Jones Co. Non-Profit Conference open to all

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Volunteer Center and Jones County Extension and Outreach have come together to offer the volunteers and organizations of Jones County an exciting opportunity.

     The Jones County Non-Profit Conference is an event for those who currently volunteer in their community, those looking for ways to lend a hand, and those organizations utilizing volunteers.

     The one-day conference will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with several breaks in between. Registration is $25 and is due by Oct. 31 to ensure lunch. The fee includes admission into the workshop, materials, lunch, and refreshments.

     There will be two professional speakers at the event as well:

     • Kayla Paulson, coordinator of the RSVP program for United Way of East Central Iowa. Paulson has spent her career in marketing, community relations, and volunteer management. She will provide an interactive session on empowering volunteers.

     • Lauren Finke, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley. Finke oversees the daily communication of volunteer opportunities for more then 150 non-profit organizations. She has expertise in recruitment and support of student volunteers.

     The Non-Profit Conference will be held at the Jones County Youth Development Center, located at the fairgrounds in Monticello.

     Volunteer Center Director Amy Keltner said she attended a similar volunteer training event at Wartburg College with Paulson and felt it could be mimicked here in Jones County.

     “I gained a lot of information and insight and I wanted to share that with our volunteers and organizations here,” said Keltner.

     She said many times, educational workshops and events like this force people to travel, take extra time away from work and family. This one-day event is right here in Jones County.

     Extension Director Jennifer Fischer sits on Keltner’s advisor committee and felt this workshop was something the Extension could be a part of.

     “Our mission is to impact and bring resources that are researched-based to Jones County,” shared Fischer. “Part of that impact is bringing resources to the volunteers of Jones County. Our impact can be greater when we partner with each other–our partnership with the Volunteer Center is an example of how partnering with other entities, both can then make bigger impacts on the community.”

     Aside from the two speakers, there will be breakout sessions:

     • Volunteerism 101: Recruiting, Retaining, and Managing Volunteers

     • Creating and Understanding Volunteer Roles

     • Working with High School, College, and Senior Volunteers

     “There is always something to be gained from programs like this,” said Keltner. She hopes that attendees bring back the knowledge gained to their respective organizations and agencies.

     Keltner said this workshop will help organizations in retaining volunteers, as well as show how volunteerism can be a positive, valuable experience.

     “We want volunteers in Jones County to make meaningful impacts, while having a great experience,” she added.

     Fischer said it’s also an opportunity for people to network and generate ideas concerning volunteerism.

     “We truly want this to be a valuable use of time for those organizations that do not get a lot of time to spend on developing their volunteers,” said Fischer.

     One session Fischer is leading, along with Professional Business Coach Heather Woody, involves stress reduction as a volunteer.

     “Participants will get some laughs and some easy tips to keep life in perspective and ourselves from burn-out,” offered Fischer.

     If this proves successful, Keltner said she would like to make it a yearly program.

     To register for the conference, contact Keltner at 319-560-0811 or the Extension Office at 319-465-3224.


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