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Dedicated to Creating the Choice of Independent Living Through Volunteer Caregiving

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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A History of Volunteer Caregiving

Officially established in 2007, the National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCN) received its 501(c) (3) IRS designation in 2008. Originally designated as the Faith in Action National Network until 2011, when the name was changed in order to advance its enduring mission to support sustainable volunteer caregiving programs.

In the mid-1980’s, interfaith volunteer caregiving programs began with seed grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 1985, The Foundation established 25 pilot programs to determine if diverse congregations could work together to serve the needs of those with long-term chronic illness, disability or who were aging. The success of that initial effort gave birth to the Faith in Action movement. For the next two decades, the National Program Office of Faith in Action provided technical assistance and mentoring for existing programs and communities that wanted to start volunteer caregiving programs.

In late 2004, recognizing that the National Program Office would be completing their work, a group of stakeholders began to discuss the possibility of creating a national membership organization for Faith in Action programs that would continue the support and technical assistance that the National Program Office had provided.  In pursuit of these goals, NVCN sponsors national conferences, distributes a monthly e-newsletter, holds educational webinars, and maintains a discussion group and a website that is inclusive of all volunteer caregiving programs. In keeping with the NVCN vision, in 2012 six new volunteer caregiving programs were launched in California.*

NVCN continues to examine strategies for engaging with later life in new ways. NVCN provides opportunities to showcase these strategies and to assist local program development in executing these strategies. NVCN is responsive to communities who desire to bring a volunteer caregiving program to their area.

NVCN supports existing volunteer caregiving programs through the development of supporting materials, telephone mentoring, and networking opportunities. Additionally, in support of individuals with long-term chronic illness, disability or those who are aging, NVCN staff looks for opportunities to assist individuals orcommunities who desire to begin a volunteer caregiving program. Local programs assist widows, the home-bound, and elders who need help with small things, like changing a light-bulb or flipping a mattress – these folks make up the fabric of our communities and are the ones who need us the most.

* Supported by The SCAN Foundation