Category Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteering for Girl Scouts Can Help You Land A Job

The following is a guest post from Alli Oswandel, longtime Girl Scout volunteer and current AmeriCorps member

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Recently, I was hired for my dream job, a fourth grade teacher in Northern Colorado. A lucky break since the FWB jobs market dried up recently with the economy. I can honestly say I owe it to my time volunteering with Girl Scouts of Colorado. Over the past 5 years, I have had the rewarding experience of volunteering as a Day Camp Director. I’ve made an impact on 100s of girls’ lives offering experiences like archery and canoeing. During the last year as an AmeriCorps Member for Girl Scouts of Colorado I was able to support GSCO’s recruitment of new volunteers as well as offer programs for girls. Not only have I developed the skills for management, organization and enthusiasm to get me ready for my new classroom, but I have also created relationships and connections that led me to my new career.

Check out the article below, which is a study published this summer on the professional benefits of volunteerism. This proves what I always knew to be true – I spend my time volunteering to help others and I get the benefit of professional experience as icing on the cake. It’s a win-win! Do you know anyone looking for a job that could benefit from volunteering with Girl Scouts of Colorado? Send them our way; we’re always looking for great volunteers. You can learn more about volunteering on our website.

Volunteers More Likely to Land Jobs, Study Finds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jun 18, 2013
First-ever federal research finds unemployed individuals who volunteer are 27% more likely to find work than non-volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A groundbreaking new report from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides the most compelling empirical evidence to date establishing an association between volunteering and employment.

The study, “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work?” finds that unemployed individuals who volunteer over the next year have 27 percent higher odds of being employed at the end of the year than non volunteers. The relationship between volunteering and employment holds stable regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or job market conditions.

“Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “This report shows a definitive relationship – volunteers are more likely to be employed a year later than non-volunteers. We know that volunteering can help job seekers develop skills and expand professional contacts, creating a positive impression that can make a big difference in a competitive job market.”

The federal agency used 10 years of data from the Census Bureau and analyzed a nationally representative sample of more than 70,000 individuals 16 years or older who were looking for work. The report examines their volunteer and employment status over two years to determine whether there was a relationship between volunteering and securing a job.

The report’s finding of a 27 percent increase in odds of employment was statistically significant. The association between volunteering and employment remained consistent across each year of the study period and varying unemployment rates, suggesting that volunteering may provide an advantage regardless of economic conditions. Importantly, the relationship was strongest among individuals without a high school diploma (51 percent increase in odds) and individuals who live in rural areas (55 percent increase in odds).

“This research suggests that people with limited skills or social connections – particularly those without a high school education – may see an extra benefit to volunteering as a way to open doors and level the playing field,” said Dr. Christopher Spera, director of evaluation and research at CNCS.

Prior research has shown that volunteering can increase a person’s social connections and professional contacts (social capital) and skills and experiences (human capital), two factors that are positively related to employment outcomes. In addition, some workers may see volunteering as a possible entry route into a new field or organization where they would like to work.

Promoting volunteer service as a pathway for employment and opportunity has been a priority of CNCS. The agency provides vital leadership and support to America’s voluntary sector through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Volunteer Generation Fund, and other programs. Last year, the agency engaged more than five million Americans in service to meet local needs and built the capacity of thousands of nonprofits to more effectively recruit and manage volunteers.

The connection between volunteering and employment has also been promoted by the Department of Labor, which issued policy guidance last year recognizing that volunteering can help expand opportunity for unemployed individuals by enabling them to develop and maintain skills, expand their network of contacts, and enhance their resumes. The guidance encouraged state workforce agencies to promote volunteering by individuals receiving unemployment compensation.

“This research has far-reaching implications for the volunteer sector, for workforce agencies, for policymakers, and for those who are out of work,” Spencer said. “We encourage nonprofits across the country to engage out-of-work Americans as volunteers, and to help them develop skills and contacts and take on leadership roles. For those who are out of work, consider volunteering as one part of your job search strategy. Visit Serve.gov to find volunteer opportunities in your area.”

http://www.nationalservice.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2013/volunteers-more-likely-land-jobs-study-finds

Volunteer Camps & Programs Fact Sheet

On August 14, we had a meeting with a group of very dedicated volunteers from around the state to go through what is required as a volunteer to run a camp (day or overnight) or program (like a one-day boating event!)

