Thursday, July 10, 2008

Volunteer Recruitment Campaign Kick-Off Meeting

Yesterday, Wednesday July 9th, Cabrini Connections hosted our Volunteer Recruitment Campaign Kick-Off Meeting at Literacy Volunteers of Illinois. Chicago HOPES, a division of Americorps VISTA that has collaborated with CPS to help homeless teens succeed, Midtown Boys Club, Community Building Tutors, and the Center for Family Services in Aurora, along with Cabrini Connections and Literacy Volunteers of Illinois all participated.

The kick-off meeting was very similar to the one we had last year, and I started out with the main basic outline. However, I was very pleased that our Volunteer Recruitment network has expanded and that different groups from the year prior showed up.

The first thing we discussed was what the different organizations did to recruit volunteers. It seems that all of us use the online volunteer sites,, tutor referral and craigslist. Other ways of recruiting volunteers that were discussed were going to churches and contacting alderment to pitch volunteering as a tutor and mentor, putting up fliers on community bulletin boards, building relationships with high schools and colleges/universities and having companies like Verizon hand out fliers promoting volunteerism in their packets.

One possible idea that would need financial backing and collaboration between several different organizations would be to run an ad campaign promoting tutoring and mentoring on CTA trains and buses.

We also discussed the idea of using social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace or LinkedIn as well as hosting ideas through website links. Here at Cabrini Connections we have found a lot of success with Facebook and LinkedIn especially for collaborating with current and former volunteers and for gaining support from people who are not yet affiliated with us.

Finally, we promoted two upcoming events. The first is the Ravenswood Community Festival called The Raven, which is sponsored by Community Building Tutors, and which will be held at Chase Park on Saturday and Sunday August 16th and 17th. Community Building Tutors is hoping that many tutoring and mentoring programs will have booths at this event to help promote volunteering as a tutor and/or mentor - something that Cabrini Connections is very excited about. This is exactly what we want every organization to do in collaborating with other tutoring and mentoring organization in their communities.

Also, Cabrini Connections is hosting a Volunteer Coffeehouse Night at ING Direct Cafe, off of Chestnut St., near the John Hancock building. It will be on Thursday August 21st from 6-9 pm and all volunteers, respective volunteers and employees of tutoring and mentoring organization are welcome to come as they get off of work for a cup of coffee and a chance to network with other people passionate about tutoring and mentoring. We're also hoping to have a webcast of people giving their testimonials of why they work or volunteer in tutoring and mentoring to webcams and then sending it out live on the internet. Look for more information in the coming weeks about this.

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