Volunteer Fare  
February 2018

Have you ever thought about applying for AmeriCorps funding only to decide that meeting the 20 member minimum isn't realistic? You're not alone - that scale just doesn't make sense for many of Maine's small communities.

The good news is that now there is the Maine Rural State AmeriCorps program, which provides funding for 2-5 members instead of the 20. Even better news is that there are two webinars coming up THIS Thursday and next Tuesday to introduce the program. See below for more information!

Yours in Service,
The Maine Commission for Community Service

Just in Time for Valentine's Day:
Show Your Volunteers
Some Love!

Adults, youth, business, and nonprofit volunteer programs give a lot to strengthen Maine's communities. Show your appreciation!

Nominations are now being accepted for all categories of Maine's Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism - individual  persons and organizations , as well as the Young and 

Deadline to submit a nomination for individual awards is March 5.

Deadline to submit nominations for Volunteer Rolls of Honor is March 15.

For more information, categories, and requirements visit  www.volunteermaine.org
Increase Your Knowledge

Not just one, but TWO webinars are being held this week and next to i ntroduce the Maine Rural State AmeriCorps  grant program.

AC rural state banner

These grants are designed to be the "right size" for Maine communities. Agencies can propose to have 2-5 AmeriCorps members for 3 years. They provide positions and funding to organizations seeking to develop direct service programs in the following areas of need:
  • Economic Opportunity                                            
  • Education
  • Healthy futures                                                       
  • Public Safety (including Disaster Services)
  • Environmental Stewardship (includes housing)      
  • Veterans Services
  • Capacity Building
Maine Rural AmeriCorps: A right-sized program

Thursday, February 8 at 1:00-2:30pm
Tuesday, February 13 at 9:30-11:00am

Audio Conference Details:
Conference Number: +1 877-455-0244
Conference Code: 420-657-4773

To join the Webinar meeting:
In This Issue
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Ongoing Until Early March
Nominations are now open for all  Governor's Service Awards. Submit nominations for individuals, organizations, and groups!

February 8 + 9
Maine Rural State AmeriCorps Grant Webinars

February 12
The  Winter 2018 
 online course starts.

Deadline to submit VGF Grant Proposals

National Service Day at the Capitol Building in Augusta

Early March
AmeriCorps Grant Opening for Proposals

March 11-17
AmeriCorps Week

April 3
National Service Recognition Day 
organized by CNCS

April 6
MCCS Strategic Planning Vision Conference - FMI email Maryalice Crofton

April 15-21
Volunteer Appreciation Week

April 1, July 1, Nov. 1
Deadlines to apply to be an AmeriCorps NCCC member

Meet The Two Newest MCCS Board Members 

The Maine Commission for Community Service is pleased to announce the two most recent Commissioner appointments made by the Governor to the MCCS board. Both Jamie Logan and Daniel Hinman are representing the State's volunteer community.

A resident of Augusta, Jamie Logan works as a communications consultant with Serra  Public Affairs. In the past, she has worked at the Maine Legislature as a legislative aide and communications director. 

Jamie is a graduate of the Catholic University of America, and before returning home to Maine she served for a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with the Glenmary Home Missioners in Kentucky. 

She currently volunteers with the Kennebec Historical Society and has also volunteered with the Literacy Volunteers of Augusta as a tutor. 

Dan is the Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Eastern Maine overseeing the organization's work with agency partners, volunteerism, and community initiatives. His experience with community service includes a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Cleveland, Ohio. His service position was to combat the foreclosure crisis for community development corporations and other neighborhood groups through data analysis, GIS visualization. 

Prior to joining United Way of Eastern Maine, Dan worked for the United Way of Greater Cleveland as the Director of Income where his work focused on homelessness, workforce development, emergency food, and financial capability programing. 

2018 Volunteer Management Progress Report 

Every year VolunteerPro conducts an international survey to establish benchmarks for the
 volunteer sector and measure trends over time. This year over 1,200 leaders of volunteers from 12 countries participated. There are a number of key characteristics covered, including how volunteer coordinators rate their level of support from coworkers, if the diversity of today's volunteers is aligned with the communities they serve, how job salaries compare across positions and organizations of different sizes, and many more.

Perhaps most illuminating are the trends reflected in the participants' responses when describing their "#1 biggest challenge". Over the past three years respondents have documented consistently that recruitment and respect and reliability as the top two challenges. Do you experience similar obstacles in the work that you conduct? Here are the top six biggest challenges reported this year:
  • Recruitment (31%) - Finding enough volunteers & the right volunteers for specific roles
  • Respect and "Buy-In" (14%) - Lack of executive support /understanding & co-worker
  • resistance to volunteer involvement
  • Retention (13%) - Fulfilling commitments to service & volunteers "aging out"
  • Roles & Matching (10%) - Designing impactful roles & meeting volunteer interests
  • Time (8%) - Splitting time between competing priorities & not enough paid staff
Volunteer retention has risen steadily as a top challenge, climbing seven percentage points over the past three years. This may reinforce what many leaders of volunteers report anecdotally: it may bet getting harder to find and keep volunteers engaged, particularly over longer periods of service. 

To download your own free copy of the 45-page report click here.