Tue 16 May 2006
1) The OIC of Carlise is located in a great place- right on high street, close to Dickinson College and near many other non-profit organizations. They have a great new exective director who sees the problems the OIC faces and wants to change things for the better. The OIC brings to Carlisle a place where those who need occupational training, employment, housing services, assistance in earning a GED or learning English as a second language can go for help. This organization also provides support and assistance to the homeless. The OIC benefits those who seek its services as well as the Carlisle community in many ways.
2) The executive director of the OIC handed down the task of creating a volunteer program to Sarah and me. Our final product, which covered the current available volunteer positions, job descriptions, recruitment, training, coordination/tracking/recording, the interview process, firing volunteers, and recognition, is a tool that we think Dale can use as the basics in helping him create a plan. At first, our task was difficult because it was hard to get in touch with the people we were supposed to. We were overwhelmed by all the information available about non-profit organization’s volunteer programs and a little concerned at the lack of information we were getting from the OIC. However, I think our final product will help the OIC consider volunteer management as more of a continuous cycle and be a great starting point for a more developed volunteer management model. The people who utilize the OIC will definitely benefit from the work Sarah and I have completed. Hopefully the OIC will have better ideas for where to look for volunteers, how to recognize and encourage volunteers and what to do if a volunteer is not completing the task at hand. Also, since our plan stresses the importance of making sure a volunteer’s goals, interests and motives meet the goals, mission and needs of the organization, the clients of the OIC will hopefully have a more enjoyable experience with the volunteers and will want to give back to the OIC when they are in the position to do so. I think the work that Sarah and I did will push the OIC in the right direction.
3) This experience tied into the class in many ways. It was always very interesting to hear what everyone else had to say about their experiences. Unfortunately, it seemed as if many of us were having the same problems with our non-profit organizations: miscommunication and lack of organization. In our case, we showed up at the volunteer fair to find that the OIC was no longer there. In other cases, people would come late to meetings or could not find necessary materials to give to the students from our class. Also, the OIC could benefit from a lot of things we talked about in class, like a different marketing strategy. They are located on Hannover Street, which is such a prime location in this town. It is close to other non-profit organizations, only a few blocks from Dickinson, and they do not take advantage of that! Another particular area from class that pertained to my experience with OIC was accountability and evaluation. With the excel sheets we created, which record and track employees’ hours and information, as well as the suggestions provided in our final volunteer plan of exit interviews and suggestion forms, we tried to address this issue at OIC. Hopefully these measures will help evaluate the organization’s effectiveness as a whole as well as satisfaction among employees, volunteers and clients.