August Membership Meeting

Thank you to UW Credit Union for hosting BVN on August 13; there might not have been a more value-add BVN meeting! From making volunteer options more discoverable and actionable through the, to a round robin of lessons learned among the many meeting attendees, BVN both inspired action and prompted attendees to bring loads of ideas back to their organizations.

Volunteer Your Time Presentation

It’s a lot easier to get involved and make a difference when volunteer options are right under your nose on United Way’s fresh website. United Way’s Hannah Stowell ran through this one-stop shop—which houses 314 active agencies and 615 active opportunities. She taught us firsthand how you can personalize your web search through filtering and dashboard options. Most importantly, Hannah ran through how you can easily foster long-term relationships and contact with the people in need. is a direct line to organizations in need of assistance.
Check out today to help your company find and prioritize philanthropic efforts.

Breakout Discussions

Nothing encourages new ideas better than hearing the valuable lessons learned from experienced counterparts. After Hannah’s presentation, the BVN broke out into five separate breakouts:
1. Policies/Procedures
2. Recognition
3. Creating Effective Partnerships
4. Skills-based Volunteering
5. Marketing/Promotion/Communication

BVN members shared a valuable policy from one of their workplaces that allows employees to request volunteer time in the same way employees can apply for general paid time off (PTO). Look for more info on policies/procedures in our BVN Member Toolkit on the Members Only Website.

From daily memos to employee volunteer awards to thank you notes and swag, this work-group listed off more ideas for encouraging employee recognition than we had time for. Make sure to attend future BVN meetings so you can insert exciting methods into your organization.

Creating Effective Partnerships
This group discussed micro-volunteering options to further demonstrate how bringing agencies to workplaces can foster a more bi-directional and meaningful relationship for employees that have trouble leaving the confines of their offices. This group also listed examples of leadership, frequently communicating on philanthropic efforts in larger company meetings and bringing visibility into historical company volunteer efforts.

Skills-based Volunteering
The theme that seemed to provide the most impact on the attendees was how leadership’s role should include some sort of involvement in mentorship for small area businesses. The connections at that level help foster longer-term relationships in corners of the community that might not receive the attention they deserve.

From pairing philanthropic activities with wellness-related initiatives to encouraging communication from various champions (instead of the same champion every time) to embedding topics in all-company meetings, this workgroup’s brainstorming was impressive and left meeting attendees itching to go back to their company’s communications teams to spice things up. One member also shared results of new ways to position volunteering options on their company’s intranet.

We encourage you to come to the next BVN meeting on October 8th at the Literacy Network to learn about the impact of long-term and on-going volunteer opportunities.