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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; local and regional training, statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~March 2009~

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US President Barak Obama and his administration have asked the people of the United States to step up to the challenge of helping move the country forward toward economic health and stability.  I expect that the leaders of countries around the world are doing the same.  In an effort to aid those working with volunteers, trying to find money for a nonprofit, attempting to stabilize a shaky organization, and those wanting to be innovative, Volunteer Today will offer several articles each month with suggestions on how to move forward in times of economic peril.  Ideas from readers to share with others are warmly accepted.  Email any questions or ideas to mba@bmi.net. The entire world is in this economic fix and ideas from Canada to Calcutta can only help.  Share how you are coping and moving forward with engaging volunteers, keeping your job, or raising revenues.


Help is on the way to nonprofit organizations in the stimulus package passed by Congress last month. There are millions of dollars for programs from helping the homeless, to job creation, to aid to arts organizations, recreation and environmental educationand money to the Corporation for National and Community Service--home of AmeriCorps and Vista. Volunteer Today located a helpful Web blog that provides an overview of programs and a guide to richer sources of information. It is a nonprofit blog authored by Dan Griesmann. Visit his site for information that might help your organization and its voluntary programs. http://dongriesmannsnonprofitblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/24-economic-stimulus-programs-for.html

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative, a program designed to provide emergency planning assistance to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States. Expanding on previously existing arts management programs at the Kennedy Center, Arts in Crisis will provide free consulting from both Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser and members of the Kennedy Center's executive staff.

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative is a response to the emergency facing arts organizations throughout the United States. The current economic climate has reduced earned and contributed income, decimated endowments, and has left some organizations struggling for survival. Companies of all sizes, localities, and performing arts disciplines have been affected. The program, open to non-profit 501(c)(3) performing arts organizations, will provide free and confidential counsel in fundraising, building more effective Boards of Trustees, budgeting, marketing, and other areas pertinent to maintaining a vital performing arts organization during a troubled economy.

Companies who would like to participate should visit www.artsincrisis.org and submit an online request. In some instances, answers to simple questions may suffice; in others, more in-depth consultations will be required. Michael Kaiser, along with the heads of the Kennedy Center's development & fundraising, marketing, finance, information technology, and education departments will assist through e-mail, phone calls, and in-person visits to the organization.

Artsincrisis.org will also enable senior arts managers across the United States to volunteer to serve as mentors to other arts organizations. "There are many talented arts administrators around the country, and we encourage them to lend their expertise," said Michael Kaiser. "If all of us work together, we can turn a time of crisis into a time of opportunity."

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Online Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Training Course

         Are you interested in enhancing your skills in engaging and managing volunteers?  Want to study from the comfort of home or your office?  Get college credit or a certificate?  Portland State University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management and Department of Extended Studies offer an online 8-credit program in recruitment, training, leadership, management, evaluation, and recognition for those who manage volunteers or hope to in the future.  For more detailed information visit their Web site.   The next series of classes begins the end of March. Recruiting and Training volunteers are the classes for Spring Quarter. More details are at  Volunteer Engagement and Leadership-ON-LINE

Eastern Washington Training on Engaging Volunteers

Looking for training on engaging and managing volunteers? Live in northerneastern Oregon, northern Idaho, or Eastern Washington? Walla Walla Community College is offering a two day certificate program in the engagement and management of volunteers. Join Nancy Macduff, international trainer and author on volunteerism in an interactive workshop designed to help you improve your work with volunteers. Day One is devoted to recruiting and training; Day Two addresses supervision, evaluation, and recognition of volunteers. You can sign up for both days or just one day. See details below for more information.

Walla Walla Community College

Volunteer Recruitment and Management Series

April 15 and 16, 2009

9:30 a.m - 3:30 p.m.

For more information nancy.kress@wwcc.edu

or Volunteer Today Training page


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         The Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action will hold its 38th annual conference in Cleveland, OH November 19-22, 2009.  They have announced a call for papers, panels, and colloquies.  If you are interested visit the ARNOVA Web site www.arnova.com.  The theme for the conference is Philanthropy in Communities:  Finding Opportunity in Crisis.  Practitioner presentations are welcome at this gathering.  Melissa Heinlein, the columnist for the Volunteer Today “Federal Government Volunteering” page attended the conference in November of 2008.  She wrote about her experience for the December issue of VT, encouraging other practitioners to attend this conference.  You can find the column in archives.  Visit her page for contact information, should you be interested in more information.  You can also email Nancy Macduff, VT editor/writer for more information  mba@bmi.net.  Cleveland managers of volunteers take note.  This is in your backyard.

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