InterCorps Council of Minnesota
Policies and Procedures Handbook
Created May 2011 by task force of:
Table of Contents
The purpose of the handbook is to guide the InterCorps Council of Minnesota’s work by giving standards to which all members and Council activities can be held accountable. Each new Council member should read this manual prior to their first Council meeting and sign that they have read, understand, and agree to uphold the standards of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota; this document should be kept by the Vice President. This handbook should be available to all Council members as well any interested parties by being posted on the Council’s website (www.iccminnesota.org).
The Policies and Procedures Handbook for the InterCorps Council of Minnesota should be updated annually in the spring to reflect the changes and growth of the Council. These updates should be handled by a task force of interested individuals, preferably representing all committees on the Council. Any and all changes should be presented to the Council prior to the final meeting in order to gather feedback, and must be approved by the Council.
I have read the InterCorps Council of Minnesota Policies and Procedures Handbook and agree to the policies and procedures as a member and representative of the Council.
The vision of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota is to promote engagement, communication, collaboration, and education to empower AmeriCorps and the Minnesota community.
The current InterCorps Council of Minnesota originated in 2007, and was called the Minnesota Inter-Corps Council. A handbook was created documenting the Council’s procedures, activities, and policies between 2007-2008. Subsequent Councils have served since the 2007-2008 year. Each year, new members are selected to serve on the Council, and the Council is comprised of AmeriCorps members from state, national, and VISTA programs.
2007-2008 INTERCORPS COUNCIL HISTORY
“The Minnesota Inter-Corps Council (Council) is a member-driven group whose mission is to serve as a resource for AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps VISTA members, and to facilitate the growth, success, and intercommunication of Minnesota AmeriCorps programs.”
The Executive Committee established a solid Council mission statement and was the main force behind developing and producing the 2007-2008 Council Handbook.
The Raising Awareness and Media Committee had a goal of finding opportunities to expose the surrounding communities to AmeriCorps, its members and the successes of service. The group began developing a list of national, statewide and local strategic media contacts.
The Advocacy Committee focused on four main areas. One group searched and shared resources for AmeriCorps members on the wiki. One group worked on a petition/letter that addressed concerns with the amount of taxation of the Segal Education Award, and the petition letters were aimed at state and national legislators. Another group focused on approaching and convincing other higher education institutions to match the Segal Education Award. The final group addressed the different pressing barriers to service that previous and current members face. This group developed surveys aimed at current members, program staff and previous members who had terminated their service early.
Due to guidelines set by CNCS and ServeMinnesota, letters could only be submitted by individuals, not AmeriCorps members, to legislators. That is, Council members and AmeriCorps members could not identify themselves as such when advocating and could only do so after service hours. After these committees were disbanded, it was decided that committees and subcommittees that promote advocacy are no longer encouraged to be part of the Council. Legislators or other political officials should be contacted via ServeMinnesota.
At each Council meeting, someone spoke to the Council for about 30 minutes on issues about AmeriCorps, social justice, and related topics.
Martin Luther King Day of Service, 2008
It was decided that AmeriCorps members volunteer at the location of their choice during MLK Day rather than having service project(s) planned by the Council.
AmeriCorps Week 2008
The 2007-2008 Council created a Monday Kick-Off event for AC Week 2008 and a Friday service project that worked with St. Paul Parks and Recreation, with a turnout of 120 volunteers.
A wiki was used by the 2007-2008 Council as a place to store documents and share resources. It was on mnicc.wetpaint.com.
2008-2009 INTERCORPS COUNCIL HISTORY
The Service Committee organized service projects in Winona, the Twin Cities, Duluth and St. Cloud, securing national CNCS attention for efforts to unite AmeriCorps members in service for a day. They also promoted Martin Luther King Day of Service, 2009 rallies to AmeriCorps members.
The Social and Networking Committee organized a social event following the AmeriCorps Week 2009 conference.
The Education and Training Committee facilitated a member spotlight activity at Council meetings and collected feedback on the AmeriCorps Week 2009 conference.
The Communications Committee facilitated an interview with the Council President on local television for Martin Luther King Day of Service, 2009. Additionally, the Committee also launched the Council’s newsletter (AmeriReader) and coordinated mayoral proclamations for AmeriCorps Week 2009 (this activity was taken over by CNCS in 2009-2010).
The Executive Committee did not record its activites for this year.
The 2008-2009 Council left behind a Guiding Document with the following suggestions:
2009-2010 INTERCORPS COUNCIL HISTORY
The Service Committee began collecting data on service projects (number of volunteers, etc.), organized 13 service projects across the state for AmeriCorps Week 2010, organized volunteers for both fall and spring Project Homeless Connect events at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and organized three projects for Martin Luther King Day of Service, 2010.
The Social and Networking Committee organized an AmeriCorps Week 2010 gathering after the AmeriCorps Week conference, organized a kickball tournament as part of AmeriCorps Week, and organized four social events to connect members of the 09-10 Council with one another.
The Education and Training Committee developed the This I Believe video project to explain the importance of national service (http://www.iccminnesota.org/media), provided decorations for the AmeriCorps Week 2010 conference, and developed three trainings for the members of the 09-10 Council.
