April Meeting Takeaways

Data Speaks Workshop

When Katie Campbell is presenting at a GRAVA meeting, you know you’re going to learn a ton and leave ready to take on the world.

Katie shared the results of two recent national research projects with implications for the field of volunteer engagement. The first (conducted by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration) focused on job equity for volunteer engagement professionals and the second (conducted by Verified Volunteers and Volunteer Match) examines volunteer screening trends and how technology will impact our work in the future. You can view the slides here.

Here are some of the members’ takeaways:

  • To test people skills, put recruit with a small group and include some “difficult” people.
  • “Energy and enthusiasm are the tonic that get things done.”
  • VEP’s are highly regarded, but treated differently.
  • Number of skills CEOs think Volunteer Managers need over how they are the first to be let go in a crunch. Volunteer Managers were rated highest in 4 out of 6 skills. “Advocate for your position by framing your impact.”
  • Hiring managers expect a lot from Volunteer Managers without the fiscal compensation.
  • “I love getting access to great websites I wouldn’t find on my own.”
  • “I learned about the “Adverse Action” process.”
  • “Ah-ha! The HR position and the Volunteer Administrator position are closely aligned; there is so much overlap.”
  • It’s great that the intuitive inclination toward structured screening is supported by data and trends! This helps to support the perception of our field as a profession!
  • (4 people commented) The #1 method to retain volunteers through recognition is by giving training and special projects.
  • Volunteer Managers are highly valued, but still the first to be cut at budget time. We are still not advocating well enough for our profession.
  • The acknowledgement from CEOs that there is in fact, a “disconnect”.
  • Use slack (https://slack.com) for volunteers – great data is out there to focus work around! (NOTE: there are other apps like Basecamp that coordinate tasks, texts, communication in one spot)
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April 2019 Workshop – Data Speaks: Two Recent Studies About Our Role and Our Work

April 4, 2019
2999 River Road West
Goochland, VA 23063

Presenter: Presented by Katie Campbell, CVA – Skye Consulting

This session will share the results of 2 recent national research projects with implications for the field of volunteer engagement. The first (conducted by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration) focused on job equity for volunteer engagement professionals – that’s you! The second (conducted by Verified Volunteers and Volunteer Match) examines volunteer screening trends and how technology will impact our work in the future. Come listen to the data, and leave enlightened and inspired to use it!

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GRAVA March 2019 Workshop – Synapse

March 7, 2019
Maymont Park – Garden Hall
1701 Hampton St
Richmond, VA 23220

Presenter: Panel with Keith Reynolds

Keith Reynolds, Co-Founder of Synapse, will be joining us to share the Synapse story and explain how Synapse creates Connections, Collaboration and Contributions all around the Richmond, Charlottesville and Coastal Virginia communities! Joined by several Synapse members and “Hub Leaders”, Keith will tell his personal story of how he came to be in the position to create and build upon the unique vision of Synapse. After Keith shares the Synapse story, several of the Synapse members and leaders will explain the various ways that the Synapse community has impacted their personal and professional lives. Finally, the Synapse panel will provide information about how GRAVA members can experience and explore the Synapse network of “Hubs” by “Hub Hopping” with them in the near future! If you appreciate a good story, you don’t want to miss this “Hopportunity”!

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February Workshop Recap

The February meeting saw what was likely the LARGEST turnout in GRAVA history with almost 65 people in attendance. The meeting was held in the new Community Foundation space in Scott’s Addition and used every single chair available.
To begin the event Vanessa Diamond, Senior Vice President of Community Innovation at the Community Foundation, walked us through the evolution of HandsOn and development of the new Community Innovation department. In addition to going over what is currently available to volunteer administrators in the area Vanessa discussed the future of the website and tools that will be offered.  See this Community Foundation Learning Flyer
for information on classes including the Volunteer Management Training Series.
After Vanessa’s overview Ellen Costlow, Community Engagement Coordinator – Youth Services with Chesterfield County, facilitated roundtable discussions on volunteer appreciation. Members shared what they have done to recognize volunteers throughout the year and during National Volunteer Week. Ellen also introduced “7 Questions to Answer Before Planning Your NVW Campaign” which participants talked through at their tables.
When the group came back together people offered recognition suggestions as well as ideas and reminders about the importance of appreciating our volunteers year-round.  The group also discussed staff appreciation and engagement as well as the opportunity to anonymously survey volunteers about their experiences and even how they’d like to be appreciated.
To wrap up the meeting members took a group photo like PROS.  We look forward to another amazing turnout at Maymont on March 7th!
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GRAVA February 2019 Roundtable – Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

February 7, 2019
Community Foundation for a greater Richmond
3409 W Moore St
Richmond, VA 23230

Presenter: Roundtable led by Ellen Costlow

National Volunteer Week is April 7-13, 2019!
Volunteers keep our organizations moving forward, not just by sharing their time and talents but by opening their hearts. How can we say thank you in a way that truly resonates and expresses our gratitude? Join us for an interactive roundtable discussion on volunteer recognition! Please bring examples of anything you’ve done to recognize volunteers in the past and come ready to share ideas.

