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Working with AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers By Amy Hatter June 7, 2013 10:30am IAAIS Conference 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers By Amy Hatter June 7, 2013 10:30am IAAIS Conference 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers By Amy Hatter June 7, :30am IAAIS Conference 1

2 My experience with VISTA First VISTA at Radio Eye in 2008 Worked with and supervised 6 VISTAs since

3 What is VISTA Part of the AmeriCorps system – State, National, NCCC, RSVP also programs in AmeriCorps Domestic PeaceCorps VISTA members work in poverty, helping people in poverty for a year. 3

4 VISTA Mission To start, strengthen, or expand programs, systems, or services that help people move out of poverty. 4

5 What you need to know about VISTA Capacity building, not direct service Tasks and activities to create, expand, or strengthen systems or processes in order to increase an organizations ability to function effectively and meet its mission. Yearly grant Lots of reporting! (More about this later) Training requirements: PSO & OSOT 5

6 VISTA Network Site level Local network o Sponsoring organization – VISTA supervisor level o Each network gets certain number of VISTAs; doled out to sites. State level 6

7 Benefits of VISTAS Can do special projects youve been wanting to do but havent had the time for (example: website, social media) Full-time staff person for 1 year for very little money on your part (cost-share). Build capacity, streamline procedures! 7


9 Timeline Radio Eyes timeline February: Apply to network (VAD, etc.) March/April: notification from local network and/or state network of approval/denial May: interview applicants July-August: VISTA goes to PSO August: VISTA starts 1 year term July/August next year: VISTAs term ends. 9

10 Application VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) Performance Milestones Letter to advisory board (not all networks have an advisory board). Used at local level. On-site Orientation & Training (possibly) 10

11 VISTA Assignment Description 11

12 Performance Milestones 12

13 Advisory Board letter General information about your organization. How you will use your VISTAs. How VISTA will be able to help your organization succeed. Statement on ability to pay the cost-share. –This goes up every year the network receives VISTAs. How your organization fights poverty. 13

14 OSOT 14

15 Approval/Denial Notification Local approval (advisory board) to be in network grant State approval (number of VISTAs the network received) Local approval, part2 –At this point, even if your organization was approved at the local level, you may be cut. 15


17 Whats next? Post the job opening Interview applicants Approve applicant – network paperwork and state approval Approved applicant attends pre-service orientation, and network orientation. Applicant starts work! 17

18 Job Listing Network supervisor will list your opening on You can list it wherever you would list a job or volunteer opening. Colleges are especially good. 18

19 What you need to tell your applicants The stipend (very low – typical $900- $1,100/month) Cannot take another job Can go to school Health/childcare benefits Moving reimbursement End-of-service stipend or education award Go over VAD during interview 19

20 Whats next? Select your candidate. Let your network supervisor know. Connect them with the network supervisor, who will take them through the VISTA paperwork. State sends to PSO. Thats it – for now! 20

21 PSO Schedule – for Southeast region 21

22 After PSO First day: your VISTA will meet with the network supervisor for a network orientation First day with you: orient your VISTA with your On-Site Orientation & Training Start them on their tasks. Good luck with your new VISTA! 22

23 VISTA Reporting Service logs –VISTA completes – you sign Monthly reports –VISTA completes and sends to network supervisor Quarterly reports –Quantitative chart (you complete) –Site PPR form (you complete) –Milestones (VISTA completes) –Updated VAD (you compete) Weekly reports –NOT a network requirement – but its nice to have. 23


25 Website overhaul! Old siteNew site! 25

26 Train/Manage volunteers! Streamline volunteer management –New orientations –Manuals on how to train readers, control board ops, etc. –Volunteer committees! 26

27 Fundraising! Write grants Plan fundraising events Coordinate appeals Find grants for you to write 27

28 Any project that will raise your organizations ability to do good! 28

29 What VISTAs cant do Be the receptionist (answer phone & door exclusively) Do direct service –Examples: be a reader or control board operator Work outside of their VAD –Its very important to stick to their VISTA Assignment Description when assigning them tasks – this is what youll be reporting on! Duties paid staff or existing volunteers already do. 29

30 If a VISTA doesnt work out Be proactive about correcting problems. Only the corporation (Corporation for National & Community Service) can terminate a VISTA. Need lots of documentation. Keep in touch with your network supervisor and your state supervisor. Read the Supervisors manual at 30

31 Best Practices Pick the right person – Can manage living in poverty – Motivated – Lots of people coming to VISTA during the recession just for a job – Wants to help people Stay in touch with network Weekly meetings with VISTA! 31

32 Who to contact first Local network supervisor – if you know who they are State supervisor – can put you in touch with network supervisors. ct-us/state-offices ct-us/state-offices 32

33 My contact information Amy Hatter, Executive Director Radio Eye 1733 Russell Cave Road, Lexington, KY

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