June 5, 2013

Partners want to help, but they have many competing demands for their attention and their time. Your program needs its moment of fame to spark a potential partner’s interest. To get a partner on board, you should communicate concisely and specifically about your program: what’s so great about it, what it needs, and exactly how the partner can help. A 30-60 second elevator pitch is terrific to have ready, to roll off your tongue in case you run into a potential partner at an event, a meeting, or even at the grocery store!

Use this tool from Y4Y for guidance in developing your elevator pitch. Then once you have it ready, practice in front of a mirror and with colleagues and family members to get it down pat.

After you’ve mastered your elevator pitch, you can check off your June to-do!  


June 5, 2013

Human resources can be some of the most valuable assets a partner can offer. The extra pair of hands, enthusiastic smiles for the kids, and a wealth of expertise and skills go a long way in an afterschool program. The tricky part of inviting volunteers on board is making sure they have enough to do and the right tasks to do. If you’ve ever had 15 volunteers show up to a garden ground-breaking, for instance, you know the importance of matching volunteers’ skills with the program’s needs as well as providing the appropriate resources and guidance for the volunteers. You don’t want to have five people sharing one shovel, seven helpers milling around with nothing to do, and three people taking over the lion’s share of the work.

Think about where and when volunteers can be helpful in your program. Then use this tool from Y4Y to write job descriptions for the various roles they can play. You can even use these job descriptions to advertise volunteer opportunities in the community. When potential volunteers see the details, they’ll know whether or not the role is a good one for them.

Once you’ve finalized your volunteer job description, you can check off your July to-do!  


June 5, 2013

One way to keep partners involved for the long term is to honor their contribution, support, and commitment. Partners have many different reasons for collaborating with your program, and for the most part they are driven by a selfless wish to give back to the community. Still, everyone enjoys some acknowledgement for their good deeds.

In some cases, your program may want to recognize partners publicly, as in a press release or on a banner with their name and logo. Private recognition through small tokens of appreciation, letters, or special ceremonies can also be appropriate. Find some other ideas on this maintaining partnerships planning tool from Y4Y.

It’s up to you and your staff – and even the youth in your program! – to determine the best way to recognize your partners. Get together for a staff training session to brainstorm and develop plans for partner recognition. Use this Honoring Partners Training Starter from Y4Y to guide your session. You can customize the training plan with your own ideas to really target the partnerships your program has.

After you’ve hosted your Honoring Partners training session, you can check off your August to-do, and you’ll be heading into fall with a whole new strategy for building and maintaining strong partnerships in the local community!

And, finally, don’t forget to communicate regularly with your partners and involve them in your planning and team meetings. Communication leads to better cooperation, which helps partnerships last longer and have greater impact.  


June 5, 2013

Don’t miss our next Coffee Break webinar on Wednesday, June 12 at 1 p.m. (Eastern) when our focus will be on Strengthening Partnerships. Discover how the resources on Y4Y can help you add breadth and depth to your program by building and leveraging partnerships with your local community-based organizations. Share ideas and learn about promising practices with your afterschool colleagues from across the country. 

Registration is free!

As with all of our Coffee Break webinars there will be plenty of time for Q&A with the Y4Y team so bring your questions, bring your coffee, and join us on June 12.

Register today!  


June 5, 2013

Don’t miss our next quarterly expert webinar on Monday, June 17 at 1 p.m. (Eastern) on Supporting Rural Programs with Y4Y.

Understand the opportunities, challenges, and needs related to supporting 21st Century Community Learning Center and other out-of-school programs in rural and other non-urban geographic regions. Learn about tools and strategies on Y4Y that can support these efforts, and get ideas for resources rural programs can use to develop and enhance high quality learning opportunities for youth.

Our guest experts for this webinar will be Nancy Valentine, Ed.D., National Program Leader from 4-H, and Emanuel Betz, 21st CCLC State Director, Vermont Agency of Education. Your host will be Jennifer Kobrin of Foundations, Inc.

Registration is free, so sign up today!