Volunteer Services Alliance launch was well attended. Pictured in left row from left are Mark Christensen; Denise Adams, Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association; Tara Truett, Madison County Reads Ahead; and Jo Perkins Madison County Health Department. Right row from left includes Steve Eddy; Hank Leo, Tri Valley YMCA; and Barb Church, Community Action Partnership.

(Madison County, NY – Dec. 2012) The last week in November was an important time for Madison County non-profits.  About 60 residents spoke to the Madison County Board of Supervisors in support of non-profits at two public hearings held on Tuesday.

At the end of the day, the Madison County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an amendment to fully restore funding for not-for-profit organizations in the 2013 County Budget after two public hearings and a myriad of sometimes emotional public comment.

With a collective sigh of relief, 40 non-profit leaders and representatives from 25 organizations attended a meeting on Nov. 28 that launched the newly formed Volunteer Services Alliance (VSA) for Madison County. In his introductory comments for the VSA Launch meeting, Madison County Board of Supervisors Chair, John Becker praised the work of non-profits and encouraged leaders to work together.

Non-profit leaders know that in these challenging economic times, we have to ‘do more with less’. The VSA does just that. VSA is a membership organization whose purpose is to promote volunteerism and provide a mechanism for interagency networking.

Volunteer Services Alliance is the result of a needs assessment conducted by RSVP in the spring of 2012. A steering committee of service providers was convened by RSVP to review the survey responses and make recommendations for needed support.  The top needs non-profits identified were for volunteer recruitment, volunteer management training and volunteer recognition events.

Responding to these stated community needs, VSA will provide quarterly training and networking meetings for non-profit representatives, an annual event to showcase volunteerism and spotlight volunteers through publicity. The service is meant to augment and support the efforts of non-profits that utilize volunteers to increase the capacity of their programs.

The needs assessment and subsequent launch of the VSA was made possible by a grant from The Gifford Foundation.

A full report of the needs assessment results is available to anyone in the county who wishes to use it. To obtain a copy of the report or for more information about joining the VSA, contact Mary Bartlett, Director, RSVP at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County 684-3001 Ext. 103 or email Mb786@cornell.edu.


By martha

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