FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What are the eligibility requirements for a VM partnership?
- What is the cost of a VM partnership?
- What is the value of a VM partnership?
- How do I find out if a VM partnership is right for my agency?
- What is the Service Site selection process?
- What is the purpose of the site application?
- What happens after I submit a Service Site application?
- Can I have a site partnership for more than one year?
- What do Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) do?
- How are VMCs recruited?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the qualifications and experience required to serve as a VMC?
- What is the selection process for VMCs?
- How are VMCs trained and supported?
- What is a typical day like for a VM Coordinator?
- Can I be a VMC for more than one year?
- How do I find out if a VM Coordinator position is right for me?
- How do I apply?
- What happens after I apply?
- Who designed the Volunteer Maryland training program?
- When is VM training provided?
- Where is VM training located?
- Do VM training hours count as AmeriCorps service hours?
- Is there a participant cost for VM training?
- What do graduates of VM do after their AmeriCorps year(s)?
- Do alumni stay involved in their communities?
- Do alumni stay involved with their Service Sites?
- How are site partnerships and AmeriCorps members evaluated?
- What are VM’s annual results?
- What are VM’s cumulative results?
SERVICE SITE PARTNERSHIPS
SERVICE SITE PARTNERSHIPS
Service Sites must:
- Engage direct service volunteers in Maryland who work in one or more of the AmeriCorps priority issue areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans,
- Be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) or government agency and operational for at least one year;
- Have an appropriate Site Supervisor for the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator; and
- Agree to follow all appropriate VM and AmeriCorps requirements.
Volunteer Maryland conducts extensive negotiations with agencies that meet the minimum eligibility requirements to determine if a partnership is feasible.
What is the cost of a VM partnership?
Each Service Site contributes a cash match that is used exclusively to pay a portion of the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator’s living stipend. The cash match amount is based on the legal applicant’s total operating budget and is determined on a sliding scale. The scale ranges from $4,750-9,750 for a full-time VM Coordinator.
What is the value of a VM partnership?
Each Service Site partner will receive, on average, $44,000 worth of goods and services as a result of the VM partnership. This amount includes the dollar value of the total number of volunteer hours contributed over the course of the year as well as the value of additional in-kind donations attained by the VM Coordinator. This figure is an average that is based on the results of the first 612 VM Coordinators (1993-2012).
How do I find out if a VM partnership is right for my agency?
Please review the supporting materials found in For Organizations ; You may also contact a staff member at Volunteer Maryland to discuss site partnerships and the site selection process and deadlines.
What is the Service Site selection process?
The Service Site selection process occurs each spring. The purpose of the site selection process is to identify appropriate partner agencies to host Volunteer Maryland Coordinators. To do so, VM has created an extensive site application and negotiation process. Volunteer Maryland staff members review all written applications, conduct on-site visits and partnership negotiations, and provide a one-day orientation for Site Supervisors each year.
What is the purpose of the site application?
The purpose of the site application is to define the scope of the community need addressed by the site applicant as well as assess the feasibility of addressing that community need with a Volunteer Maryland partnership and Volunteer Maryland Coordinator placement.
What happens after I submit a Service Site application?
- Volunteer Maryland staff will review your application and assess partnership eligibility.
- Site visits will be conducted by VM staff members with agencies that meet site eligibility criteria and submit appropriate site applications.
- Partnership negotiations and decisions will be conducted on a rolling basis.
- In general, all partnership decisions and negotiations will be completed by mid-June.
- Approved Service Sites must attend a full-day orientation in June.
Can I have a site partnership for more than one year?
Partnership agreements are made on an annual basis. Service Sites may apply for a second year or continuation partnership to focus on a single volunteer program or activity. Volunteer Maryland will consider a third year partnership that focuses on a different volunteer service or aspect of the volunteer program.
What do Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) do?
Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) serve at local nonprofit agencies to recruit and manage volunteers during an 11-month term of national service. Volunteer Maryland Coordinators conduct needs assessments, design program materials, deliver orientation and training for staff and volunteers, and more. Each VMC has a site-specific position description and workplan.
In addition, VMCs attend approximately 20 days of Volunteer Maryland training and perform direct service for 10 percent of their time.
How are VMCs recruited?
Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are recruited by VM from a variety of national, state, and local sources. Volunteer Maryland conducts year-round recruitment. In addition, each Service Site will use its existing local network to recruit a VMC.
What are the benefits?
As AmeriCorps members, full-time VMCs receive a living allowance of $13,250, a post-service educational benefit of $5,550, health insurance if they are not already covered, and student loan deferment during the service year. Coordinators may also qualify for a childcare allowance.
Other benefits include valuable networking opportunities, Continuing Education Credits, being part of a dedicated team of AmeriCorps members, and making a real difference in the community.
What are the qualifications and experience required to serve as a VMC?
Volunteer Maryland Coordinators must possess and demonstrate excellence in the following areas: verbal and written communication, computer skills, problem solving and conflict resolution, leadership, public speaking, and commitment to national and community service.
In addition, proof of U.S. citizenship, age (at least 17 years old), and high school graduation are required in order to enroll in AmeriCorps.
What is the selection process for VMCs?
Applicants are screened by local Service Sites and Volunteer Maryland staff. The process involves at least the following steps: one phone screen, two interviews, two reference checks, and a criminal background check. Depending on the types of clients and/or volunteers, the Service Site may require additional screening steps for VMC applicants.
How are VMCs trained and supported?
