Volunteer Notes August 2009

The Newsletter for Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

 


The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

August 2009

GREETING: Notes from Our President

SUMMARIZING: Conference Wrap-Up

ENTERING: Project Selection Time for Gold Book Online!

REACHING OUT: Regional Workshops

DISCUSSING: Email Discussion Groups

COMMUNICATING: Touch Base Calls

PROMOTING: Arts Advocacy

HEARING FROM YOU

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VOLUNTEER NOTES is published bi-monthly by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, the nonprofit service and educational organization dedicated to the development of American symphony orchestras and to the cultural vitality of the
communities they serve.
 
CONTACT VOLUNTEER COUNCIL
NEED A MENTOR? Volunteer Sustainers Can Help

LET’S TALK! Volunteer Discussion Groups

GOLD BOOK ONLINE -- The Resource for Volunteer Projects

 

GREETING: Notes from Our President

Volunteer Council President Judy Christl

Volunteer Council President Judy Christl

Summer marks the conclusion of one orchestral season and the opportunity to re-energize for the upcoming one.

This is also a good time to remind you of the services that the Volunteer Council can provide throughout the year. Drawing from a variety of experiences, Council members are your greatest one-on-one resource. Each of us is listed on the League Volunteer Council Directory; you should feel free to reach out to us at any time. We hail from orchestras across the country, both large and small, and our mission is to lead, advocate, encourage, support, and serve you, the orchestra volunteer.

Below are ways that you can access the programs and services available through the Volunteer Council and the League of American Orchestras. Please visit the volunteer section of the League’s website for more information.

  • Forward this newsletter to your board members and volunteer staff—we encourage you to share Volunteer Notes with anyone you think would enjoy it.

Only two weeks left to submit to the 2009 Gold Book Online!!

The Council members and I look forward to working with you to provide valuable support that only volunteers can give.

Judy Christl
Volunteer Council President
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SUMMARIZING: Conference Wrap-Up

Volunteers learn together at the 2009 League Conference

Volunteers learn together at the 2009 League Conference

As delegates, we left the League’s 2009 Conference full of information about leadership, membership, fundraising, award-winning projects, and much more.

Conference is always a busy time, with networking events at the top of the list, and this year was no exception. We enjoyed a fabulous Chicago Pizza Party lunch at the beautiful Palmer House plus lots of other opportunities to get together throughout Conference. Networking let us exchange ideas, share our successes, and learn about ways to improve what we do. It’s great to see how networking creates a community of colleagues that can enjoy workshops, awards sessions, and volunteer activities together.

The great city of Chicago lent itself to networking as well, with fabulous restaurants and great sightseeing. And, of course, there was exciting music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! Their Beyond the Score® program featuring Dvorak’s Symphony #9 was—in a word—wonderful.

Having the opportunity to meet and greet colleagues from across the country, and to learn from each other and from professionals, is what Conference is all about. Start planning now, as next year’s Conference is going to be held in another great city, Atlanta, GA,June 2010. See you there!

Grace Seitz
2009 Conference Chairman

ENTERING: Project Selection Time for Gold Book Online!

Volunteers can peruse award-winning project displays at the Gold Book online gallery--part of the Conference Exhibit Hall.
Volunteers can peruse award-winning project displays at the Gold Book online gallery--part of the Conference Exhibit Hall.
We all felt inspired by the nine Gold Book award-winners who presented at this year’s Conference. Regardless of the economic downturn, we found that volunteers are creating innovative examples of education, membership, and fundraising projects, as well as exemplifying the meaning of partnerships and collaboration. We thank each of our presenters for coming and sharing their experiences to benefit all orchestra volunteers.

If you missed the excitement at Conference, make sure to check goldbookonline.org and read about each award-winning project. While you’re there, be sure to check out the hundreds of other project ideas available from all over the country.

Now that the excitement of Conference is over, we are focusing on submissions for next year—and we look forward to learning all about your projects when the Volunteer Council selects the 2010 winners at our October meeting.

We are also proud to announce that we will be featuring Project of the Month on goldbookonline. Make sure you visit often to see which project is highlighted and how it can help you get that next great idea.

