Northwest Meeting Minutes - March 16, 2010 


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Volunteer Management Network
Northwest Illinois Region Minutes
March 16, 2010

In Attendance

  • Elaine Pfluger – LSSI AmeriCorps/VISTA
  • Rick McDonough – Stephenson and Caroll Co. Health
  • Dave Layton – RSVP of E.IA & W. IL
  • Joan Robinson – Volunteer Hospice of Northeast IL
  • Mike Shore – RSVP of Northwest IL
  • Mary Pulliam – Love Inc. of Greater Rockford
  • Doug Hampton – ICCS
  • Greg Gates – Kreider Services
  • Lois Barnhart – Disability Outreach SERVE IL
  • Sabrina Earl – ABC AmeriCorps of SVCC

On Video-conference

Scott Niermann and Scott McFarland, SERVE IL

Scott Niermann

The purpose of the Team meeting is to determine the 2010 goals of the team and to go through the planning documents he sent out.

Volunteer Management Network (VMN) Survey

The VMN Survey was conducted to get regional baseline data about volunteer trends rather than just national information. The survey included 13 responses from the Northwest region. Scott also mentioned the book we received on volunteering authored by Rick Lynch noting that the upcoming 3rd edition can be purchased at a discount by the team members. These should serve as background information for our planning.

Scott also said that one purpose of the leadership team is to provide volunteer managers with information and statistics to support volunteerism in our contacts, and the leaders should help to reenergize volunteering on a broader scale outside our own programs and to build sustainable practices in volunteer programs. VMN was started in 2007 by SERVE IL in conversations about service strategies for solving community problems. Its purpose was to address gaps in nonprofit services and that there was no unified voice for volunteerism statewide. Scott noted that only two colleges in Illinois have volunteer management educational tracks/certificates. He noted that the need for a leadership teams was seen when SERVE Illinois had a funding opportunity but the necessary partners were not lined up. He stated that many more opportunities will arise out of the Serve America Act and there is a need to leverage the over six billion dollars in volunteer hours volunteers serve in Illinois. Another goal is to map the volunteer infrastructure and connect the dots in service. Rick and Mike noted how volunteer resource centers (VRCs) can play a role in this mapping of infrastructure. Ultimately a goal will be to leverage more federal and foundation dollars into volunteer services.

Scott discussed volunteer leaders' roles and said we serve one year terms with approximately one third of leaders rotating off annually. He said we need to also determine how often to meet. At this point everyone talked a little about their roles with volunteers. We discussed how the Illinois Resource Net has helped with grant writing projects in the Quad Cities and that connection came from a earlier VMN presentation. We discussed how a grant being submitted in the Quad Cities to the ICC could be instrumental to coordinated vetting by multiple agencies. Attending members talked about other projects assisted by SERVE Illinois. Lois mentioned an April 30th program on inclusion and transitioning AmeriCorps members into the workforce on completion of their terms of service.

We then discussed the Project Inventory Worksheet with the goal of selecting projects to prioritize Priorities. The group decided on: developing the Aug 5th conference in Dixon, connecting with faith based volunteering and asset mapping in communities. Needs to be addressed included: connecting volunteers and volunteer programs with schools, and background check/vetting/training of volunteers.

Other things mentioned include working with United Ways and volunteer centers on 211 and the volunteer opportunities database with 60,000 opportunities listed. Site aggregates from 17 other sites those sites can be found on the SERVE IL website. We discussed 2010 as the Year of the Engaged Older Adult and connecting SERVE Illinois with other service organizations such as the Moose. Sabrina said she would discuss that with her dad who is involved with the Moose Clubs statewide in IL. We discussed submitting Chicago as a site for the 2011 National Service Conference. Sabrina mentioned service mapping through Sauk Vallye Community College and its affiliates as a possible mapping connections. Rick talked about connecting with disaster agencies and VOADs to track people with special needs in emergencies. This has been mandated by the state. Doug stated that how we approach terminology is important especially in rural area saying "Volunteer management is a big word in small counties." Many times people don't consider themselves a volunteer manager even though that's what they're doing. Mike concurred saying that in smaller nonprofits especially, volunteer managers actually wear many hats. Therefore a need to address these folks using flexible terms was also identified.

Finally we decided that we would like to have leadership team meeting approximately quarterly and to tie them into VMN public meetings if possible or tie them into other events that we are all likely to attend. Scott noted that it was also the leadership teams' duty to set dates for VMN public meetings.

Next Meeting

The team set the next leadership meeting for May 18 at Sauk Valley College at 1 PM following the conference committee meeting at 10:30 at the same location. The VMN public meeting will be in June with date and location to be determined after consulting with Pam Reidenbach at Rockford College on what's best for her to possibly host in Rockford. Elaine will call Pam.


Meeting was adjourned.

Notes submitted by: Dave Layton, RSVP of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois

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