Volunteer Notes April 2008

The newsletter for Orchestra Volunteers


The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

April 2008

 

ANTICIPATION

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
APRIL 27 - MAY 3, 2008

SPOTLIGHT ON: SANDRA LEISTER

CONFERENCE UPDATE
WHY I’M GOING TO DENVER!

ATTENTION ~ PRESIDENTS!
GOLD BOOK ONLINE SUBMISSION 2007-2008

CROSS-COUNTRY EVENTS

CELEBRATE ARTS ADVOCACY DAY

REMINDER FOR VOLUNTEERS IN NY

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

SUBSCRIBE
VOLUNTEER NOTES is published bi-monthly by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, the nonprofit service and educational organization dedicated to the development of American symphony orchestras and to the cultural vitality of the
communities they serve.
 
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GOLD BOOK ONLINE -- The resource for volunteer projects

ANTICIPATION

Penny Van Horn
Penny Van Horn

April is the month of anticipation, a time for warm sunny days, beautiful flowers, and celebrating members’ accomplishments. 

On behalf of the Volunteer Council, thank you for the extraordinary leadership you give to support your orchestras. We applaud your passion for live symphonic music and the difference it makes for your communities. Your invaluable enthusiasm and dedication enable you to organize successful fundraisers, provide educational programs, and serve as ambassadors for your orchestra. 

Today’s technology and generational priorities require us to accept and act on a change in the nature of volunteerism, and we must continue evolving to remain a vital force. Our volunteer organizations must understand and meet the needs of current as well as future members or face losing them to other organizations. Membership remains the ongoing responsibility of every volunteer. The Volunteer Council provides a Membership Skill Builder to help you focus on the steps needed to progress from member recruitment through member retention and engagement. Please click here to download this helpful tool.   

PEOPLE ARE MOTIVATED TO VOLUNTEER FOR AN ORGANIZATION WHEN THEY:

  • Believe in the cause
  • Feel they can make a difference
  • Feel appreciated
  • Feel competent and adequate through self-actualization and learning
  • Feel the support of the people within the group
  • Are involved in decision-making and objective problem-solving
  • Have room for advancement and growth
  • Are recognized for their contributions
  • Feel that the organization has trained them well through workshops and conferences
  • Are asked 

Another resource for recruiting and retaining members is the Gold Book Online.  Please click here to search the 50 membership projects currently featured on the Gold Book Online. 

I look forward to seeing you at the National Performing Arts Convention in Denver, June 10-14, 2008. 

Penny Van Horn, President
Volunteer Council

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
APRIL 27 - MAY 3, 2008

Volunteer—not so you can build your résumé, but so you can build yourself.

-Anonymous

National Volunteer Week was created in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order to establish the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. The Points of Light Foundation, in partnership with its sponsors, continues to promote this celebration of volunteerism each year. For more information from the Points of Light Foundation, please click here.

During National Volunteer Week, thousands of volunteers across the country will be honored for their community service. Why not start planning an event to celebrate National Volunteer Week and your volunteer community? Here are some ideas for volunteer recognition:

  1. Select a gift to recognize your organization’s volunteers.
  2. Inform volunteers of your recognition event.
  3. Plan a local Volunteer Fair with other area groups to showcase volunteer opportunities.
  4. Involve your orchestra’s staff in the celebration, allowing them an opportunity to show their appreciation.
  5. Work with your orchestra’s staff to notify local newspapers of your events and make reminder phone calls to editors and reporters.
  6. Send event photos (and thank-you notes) to print journalists who attended any planned event, as well as those reporters who did not attend but expressed interest.

National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to engage and retain the members that your organization has recruited over the past year.  Since today’s volunteer brings a different set of expectations to the task, volunteer leaders are challenged to adapt their roles to new expectations. Today's volunteers must feel that both their time and effort are valued. Meaningful tasks, productive meetings, and well-structured committees will help volunteers feel their time and talent is being utilized effectively.