Now it’s your turn! Please go to goldbookonline.com and find the online application form. We want to learn about projects you have completed between June 30, 2008 and July 1, 2009. The deadline for submitting is September 1. All submissions get posted on our website and will be an invaluable resource for other volunteers.

Terri McDowell
Project Selection/Gold Book Chairman

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REACHING OUT: Regional Workshops

Participants at the West Virginia Regional Workshop in April, 2009.
Participants at the West Virginia Regional Workshop in April, 2009.
If you or your members are unable to attend Conference, hosting a Regional Workshop is an excellent alternative for networking and sharing experiences with groups throughout your surrounding area. Regional Workshops provide an opportunity for training in Membership Recruitment and Retention, Leadership Development and Skills, and Fundraising Fundamentals. We love the challenge of tailoring our presentation to meet your community’s specific needs.

Many of our orchestras and volunteer organizations are facing serious challenges. We are being asked to raise more funds and provide more services while our volunteer base is shrinking. Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to network, join forces, and motivate your dedicated volunteers as they look to a brighter future.

If you would like to host a workshop, the Volunteer Council is now accepting applications for March and April 2010. Please click here for an application or contact KC Skolnik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

For our next Regional Workshop, we’re Tucson-bound! Join the Tucson Symphony Orchestra League and the Volunteer Council on September 11, 2009 for a day of training, presentations, and interactive discussion on the topics of Membership and Fundraising.

Wendy Kelman
Regional Workshop Chairman

DISCUSSING: Email Discussion Groups

Ever wonder what other volunteer organizations do? Would you like to network with them all at once? Well you can, just by being a part of League’s Volunteer Email Discussion Group. It’s so easy!

Just sign up and read the discussions as they are emailed to you. You can make comments to the group or just follow along. You can submit questions about all areas of volunteering and get information from other organizations and Volunteer Council members.

In this year alone, we have discussed the following topics:

  • “No risk” auction items
  • What happens to past presidents
  • Aging volunteers
  • Symphony gift shops
  • Symphony guild brochures
  • Keeping track of volunteer hours
  • Developing a young audience

Click here for more information and an enrollment form. (When selecting a discussion group, be sure to select “Volunteers.”)

If you are already signed up, send in your thoughts and questions—we all know the immense value of networking with our colleagues.

Charlene Morse
Email Discussion Group Chairman

COMMUNICATING: Touch Base Calls

Touch Base Calls Chairman Pat Howard
Touch Base Calls Chairman Pat Howard
Each fall, Volunteer Council members telephone and/or email volunteer presidents across the country. These Touch Base Calls and/or emails are an opportunity for Council members to learn about the successes and challenges you are facing. We also value getting to know you on a more personal level, and letting you know about the services that are offered by the Council and the League. If you have not received any communication from us by October 1st and are interested in this opportunity, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your request.

Pat Howard
Touch Base Call Chairman

PROMOTING: Arts Advocacy
Arts Advocacy Chairman Caryle Kassoy
Arts Advocacy Chairman Caryl Kassoy
Advocacy the Easy Way!

You can be an advocate for your orchestra as well as all performing arts by following these simple tips:

  • Talk to your friends, relatives, and colleagues about the exciting concert, pre-concert lecture/discussion, and fundraising event that you attended

  • Take a friend, child, or grandchild to a concert

  • Tell people about the music education programs associated with your orchestra

  • Educate people in your community, on a continuous basis, to heighten awareness

  • Remind your friends that the arts have an impact on the local economy through jobs and tourism

  • Use every opportunity to get out in your community and talk about your orchestra and the volunteers who are so devoted to the welfare of your organization

What are your advocacy plans for the upcoming concert season? Please let us know how you are reaching out to your community and how we can help by emailing Caryl Kassoy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Caryl Kassoy
Arts Advocacy Chairman

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HEARING FROM YOU

Sandra Weingerten, Volunteer Notes editor
Sandra Weingarten, Volunteer Notes editor
Each issue of Volunteer Notes is dedicated to giving you interesting and informative material about the Volunteer Council, our work, and the resources we have to offer. Please contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions. We want to hear from you!

Sandra Weingarten
Volunteer Notes Editor
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