As JVA prepares for Year 3 of the Colorado Compassion Initiative (CCI), it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the experiences of Year 2 grantees. Funded by the Compassion Capital Fund (CCF), CCI is a capacity building program through which JVA awarded grants to over 30 faith-based and community organizations for the 2009 grant period. Here are some of the results that the Women’s Resource Agency (WRA) experienced as a Year 2 grantee of CCI.
When Ginny retired three years ago as a human resources manager, she had decided she wanted to leave her professional skills behind and have fun. Soon Ginny was bored. “I kept asking myself, Why did I retire?”
Ginny attended a volunteer information session hosted by WRA—an organization that works to help women of all ages attain and maintain self-sufficiency.
“I was struck by their mission and what they were doing,” she said. When Ginny learned about WRA’s Dress for Success, a program to help women assemble outfits for job interviews, she was excited to put her fashion sense to use. Ginny laughed and shared, “I was the ‘fashionista’ at work and liked to put outfits together.” She began assisting women who were getting ready for professional careers.
Ginny’s volunteer work has expanded beyond fashion. Now Ginny makes quarterly presentations to women on how to prepare for interviews.
“I can’t believe that I found something that works so well for the organization, and me.”
Ginny is more than a volunteer; she’s an ambassador. This experience “makes me want to get the word out about WRA to the community.”
WRA understands the value of Ginny and others like her. “The women who assist with the Career Services bring their expertise of human resources and personnel management and are an integral part of our employment readiness program,” says executive director Beth Roalstad.
CCI helped WRA improve its business model by engaging boomer volunteers like Ginny. Their work is paying off: 75 percent of the board of directors is made up of boomers; six volunteer boomers participated in a strategic marketing session; and 43 percent of the regular volunteer core are of boomer age. Most importantly, says Beth, “Be flexible and never turn anyone away. The volunteers are giving their best when they are here; it’s not worth being rigid.” A long-range calendar helps manage the volunteer schedule.
In the coming weeks, JVA will feature information about applying for CCI grants in Year 3 at www.jvaconsulting.com/cci. Organizations that have not previously applied for CCI funding can click here to download an eligibility quiz.