Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps Policies
Section I. Objectives of Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps
The Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps will work within the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation to help match local youth interested in volunteering with opportunities to do so. FOM:VC makes connections that offer opportunities for high school students to gain experience through community service activities. FOM:VC seeks to ensure diverse volunteer opportunities, educational experiences, safety, and a large variety of incentives. FOM:VC is committed to matching the needs of the volunteer with nonprofit organizations which require assistance, and then tracking the services rendered for potential school credit, job opportunity, letters of recommendation, and an extensive incentive program. FOM:VC is collaborating with high schools to promote character building, youth leadership, and community involvement through volunteer opportunities. The overall goal of the collaboration is to strengthen the voice of the community youth through engagement.
Section II. Role of the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation
The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation serves a communication hub and safety system in the Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps Program. As a neutral convener of non-profit organizations and the community, the Foundation’s role is to make connections between volunteers and non-profits as simple and safe as possible.
- The Foundation will facilitate confidential background checks for Adult Chaperones and hold the information in a secure and confidential manner. The Foundation will fund one background check position per year with each nonprofit, additional background checks will be paid for by the nonprofits.
- The Foundation will help non-profits create job descriptions through the use of the Job Description form. A FOM staff or youth volunteer will critique the descriptions and make them teen friendly. The Foundation will connect volunteers to Adult Chaperons when they request information on a volunteer opportunity.
- The Foundation will facilitate the recognition of volunteers at the close of each trimester in August, December and April.
- The Foundation shall also award hours to volunteers who assist in programs not connected to Future of Montana if the service can be verified and documented.
- Provide insurance policy coverage for student volunteers.
Section III. Volunteer Guidelines
- Volunteers must be in high school to volunteer through the Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps program.
- All youth and at least one of his/her parents must complete the Youth Volunteer Waiver of Liability form annually to take part in the Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps Program.
- Volunteers must not be alone with any adult who has not completed a background check through the Future of Montana; they may be with other adults if the verified organization adult chaperone is present.
- Volunteer should never be left alone at a work site; their Adult Chaperone does not have to remain in the same room, but should always be nearby.
- Volunteers will stay at the location agreed upon for the agreed up on time unless the task ends early and the Adult Chaperone acknowledges that they are leaving the location.
- Volunteers will complete their short questionnaire of their volunteer time in order to track hours which will be awarded to them. The completed questionnaire may be put in the Foundation drop box, the high school’s front desk or emailed in.
- Volunteer hours will be tracked by the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation through the use of texting requests and responses.
- Volunteers will only be assisting with the job they volunteered for according to the job description unless they are willing to take on additional tasks. Volunteers are always free to say no to tasks they are uncomfortable with.
Section IV. Organization Obligations
- Organizations must complete the following items to take part in Future of Montana
- Organization Obligation form read and signed
- Have at least one approved Adult Chaperon with a complete background check evaluation.
- Interacting and working with teenage volunteers guide read and signed
- Organizations will designate an adult chaperon that the volunteers will work with and that person will agree to a background check that will be performed by the Foundation with the upmost confidentiality. That adult must be present with the volunteer when adults who have not undergone background checks will be present.
- Organization adult chaperon may not leave a volunteer alone at a work site; they do not have to remain in the same room at all times, but must always be nearby.
- Organization adult chaperon may not have volunteer begin work unless they have emergency contact information for each volunteer accessible.
- Organizations will be asked to complete a short questionnaire each time a volunteer assists their organization. This questionnaire will help evaluate the success of volunteers and if any adjustments need to be implemented. The questionnaire will also serve as half of the tracking and verification system for official volunteer hours. If an organization fails to complete the questionnaire their volunteer requests may be put on hold.
- Organizations must provide the Foundation with clear contact information for any location where a volunteer will be working. All jobs and tasks should follow the job descriptions given to the Foundation; or the Foundation should be notified of any changes prior to commencement.
- Confidentially about personal information regarding student volunteers will be maintained at all times; only to be shared with Foundation Executive Director upon extending circumstances.
Section V. Volunteer-Organization Connection Procedure
- The Future of Montana program will post job descriptions on our website youth tab, send them out via the Facebook group, texts and dispute lists to Parent Teacher Organization, 4-H Extension and the school.
- Interested volunteers will sign up through the Foundation and we will connect the student volunteer with the Adult Chaperon as the appropriate nonprofit.
- The Foundation will ensure that the emergency information and waiver for each volunteer is on file before transmitting volunteer emergency information to the appropriate Adult Chaperon.
- Foundation will provide volunteer emergency contact information to the supervisor along with the questionnaire forms to be completed and returned.
