How do you give members the best roadmap for their next steps without maxing out your organization? How can small programs in isolated rural locations find the resources for such trainings?
Each year, several large and small organizations in metropolitan Portland (Oregon) band together to present a day-long conference that helps transitioning members answer the question, "What next?" Programs from across Oregon and Washington are able to take advantage of the training.
Seven people serve on the planning committee; they meet about four or five times a year. Once they decide on the topics for conference sessions—based on pre-surveys (PDF) of members and evaluations (PDF) from the last conference—they divide up the work and take responsibility for recruiting speakers. Typically, speakers are people they know in the community, with whom they have a working relationship. They try to recruit some former AmeriCorps members as presenters; all speakers volunteer their time and are not paid.
More than 200 people attended the June 2006 conference in Portland, where they chose from among 15 different presentations. Download and print a detailed overview of the event (PDF). The five most popular sessions, in order of attendance, were International Work and Service, Making Plans for Your Ed Award, Networking and Informational Interviewing, Traveling and Living Abroad on a Budget, and Applying to Graduate School.
Many of these topics are covered in other sections of this site.
Of those participants who turned in evaluations (about half the people attending), 80 percent rated the whole day as very good or excellent. The "most valuable aspect" overwhelmingly was the information on the Ed Award and the résumé reviews.
- Click here for a copy of the evaluation (PDF).
- Download and print a detailed agenda of the event (PDF).