One of the most valuable resources of a community is its volunteers helping to sustain programs that enrich the lives of residents. To harness that energy, the North Country Regional Volunteer Center (NCVC) will host an educational event for organizations to learn how to reach potential volunteers through an online data base on Aug. 29.
NCVC, operated by the United Way of the Adirondack Region (UWAR), will host the training event at the Plattsburgh City Library, 19 Oak Street, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the training, participants will learn how to create organizational profiles that illustrate the work of the organization and the desires of its volunteers, said UWAR Director of Development, Kathy Snow.
During the event, officials of NCVC will be shown how their website can be used as a tool for recruiting volunteers. The NCVC website, www.northcountryvolunteer.org, was launched in June 2012. The NCVC and the website were started thanks to a grant awarded by the State Commission on National Community Service three years ago, Snow said.
The online volunteer resource center serves Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.
Snow said the website is a mutually beneficial tool for organizations in need of help and residents looking for a place to help their community. The site can match people with a passion for helping to where they can do the most good.
“Volunteers can go to the site and type into the keywords, ‘Driver,’ ‘Animals,’ ‘Youth’ or ‘Elderly’ and be matched with an organization doing something they are passionate about and where they can really help,” said Snow. “It’s really good to give back, a lot of people generally don’t have the money they might want to give but time is free and can be the most valuable gift someone can offer.”
The site also registers volunteers and in the session the groups will be shown how to log their volunteer’s hours to be run in reports.
“The grant program was originally launched after a report came out that New York ranked 51st (last) in volunteerism, I don’t think that could be true based on our community’s volunteer numbers,” Snow said. “Through the data base we can teach the different groups how to keep track of the number of volunteers and volunteer hours they’ve accumulated, which can help them when applying for grants.”
During the session, guests will have the opportunity to get step-by-step instructions using the library’s computers to register on the website.
“Our website has been up a year, we are going to show the people who come to the event how to create their online profile and explain their volunteer needs in a creative way,” said Snow. “We’re like a matchmaker for agencies that are in desperate need and volunteers that want to help.”
The training event is open to community organizations, agencies, potential volunteers and veteran volunteers and municipalities. Included in the training will be a focus on recruitment, orienting, supporting, evaluating and saluting (ROSES) volunteers.
Snow said with state budget cuts many not-for-profits are having to do more work with less people.
“Volunteers are very valuable, especially now,” Snow said. “These agencies need help and people can find something matching their passions and values on the site.”
There will be a free lunch served while discussing the volunteer data base and volunteer recruitment strategies.
Those interested in participating in the program are asked to register for the training by Aug. 26, by calling the UWAR at 563-0028 or email Kathy Snow (Kathy@unitedwayadk.org).