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GRAVA January 2019 Workshop – Collective Impact

January 3, 2019
Westminster Canterbury
1600 Westbrook Ave
Richmond, VA 23227

Presenter: Panel led by Kate Bausman

Many of the challenges we face in society and attempt to address in our roles as community members, community service professionals, and policy makers are deeply intertwined with other factors. For example, our access to education impacts our economic stability, which can impact our access to healthy foods, safe housing, and healthcare.

Collective Impact recognizes the connection between different areas of life and understands that a multi-sectoral approach with shared leadership between community members and service providers is needed to address the larger underlying context that lays the foundation for thriving communities and neighbors. Through utilizing the Collective Impact model, resident voices are utilized in decision making, organizations are better able to collaborate, and resources are more effectively utilized. Join us for a panel discussion on Collective Impact initiatives in the Richmond Area.


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November 2018 Workshop Recap

The presenter for our November “Self-Care” program was Suzanne Vinson of Silver Tree Art. Suzanne is a wife, mother, chaplain/minister, author and artist. She encouraged us to close our eyes and breathe as she read an essay, Breathe In, Breathe Out from My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Remen, M.D. Then a poem from her own book, Broken Wide Whole, was read aloud by several members of our group, as we sat in the light dimmed room.

We then were given several choices of small art projects to work on. A popular one was coloring matchsticks from matchbooks with Suzanne’s designs on them, and think about the ways in which we “light up” the world in our roles as volunteer managers.

Suzanne brought buttons, matchboxes, and cards with her whimsical watercolor designs and sayings for members to take home with them, as well as their own handiwork.

St. Joseph’s Villa hosted our event. Members learned a lot about St. Joseph’s Villa, their campus and mission. Tours were offered after the program by Kathy Perun.

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November 2018 Workshop – Self Care Art

November 1, 2018
St. Joseph’s Villa
8000 Brook Rd
Richmond, VA 23227

Presenter: Suzanne Vinson, Silver Tree Art

November is “self-care” month at GRAVA! Our presenter is artist/owner, Suzanne Vinson of Silver Tree Art. Silver Tree Art specializes in soul-care art and retreats that gather folks ’round the table. Our workshop will be a combination of mindfulness practice, artistic creativity, and energy renewal infused with ritual, art, and conversation. Participants will consciously infuse their work with head, heart, and hands, mindfully present to the day.

St. Joseph’s Villa at 8000 Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 23227, will host our November event, in the boardroom of The Administration Building. Parking is available in front. We will meet on November 1, from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Breakfast will be provided.

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October 2018 Roundtable – Policies and Procedures

October 4, 2018
The Women’s Club of Virginia
211 E Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23219

Directions & Parking: The house is located between 2nd and 3rd Streets.  Parking is available in their lot located at the corner of Franklin and 3rd Street in the TWC area.

Presenter: Whitney Guthrie, Director of Community Engagement at Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity

Join us October 4th for a Round Table discussion on “Policies and Procedures “. If your organization has no written Policy & Procedure manual this is a great time to get ideas for creating one. If you feel your existing Policy and Procedure manual could use some updating, bring it for suggestions. Or, if you feel your organization already has a great Policy & Procedure manual, bring it to share ideas and inspiration.

We will meet at The Women’s Club of Virginia (TWC) located at 211 E. Franklin Street. The house is located between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Parking is available in their lot located at the corner of Franklin and 3rd Street in the TWC area. We meet from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Breakfast will be served.

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September 2018 Workshop Recap

Our September presenter Katie Campbell gave an informative talk on “Saying No without Reserve or Regret” at the beautiful Virginia War Memorial. Katie reviewed tactics used by askers to get us to say “yes”. Some of the tactics are flattery, desperation, quilt and trickery. She then discussed why and how to say “no”. She also supplied us with phrases to use in saying “no” such as “I have a previous commitment…”; “We don’t have the resources…”; and “This is beyond the scope of our organization’s mission…”. Katie also suggested some deflection phrases such as “Who else is helping with this…” or “Have you thought about…”.

After a short round table discussion, Katie concluded with when to say “yes”. She stressed askers should have a clearly defined idea of what they were asking of you, and expected outcome. You should have a clear idea of what can be expected in way of resources and support. Only when you feel confident with the mutual agreement should you say “yes”.

Katie concluded with, “If you never say no, what good is your “yes”.

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