Chapter leadership from across the country met at the Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda, September 23rd and 24thBuilding on Our Legacy, the theme of this year’s conference, highlighted the hope on the part of both NCCS and Chapters to grow in order to provide increased opportunities for children in need.  Conference speaker Susan Ellis of Energize Inc. laid groundwork for thinking of volunteerism in a new way. 

Following dinner on Friday evening Susan facilitated an informal networking opportunity that gave chapters an opportunity to share their successes in the past year.  Each chapter was also asked to briefly share how they recruit new members, and what role the legacy of the Christ Child Society plays in attracting membership.  Finally, the group was asked to discuss what they like best and what is the most frustrating aspect of working with volunteers. This final discussion gave our speaker a starting point for our Saturday seminar, Is It Still Your Grandmother’s Volunteering?.  (click on link)

 Saturday’s presentation would answer this question with a definite NO.

Susan started by stating an obvious but sometimes overlooked reality that volunteering is an activity that is engaged in during leisure time and there are many motivations for offering service. She cautioned on the use of the word “join” – some join but never really participate. A welcoming and appreciative atmosphere as well as quality projects and orientation are essential to recruiting and keeping volunteers. They must be acknowledged in a way that lets them know how their time and talent has made a difference.

 Susan’s presentation sparked enthusiastic participation and some evaluations from attendees indicates Chapters are implementing some of the strategies suggested.

 In addition, this year’s conference added an additional mini workshop on Friday afternoon designed for Chapter leadership responsible for financial oversight. Brian Giganti, partner with the accounting firm of Regardie, Brooks and Lewis and auditor of NCCS presented  Accounting & Tax 101 for Chapters, an overview of considerations for appropriate financial practices and regulatory changes for non-profits.  Brian covered many aspects of chapter financial responsibility and answered a number of questions.

 Evaluations indicate the attendees thought it was time well spent and the National office looks forward to hosting Convention 2012 in Detroit.

 

Conference 2011 Pictures    click on link

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