February 10 marked the last of our series of Networking and Information Sessions and the word on the street is that the conversations were great. Our Outreach Manager, Patrice, came back from each one more energized and excited about getting to know new people and learning more about local nonprofits and community needs. The final one, held at the Silver Spring office of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations brought out 20 people! It’s pretty clear that nonprofit professionals around Maryland are looking for an outlet and a way to engage with peers. So here’s our pledge: we’re going to keep looking for ways to make this happen. Whether talking about how to engage student volunteers, communicate in rural areas, work with AmeriCorps members, or any number of topics, we have heard straight from you that this kind of conversation is important. We’re going to get to work reflecting on the successes and challenges (mostly not enough time!) of this series of session and see what we can do for the rest of the year. Stay tuned!
Now, though, we’re getting deeper into application acceptance and review for the next partnership year. We’ve already received 10 applications from organizations that are seeking a second year of partnership and we’re hoping to receive many more from new organizations by our deadline on March 25, 2011. If you’re thinking about submitting an application, take a moment to review these tips; there’s no reason for us to hold this secret!
Does your organization meet the basics?
- The organization must have been operational for at least one year.
- The volunteers must be providing direct service in an AmeriCorps issue area. For examples of direct service, click here.
Is there a good fit for the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator program structure?
- Is the community need defined for the organization and for the services volunteers will be providing? Are they linked? For examples of community need statements, click here.
- What will be expected of a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator? Is it realistic and on-target? Is it too much, too soon?
- Are the measurable objectives aligned with the community need and direct service for volunteers?
Finally, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about the future of the volunteer program beyond a VM partnership year. What’s your long-term vision? How will the program be sustained? We’ll talk about this as part of the negotiations after your application is review.
Remember that we see this as a partnership from Day One. So if you have questions as you’re preparing the application, give us a call!