2017 AmeriCorps Conference

Each year CaliforniaVolunteers hosts the Annual AmeriCorps Conference for current California grantees. The Conference is an opportunity for programs to network with one another and CV staff, learn, and share service experiences. CV staff and guest speakers lead session topics that focus on ways to build and maintain a strong AmeriCorps program such as fiscal policies, program oversight, reporting and member development.

Click below to view the presentations and materials for each day:

Pre-Conference Boot Camp: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Day 1: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 2: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pre-Conference: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

AmeriCorps Boot Camp

Are you new to AmeriCorps? Then this was the session for you, as we helped new programs understand the fundamentals of AmeriCorps. This session was not for the weak at heart. The participants worked hard, asked questions, and walked away with more to learn!

Day 1: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Plenary

Promoting and Leveraging the AmeriCorps Brand

The role and importance of branding has been a key component of national conversations about AmeriCorps. As we continue to explore ways in which we can better communicate the value of AmeriCorps, we took this opportunity to hear from a panel of experts on how and why branding is a vital part of discussing the AmeriCorps advantage.

Data in Action

Data can be a powerful tool to improve the health and well being of children, families, and communities. This plenary explored how data from Kidsdata.org can be used to assess needs, set priorities, develop action plans, inform programs and policies, track progress, support grant proposals, strengthen advocacy efforts, raise awareness of key issues, and more.

Workshop Session 1

Demonstrating Grant Compliance: Common Findings

This session provided an overview of CV and CNCS’ roles in ascertaining program compliance. Common Member File/Desk Review and Site Monitoring findings were reviewed and discussed, and the presenters provided resources for programs to consult for reference. There were interactive activities and time for questions.

Fiscal 101

This workshop covered Cost Principles, Documentation & Fiscal Systems Basics, Budget Development, Invoices, Budget Amendments and Federal Financial Reports. The Fiscal 101 workshop is required training for new or first year fiscal staff and is highly recommended for program staff.

Core Elements of Effective Site Management

This session explored what it takes to manage a diversity of sites that are spread out across distances. The question that guided our work is “How do we build a team of sites that are high performing, buy-in to the bigger picture of AmeriCorps and the program, are committed for a period of time, and support one another and their members, despite challenges that never go away?”

CV Criminal History Checks

This mandatory training covered how to conduct and document compliant checks for both staff and members. Special attention was given to CV and CNCS differences, using CV forms, common challenges and how to avoid disallowed cost. Ideally the staff member most connected to the program check process attended this session.

Workshop Session 2

Demonstrating Grant Compliance: Common Findings

This session provided an overview of CV and CNCS’ roles in ascertaining program compliance. Common Member File/Desk Review and Site Monitoring findings were reviewed and discussed, and the presenters provided resources for programs to consult for reference. There were interactive activities and time for questions.

Fiscal 101

This workshop covered Cost Principles, Documentation & Fiscal Systems Basics, Budget Development, Invoices, Budget Amendments and Federal Financial Reports. The Fiscal 101 workshop is required training for new or first year fiscal staff and is highly recommended for program staff.

Core Elements of Effective Program Oversight

We worked together to explore the six core elements of effective oversight and how they relate to your program, members and sites. This session was a great opportunity to network with your fellow program staff and assess the current state of your program in relation to oversight.

CV Criminal History Checks

This mandatory training covered how to conduct and document compliant checks for both staff and members. Special attention was given to CV and CNCS differences, using CV forms, common challenges and how to avoid disallowed cost. Ideally the staff member most connected to the program check process attended this session.

Plenary

Engaging Future National Service Participants An Interview with Shirely Sagawa, President & CEO, Service Year Alliance

A giant in the world of National Service, Shirley Sagawa joined us to discuss the Service Year Alliance and the role of partnerships and innovation in keeping Service vibrant and relevant. Karen Baker facilitated a conversation around the future of National Service and how AmeriCorps programs can, and will, play a pivotal role in moving our country forward.

Regional Recruitment Roundtable

Following from the December meeting on recruitment in California, this session focused on the innovation and collaboration in our Regional Recruitment model. Programs gathered to discuss the best way to improve recruitment in their region and how their new and exciting partnerships will play a role in improving AmeriCorps recruitment across California.

Day 2: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plenary

Launching of The AmeriCorps Advantage Career Resource Guide

The AmeriCorps Advantage Career Resource Guide has been unveiled! The vision, purpose, and content of the Guide was presented along with suggestions on how to use the Guide with members during their year of service.

Workshop Session 1

Engaging in Community: The Role of Civic Reflection in National Service

The role of Civic Reflection in service and community engagement programs continues to grow and expand in new and exciting ways. This session covered the basic tenets of Civic Reflection and working with participants to practice developing lesson plans for reflections within their own program.

Fiscal 201

This session focused on numerous components of Fiscal Compliance, such as Fiscal Desk Review and IPERIA. This workshop is required for fiscal staff personnel and optional for program staff.

Core Elements of Effective Member Management

We heard from programs about recruitment, support and recognition implementations as well as best practices of coaching and progressive discipline processes.

Project Impact Panel: Reporting and Using Evaluation Results

Project Impact was an evaluation learning cohort of 16 programs, coached to conduct their own internal evaluation. This practical, hands-on methodology is driven by a passion for how the evaluation process can deepen learning, re-energize the mission, and ultimately deepen impact. Grantees provided a snapshot of the process and the exciting things they discovered!

Plenary

The Role of the Office of the Inspector General

This session assisted grantees in identifying fraud indicators; common audit findings; audit resolution; investigation and processes, findings and resolutions; recent common audit and investigative findings; how grantees can deter fraud, waste and abuse; how to report fraud, waste and abuse; and understanding the Whistleblower Protection Act for grantees.

Workshop Session 2

Creating a Retention and Engagement Plan

This session introduced participants to the retention model that Reading Partners provides for returning members in efforts to retain them for multiple terms. The session covered peer knowledge networks, promising practices, and tools and resources that can be adapted into an action plan for engaging and retaining members.

Knowledge Transfer and Leadership Transition Practices

A key component of successful program management is strong transition practices. The ability to manage a smooth transition can be a defining part of the long term success of a program. This session focused on developing policies and procedures for transitioning and training new staff as well as how to effectively implement these practices.

Core Elements of Effective Member Management

We heard from programs about recruitment, support and recognition implementations as well as best practices of coaching and progressive discipline processes.

Building Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of effectiveness is a vital tool in communicating the story of your program’s success. This workshop helped guide programs in understanding where they are on the evidence continuum as well as how to develop a plan to move up on the continuum.

Plenary

On the Road to Washington: Federal Appropriations and Priorities

This session covered the latest information regarding the federal FY18 appropriations process, CNCS priorities and policies, as well as the important role that AmeriCorps programs and alumni play in educating decision makers on the impact AmeriCorps makes in communities throughout California and the rest of the nation.