October 28, 2019
Volunteer Clearinghouse last day: 31 December
Since 2002, the Corps has been using two volunteer recruitment websites to post volunteer opportunities and match volunteers with Corps projects. The Volunteer Clearinghouse website launched in 1994 and is only used by the Corps. The Volunteer.gov website launched in 2002, and is used by the 10 major Federal land management agencies as a 'one-stop shopping' site for all volunteers. With the Volunteer Clearinghouse contract expiring on 31 December 2019, HQUSACE and the Nashville District (host of the Clearinghouse) have decided to shift away from duplicative websites and solely use the Volunteer.gov site to advertise opportunities and recruit volunteers. The Volunteer.gov website is currently undergoing upgrades through a new contract, with anticipated launch of the updated site and features in the second quarter of FY 20.
What does this mean for you and our volunteers?
1. From now until 31 December, we will continue business as usual with volunteer coordinators submitting their opportunities to the Volunteer Clearinghouse for administration by the contractor. Notices will be put up on the Volunteer Clearinghouse website to notify potential volunteers that beginning 1 January 2020, they will need to go to www.volunteer.gov to search for opportunities. The Volunteer Clearinghouse contractor will contact current volunteers in the system to inform them of the change. Project volunteer coordinators should also inform current volunteers of the shift. HQUSACE PAO will develop a press release announcing the changes in late December.
2. Starting 1 January when the Volunteer Clearinghouse website has been shut down, we will shift to an interim process for a few months where Heather Burke (HQ) and Bobby Jackson (LRN) will be the main POCs for administering Corps volunteer opportunities on Volunteer.gov until a time when we can obtain user licenses and provide training to transition to District Volunteer Coordinators managing the opportunities for field sites within their district. The 1-800-VOL- TEER phone line will still be available to the public (answered by Bobby), along with a new email@example.com email address that will go to Heather and Bobby.
Beginning 1 January, project volunteer coordinators should send their opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org using the attached "Volunteer.gov I Need a Volunteer- Posting Form". Heather and Bobby will load the opportunities onto the Volunteer.gov website, with the project volunteer POC listed on the opportunity for volunteers to contact directly with questions. Volunteers may submit their applications through the Volunteer.gov website or fill out an OF 301 Volunteer Application and email directly to the project volunteer POC. Applications received through Volunteer.gov will be sent to Heather and Bobby, who will then forward to the project volunteer POC. Heather and Bobby will serve as the main POCs for the Corps for general volunteering questions and will forward queries to District and Project volunteer coordinators as needed.
3. Late winter/early spring 2020, after the upgraded Volunteer.gov website has launched, user licenses/logins will be sent to District level Volunteer Coordinators, training webinars will be conducted, and online training modules will be provided for District coordinators to learn how to administer the volunteer opportunities for field projects within their districts. The goal will be to have all District Coordinators trained and proficient within 3 months of new website launch to fully run their program. Bobby Jackson and Heather Burke will remain as overall system administrators to elevate issues and questions and will answer the toll free phone number and email@example.com email.
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