCA member agency professionals. As a closed group, only members will be able to view the contents of participant posts. The group will also feature a section for photos and files, to which anyone can upload resources to share.  There is also a search function which will lead to easy access to all information accumulated. To join the Volunteer Professionals group, use this link. More groups have been launched for other areas of focus; please reach out to Jennie if there is a specific group you'd like to see created.
2016 AJFCA Annual Conference May 15-17, 2016

Our next AJFCA Annual Conference will take place in San Diego, CA May 15-17, 2016. 
The Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement track will focus on real life experiences and lessons learned from agencies who have pursued meaningful volunteer and/or young adult engagement; you don't want to miss this incredible professional development opportunity!

Confirmed sessions include:
  • Attracting & Retaining Baby Boomer & Highly Skilled Volunteer Talent
  • Connect with Next Gen Leaders through Philanthropy, Service, and Leadership Development
  • Service Enterprise: How to Integrate Volunteer Engagement into Your Agency's  Strategic Plan & Use Service to Better Deliver on Your Social Mission
The following topics are being woven into other sessions:
  • Connecting Jewish Values with Volunteer Services
  • Using a Scavenger Hunt to Engage the Community in Your Food Pantry
  • How to Maximize Volunteer Opportunities in the Food Pantry Setting

Feel free to call Jennie (410-843-7449) if you have questions about attending the conference.
2016 Service Unites National Conference on Volunteering Announced 
Several AJFCA member agencies came together in Houston this past October for the National Conference on Volunteering & Service convened by Points of Light.  Repair the World organized a Jewish Community Delegation, including a summit as well as an informal dinner, making it that much easier to network with professional peers. To get a taste of the plenary sessions at this conference, check out the Points of Light YouTube channel.  The 2016 Conference will take place in Detroit, MI June 27-29, 2016. 
Is Your Organization "Millennial Friendly"? 

We shared this article in the weekly AJFCA newsletter, but I thought it was worth citing here as well in case you missed it.  The author shares 18 tips and tricks for nonprofits on this much-talked-about generation.

Click here to read the full article in EJewishPhilanthropy.
Resources from Verified Volunteers 
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 Screening Trends & Best Practices 2016: An Infographic
Curious how you and your organization stack up when it comes to screening volunteers? We surveyed over 350 volunteer organizations about their latest background screening practices, challenges, and concerns. Here's just some of what they had to say - in infographic format.
AJFCA Member Agency Survey - Due Thursday, December 31st
Have you been asked to provide your volunteer numbers for your agency to respond to our biennial comprehensive member agency survey?  We've had a great response thus far and want to ensure the highest response rate possible! If you aren't sure if your agency has responded to the survey, we urge you to check with your Executive Team prior to the December 31st deadline (the survey link has been sent to your Executive).
We have used the information collected from our 2013 survey many times over in response to questions asked by fellow members, partners and funders. We are certain that the information we collect in this survey will be highly useful to our network in the coming years in response to requests for information and in messaging to broader audiences about the critical and impactful work of our network of member agencies.
If you have any questions, please email  Lisa Budlow.
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If this is your first time receiving this newsletter - check out our Volunteer Engagement homepage for an archive of past Volunteer E-Newsletters.