June 10, 2021 – Going Back to the Office

Breakout Room Notes

What’s currently happening and practices that are working

  • Employers need to stay flexible to employees’ needs
  • Employees/employers need to stay flexible about volunteers’/youth’s/familes’ needs
  • Employees need to BE flexible and communicative with their own/their colleagues needs
  • Create a rotation so IF your office needs to be open – staff share the load of who ‘covers’ the office
  • Allow for staff/volunteers to BE hesitant about returning to the office and listen to their needs.
  • Be VERY CLEAR about why you need to be in the office…and WHAT parts of the job(s) need to be in the done in the office.
  • Create opportunities to meet outside (and include youth/family/mentors too)
  • Team of five has a constant group text – send changes in schedules through there
  • At 50% capacity: team comes in two days a week; assigned group days and use “COVID calendar” to see who is at the office
    • Starting July 6 going to 100% capacity but will still use calendar to see who is in. Continue with flexibility to work from home. 
  • Have acknowledgement and release of liability for any public health emergency (all volunteers sign this before they come back in)
  • QR code for screening upon entry into building
  • Wrote out document of COVID protocols from school and required people to read and sign if they wanted to be on campus

Challenges/Remaining Questions:

  • There is a fine line and a very difficult transition from ‘being in the office is optional’ vs. ‘being in the office is mandatory.’ This continues to be one of the biggest issue for all orgs…but it’s especially difficult when there seems to be different perspectives about this being a priority between leadership and staff.
  • It is difficult for us to know when/where to actually be in-person when doing youth and mentor recruitment
  • This is especially tricky not knowing if/when programs will get access to students in schools/centers/etc.
  • Training/onboarding new staff – how and when to do this virtually vs. in-person. Similarly – when crafting new roles or refilling staff roles – how to balance the need to be hybrid in each of the job descriptions/duties…and also find out during interviewing how potential candidates feel about and value in-person vs. hybrid work.
  • Everyone (including mentors) have a different idea of what is safe
  • Different sites/counties have different restrictions and policies
  • Transportation – how are people handling it?
    • Answer: Vehicles at 50% capacity (15 passenger van) and masks
    • Answer: Mentors use their personal vehicles – honor system (have high vaccination rate in county)
  • How are you handling vaccination?
    • Not collecting vaccination records for staff so won’t do it with volunteers
    • Trusting people if they say they are; if they’re not, sending them home with at home tests; people have been transparent
    • Trying to honor confidentiality; allowing people to make personal choices; protecting people
    • Because kids aren’t able to get vaccinated yet, requiring vaccination if they want mask off (requiring proof) – priority is safety of kids; kids all have to wear a mask
    • Kids won’t be fully vaccinated; asking all staff to wear masks if inside to set example
  • Is there something saying you couldn’t go to being fully remote?

May 27, 2021 – Fundraising Events in 2021

Video recording of Q&A with Jennifer Whitman of Saphier EventsLINK

Breakout Room Notes

Ideas / Things that Work!

  • Look to your CRM and other vendors – many of them are offering virtual event platforms as add-ons
  • Putting together a toolkit to give to others to spread the word on your event
    • Toolkit includes:
      • Social media graphics
      • Sample email
      • Sample text messages
      • PowerPoint or video explaining the event
  • Working on how to host a hybrid 5K
    • Virtual participants could screenshare their iwatch or garmin or strava
    • Everyone could sign up using the same activity tracking app (strava, garmin, mapmyrun, etc) and then share via social or via the app (this might be too complicated)
  • Sims Fayola is hosting a golf tournament (outside so people feel more comfortable)
    • Foursomes are typically people who are already working together and comfortable with one another
  • SOS Outreach held a ceremony for graduating seniors
    • Pre-recorded
    • Breakout rooms to connect young people with Board members
    • Sent pre-packaged box before the event
  • First virtual event in January – used a production company and help with online auction
    • Didn’t raise what they did in person but cost was half
    • Donors could order meal to be delivered
    • Leaning towards hybrid event in Jan 2022 but is rethinking after hearing Jennifer talk about how it’s like putting on two events (in person and virtual)

Information/Resources Still Needed:

  • Virtual event platform options
  • Looking for information on how to reach out to communities they have not accessed for fundraising
  • Can mentoring organizations work together to collectively negotiate and get better deals (i.e. credit card processing, t-shirt printing…resources we all have to use)?

May 13, 2021 – “Small” Mentoring Organizations – a deeper conversation on managing a mentoring program with a small staff

Breakout Room Notes:

What efficiencies have you found that work well? How have you maximized your resources?

  • An all-hands on deck approach to mentor recruitment
  • We get teachers & staff (who aren’t a part of the mentoring program in our school) to recruit their friends and family members to serve as potential mentors
  • We hired someone explicitly to tackle recruiting and managing events (we have a small team of 5, and now 6 employees). 
  • We host 2-3 match events a month and it’s really taxing on our staff of 2. So, we have partnered with other youth serving and community organizations to co-host match events in our community. 
  • We have partnered with our municipality and had them pay for our match events and incorporate our matches into their parks/rec activities for free/cheap. 
  • I’m the sole person in my large organization who is working on mentoring. It has been really useful to ask colleagues in other departments or programs for their feedback as I’m making changes to the program design. 
  • We have 2 staff but each of is only part time. So at the beginning we talked about each other’s strengths and weaknesses – and then we divided and conquered. Each time something new comes up – we analyze strengths/weakness/capacity again and make a decision as to who will take it on. 
  • Staff working from home, working well together (built trust)
  • Amount of time not spent in the car; finding balance of what can be done via zoom and when to prioritize seeing people
  • Microsoft Teams Chat

What do you need help with? What resources do you need? (If you are able to help with any of these, please share in the comments or contact MC staff)

  • Would like shared resources on mentor training specific to immigrant and refugee populations (please share these here in the comments if you have them!)
  • Interested in sharing and maximizing resources in mentor recruitment
  • Working on expanding awareness in other communities
  • Cross race matching
  • DEI resources
  • Parent mentor groups (peer or group)
  • Mentor training specific to generational gap
  • Group mentoring supplement
  • Special needs parent groups
  • Latino mentor recruitment
  • We have had some great success in mentor recruitment…but during COVID our youth referrals and youth recruitment has done poorly…any ideas
    • Colleagues recommended partnering with schools, therapists, community health, and case/social workers at child-welfare to get referrals
  • Mentor Recruitment was the biggest need
    • Colleagues shared some solutions
      • Volunteer match was successful for one organization
      • Word of mouth
      • Requiring board members, staff and others to bring a name of a potential mentor each month to the staff person responsible for recruitment. 
      • Social Media has been more productive than it was before the pandemic in finding potential mentors
      • More potential mentors are looking for volunteer opportunities now that things are ‘reopening’ after covid. 
      • We have partnered with our local colleges’ sports teams to recruit mentors
      • We’ve had success going door-to-door on our main street with door clings (transparent stickers) to see if they would be willing to advertise as one of our partners to get the word out. 
  • Does anyone share mentors?
  • How do you get in schools?
    • Colleagues shared ideas around meeting with school counselors and talking to the PTSA first
  • DEI is the biggest challenge right now

Did any of the ideas shared in the Mentimeter interest you? What are the pros/cons of those ideas considered?

  • AmeriCorps VISTAs
  • Interested in finding in kind support
  • It’s helpful to see options, see other ways to help achieve the vision
  • Interested in learning more about sharing staff (more schools who want school based mentors) – Erin Miller from Partners in Routt County wants to connect with anyone who shares staff!
    • Colleagues wondered if school staff could be utilized