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NVCN Round Table Discussion


NVCN Round Table Discussion

Part II: Getting on Message to Demonstrate the Impact of Volunteer Caregiving 

Thursday, August 31, 2017
9 - 10:30 a.m. PST

RSVP by Tuesday, August 29 to Info@NVCNetwork.org


Thank you, Thank you!

This roundtable was more informative than many national conference meetings.

You are so right on.... wanting to build a national reputation and create metrics.

We have a long road to completion but it will ensure the viability of our organizations.

--Doretta Herr, Director

Faith in Action of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois


Program Directors Eric Ehst, Arizona's Neighbors Who Care, and Tammy Glenn, California's CAREGIVERS, will return for Part II of our roundtable discussion on Value Metrics. The challenge all program directors wrestle with is how to use the numbers to effectively communicate the value of volunteer caregiving in their respective communities.  Let's continue to talk about it.  If we can perfect our local arguments, then NVCN can make a stronger case for us on the nationally.  We know that Volunteer Caregiving is one of the oldest and most ​success social service models--from ​Boston to Florida, throughout the heartland to the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.  We know ​this intuitively.​


Notes from our first roundtable discussion:

When one of the participants said, “We’re strong on fluffy,” the roundtable chuckled.  As program directors, we know how to communicate the soft data through compelling stories that touch the heart of anyone with a conscience.   

Program Directors serving today’s movement in Volunteer Caregiving find themselves tasked more and more with being able to communicate hard data that addresses issues like the impact on rehospitalization and nursing homes stays, as examples.  As non-profit leaders, we have to find better ways to move from measuring what we do (# peopled served, volunteers hours, transportations, etc.) to measuring the impact we have value the bottom line for the for-profit funders that are footing our bottom lines.

To that end, the first roundtable discussion was able to drill down on some key outcomes.  These include, but may not be limited to:

  • Economic Value

    • How to calculate the impact on rehospitalization/nursing home stays

    • Additional time in own home (not institutionalized) – Can we use “length of time served by volunteer caregiving” as substitute?

  • Social Isolation/Mental Health

    • How is Volunteer Caregiving impacting your local community?

    • Happiness/reduced depression

    • Improved mental cognition

  • Value of Volunteerism

    • Are we conveying the real value of volunteerism?  Consider competing interests which seek to put a pricetag on one of the nation’s most treasured tenets.

    • Economic value of volunteer hours contributed

    • Did you know Volunteerism lowers the heart rate?

    • Our volunteers “Pay It Forward.”  No need to bank hours.

  • Transportation

    • Connecting the value of transportation to better health

    • Evidence of cost savings

    • We hope to share some advance reading from an academic study that demonstrates our case

  • Value of Volunteer Caregiving to Low Income Clientele

    • Let’s accent/differentiate Volunteer Caregiving through our roots in Faith in Action

    • Find out how Volunteer Caregiving alleviates some of the strain on public resources

And of course, the “proverbial softball,”

  • Quality of Life

    • Human Touch is making a comeback!

    • What price do you put on your ability to live independently in your own home? 

Join us for the next roundtable when we drill down deeper into this topic.

  • What can you do locally to inform these metrics?

  • How can the NVCN Board of Trustees support this effort?

    • Help us identify board candidates who will emphasize outcomes measurement


Let's find a better way to illustrate our impact and strengthen our ties in new arenas where Volunteer Caregiving remains a hidden secret.  RSVP to Info@NVCNetwork.org 

To help us guide this conversation, please submit your questions and thoughts in advance to Eric Ehst <nwcexecdir@gmail.com>; and Tammy Glenn <tammy@vccaregivers.org>;. 

Members Only.

NVCN 2018 Conference

The National Volunteer Caregiving Network will hold their next conference in the fall of 2018. Plans are underway and a location will be chosen soon. Stay on the lookout for upcoming news pertaining to the conference that will take place next year! 
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You can renew your NVCN membership by clicking on PayPal or by mailing a check to our mailing address. Please direct questions or concerns regarding membership to info@nvcnetwork.org
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Click here for the Canine Caregivers video.

You can also click here to view in Facebook

NVCN has entered into an agreement with Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) to distribute their Trademarked Therapy Dog Program to NVCN affiliate members.

For a small initial and annual fee affiliate members will receive the right to utilize the Caregiver Canines®Trademark as well as training, mentoring, and tips for successfully incorporating the program into existing services.

Caregiver Canines® has been bringing joy and companionship to the Homebound since 2009. And to Volunteer Caregiving Organizations CCP brings new volunteers, new sources of revenue, and new marketing strategies.

"You should consider bringing Caregiver Canines® to your community, you'll be glad you did!"

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National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCN) is pleased to introduce an exciting new member discount program through a partnership with Office Depot/OfficeMax.  Companies currently accessing this collaborative national program have experienced an average savings of 20-30% over their prior office product costs.  Here are just some of the many benefits you’ll receive when you sign up for this program.

Office Depot/OfficeMax Program Benefits

  • Up to 80% off Manufacturer’s Suggested List Price.
  • A core list of 670+ frequently ordered, deeply discounted products.
  • Free, next-day delivery on orders over $50, depending on your location.
  • Access to the award winning Business Services Division website for placement of orders, online catalog, stock availability, order history, product returns, and usage reports.
  • The support of a local account manager who is responsible for total customer satisfaction.
  • In addition to office supplies, you’ll also receive discounts on office furniture, print/copy services, custom business forms, stationery supplies, promotional products, lunchroom provisions, and janitorial supplies.
  • A discount program to extend to all of your employees.
  • The Office Depot team will provide your company with on-going creative and innovative procurement solutions by identifying preferred product and process improvement opportunities.

How does it work?

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Shop in the store: Print your own NVCN Store Purchasing Card or link your favorite business or personal credit card to the special pricing.The SPC is linked to the special pricing. You can take it with you to any store in the country and present it at the register at the time of checkout. Your special pricing will be applied and then you can pay with cash, check, or credit card.

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Shop Online:Create an online account by linking your favorite business or personal credit card to the special pricing or register for an invoice billing account.Receive new account information (subject to credit approval) and have the option to request a Store Purchasing Card that invoices your company for all purchases made in the store.

NVCN is very pleased to make this program available to our members. In addition to saving you money, supporting this program drives an essential stream of support to NVCN.

Members can register for this program at the “Register” button. 

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  • Education/Training solutions for problems facing your organization
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  • Discounts on products to help you be the best of the best
  • Click to view an index of members-only documents

July 2016 Newsletter

In this Issue:
  • Tips for More Productive Meetings
  • Happy Independence Day!
  • Conference registration links
  • Call for award/recognition submissions
  • Renew Your Membership
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National Volunteer Caregiving Network

July 15, 2016

Tips for More Productive Meetings


 A Message From... 

 Vice Chair Tammy I. Glenn

NVCN Board of Trustees

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of our primary roles as directors is to ensure sustainable funding.

Sustainability takes a robust network to build a robust fundraising effort.  That means building your mailing list and bringing new people into your volunteer caregiving community at every possible opportunity--through the board, on committees, in workshops. To that end, my personal goal has been to increase the mailing list by an average of 10 percent every year.  That increase indicates just how much we are out and about in the community making new friends for the organization.

It stands to reason that we'll want those new contacts to be high quality, but until you get to know them and have a conversation, sometimes it's hard to determine next steps.

Our Guest Columnist and one of my mentors, Andy Robinson, offers some great tips to ensure your next meeting is productive. 


NVCN Guest Columnist
Andy Robinson 

Talkers, non-talkers, and disrupters: How to effectively engage your group

By Andy Robinson 

If you’ve ever chaired a meeting, taught a class, organized people to accomplish a specific task, or facilitated anything, you’ve undoubtedly encountered these challenges.

  • People who talk too much
  • People who are uncomfortable talking in groups or simply choose not to speak
  • People who disrupt the process and require a lot of attention

As facilitator, it’s your job to create a safe, egalitarian space where everyone feels empowered to participate. With a hearty “thank you” to our colleagues at The Blue Door Group – I’ve borrowed several suggestions from their facilitation training, and added a few of my own – here’s a mini-tool box to help you better manage your group.