- Volunteering will take place with the Adult Chaperon present at a known location; if organization needs a location the Nonprofit Shared Service Center may be available.
- Volunteers will text in their hours to the FOM phone 426-0419 or email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Adult Chaperons will complete the questionnaire concerning volunteer service and either drop is off in the Foundation drop box or email it into email@example.com
- Process will reset as organization provides new job descriptions and volunteers are engaged in new volunteer opportunities.
Section VI. Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps Communication
- Texting will be handled through the FOMVC Phone which has the number (406)426-0419.
- Email that will be used for Future of Montana communications is firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Facebook Group Future of Montana Volunteer Corps will be used as the social media communication platform for posting job and photos.
Section VII. Volunteer Opportunities
Job descriptions will be sorted into three categories based on time frame, location and type of work. These descriptions will be listed according to the three separate categories to allow volunteers to browse jobs based on their schedules and available time and interests. Organizations are encouraged to consider group activities and team based tasks for volunteers.
- Long-Term: Volunteer opportunities that require more training and thus more time from volunteers. This category is intended for long-term projects or positions that require a greater commitment. Examples could include website design, marketing work, routine shifts at organization or fundraiser planning and completion, youth boards, etc.
- One Time: Volunteer opportunities that have volunteers helping with basic tasks that do not require much training such as mailings or special projects. These positions allow volunteers to meet with an adult chaperon and learn about an organization without a large time commitment while helping to complete tasks for the organization.
- Events: Volunteer opportunities that are for one day or only a weekend with specialized tasks. Events could take place at unusual locations such as moving something across town or working in the park. Examples may be a BBQ event in the park, hauling furniture across town, helping at a fundraiser or doing cleanups through town.
Section VIII. Future of Montana: Volunteer Corps Recognition Schedule
- The recognition system is based on a trimester system that will divide each year into three four month periods. Volunteer hours will be tracked by each trimester and volunteers will be recognized at the close of each period.
- During the trimesters, monthly hours will be added up for drawing gift cards and awarding the volunteer of the month parking spot at the high school. Monthly hours will then be tallied within the trimester.
- Trimester recognition events will encourage more involvement from other teens than an annual event would. Tickets given as part of incentive program for hours worked will be used in a drawing for the trimester to celebrate the period and recognize the efforts of volunteers.
- End of trimesters are scheduled to compliment the academic school year schedule. The first trimester of each year is starts the end of August, the next is end of December and summer trimester begins at the end of April.
- The annual calendar runs from August to August and is set to align with the beginning of the school year. Yearly goals and volunteer hours will start and finish at this time.
Section IX. Future of Montana Incentives
- Volunteers will be entered into the trimester drawing with a ticket when they complete sign up for the program.
- Lottery drawings will be held monthly using tickets awarded for each two hours of verified volunteering completed in the month. Prizes will include a variety of gift cards including amazon cards or local gift cards.
- Each trimester a gathering will be held for volunteers and chaperons to recognize those who volunteered.
- Student volunteers may apply for fuel cards with the Foundation if they are needed for the student to volunteer.
- Organizations should advise of any additional awards they wish to present to volunteers with the Future of Montana Program, but may present the awards themselves without discussing this first with the Foundation.
Section X. Benefits to Volunteers
- Volunteers who preform hours with multiple supervisors can request letters of recommendation from the Foundation or their Adult Chaperons.
- Community recognition for youth volunteers in the community.
- Certificates recognizing service in the community that can be used for college applications to help build student resumes.
- Listing of volunteers each year on the Foundation webpage
Section XI. Benefits to Organizations
- Passes on organization’s mission and message to the younger generation.
- Teens bring in new energy, new ideas and new approaches to organizations.
- Working together breaks down barriers between generations.
- Volunteers help get work done for organizations.
Section XII. Restrictions on Volunteer Opportunities
- The Future of Montana: Volunteer is a program under the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, a neutral convener in the community. As such the FOMVC places restrictions on qualifying community service.
- Volunteers are prohibited from activities including lobbying or political, religious, or advocacy and such activities, hours accumulated in such activities will not be counted by FOMVC.
- The list of specific prohibited activities includes: influencing legislation or an election; assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing; engaging in religious instruction; conducting worship services; engaging in any form of religious proselytism; organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements; participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political candidates, political platforms, proposed legislation, or elected officials; providing a direct benefit to a for-profit entity, a labor union, a partisan political organization; engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office and voter registration drives.
- The purpose of FOMVC community service is to meet current needs within the community as a neutral party. Such activities may be done by any person at any time, but will not count towards total volunteer hours with FOMVC, students may track them personally.
- Organizations who propose volunteer opportunities that violate these restrictions will be contacted and their volunteer request will not be processed.