This fact sheet is a resource for any volunteer, or staff member working with a volunteer that takes you through the process.

All submissions from camp directors that would like their program in the camp catalog must submit their documents via the Posting Request Form by September 15. This information does not have to include EVERY detail if some are unknown. Postings made after September 15 will not be included in the Camp Catalog, but will be in the Activity Finder.

If you are interested in running a volunteer program at a camp or other outdoor oriented activity for girls, please review the Fact Sheet.

Volunteer Camps & Programs Fact Sheet

Questions? contact Haley Peel, Assistant Outdoor Programs Director haley.peel@gscolorado.org.

Improving the Volunteer Experience at GSCO

We know that the staffing and structural changes discussed in previous posts are difficult changes both for our staff and volunteers. Despite the fact that many of these changes were motivated by our financial limitations, we are dedicated to using our retraction as a motivation to take a fresh look at our systems and processes and create a streamlined system that makes life easier for our volunteers.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce the following changes (effective immediately), designed to help empower our volunteers and help Girl Scouts of Colorado return to our grassroots origins. Our Program team has worked exceptionally hard to design and prepare these changes on a short timeline. I hope that you will agree that, although we know we have additional ground to cover, these changes are giant steps towards improving our support of our most valuable asset, volunteers.

With our new processes, you will find it easier to:

Complete most requests online
We are introducing a new online form tool, through Adobe Forms Central that provides a much improved experience with online forms. All of the new processes below utilize this advanced system and we will continue to update our old forms with this new software.

Set up & change signers on bank accounts
Whenever your group needs to open a new bank account or change the authorized signers, just submit the new Bank Account Authorization Request form online. As long as the new signers have completed the volunteer application process, you’ll receive an email with an authorization letter to take to the bank. We also made it easier to access the guidelines for managing group finances.

Help a girl find a troop
We have made some improvements to our interest form too. As a volunteer, you can send this link to anyone who needs help finding a troop – or you could even fill it out on their behalf, with permission of course. We have dedicated staff Recruitment Specialists and volunteers around the state who work with families to find and start troops for new Girl Scouts.

Plan a group money earning activity
Troop/Group Leaders are approved to coordinate group money earning activities. Written approval for each activity is no longer required. Just follow these group money earning guidelines and we’ll ask you to how it went on your Annual Troop Report next year. If you need help planning a money earning activity or have any questions about the guidelines, contact your Program Support Specialist.

Plan an overnight or extended trip
Volunteers who have taken the required travel training(s) are approved to coordinate overnight trips (1-2 nights, including sleepovers) and extended trips (3 or more nights). Written approval for each trip is no longer required, just submit a simple Overnight & Extended Trip Notification to let us know the basic trip details in case of an emergency situation. We trust that the Trip Advisor will follow the troop travel guidelines. Your Program Support Specialist is available to help if you have any questions or need some advice.

Note: If your overnight or extended trip is at a GSCO property, you don’t need to submit a notification because we’ll have your trip details in your site reservation.

Apply for an Opportunity Grant
Every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout! We have a new Opportunity Grant Application that can be submitted by a parent/guardian or troop volunteer online. Grants are awarded up to 80% and are available for:
• uniforms & books
• camp (day & overnight)
• Council-sponsored programs (events, series, travel)
• adult learning opportunities
• GSUSA destinations

An application is not needed for financial assistance for girl/adult memberships or volunteer background checks. Opportunity Grants are not available for troop-planned travel.

Receive Troop Sponsorship funds
A Troop Sponsorship is a monetary donation of $250 or more that is made payable to Girl Scouts of Colorado with the intention of being transferred to a specific troop/group, per the donor’s request. Internally we made some changes so we can process these requests quickly. If your group ever receives a donation of $250 or more, and the donor needs an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, submit the new Troop Sponsorship Notification online and have the check sent to the Denver Service Center with a note from the donor to designate the gift to your troop.

Your troop may accept monetary donations of any amount directly, but the donor will not receive an acknowledgement letter for their gift – that’s why we provide this service to troops!

