Before I left town last Winter, I asked the RCRV members of the board for input on the future of RCRV because things were changing:
- REACT was closed
- New Location for Weekly Meetings
- New location for Monthly Board Meetings
- Uncertainty of ongoing Rockwell Sponsorship
- Our Membership is aging, with few new members
- Our responsiveness to Volunteer Requests has deteriorated, and is jeopardizing our relationship with some non-profits
- The type of Volunteer Requests has changed over the years, and often do not appeal as much to our technical, constructional and instructional capabilities
- Some of our Members have gravitated to specific Volunteer activities, like SHIIP and WRAP that either satisfy their volunteer desires or limit their ability to take on more activities.
The Executive Board recognizes that we need to address these concerns. The items that need to be addressed include:
- Improving our relationship with and responsiveness to the Non-Profit Organizations
- Reviewing the Vision and Mission statements to perhaps better clarify our capabilities and desires for Volunteering
- Determining the content, frequency, and distribution plans for the Newsletter
- Identifying methods of gaining and retaining members to RCRV
- Review and, if necessary, revising the content and frequency of the Thursday Project meetings
- Updating the database of the abilities and interests of the RCRV membership in order to be able to define more consistent matches to the needs of the non-profits.
- Reviewing and, if appropriate, updating our motto
- Investigating options for classifying our non-profit status, and determining if it makes sense to try to get 501(c)3 status
Concerning the first item- Improving our Relationship with the Non-Profits – one suggestion stood out as being easy to implement and may provide immediate benefits. If we were to assign one of our members to be the primary interface with each of the non-profits, the non-profits would have a constant contact for potential volunteer requests. This concept was fleshed out and culminated in the definition of an Agency Liaison shown below.
RCRV Agency Liaison
The RCRV Agency Liaison is an RCRV member that provides the primary contact between RCRV and a specific non-profit organization. The Agency Liaison would be responsible for discovering and understanding the volunteer needs of the non-profit. The Agency Liaison would be the person the non-profit would contact first with any specific volunteer needs. The Agency Liaison should be familiar with the capabilities and interests of the RCRV members in order to make a reasonable assessment of whether or not RCRV can satisfy the needs. If it appears that RCRV can satisfy the volunteer request, the Agency Liaison would bring any new volunteer requests from their assigned non-profit to RCRV. Ideally, the Agency Liaison would personally contact specific RCRV members to secure commitments to satisfy the needs of the non-profit request. The Agency Liaison does not have the responsibility to perform the work, but could certainly be part of the team that completes the task. The Agency Liaison would be the informal “Program Manager” to make sure the RCRV members assigned to the task complete it according to the needs of the non-profit. The Agency Liaison would also provide appropriate status reports at the RCRV Project Meeting. An Agency Liaison may be associated with one or more non-profit organizations.
The Executive Board identified the first group of non-profit organizations to have an Agency Liaison assigned to them as shown in the chart below:
RCRV Agency Liaison
|Laurie Mitchell||Ageing Services||Jim Spencer|
|College Community Schools||
|Ann Griffin||Grant Wood AEA||Jim Green|
|Jessica Link||Cedar Rapids Public Library||Dave Knuth|
|Wayne Clayton||Options of Linn County||Phil White|
|Anna Ronnebaum||Horizons/NTS||Keith Sutherland|
|Angie Ehle||WRAP||Terry Schmidt|
|Karla Terry||Linn Mar Schools||Jim Green|
|Stephanie Robinson||Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity||Bob Pierce|
|Unassigned||Marion Food Pantry||Jim Whittaker|
|Norah Hammond||Gems of Hope||Unassigned|
|Don Tyne||Linn County Veterans Affairs||Judy Wirth|
This concept was presented at the April 20, 2016 board meeting, where it was moved, seconded and approved for adoption. As we gain experience with how this process works to improve our relationship with and responsiveness to our non-profit organization, this list will most likely grow. This is Change #1 to RCRV in 2016. Watch this Newsletter for additional changes in the coming year.
You can send your comments and/or suggestions to: