Dear COVAA Delegates and Friends,
This month we mark the one year anniversary of the historical
event that occurred last December in Denver. The Congress was
a first-ever convening of official representatives of existing
associations of volunteer program managers throughout the United
States. Through these delegates, over 6,000 leaders of volunteers
were represented. Since our last update, we are pleased to announce
that there has been significant progress on our mandate to create
a new national membership association. This communication contains
proposed language for a new name, mission statement and other
information related to the status of this project.
Based on an idea that came forward during our Town Hall meeting
at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Philadelphia,
the COVAA Steering Committee proposes that the name of our new
organization be called "ALIVE."This
stands for the "Association of Leaders in Volunteer
Engagement."Currently, the Steering Committee is
seeking both delegate and outside stakeholder input regarding
this recommendation. Once this input is received and if there
is concurrence, we will secure a web domain and move historical
content from COVAA.org to the new domain.
After much discussion, we also propose the following mission
ALIVE (Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement)
serves to enhance and sustain the spirit of volunteerism in America
by fostering collaboration and networking, promoting professional
development, and providing advocacy for leaders in community engagement.
We will be publishing a survey soon that will request your input
on the proposed name and mission statement.
As promised in Denver, we intend to finalize our work to incorporate
ALIVE (proposed name). Towards that end we are finishing a transition
process to be implemented in early 2008. Projects have already
been underway for several months and the associated recommendations
will be published after the holidays. These will include draft
versions of our bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and business
plan. After much research, we are pleased to announce that we
intend to recommend incorporation in the state of Indiana.
The Steering Committee continues to meet on a weekly basis and
has discussed topics that have strategic implications such as:
- Model Incorporation
- Issues Governance/Committee Structure
- Membership: Categories, Criteria, Benefits
- Resource Development
- Collaborative Partners
All of these discussions have served to help inform the business
planning process which is the current focus of the Steering Committee.
Final recommendations in each area will be passed to the new Board
of Directors, when elected.
The Steering Committee appreciates all of the enthusiasm and
support we've received. There has been much input and great dialogue
about everything from potential funding sources to collaboration
with AVRM (Association of Volunteer Resources Management) and
other potential partners. Recent opportunities include:
- Several Steering Committee members met the leaders of AVRM
at their conference in Dallas. We hope this conversation will
continue between the future Boards of the two organizations.
The Steering Committee is committed to avoiding unnecessary
duplication of existing resources. From our perspective, we
believe our process for developing our new entity has been approached
from a different angle.
- At the invitation of IJOVA (The International Journal of Volunteer
Administration), COVAA submitted an article for inclusion in
the October 2007 issue.
- A presentation was given to NOVN ( the National Organizations'
Volunteerism Network), a peer learning community of volunteerism
/ Volunteer Resource Management professionals who work at the
national level, for headquarters / national offices of organizations
from AARP to Volunteers of America. This was an opportunity
to receive additional feedback regarding COVAA's work. We were
pleased with their supportive response!
COVAA's development process has and continues to incorporate
representatives of the profession that will ultimately be served.
In addition, COVAA is looking outside of the usual sphere of volunteer
management to obtain input from other people or organizations
with a broader perspective. COVAA is especially interested in
the input of potential partners to ensure an approach that is
relevant. As a result, the new organization that is born will
be positive and sustainable.
COVAA is looking to help provide uniformity in the field as a
convener and collaborator. In addition, there is recognition of
the increasing number of volunteers who are engaged in less formal,
grassroots, community engagement activities. The leaders of these
volunteers may not see themselves as "professional volunteer
managers", yet they would appreciate and benefit from the
support of a network like COVAA. We are exploring how to broaden
our reach to all leaders in community engagement (paid or unpaid).
COVAA is committed to revolutionizing the field of volunteer management
and taking advantage of this juncture in the field to create an
organization that will meet the current needs and the future needs
of leaders of volunteers.
The Steering Committee and all of the members of the different
sub-committees continue to be excited about the possibilities
that COVAA offers. Ultimately, COVAA's vision is to inspire and
empower leaders of volunteers to be an effective catalyst for
social betterment and change, and that these leaders of volunteers
are viewed as essential catalysts for invigorating community engagement.
We hope you share this vision with us!
If you have any questions please continue to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's been our pleasure to serve!
Joanna Johnson and Rita Chick
COVAA Steering Committee Co-Chairs