Stepping Up: Take Your Volunteer Program to the Next Level

Volunteers play an important role providing critical services in the Aging Network. According to n4a’s bi-annual survey of AAAs, nearly all of them involve at least 75 volunteers and many involve more than 250. In the just released Volunteering and Civic Life in America, it was reported that more than 25% of Baby Boomers volunteered last year—that’s 19 million people!  
Is your aging unit doing everything it can to take advantage of the skills and experience that exists in your community?  Are you providing meaningful work to older volunteers that will decrease the risk of social isolation and enhance their well-being?  Make volunteer engagement a strategic choice by participating in a six-week program of focused assistance.  Whether you have an established program that you’re ready to take to the next level or want to strengthen the management of a less formalized program, join colleagues from around the country who are ready to step it up!

"Stepping Up" Application  Applications should be returned to  
Program Goals:

  • Strengthen the capacity of your aging unit to engage older volunteers in meaningful service
  • Set goals and take the first steps that will bring focus and energy to sustaining volunteer engagement over time
  • Be part of a peer learning community for ongoing support and inspiration
During this six-week program, you will receive focused support and assistance as you develop and begin to implement activities that will increase the number of older volunteers.  At the end of the program, you will begin to recruit volunteers or engage volunteers in new ways depending on your unique needs.  Along the way, you will work closely with other staff and/or volunteers to create a shared vision for your volunteer program and implement steps that will ensure its long-term success.
What you get:
  • Four interactive, one-hour webinar sessions that will provide tools and tips
  • Peer learning, networking, and resource sharing so you benefit from the experience of others
  • Assignments to help you apply what you learn and stay on track
  • Four hours of tailored consulting assistance to ensure you get the support you want

Who Should Apply?
This program is designed for program staff involved with volunteers, whether they are the designated volunteer coordinator/manager or not.  It is for those who view volunteer engagement as an important strategy for meeting service demands and building capacity even if they don’t yet have a fully structured or fully staffed program.  Participants should have some familiarity with the basics of volunteer management, and are ready to take their current work with volunteers to the next level. In return for the assistance, you agree to attend all four webinars and to participate fully, to complete short assignments each week, and to implement or begin to implement an action plan to recruit volunteers and strengthen your volunteer engagement.  The program requires approximately 2 hours of time per week.  To increase the likelihood of success, we recommend a two or three-person team comprised of staff, or staff and volunteers.
Apply early as space is limited!

Draft Program Outline:
The outline may change based on the needs of the participants.  Webinars will conclude with an assignment and each participating aging unit will receive up to four hours of consulting assistance in support of their action steps.
By March 3:        Complete self-assessment and return to Aging Network Volunteer Resource Center
                                Read article “The New Volunteer Manager’s Toolkit”
March 7:              Webinar #1—
                                Introductions and program overview
                                Results of self-assessment
                                Volunteer program logic model
March 14:            Webinar #2—
                                Program structure and processes
March 21:            Webinar #3—
                                Leadership roles for implementation
                                Assignment #3: Reading or video on recruitment
March 28:            No webinar - Continue assignment and next steps
                                Individual check-in calls
April 5:                  Webinar #4 (small groups) –
                                Open space topics (TBD)                                              
                                Peer support clinic
April 12:                Webinar #5—
                                Assessing progress and next steps