Workshops to look forward to at VAN Conference!

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VAN CONFERENCE 2014 – June 27 at the Tukwila Community Center, 12424 – 42nd Ave S., Tukwila, WA 98168.

Workshop Descriptions:

Changing Perspective: Engaging New Volunteers by Changing Your Thinking
Amy Faulkner of the World is Fun (Best Practices track)
Volunteer Managers want to engage new volunteers into their organization but we often focus more on the needs of the organization over true volunteer engagement. By shifting the paradigm for how we work with and attract volunteers we can ensure long lasting relationships with new volunteers. You will get the opportunity to put this new perspective into use through scenarios and discussion.

Increasing organizational cultural fluency to support a diverse workforce with volunteers and staff (Advanced level track)
By Patrick Tefft, CVA of City of Kirkland & Hla Yin Yin Waing of the Center for Ethical Leadership
This workshop will explore the forward-looking approach of responding to diverse customers and volunteers through a pro-social-justice lens. Given that institutions shape the realities of those with whom they interact, an organization may need to intentionally invest in creating institutional change. We will examine requisite and foundational components of successful social justice initiatives. Participants will learn factors for assessing organizational readiness and strategies to enhance staff and volunteer cultural fluency.

Visualize Success: Breaking through Barriers to Achieve Your Mission (both tracks)
By Carol Ryan of Carol Ryan Consulting
Learn powerful techniques for making organizational–and personal–vision and mission statements come alive. You will hone your vision statement to break through barriers impeding your progress. You will leave the workshop with a vision board and exercises for visualizing and capturing inspiration that fuels action and effective change. Your thoughts and vision are powerful agents of change! (A system also used by the Seahawks!)

Playing Well Together: Creating a Supportive Volunteer Culture (both tracks)
By Marjorie Trachtman of the Bellevue Police Dept.
The most effective volunteer programs function as an embedded part of their organization’s culture. This workshop examines the characteristics of work environments that support volunteer engagement and the things that volunteer managers can do to build trust, support and investment in the program among executive leadership and paid staff.

Measuring Volunteer Outcomes by Rick Lynch of Lynch Associates (Advanced track)
One of the reasons volunteer programs are undervalued is that they do not measure the volunteer impact. Most programs can tell you the hours volunteers put in and many can tell you the dollar value of those hours, but they are too often at a loss to describe what was accomplished through those hours. In this session, participants will learn how to define the desired outcomes of the volunteer program. They will then learn the two key steps to measuring those outcomes. In the session, participants will apply the information to their own programs.

Skills Based Volunteering- A Conversation About the Opportunities and Challenges for Nonprofits and For Profit Organizations by Louis Mendoza of United Way with members from the Corporate Volunteer Council. (Advanced track)
The engagement of skills based volunteers reaches across the volunteer ecosystem and touches both nonprofits and for profits. Finding ways to effectively utilize this growing group of volunteers will lead to an increase in volunteers and positively impact nonprofit organizations and the communities they serve. Members of the Corporate Volunteer Council of the Greater Puget Sound will be in attendance to add to the for profit perspective.

Gaining Top Management Support for volunteer programs by Rick Lynch of Lynch Associates (Advanced Track)
While most executive directors will say they support the volunteer program (often saying it is the life blood of the organization), their actions often indicate that it is less important than other, staff-driven activities. Salaries for Volunteer Program Managers are usually lower than other management personnel, budgets for the volunteer program (if there is one at all) are inadequate, and volunteers are often treated as outsiders rather than as equal members of the team. In this workshop, participants will explore six strategies Volunteer Program Managers can use to enhance executive support of the volunteer program.

Professionalizing Volunteer Management by Nikki Russell, CVA and Wendi Lee MacLeod, CVA
Nikki and Wendi share why they went for their CVA (Certificate in Volunteer Administration) and how the process works. You may feel alone in your struggle to become accepted as a professional in your organization, but there are steps you can take to be taken seriously. Come and learn from these professionals.

Aligning Service with Strategy by Nikki Russell, CVA of United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County
Creating value in a volunteer program goes beyond counting hours. Strategically aligning service yields results that launches volunteerism into a highly valued partnership within an organization and connects people to service and innovation.

Youth Engagement by Amy Franklin of United Way of Snohomish County (All tracks)
Management of youth volunteers goes far beyond recruitment. Work on strategies for engaging youth volunteers effectively, retaining them, and incorporating them into your organizational leadership. Example tools will be provided, such as position descriptions, activities/curriculum, and program applications.

Conversation Cafe: Share best practices and brainstorm solutions to your most vexing volunteer management issues in small groups of your peers. We’ll take the top volunteer issues and problems identified in a poll pre-conference and break into table groups to work through them in two, 30-minute segments. This is a great way to apply what you learned during conference sessions to real-world challenges.

Thank you to our sponsors: United Way of King County and United Way of Snohomish County!

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Lisa Yeager has more than 15 years experience in Volunteer Management. She has lead volunteers at the Bellevue Art Museum, WACAP, Hopelink, Encompass, Autism Speaks (Walk Now for Autism), and the Sno-valley Senior Center. She has won the DuFort Award for Volunteer Management, and Program Manager of the Year in 2000. She is currently Treasurer and conference chair for VAN.