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Mary Hardcastle and Pamela Hargest


Each year, Volunteer Maryland partners with up to 30 community-based nonprofit agencies to recruit, train, and supervise a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. These partnerships are available through funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The documents below provide information about Volunteer Maryland, will help you assess the VM partnership opportunity, and will prepare you to submit a Service Site application.

Applications for the 2014 - 2015 service year will be due in March 2014.

Title Document
Volunteer Maryland Service Site Partnership Application
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Volunteer Maryland Service Site Application Information Sheet
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Developing Your Application: Community Need and Focus Areas
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Developing Your Application: What is Direct Service?
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Site Partner Highlight

Chesapeake Natives, a nonprofit in Prince George’s County, aims to promote, protect, and propagate plants native to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Through its many educational opportunities, this organization encourages community members to give their home “a sense of PLACE” through the use and protection of native species.

A sense of place offers connection, purpose and continued growth. The idea of place and purpose exists through another aspect of Chesapeake Natives: the volunteer program. Through his strategic planning, Selwyn Ramp, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, brings a sense of place to the volunteer program as he continues to work toward building this program from the ground up.

Although Chesapeake Natives has been in existence for several years, it witnessed a new beginning in 2013 as it relocated to a greenhouse at Rosaryville State Park, many miles away from its previous location. With the big move and a new space, growing the volunteer program was an absolute must. With an interest in environmental preservation and restoration, Selwyn first came to Chesapeake Natives as a volunteer. His transition from volunteer to Volunteer Maryland Coordinator was a natural one, as he brought a vital perspective to his role.

Through his leadership and recruitment efforts, he has increased the volunteer pool from five volunteers to 127. In addition to help plant and protect native species, volunteers have helped developed structures to protect plants growing in the greenhouse. They have also removed invasive vines surrounding an area in the forest of the park, as well as assisted with workshops regarding topics such as seed propagation. Without this ongoing and large group of volunteers, it would be impossible for such results to exist.

Behind the scenes, Selwyn makes sure that everything stays organized. He organizes volunteer hours and makes sure documents, such as position descriptions, are in order so volunteers know exactly what they have signed up to do.
Volunteers come in twice a week, and Selwyn works hard to make sure the volunteer opportunities are rewarding, inviting, and full of purpose. He brings a sense of community through recognition events such as a potluck in celebration of the Winter Solstice. Volunteers know that when they come by the greenhouse to serve, they are in for a treat, and certainly have a sense of place in the organization.

Engage More Community Volunteers at Your Agency.

Volunteer Maryland (VM) will work with you to recruit, train, and supervise a volunteer coordinator to work with your agency. They are called Volunteer Maryland Coordinators and are AmeriCorps members who serve for one year of national service with your agency and VM. As a result, the VM Coordinator will work with you to recruit and manage the local volunteers your agency needs to serve your community. On average, each VM Coordinator will mobilize 175 local volunteers at each partner agency.

Strengthen Your Organizational Capacity to Recruit and Manage Volunteers.

Volunteer Maryland staff and VM Coordinators will work with agency staff, called Service Sites, to design a comprehensive volunteer management program. To do so, the VM Coordinator will coach site staff on volunteer program development, and Volunteer Maryland staff members will provide extensive training on the best practices of volunteer management during the partnership year. Each year, approximately 90 percent of Service Site partners report that they increase their organizational capacity to manage volunteers as a result of the VM partnership.

Sustain the Service and Dedication of Your Volunteers.

At the end of the VM partnership year, your agency will have a complete management system in place and the staff training necessary to sustain the volunteer program. On average, 85 percent of former Service Sites report that they are able to sustain their volunteer program after the completion of the VM partnership and VM Coordinator’s service each year.