Get the Best in Volunteer Training
First, we are removing the cost to volunteers for nearly all adult trainings and reducing the cost for the few that will retain a small fee.

We are also increasing the frequency of trainings. Specifically, Nuts and Bolts, our primary training for new volunteers will be offered at least weekly through our online training platform to help new troop leaders get started right away.

Finally, we are introducing new age-level trainings this fall to help you feel comfortable presenting programming for your specific age group(s).

Find Great Program Resources
We are releasing several new program materials that will help make program planning easier. The Service Unit Event Planning Guide (and program templates) will help you plan your event or camp! Program templates will also soon be online for you to use.

Things are happening in Product Sales!

Product Sales is happy to announce that our team is now complete and “hungry” to serve Girl Scouts of Colorado, its members, volunteers and families. We are very excited to work with you!

(From bottom) Jordan Alvillar (Administrative Support Specialist), Kristina Meredith (Product Sales Specialist), Angel Haxton (Director of Product Sales), debi Metheney (Product Sales Specialist), Kathy Singer (Product Sales Specialist) and Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst)
(From bottom) Jordan Alvillar (Administrative Support Specialist), Shannon Allison (Product Sales Specialist), Angel Haxton (Director of Product Sales), debi Metheny (Product Sales Specialist), Kathy Singer (Product Sales Specialist) and Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst)

In order to serve you more efficiently, we have provided brief staff descriptions for each of us:

Jordan Alvillar, Product Sales Administrative Support Specialist:

Got questions about Cookie Credits, the Fall or Cookie sale, or need additional support from Product Sales? Jordan helps with “tightening up the screws” in our department. She is based out of the Denver office and is very excited to participate in the upcoming Fall and Cookie sale as an official Product Sales staff member!

Contact: jordan.alvillar@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4870.

Shannon Allison, Product Sales Specialist (Denver Metro, Pueblo and Colorado Springs (El Paso County):

Shannon Allison, Product Sales  Representative
Shannon Allison, Product Sales Specialist

Shannon is our brand spankin’ new member in Product Sales! She just moved to Colorado after living and working in South Florida for the Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida! She was the Sales Coordinator and worked with Product Sales and the Girl Scout Shop. Shannon was a Girl Scout herself and is loving the opportunity to work with volunteers and staff to continue to help empower girls to become leaders. She is ready to get started with Girl Scouts of Colorado and we are so happy to have her!

Contact: Shannon.allison@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4839.

Angel Haxton, Director of Product Sales:

After 17 years, Dorothy Gregory retired as the Product Sales Director. We were very fortunate to inherit Angel as the new Product Sales Director after serving on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Product Sales team for 2.5 years. Angel has twelve years of previous Girl Scout experience as the CFO of Girl Scouts of Oklahoma. Something you’ll hear Angel say often is, “I love my job”. She is an enthusiastic leader who is determined to make this years Fall and Cookie sale the best ever.

Contact: angel.haxton@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4819.

debi Metheny, Product Sales Specialist (Northern, Northeastern Colorado and Denver Metro):

debi Metheny was a Membership Specialist for Girl Scouts of Colorado before she came to the Product Sales team. Through her Product Sales Specialist position, she has been able to make strong connections with volunteers and members.

Contact: debi.metheny@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4886.

Kathy Singer, Product Sales Specialist (Western Slope, Southwestern Colorado and Mountain Communities):

Kathy has been on the Product Sales team for 2.5 years. Before that, she was a Service Unit Product Sales volunteer for three service units in Grand Junction on the Western Slope. Kathy has a knack for planning spectacular Top Seller events to honor the Girl Scouts of Colorado who sell more than 750 boxes of cookies!

Contact: kathy.singer@gscolorado.org, (970) 628-8018.

Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst):

Dana had worked for Girl Scouts of Colorado in Registration and Business Systems for eight years before coming to Product Sales. Dana also has experience as a troop and unit volunteer as well as a council trainer. Dana serves as the “technical support” branch of the Product Sales team. She provides extensive technical and customer support for the user side of eBudde and NutE and also assists in inventory management with the Cookie Cupboards around the state.

Are you ready for the Fall Sale and Cookie Sale like us?