With volunteer membership on the decline, symphony volunteer leaders must maintain a vigorous and spirited effort to attract and retain members.  More than half a million people are involved with the 1,800 symphony orchestras across the country, 75% of whom volunteer services and time to guarantee that 28 million people will continue to connect with music yearly. 

Reinforce that important connection with each one of your symphony volunteers during National Volunteer Week. It’s the perfect opportunity to highlight your member’s value and importance to your orchestra! 

Herb Rossmeisl
Volunteer Council

SPOTLIGHT ON: SANDRA LEISTER

Sandra Leister
Sandra Leister

Sandra Leister became hooked on volunteering for the San Francisco Symphony after signing up to work in the Repeat Performance Resale Shop. Since then, she has gathered experience working at the Resale Shop, assisting in the Volunteer Office, and joining the symphony’s Metropolitan League Special Events Committee. Sandra created a time-saving database for event seating which led her to adapt the symphony’s Tessitura system.   

Sandra and her husband, Jack, have known each other since kindergarten, when they lived 3 blocks apart in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. After earning a BA in chemistry and math at Cedar Crest College, Sandra married Jack and the two moved to California, where Sandra worked for Chevron Corporation as a computer programmer, systems analyst and designer, and systems supervisor for 34 years. Having been immersed in music by her talented Pennsylvania Dutch family, she adapted naturally to volunteer work for the orchestra. 

As a member of the San Francisco Symphony’s Volunteer Council Executive Committee from 1996 to 2003, Sandra has held several positions including Assistant Chair for On-Going Projects, and Recruitment and Placement Chair. As a member of the Volunteer Council, she has served as Secretary and Regional Workshop Chair, and is now the 2008 Conference Chair.   

In 2001, she was honored by the San Francisco Symphony with the McNeil Fellowship Award for outstanding volunteer work. She also assists with Special Events for the San Francisco Opera. With Sandra’s expertise and commitment, the 2008 Conference volunteer programs promise to be outstanding. 

Janet Barb
Volunteer Notes Editor

CONFERENCE UPDATE
Colorado Convention Center
Colorado Convention Center

Have you made plans to attend the National Performing Arts Convention? 

Don’t miss the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC) in Denver, CO. Volunteer Council Sessions are scheduled from Wednesday morning, June 11, through Saturday morning, June 14. Our sessions will provide the necessary skills to take action and move forward together with other arts associations. Networking sessions will include a lunch on Wednesday and a Cocktail Party on Friday evening. On Friday, Volunteer Awards Day, a panel of volunteer leaders present their award-winning projects in the morning, and individual projects will be presented in the afternoon. 

Volunteers will also participate in the “America Speaks” caucus meetings, facilitated conversations about the arts in our communities. The caucus meetings will conclude with the closing session on Saturday morning. At that time America’s performing arts community will vote on an agenda to take action together based on the results of the caucus meetings.   

For detailed information about the Conference, visit: League Conference. Here you’ll find instructions for registering, FAQ’s about registering, a Schedule (volunteer sessions are part of the Constituent Meetings), and information about the evening performances. 

Other information and the registration forms can be found on the NPAC web site at http://www.performingartsconvention.org 

Motivational speakers and networking break-out sessions are also planned for volunteers. We will discuss volunteers' participation in caucus sessions and offer suggestions for effective participation. 

It will be an exciting, different conference featuring the theme “Taking Action Together – Bigger, Better, All Together.” 

Sandra Leister
Volunteer Council, 2008 Conference Chair

WHY I’M GOING TO DENVER!

“Denver is filled with the sound of music and the spirit of the arts. Having lived here for 39 years, I am so proud to share our vibrant city with fellow performing arts enthusiasts this June. 

NPAC is such an exciting opportunity to come together in support of the arts—and it’s just that much more meaningful to gather in a community that makes the arts a priority each and every day.”
– Caryl F. Kassoy, volunteer, Colorado Music Festival

Register Now!  Early Bird discount ends on March 31!