Volunteer Maryland provides a two-week pre-service training as well as monthly training days during the year (approximately 20 days total), which covers program development, marketing, evaluation, volunteer management, and leadership development.
Each Service Site will also provide a thorough on-site orientation to the agency and the volunteer program needs. In addition, a Site Supervisor is available for regular meetings, guidance, and correction as necessary.
What is a typical day like for a VM Coordinator?
Each VMC position is unique, so there is no typical day. In general, though, VMCs will spend a portion of their time in an office setting (business office, school-based, etc.) since the position requires a great deal of writing for or communicating with volunteers and paid staff. On any given day, VMCs may also provide direct service (10 percent of service hours). To fulfill their direct service requirement, VMCs have tutored youth, planted trees, transported meals to senior citizens, built community playgrounds, and more.
Can I be a VMC for more than one year?
Yes! You may apply for a second-year VMC position with your current Service Site or with another site. Coordinator positions are subject to the availability of an appropriate Service Site placement.
How do I find out if a VM Coordinator position is right for me?
The best way is to call VM and speak with one of our staff or AmeriCorps members directly. You can reach us at 410-767-6203. You can also learn about the service experience by visiting the VM blog at http://volunteermaryland.wordpress.com
How do I apply?
Complete the VMC application and send it to VM; you may fax, mail, or email your application.
What happens after I apply?
If your application meets our program requirements, you will be phone screened by a VM staff member. From there, you will be invited to the office for an interview with VM staff; the interview lasts about 90 minutes. You will also be referred out to a Service Site for a second interview (subject to availability of a suitable site). Following the interviews, applicants will have references checked, a criminal background investigation completed, and additional site-specific screening steps conducted if necessary.
Who designed the Volunteer Maryland training program?
The program was created by VM’s first Executive Director, Ellie Young, and VM’s original Training Director, Paul Harris, in 1992. Since then, the training program has evolved over the years to reflect changes in volunteer management, nonprofit needs, national service, and more. All VM staff members, Regional Coordinators and Peer Leaders, and Volunteer Maryland Coordinators have contributed to the training program’s design and delivery over the years. The feedback and recommendations of all participants are immediately incorporated into the training program design. The training is a unique resource for all AmeriCorps members and programs in Maryland.
When is VM training provided?
The annual training program consists of the AmeriCorps member and Service Site trainings. This program is approximately 20 days each year, with an 11-day pre-service training and monthly in-service training sessions each month. The annual program also includes an overnight mid-year retreat for the AmeriCorps members (in late winter or early spring) and a full-day Site Supervisor Orientation (in the summer).
In addition, VM will provide on-demand training for other colleagues or programs as requested. These trainings are scheduled per the need and demand of the requesting program. For more information or to request training, please call 410-767-6203.
Where is VM training located?
Volunteer Maryland is a state-wide program, and VM staff members schedule training sessions across the state. In general, the initial 11-day pre-service training will occur in one location with the remaining monthly sessions moving to various locations across Maryland. On-demand training sessions for additional colleagues and programs will occur at locations that are most convenient for the requesting agency. This may include the agency’s own office or conference space or at a nearby facility.
Do VM training hours count as AmeriCorps service hours?
Yes! All VM training hours count as service hours for Volunteer Maryland Coordinators and Peer Leaders.
Is there a participant cost for VM training?
For Volunteer Maryland AmeriCorps members and Service Site partners, there is no cost for the annual training program. All facility, materials, and meals are provided as a part of the federal AmeriCorps award each year.
For on-demand trainings, payment will be required to cover workshop preparation, materials, facilities, and meals. Please contact VM’s office for more information about the training costs.
What do graduates of VM do after their AmeriCorps year(s)?
Like all AmeriCorps members, VM alumni may choose to attend college, get or return to a job, or retire after their year of national service. After the VM AmeriCorps year, many program alumni sign up for another term of AmeriCorps national service or participate in other local, national, or international service programs such as the Peace Corps.
Do alumni stay involved in their communities?
According our alumni surveys, an average of 90 percent of VM alumni stay involved in their communities as public servants, direct service volunteers, paid staff, or members of Boards of Directors.
Do alumni stay involved with their Service Sites?
Based on annual alumni surveys, up to 50 percent of alumni stay involved with their Volunteer Maryland Service Site after the AmeriCorps year ends.
How are site partnerships and AmeriCorps members evaluated?
Program evaluation occurs throughout the Volunteer Maryland partnership year. Both Service Sites and AmeriCorps members set their own annual goals. Elements of the evaluation include pre-post testing, external statistical analysis, VM staff observation and reporting, and self-reporting by Service Sites and AmeriCorps members.
What are VM’s annual results?
Each year, VM partners and AmeriCorps members mobilize at least 5,000 local volunteers to serve more than 5,000 citizens in a variety of human and environmental volunteer programs. In addition, approximately 90 percent of site partners report that they significantly increase their ability to recruit and manage volunteers as a result of the VM partnership. AmeriCorps members also report significant accomplishment of their own goals, with nearly 100 percent achieving their personal and professional goals each year. AmeriCorps members also learn or strengthen their volunteer and service knowledge and skills, with approximately 85 percent reporting a statistically significant increase each year.
What are VM’s cumulative results?
Since 1992, Volunteer Maryland has partnered with over 500 local Service Sites and graduated 637 AmeriCorps members. Together, VM staff, Service Sites, and AmeriCorps members have recruited nearly 107,000 volunteers. In the 2012-2013 service year alone, over 28,000 Marylanders were served by VM AmeriCorps members and volunteers.