We are excited to announce the Fall and Cookie Sale dates below:

Fall Sale 2013:

Sale Dates: September 21, 2013 to October 13, 2013
Order form due to leader by: October 14, 2013
Turn in Money to Leader by: October 14, 2013
Deliver Products to Customers: October 30, 2013 – November 10, 2013

NEW to this year’s Fall Sale! We are now offering Fall Program Credits for this year’s sale, which will work like Cookie Credits! Stay tuned for more details.

Cookie Sale 2014:

Sale Dates: January 26, 2014 – March 2, 2014
Deliveries Start: January 20, 2014
Big Delivery Day: January 25, 2014
Cookies Now! My Sale Boothing: January 26, 2014
Council Booth Sale Starts: February 7, 2014
Cookie Return Date: February 12, 2014 (*You cannot return anything that is non-chocolate after the return date)
Arrival of Awards: April 21, 2014

We will be selling the six most popular varieties
Do-si-Dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils
*Since inventory management has been a big challenge for non-chocolate varieties, we’re asking that you order only what you think you can sell. Non-chocolate varieties cannot be returned this year.
NEW! Personal Booth Sales are a go from day one!
Get creative and think about where girls can arrange their own Booth Sales throughout the entire sale. You still need to get them approved so they can get in eBudde and you’ll get the bonus of public promotions through the Cookie Locator website
and mobile app!
Council contracted sites such as Walmart, Sam’s, Safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons will run Feb. 7– March 2.

Volunteer! Want to be an asset in this year’s Fall Sale or next year’s Cookie Sale? Become a volunteer! All you need to do is fill out a volunteer application and specify if you would like to participate in the Fall or Cookie Sale!

Hungry for updates regarding Fall Sale, Cookie Sale and Product Sales in general? Visit the Product Sales Facebook page!

Thanks for reading! Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to better serve you.

Sincerely,

Product Sales

2013 Cookie Season Wrap Up

Girl Scouts of Colorado thanks you for a great cookie season.

Girl Scouts in Colorado, with the support of their leaders, families and friends, sold 4.19 million packages of Girl Scout Cookies this season! Congratulations to the girls for their success and to the volunteers for guiding girls to discover the 5 Essential Skills: goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

The total sale was down about 5 percent from last year, however there were about 6 percent fewer selling girls, so the per girl average actually increased.

The top seller in the state, Madison Walker of Arvada, sold 4,200 packages of cookies! Fifteen girls sold 2,500 packages of cookies or more across the state. Last year, only seven girls reached that goal.

This year, girls earned $245,000 in Cookie Credits to pay for camp, events, travel, Girl Scout merchandise and more.

As a team, parents, volunteers and staff improved inventory management procedures, which helped to reduce the amount of cookies remaining at the end of the sale by more than half. Thank you for working hard to manage your inventory and meet return deadlines.

We’re looking forward to another great year in 2014.

After 17 years of service to Girl Scouts in Colorado, Dorothy Gregory, former Vice President of Product Sales, has retired. Her product sales leadership has been instrumental in funding the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for generations of girls in Colorado — a priceless contribution! Angel Haxton is the new statewide product sales team leader for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

And check out these great cookie sales pitches done by our 2013 cookie sellers! These girls are learning a lot of business skills through the Girl Scout Cookie Program!

http://youtu.be/G1zMqXnqinM (Colorado Springs, #3810)
http://youtu.be/1YZXloU-R7U (Denver #51435)
http://youtu.be/d8GO7shx0cY (Denver #52316)
http://youtu.be/H1PwS1JXYp8 (Aspen, #53919)
http://youtu.be/s8ZmFBwDb24 (Parker #61292)
http://youtu.be/q4aQb_mwQSs (Denver #51058)

Thank you Girl Scout volunteers!

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This week, we are celebrating our nearly one million Girl Scout volunteers. Everyday, Girl Scout volunteers are providing the environment girls need to pursue their interests and practice the skills that will lead them to be the leaders they want to be, whether that’s an astrophysicist, a CEO, a stay-at-home mom or the President of the United States.

Thank you, volunteers, for changing the world for girls and everyone in it. We couldn’t do it without you!