This AmeriCorps volunteer position requires a self-directed, deadline-oriented individual who has exceptional interpersonal skills and is able to build relationships with student volunteers and organizations in their host site community. The part time member provides 300 hours of service to the community for eight (8) to twelve (12) months.
This position will recruit, train, and manage student volunteers; conduct site visits with community partner organizations; conduct program evaluations and analyze results; coordinate service projects on and off campus; collect performance measure data; submit monthly and quarterly reports on service activities to Iowa Campus Compact; and participate in a program orientation.
Community Need Addressed
Iowa nonprofits cannot meet the increased demand for their direct services. This is the result of a growing population, budget crunches, and lack of capacity to effectively recruit volunteers for programs. As a result of these problems, beneficiaries across the state will be less likely to receive needed support because nonprofits lack the capacity to provide or communicate offered services.
Iowa’s population continues to grow yet the nonprofit sector is shrinking. From 2000 to 2013, Iowa’s population grew by 6.9% from 2.9 million to 3.1 million people (US Census, 2015). In 2013, the Urban Institute indicated Iowa lost 1.4% or about 400 of its nonprofit organizations from 2003 to 2013. Nationally, the United States gained 11.8% or about 160,000 nonprofits during the same time (Urban Institute, 2013). Fewer nonprofits in Iowa could mean less support for Iowans in need of community services.
Most nonprofit organizations depend on effective and reliable volunteers to make an impact. In 2007, a survey of nonprofit organizations conducted by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits found that rural organizations with annual budgets of about $150,000 were perceived as having fairly large budgets within their communities. In reality, organizations with this small of a budget must use volunteers as a vital resource to help fulfill the organization’s mission and programming. Respondents to the survey also reported a lack of research and development capacity for grant proposal writing and programming, which makes capacity building even more challenging (Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, 2007). These kinds of organizations are the exact type we seek to impact through this program. In 2015, 45% of the organizations ICAP served reported having an annual budget less than $250,000. 30% had a budget between $0 and $50,000.
Demands on nonprofits keep growing. Nearly three-fourths of Iowa’s nonprofits (74%) reported increases in service demand in calendar 2014, and nearly half (48%) were unable to meet the demand. Going into 2015, 61% did not think they could meet demands for services (Nonprofit Finance Fund, 2015). Nearly half (46%) planned to expand services to try to cover this gap, but 52% would be forced to stretch their existing resources to do so (Nonprofit HR, 2015).
This position will recruit at least 10 college student volunteers to serve in their local community. The AmeriCorps member will work with community partners to ensure student volunteer skills are utilized to improve programming of the organization.
This position will also coordinate at least 1 day of service project either on campus or in the community. The day of service project must align with National Service day of service events and include opportunities for reflection.
This position will work with at least five community partner organizations to help identify needs and projects for recruited student volunteers to complete.
Education award upon successful completion of service, Student loan forbearance, Training
Professional development and networking opportunities
Upon successful completion of the full term of service, the Member will receive an education award of $1,212, from the National Service Trust. The Member understands that his/her failure to disclose to the program any history of having been released for cause from another AmeriCorps program will render the Member ineligible to receive the education award.
If the Member has received forbearance on a qualified student loan during the term of service, and the Member successfully completes the term of service, the National Service Trust will repay a portion of the interest that accrued on the loan during the term of service according to hours served.
Other benefits as described by the host site
Skills you will gain
Project management, budgeting, documenting matching sources of funds, facilitation, leading reflection, creating student learning outcomes
Competencies You Will Develop
Lead group discussion, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem
Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers
Accepts responsibility, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process
Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time
Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment