Excellence and Expertise Task Force: September 2021


Pam Proulx-Curry, Susan Hawthorne, Veronica Kupferman, Lisa Morin, Dale Rowley

Staff: M. Ashmore, K. Preecs

The meeting opened at 1:30 pm by teleconference

Welcome & Introduction

  • Adjustments to the agenda -
  • Anyone new in attendance? - None

Volunteer Leadership Conference

KP shared that registration for the conference is now open though there are still options for additions. Cost is $40 to register, and $100 for watch parties.  Presenters are free but no other discounts are currently available.  Total cost this year is about what most attendees paid in the past with the various discounts.  Costs to cover with registration are presenter fees, staff time, technology costs, including registration services.  PPC & VK feel that the cost is reasonable and there is no need for discounts this year. VK commented that she thought the agenda looked great and thanked KP for her efforts.

LM asked about the watch party options. Watch parties are intended to be single screen, shared with multiple individuals.  All participants must, therefore, share the same session choices

KP  noted that she still needs to add some additional presenter bios. She also noted that she is still awaiting replies on some sponsor requests. Requests to Machias Savings, Target, Galaxy Digital, and Hollywood Casinos were submitted.  PPC shared that she had no luck with her outreach to Bangor Savings

KP shared that Cabot is, again, providing cheese to all attendees – cheese was mailed to all registrants last year. Cabot has promised up to 200 boxes.  There is a cutoff date (2 weeks before the conference) for people who want the cheese for the day of the conference.  Cabot has October outreach plans and can mail to other registrants after the close-out date.

SH offered positive feedback to KP pulling conference together.

Registration open until the 8th of October.  No early bird rate this year.

Moving the Conversation forward on the recent Volunteer Sector Survey Report

MA briefly introduced "The Impact of COVID-19 on Volunteering: Results of a survey of Maine non-profits" and the related video that was sent out ahead of the meeting

MA also noted that the material will be part of next month’s agenda and will also be an item to consider during the Commission retreat coming up in two weeks

VK expressed that she thought the video was very well done and chock full of information.  KP anticipating and looking forward to results.  PPC said that the conclusions make sense, given the situation.

Based on initial reading of the recommendations KP noted that she would like to connect with CDC and MEMA concerning practices for protecting staff. Group felt that the information could be shared as a part of the video series done with Ed Mollello at the start of the pandemic.  SH noted that it would be important to address what organizations are allowed to do under the law.  MA noted that provide organizations can set their own policies concerning masking and vaccinations. State government and local governments have different processes but can set policy as well.  PPC asked how the university system fits in.  MA noted that the state university system is quasi-governmental, but has its own policy setting structure so it can set policy separately from the state.  Private universities and colleges can also set their own policies.

The group also remarked on the value of risk mitigation planning and sample policies/templates and checklists.  VK noted the value and utility of checklists related to safe practices.  She offered that short videos might be useful if they could be made into widgets for organizations to share on their own websites.

LM reminded the group of the importance of virtual volunteers and suggested including strategy specifically to assist organizations not lose the virtual volunteers that stepped up during the COVID crisis

MA and VK wondered if there was a way to follow up with responding organizations concerning what changes occurred in terms of virtual volunteering, and whether agencies will be trying to continue with virtual volunteering. KP and the group discussed limitations on accessing the specific pool of respondents and how we might be able to ask questions using the original contact list.  Other topics discussed included COVID related issues for older volunteers in particular and LM wondered about how w the follow up might include some basic tools for better using online meeting technology like Zoom.


Staff Trainings - Federal Grant management, ABCD, ASC trainings

KP shared her experience with a recent training and one she is currently enrolled in. She noted that the Federal Fund Management course was very dense, especially concerning how to navigate the regulations. She shared that she was surprised how many discussions included exceptions for AmeriCorps grants

The ABCD training is ongoing of the six total sessions, she has done two so far.  The group discussed how ABCD would be valuable training for service fellows and that it would also be good for volunteer managers to help them assess local need in a way not dependent on the deficit model. PPC noted how frequently ABCD informed work at Campus Compact

Prof Dev Fund Application follow-up

MA shared that the individual who the Task Force voted to approve for PD funds at the previous meeting had decided not to take the training due to time considerations

Initial feedback on Summer Training Series

Not yet available

Other updates as needed

DR shared information related to the Emergency Preparations Expo on 9-11 at 1pm. A variety of exhibitors will be at the Cross Insurance Center.  There will be a 1pm memorial service with the Bangor Color Guard.  There will be free masks, hand sanitizer, space for social distancing in the center with a special area cordoned area for mask only.

VK asked if KP needed additional help for the MVL Conference.  She asked that members continue to encourage sponsors and encourage attendance

Meeting adjourned at 2:34pm