March 2018 Workshop Recap

Lessons from Faith Communities on Engaging and Empowering Volunteers

Martha Frickert and Steve Booth gave an inspiring and informative talk titled Lessons from Faith Communities on Engaging and Empowering Volunteers. The presentation focused on three key points: Understanding the Faith Community; Identifying and Cultivating Volunteers; and Strategies for Recruiting Volunteers.

Steve and Martha shared the importance of understanding faith communities, and the language they use. They advised that congregations are emotional systems. Many of us were introduced to Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory, and emotional triangles. To cultivate leadership, it is important to understand the emotional “call” of your volunteer. Why are they volunteering? What do they hope to get out of the experience? Steve Booth explained that when reaching out to churches as a source for volunteers, it is important to know the congregation’s collective emotional “call”. That “call” is influenced by their local church culture. This includes their faith tradition, the history of their church, and their decision-making process. What is important to the church? What are their informing beliefs, principles and values? What is their mission/purpose? He stressed the importance of understanding their language. Steve went on to explain understanding what informs their faith helps to understand their “calling”, and how best to pair it with your corporate “calling” and mission.

Steve suggested that knowing what informs an individual’s faith is important for identifying and cultivating volunteers. Martha elaborated on this thinking by suggesting conversation with volunteers about which gifts (faith speak) they bring, or which skills, talents or interests (corporate speak) they have helps both parties find the best fit, or use of volunteers.

To best recruit volunteers from churches it is important the organization’s mission lines up with church’s mission. It was suggested that the best way to find churches with potential volunteers was to locate a volunteer in your organization who would champion your organization within their church. If they believe in your cause, and already volunteer, they will be a powerful advocate on your behalf.

Steve and Martha concluded their presentation by advising churches can also be a source of funding. Many larger churches have Endowment Funds, from which they draw scholarships or grant funding. They are usually smaller amounts, but have fewer restrictions.

Steve closed with dialogue suggestions to spark conversation at our April meeting. They are:

  1. Bring a faith community’s mission or purpose statement.
  2. Think of one or two faith communities that might be complimentary partners with your nonprofit.
  3. Who might be a “champion” to approach in those faith communities?

Here is a link to their presentation.

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March 2018 GRAVA Workshop – Lessons from Faith Communities on Engaging and Empowering Volunteers

March 1, 2018;
First Baptist Church
2709 Monument Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220

Location & Parking: We will meet at First Baptist Church (FBC-Richmond) which is located at Monument and Boulevard. Parking is available at Robinson and Monument in the church parking lot. Then a short walk through the alley, cross Mulberry Street, and in the door with the awning. I believe we will be in Suite 220 on the 2nd floor. There is an info booth just inside which can offer directions.

Presenters: Martha J. Frickert, Founding Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Chesterfield (retired) and Ordained Elder, Salisbury Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Dr. Steve Booth, associate pastor, Christian Formation, Richmond’s First Baptist Church.

Drawing from more than 40 years of serving and leading with volunteers in multiple faith communities, Martha and Steve’s presentation will offer insights and strategies gleaned over their extensive experience as faith community leaders of volunteers. The presentation will highlight the uniqueness of a faith community context, how volunteers are identified and cultivated for mission and service, and strategies for recruiting volunteers from faith communities.

Martha J. Frickert was the founding executive director for Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chesterfield (retired), a non-profit public/private partnership serving at-risk youth and their families. She is skilled in strategic planning, program and board development, operations, funding, expansion, and evaluation, and has secured several awards for organizations with which she is affiliated. She is a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and has served on several nonprofit organizations in leadership roles. She currently serves on the YMCA Richmond Board of Directors, Salisbury Presbyterian Church Foundation Board of Directors, St. Francis Hospital Board, and Brandermill Rotary Club. She is an ordained elder at Salisbury Presbyterian Church and has led their Generosity Campaign. She is knowledgeable in establishing and maintaining linkages with national programs, state and local human services agencies plus the private sector including businesses, citizens, and volunteers developing 70+ partnerships within the business community as well as local/state government agencies

As the Associate Pastor for Christian Formation, Dr. Steve Booth leads a group of gifted
ministers and lay leaders in facilitating opportunities for learning, contemplation, and service designed to address and facilitate the formation of the whole person: head, heart, and hands. He provides leadership and direction in the areas of Bible study; discipleship, small groups; spiritual direction, individual and group retreats, new member orientation and assimilation, and the equipping of ministry leaders.

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HandsOn Merges into the Community Foundation

Here is the official notice about HandsOn merging into the Community Foundation!  Also job posting for the Civic Engagement Director is linked at the bottom:

Recognizing civic engagement and community participation are an essential part of building a regional culture of philanthropy, The Community Foundation and HandsOn Greater Richmond have joined forces. The integration is a natural next step, after sharing a back office and common goals since HandsOn began in 2007.

The Community Foundation and HandsOn are both deeply invested in supporting community change initiatives that make Richmond a better place. We work collaboratively across sectors and with generous networks to encourage gifts of time, talent and financial resources to shape and advance regional solutions. Together, we can offer customized opportunities that allow individuals, families and teams to learn, engage and connect in ways that are both meaningful and effective.

Vanessa Diamond, Co-founder of HandsOn Greater Richmond, assumes a new role as Senior Vice President of Civic Innovations. Her team will be responsible for developing, testing and scaling new models for learning, service and philanthropy to create on-ramps for greater engagement and participation. This work will be done in close coordination with colleagues across the organization and the region to ensure a seamless experience for all valued partners. Our goal is to build an inclusive and well-informed network through the active input and involvement from donors, volunteers and nonprofit partners, as well as the business community, faith organizations and localities.


Civic Engagement Director

Provides daily oversight to Community Foundation civic engagement programs including HandsOn Greater Richmond’s volunteer center operations This includes the creation and management of volunteer opportunities and civic education and engagement programs. This is a full-time, exempt position.

Duties include but are not limited to:
• Serves on Civic Innovations team with responsibility for strategic planning for and evaluation of volunteer and community service programs and initiatives.
• Oversees program operational budget for fiscal responsibility and grant compliance.
• Oversees volunteer center and program operating procedures, which comply with Community Foundation Board policy, HandsOn Network/ Points of Light Institute Standards, and all legal requirements.
• Oversees strategy, with Community Foundation staff and volunteer leadership, and supports models for learning, service and philanthropy (giving circles, civic learning cohorts etc)
• Develops and supports program advisory committee and other committees and task forces.
• Oversees implementation of regional volunteerism and civic engagement initiatives.
• Supports partnership for program implementation and funding with local corporations and businesses to engage in employee volunteer programs.
• Works with staff team to develop capacity-building trainings and effective practice workshops for nonprofit agencies in volunteer management.
• Works collaboratively with other community volunteer programs and with state and national volunteer program organizations.
• Participate in activities of the civic engagement field to enhance Community Foundation operations and the volunteer center, as well as those of the field.

Full Posting Here:

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GRAVA Workshop February 2018

February Workshop “Engaging Youth & Young Professionals in your Nonprofit”: February 1, 2018

We got snowed out for GRAVA’s first workshop of the year, but we are combining it with February’s Roundtable:

We will meet on Thursday, February 1 at the Science Museum of Virginia located at 2500 W Broad St beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. 

Whitney Guthrie, Director of Community Engagement for Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity will be our speaker.  We will focus on the topic of Engaging Youth & Young Professionals in your Non-Profit.  Come learn from one of our own GRAVA members and winner of the 2017 Volunteer Engagement Professional of the Year Award.

Whitney started her career in volunteer engagement with AmeriCorps, where she worked as their Volunteer Engagement Coordinator and helped to build volunteer programs for local nonprofits funded through United Way.  Two standout programs she worked to develop and grow are coordinating two large-scale Day of Caring volunteer days in York County and developing a weatherization program for the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

Five years ago, Whitney came to Richmond Habitat.  Since that time she has engaged over 10,000 volunteers, developed youth volunteer programs, started our Global Village volunteer abroad program and worked to engage different segments of the population in the mission of Habitat for Humanity, including faith groups, women, young professionals and more.

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CVA Study Group

Pursuing your CVA this year? You may want to consider the support and accountability offered by a CVA study group!

Make It Happen Now is offering a CVA study group from August 9 – October 4 featuring weekly virtual study sessions with colleagues from different types of volunteer settings who are CVA candidates taking the 2017 exam.

Weekly 90-minute sessions will be held from 4-5:30 PM. Learning methods will include conference calls, webinars, case study discussions, practice quizzes, and the opportunity to participate in a private Facebook Group for online discussion.

Download the Study Group flyer for more information on signups, pricing, and testimonials from past study group members.


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2017 Annual Conference Materials

Thank you for your time and energy during our 2017 Annual Conference, featuring Beth Steinhorn, President of the JFFixler Group! We hope you found the day both practical and inspirational. As promised, Beth has shared her slides. Click here to access the deck.

Fixler Deck.PNG

As Beth mentioned, additional resources are also available on her website: Please take a few minutes to check out the tools, they will help you transition from theory to practice as you put your pilot into action.

Here are direct links to the printable resources we used in our session:

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

GRAVA conference

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May 2017 Program Recap

At our May meeting, we learned from our GRAVA member Marcos Martinez, Volunteer Coordinator at Higher Achievement, who wowed us with his innovative presentation discussing his hands on experience to streamline the volunteer data collection process to improve the volunteer program for Higher Achievement.

Marcos began with a brief Introduction and History of their efforts to get feedback from the volunteer mentors about their weekly experience. The challenges included a lengthy feedback form requested to be completed weekly, a lot of incomplete surveys, and too many variables to measure effectively.

He walked us through the Activities he pursued to address the challenges, and how he approached reducing the variables by connecting each question to the organization’s mission and the mentor’s role, to distill 20 questions down to just six.

Finally, Marcos presented the Action undertaken to use Excel to track the now streamlined feedback form, ongoing plans to leverage the data to improve volunteer satisfaction and retention, and future plans to further leverage technology and the survey data.

Marcos relied on these tools which he highly recommends:  Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and the Youtube series: Excel Is Fun.

Marcos’ excellent presentation can be found here.

(If you are not familiar with viewing a Prezi presentation, click the arrows in the black band near the bottom of your screen to navigate through the presentation, or skip around to sections of interest.)

Many thanks to LaMont Sledge and Saint Paul’s Baptist Church, Creighton Campus, for so graciously hosting us in one of their classrooms on their beautiful campus!

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