Sarah Ca.

1.) OIC’s mission is “To deliver education and training that enhances continuous personal growth and workforce development while maximizing community collaboration and sustained financial support”. OIC is working to help individuals as well as the community of Carlisle. Their slogan is “Skill-up our workforce” meaning in order to help the workforce, OIC works with individuals to increase their knowledge and skills. To meet these needs OIC has numerous programs to help. Some of these programs include tutoring (languages and math), training for the GED, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and literacy skills. OIC trains employers as well to enhance productivity, reduce errors, improve safety performance, and provide value. OIC also provides support services for the homeless enabling them with basic life skills, employment readiness, and computer training. OIC has volunteers to drive people to appointments, hospitals, or any other place they may need to go. OIC works with people of all ages, gender, race, and employers in Carlisle to improve the community.
2.) My task at OIC was to create a volunteer program that included the program scopes & goals, job descriptions, recruitment plan, training plan (including orientation and a description of the organization), coordination/management/tracking/reporting (tracking the number of hours), and recognition. I worked with Alla to complete this task. At first we felt this would not be very time consuming and could be done easily. However, after learning more about OIC, trying to contact people who worked at OIC and other non-profits in Carlisle, and doing research, we realized our initial thoughts were incorrect. We were able to create a volunteer program that we feel will drastically improve the volunteer system at OIC. We based our program off the volunteer management theory which is a circle consisting of planning, recruitment, orientation/training, supervision/evaluation, and recognition. This diagram shows the volunteer process never ends, but keeps going and going in a circle as long as the non-profit is running. One of the first tasks we completed was creating a list of job descriptions that was used shortly after it was made at a volunteer fair in Carlisle. We also included information about the interview process and firing volunteers.
3.) The most successful way of learning is through hands on experience. Working with the volunteers and employees of OIC I was able to relate a lot of concepts we learned in class to OIC. I saw many problems at OIC that we had learned about in class. From what I saw at OIC, it does not seem their marketing is where it should be. They do market, however, not very well. They seem to have trouble recruiting volunteers, which should be helped through their new volunteer program. OIC needs to market more to the Carlisle community and promote their services. I feel many more people would volunteer if they knew exactly how OIC helps people. OIC has a great cause that in the end benefits the entire community, which is why people should want to volunteer at OIC. OIC has an ideal location in Carlisle, making it easy for volunteer or participants to get to OIC. I also think OIC should improve their accountability and how they evaluate the organization. Alla and I designed a spreadsheet to keep track of volunteers and how much they work, allowing them to evaluate their volunteers better. Overall, working with OIC was an interesting experience because I was able to directly relate what we learned about non-profits in class to an actual non-profit in Carlisle.

1.) For the past two weeks Alla and I have been working on research for our volunteer program. We found some very useful websites and have been utilizing them a lot. We also have been sorting through information we found previously and from our books. We had to decide what to include and what not to include. This was very time consuming as we had to read a lot of information. There is not too much to write about since we have been researching and creating our program. We have not met with Dale in the past two weeks, although we have been in contact via email, but will do so on Thursday to give him our final program.
2.) We felt very overwhelmed for awhile because there is so much information on volunteer programs. We had to decide what we wanted to include in our volunteer program and what we did not. We had to take into consideration that OIC is in Carlisle, PA which is not a large town. We eventually got through all the information, after starting to feel frustrated from the huge amounts of paper/websites we had printed out.
3.) Seeing the enormous amounts of information on how to design a volunteer program and what to include, made us realize how overwhelming a non-profit organization can be. As this was our only task for OIC, we were able to spent the time needed and accomplish it, however, if another volunteer at OIC or an employee were asked to do this, they may not have been able to spend as much time or research as much as was needed to complete this project. This task may have been pushed aside because of the amount of time and effort that was needed to complete it, something I feel happened at OIC.

1.) Last week there was a volunteer fair in Carlisle. The event ran from 1pm-6pm. Dale asked Alla and me to attend the event to see how they recruit volunteers. Alla and I had class till 4:15 so we went over at 4:30. When we arrived there was no one at the OIC table. At this event there were more organizations that potential volunteers walking around. It turned out the people from OIC left because they felt they were not getting anything out of the event and there weren’t a lot of potential volunteers. However, for the event Dale asked us to create a list of volunteer positions. We finally got in touch with the three people Dale asked us to contact and we then created a list of the positions. Alla and I spent a lot of time this past week researching information on volunteer recruitment, recognition, training, and coordination. We searched on the internet for general information, on specific non-profit websites (Red Cross, United Way, CASA), and through our books. We now have a solid list of information for a volunteer program, but we will continue to work on it.
2.) I was quite frustrated when we arrived at the volunteer fair to find no one there. Alla and I took time out of our day to go there and help OIC out and we arrive to find out OIC had al ready left. I was also annoyed because Alla and I had spent quite a bit of time on making a list of volunteer positions and trying to contact the OIC people and then they didn’t end up staying for very long at the event, using our list. I did feel very accomplished after doing a lot of research for the volunteer program and finding a lot of helpful information. There is so much information on volunteer programs, it is overwhelming and we are trying to sort through it all.
3.) My task at OIC is to create a volunteer program which includes a recruitment section. Alla and I have brainstormed a few ideas on how to recruit volunteers. The Carlisle Volunteer fair looked like an ideal place to recruit. However, once OIC arrived they found out it was not as good of a place to recruit as they thought. They ended up wasting a lot of time and did not get anything out of the event. The event was held at the Carlisle Expo center, which was not the easiest place to find and not a great location where people driving by could see it and stop by. Therefore, the only people who attended the event were ones who had seen the event advertised and knew they wanted to go. OIC needed to do more research on this event, before they attended the event. It also seems OIC is passively recruiting volunteers, which hopefully will change once they implement the new volunteer program.

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