East Central Meeting Notes - May 11, 2009 


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Illinois Volunteer Management Network – East Central Region
Meeting Notes
May 11, 2009
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

Welcome and Introductions

(Scott Niermann and Linda Bee)

  • Linda Bee: The library opened in October of 2004 and the Museum opened in April of 2005.
  • There are 3 persons in Linda Bee's office, two of them are full-time.
  • Linda discussed the Abraham Lincoln Cook Book. It contains recipes from the Lincolnian era to present. It also contains artifacts and a CD, all compiled by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (ALPLM) volunteers.

Serve Illinois Commission Updates

  • Civic Engagement and building a culture of service. There is a retention problem with volunteers today. Of the volunteers donating their time, up to 1/3 will not return the following year.
  • There is a study under way for the Volunteer Management Network (VMN) discussing trends in research, capacity studies, discussion of formal structures, operating cultures and environments, treating volunteers as colleagues, importance of valuing input from volunteers, policies and procedures in place, job descriptions, organizational changes, establishing an MOU, saying thank you to volunteers, evaluating the projects, and determining whether the staff will feel threatened by volunteers.
  • There was a peak in volunteerism after September 11, 2001 and again after Hurricane Katrina. How do we keep the surge of volunteerism from ebbing and keep it up. At present, it is starting to slip.
  • The Serve America Act is unprecedented in its potential and scope. The Act has been signed by the President in his first 100 days. Congress must now appropriate the funds and then recipients will then determine its use.
  • Scott Niermann suggested we go to the Corporation for National and Community Service to register for one of the locations where they are collecting public input for the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Scott McFarland suggested we give him talking points for the meeting, as he will be attending the hearing in Springfield, MO. He will then take these points and address them at the meeting.
  • New funding will come in blocks and then there will be grant competition from state agencies for dispensation.
  • The Serve America Act includes money for more AmeriCorps positions. We will be going from 70,000 to 88,000 positions next year, nationwide.

Illinois Volunteer Management Network

  • Regarding the Volunteer Management Network (VMN), the regional pages have been added. Niermann related that the Commission is looking to form regional leadership teams for the VMN.
  • East Central Illinois Volunteer Management Conference (ECIVC) will take place on June 11, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois. Martin Cowling is the keynote speaker; there will be 11 workshop sessions on a myriad of subjects regarding volunteerism.
  • The Volunteer Management Survey Project with Dr. Brent Never of UIS is underway. Scott Niermann discussed the baseline survey potentially using Zoomerang or Survey Monkey. Items discussed in the survey are things like volunteer management, nature of the program, position, training, etc. He would like volunteer leaders to please complete the survey when sent.
  • Illinois Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) was mentioned and regarding disaster response and the recent storms in Southern Illinois leaving many people without power until this Thursday, May 14th.
  • If you are interested in serving on a board or commission for the state of Illinois, go to .
  • If you know of a college or university listserv or volunteerism database, contact Beckie Stroud at bstroud@sblhs.org.

Breakout Sessions

  • There are volunteer recognition certificates available on the Serve Illinois site. Recognizing volunteers contributes to retention. It was noted that senators and representatives would like to get out there and participate so feel free to contact them if you would like them to attend any volunteer recognition dinners, etc. If you would like any volunteer Recognition Certificates, contact Scott Niermann.
  • There was a suggestion about creating a workshop at a conference or otherwise about how to navigate sites like volunteer match and others.
  • Pam Folger of Millikin University suggested Social Responsibility Days. Creating policies with employers to allow volunteerism as an acceptable absence from work. She will be instituting these at her university; however, these could be done with all area employers.

– Submitted by Beckie Stroud, AmeriCorps*VISTA, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System of Mattoon, IL.

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