Friday was a big day for Volunteer Maryland as we answered our door throughout the day and looked in the mail with excitement. Yes, it was the deadline for Service Site applications.
Good news for anyone who missed that deadline: we’ve extended it until April 20. That’s right, you have almost three weeks to put together your application. We are looking for organizations that need help developing or improving a volunteer program – everything from writing position descriptions to recruiting volunteers to evaluating the effectiveness of the volunteer program.
And here’s the thing – we are really into partnership. That’s the big difference between our application and an application for a job or a grant. We’re not looking for reasons to disqualify organizations; we’re looking for reasons to move forward. We don’t want your application to show us the “best side” of your organization; we want to see if there’s a genuine need that we can help meet by working together.
Over the last five years, we’ve accepted 81 percent of the applications we’ve received – and 83 percent of those have gone on to full partnership with the placement of a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. So, if you apply, you have a pretty good shot at success.
What does success look like? That answer is individual to each and every organization we’ve partnered with since 1993. For some, it’s all about getting more volunteers in the door. For others, it’s about developing a volunteer program from scratch. For many, it’s about improving an existing volunteer program by putting solid structures in place, like volunteer position descriptions, policies and procedures, volunteer training and recognition, and program evaluation.
The application gets all of this started. It’s our way of learning more about your organization and your goals. From the moment we read your application, we’re looking to see if we can help you better meet your mission. It takes real partnership – from submitting an application to meeting with us to discuss it further, to working collaboratively to recruit the right Volunteer Maryland Coordinator for your organization and train and supervise him/her over eleven months.
So we’re on the hunt for good partners. If you’re interested in exploring a partnership, let us know! We’re happy to talk with you now to help you decide if applying is right for your organization. Here are some other tools to get started:
- Be part of the 81 percent! This pre-recorded webinar will help you write a successful application.
- This two-page document will give you more information about the partnership, our selection criteria, and more information on “who does what” in the partnership:
- Our web site includes both of the above, plus tip sheets for explaining your community need and understanding direct service. You’ll find our application here as well.
I hope you’ll apply. Who knows? This could be the year for a partnership that helps you have the volunteer program of your dreams!