ATTENTION ~ PRESIDENTS!
GOLD BOOK ONLINE SUBMISSION 2007-2008

Before your year comes to a close, memories fade, and vacations begin: 

  1. Submit projects held from July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008 now.
  2. Go to http://www.goldbookonline.org to find the submission form.
  3. Information must be submitted all at one time. Have all the form's answers ready before you start.
CROSS-COUNTRY EVENTS

The Missoula Symphony Guild (Montana) reports two items of financial importance. The Guild announced they are in the final stages of planning for their major fundraiser, an art auction, which will feature violins painted by area artists. This event will be held in May. Additionally, to increase their income, they have restructured their dues scale. Instead of having just one price of $25, they have added four additional levels--$26-$50, $51-$100, $101-$250 and $251-500. They found that many members are willing to contribute at the higher levels, thus assisting with their goal of $6500 for the scholarship fund. These scholarships are awarded to students at the local university who play with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra. This has been a successful idea, alleviating the need for additional fundraisers to cover the commitment for this fund. 

The major fundraiser of The League of the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra (New York) is a luncheon and fashion show to be held the first Monday in April. It includes a benefit raffle and a silent auction. Patrons may donate $100, $50 or $25, in addition to the cost of the ticket. The group has found that the monies raised from the patrons have dramatically increased their net profit.    

Congratulations to The Friends of the Oregon Symphony as they continue to celebrate their 60th Anniversary this year. 

The West Virginia Symphony League (Charleston, WV) will be holding their 26th Annual ‘Symphony Sunday’ on June 1. This day-long event is held on the grounds of the University of Charleston on the banks of the Kanawha River and is free to the public. It will feature children’s games in the afternoon along with local musical groups. The League runs a concession stand during the festivities. In the evening the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform, with fireworks and the William Tell Overture as the finale. A dinner will be held the evening before to raise funds for the WVSO, and Sunday morning will include a ticketed Jazz Brunch. Members of the League receive great satisfaction by giving back to the community! 

Lynne Nisoff
Volunteer Council

CELEBRATE ARTS ADVOCACY DAY

Does participation in the arts make us better citizens? Yes! Click here for a study by the National Endowment for the Arts that turned up some surprising data: people who engage in the arts, whether listening to music, attending museums, or reading books, are more active in their community life. They are more likely to participate in sports, are more community-minded and socially engaged. 

Sadly, arts participation among young adults today is declining and so is their community participation. Advocating for music in the schools benefits not only those in the classrooms but helps build healthy communities in many ways. Click here for more information on advocating for music in schools. 

National Arts Advocacy Day is April 1, but let’s be advocates every day of the year. Click here for more information. Visit with your school board to learn about music in the schools. If it doesn’t exist, start a campaign. Write to your mayor or write a letter to the editor of your local paper to stress the importance of the arts in your community. Make your voice heard, so that the music will continue to be heard.

La Donna Meinders, Arts Advocacy Chairman
Volunteer Council

REMINDER FOR VOLUNTEERS IN NY
Caryl Kassoy

Caryl Kassoy

The Volunteer Council will present a Regional Workshop on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 in Syracuse, NY. This workshop will feature membership and fundraising sessions lead by Volunteer Council presenters. Please click here for more information on the Syracuse Regional Workshop.   

Please contact KC Skolnik at the League office if you have any further questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Volunteer Council is now accepting applications for Regional Workshop hosts for the 2008 -2009 calendar year. Three workshops are held each year in September, March and April. Would your organization benefit from a regional workshop? Email KC Skolnik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an application form. All applications for September 08 – April 09 Regional Workshops should be received by April 16, 2008.
 

Caryl Kassoy, Chairman
Regional Workshops

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

Janet Barb
Janet Barb

The goal of Volunteer Notes is to provide relevant and useful information to volunteer organizations across the United States and Canada. To better serve you, we would like to know what topics would be most helpful. Please tell us if you would like to read more skill-building topics, cross-country news, successful projects, or other subjects. Your input is important. As the Council editor of Volunteer Notes, I hope to hear your suggestions soon; please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Janet Barb
Volunteer Notes Editor
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