Creating space for everyone to talk

  1. Ask for ground rules at the beginning of the session; feel free to suggest a few. One of my favorites is “step up, step back.” Which means: If you’re inclined to be quiet, please speak up. If you’re inclined to talk, make an effort to listen first.
  1. Break into small groups. Many people who are uncomfortable talking within the larger group will happily participate in pairs or small groups of five or fewer people.
  1. Use go-arounds. “As we discuss this topic, let’s go around the circle and everyone can speak in turn. If you have nothing to say at this point, it’s OK to pass.” Some facilitators ask people to pass an object, such as a “talking stick,” with the instruction that you must hold the object in order to speak. This emphasizes the need to wait one’s turn and to listen carefully.
  1. Actively create space for the non-talkers. Say to the group, “For the next few minutes, let’s all listen to the people who haven’t spoken yet.”
  1. Depending on the topic, it might help to hand out paper, give people time to organize their ideas and write them down before encouraging everyone to speak.
  1. If appropriate, add a listening exercise to your agenda. Here’s a sample from our book, Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money.

Dealing with disruption

If you work with groups, eventually you’ll meet the disrupter – the person who:

  • Doesn’t respect your role as trainer or facilitator
  • Needs a lot of attention
  • Might have a different agenda or different goals for the gathering

Disruption can be helpful. It’s a strategy for naming topics that perhapsshould be on the agenda, or addressing power imbalances present in the room.

Sadly, it’s also a strategy used by bullies to intimidate others.

When faced with unproductive disruption, try some combination of these techniques.

  1. As described in the first item above, set ground rules or guidelines at the start of the session.
  1. Be empathetic. Sometimes people just want to be heard and respected, and that solves the problem.
  1. Invite the disrupter to speak privately with you or your co-facilitator, if you have one. If you’re working alone, give the group a task and pull that person aside for a chat.
  1. Name what’s happening: “Joe, it feels to me like your goals for this event don’t really match the agenda. What do you need? How can we meet your needs and still honor the agenda?”
  1. Ask the group for help in addressing the problem. This might be an opportunity for a go-around, as described earlier.
  1. If all else fails, reduce your attention. Look away. Focus your body language on the group, rather than the disrupter. Let everyone know, through your eyes, body, and voice, that you are present to serve the entire group.

You’re in charge – use your power

In your role as facilitator, trainer, or meeting chair, you carry authority just by the nature of your job. Participants expect you to lead by managing time effectively, honoring the intention of the gathering, and being responsive to the needs of the group – including those who don’t demand a lot of attention.

In other words, you have power. As you work to empower the group, don’t disempower yourself. Use your power to create a respectful process and a productive outcome.

Reprinted with permission from Andy Robinson.


Happy Independence Day from NVCN!

And a very special "thank you" to our veterans! 

Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate! Have You Registered for Our Conference?

We are hosting a national conference, Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate, in collaboration with the Shepherd's Centers of America! The conference will be held October 25 through 27, 2016 at theEmbassy Suites at the Plaza hotel in Kansas City, Missouri
This national conference brings together professionals with different perspectives, different areas of expertise, and different backgrounds together for one purpose: to learn and share the latest and greatest ideas to improve the quality of life for older adults.

Early-bird registration has been extended through August 26, 2016. 

Register Now!
Thank you to our conference sponsors!
Has your Volunteer Caregiving program recently been presented with an award or received recognition?

At our October conference, we will be hosting a ceremony to celebrate the amazing work our Volunteer Caregivers do across the nation. If your program has been presented with any kind of award or recognition, please let us know as we would love to honor you! Please contact Jenna Parro,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=Award%2FRecognition%20Submission%20" target="_blank" style="color: #656565;"> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with more information about your award or recognition. 

Have you renewed your membership yet?

Exciting things are coming from NVCN in 2016! If your 2015 NVCN membership has expired, please be sure to renew membership. You can renew now by clicking the PayPal button below. If you have questions about your invoice or membership expiration date, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 210.865.9805. 

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