The Communications Committee redesigned the monthly newsletter and renamed it to Public Spirit, secured one local television spot for AmeriCorps Week 2010, launched a Council blog, launched a Council Twitter account, and took meeting notes for the Council at general Council meetings.
The Executive Committee (consisted of just President) launched the Council’s wiki (the primary internal mode of communication for the ICC) and led a task force to host a networking event at Acme Comedy Club with YNPN.
2010-2011 INTERCORPS COUNCIL HISTORY
The Service Committee recruited a total of 604 volunteers, who contributed over 2,000 hours of service to communities across Minnesota during 2010-11 through the innagural statewide 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (10 projects, 113 volunteers, 387.5 hours of service), Martin Luther King Day of Service (10 projects, 151 volunteers, 404.5 hours of service), AmeriCorps Week Statewide Day of Service (15 projects, 276 volunteers, 898.5 hours of service), and organizing volunteers for Project Homeless Connect and Project Community Connect (64 volunteers, 335 hours of service). The Service Committee also organized the collection of non-perishable food items at AmeriCorps Week’s Kickball for a Cause.
The Social and Networking Committee hosted a social event following Martin Luther King Day of Service (over 20 attendees), facilitated eight Council social events to foster a connected and networked Council, created progressive dinner tool kits, created a Flat AmeriCorps Member blog (http://flatamericorpsproject.blogspot.com/), hosted a movie night (less than 10 attendees, but well reviewed), hosted over 80 participants at Kickball for a Cause tournament for AmeriCorps Week 2011, and hosted a social event following the AmeriCorps Week Statewide Day of Service.
The Education and Training Committee trained Council members on the Leadership Compass, providing crucial leadership development and team building support, organized My Corps Values art exhibition during AmeriCorps Week (15 projects, about 60 attendees on opening night), and organized Super-Charge Your Service! Day of Trainings as part of AmeriCorps Week (7 trainings, about 100 members trained, 95% of attendees reported finding the event helpful for their service). The Committee also organized the following trainings for AmeriCorps members: Leadership Training (over 40 participants, great reviews), Grant Writing Training (great reviews), Life After AmeriCorps (over 40 participants and great reviews), and Improv as a Tool: A Fun Filled Leadership Training (in conjunction with Walrun Improv Comedy).
The Communications Committee redesigned the Council’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts and redesigned, wrote, and edited the Public Spirit monthly newsletter and sent it to program staff and corps members as an e-newsletter via MailChimp. The Committee also created committee emails through Google to be managed by committee chairs, created a Council website (www.iccminnesota.org) through Google Sites as the main hub of information for the Council and its audience, implemented statewide media campaigns for all major days of service by engaging over 20 media outlets and securing several features, advertised and documented Council-sponsored events regularly, and piloted the AmeriCorps Member for a Day project for AmeriCorps Week 2011, featuring six celebrity AmeriCorps Members for a Day.
The Executive Committee expanded in 2010 to to include a Vice President, who took over the administrative needs of the Council, launched a Council member check-in and collaboration strategy, and oversaw projects such as Kickball for a Cause (in partnership with the Social and Networking Committee) and the Council Ambassador Program (in partnership with the Communications Committee Chair). The President designed and implemented an evaluation and assessment strategy for major Council activities to support reporting and outreach activities, instituted major event reporting to stakeholders which helped secure ServeMN and CNCS recognition and support for Council activities , and developed and executed a program and outreach plan which resulted in in significant gains in programs’ awareness of and contact with the Council. Both the President and Vice President assisted all committees with their work, with transition and documentation, and with internal committee issues.
The Council’s Task Forces work to support projects that fall outside the scope of the Council’s regular committees. The 2010 Council Retreat, outreach and recruitment efforts, and fall kickball tournament (cancelled due to poor weather conditions) were all organized by a small task force of Council members returning from the previous year’s Council. This handbook was created by a task force of Council members, and several task forces worked on projects for the summer of 2011, including a summer service road trip, 9/11/12 Day of Service and Remembrance, a North Minneapolis relief project, AmeriCorps alumni engagement, a Council orientation and retreat, and Council recruitment and outreach.
InterCorps Council of Minnesota
Promoting Service, Empowering Communities
The InterCorps Council of Minnesota is a peer-led organization of AmeriCorps members, representing State, National, and VISTA programs throughout Minnesota. The vision of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota is to promote engagement, communication, collaboration, and education to empower AmeriCorps and the Minnesota community.
To fulfill this vision, Council members serve on one of five committees:
Additionally, AmeriCorps members may serve as InterCorps Council Ambassadors, who are not direct members of the council, but rather support the Council in publicizing its efforts to their respective corps and promoting the service of the Council and AmeriCorps programs across the state. An Ambassador Liaison guides and supports the Ambassadors and reports Ambassador activity to the council.
For more information about the InterCorps Council of Minnesota, please visit
ServeMinnesota has been a consistent supporter of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota. ServeMinnesota provides the Council with one adviser and has historically provided cash and in-kind resources to support some Council activities. ServeMinnesota helps connect the Council to state and national AmeriCorps programs operating in Minnesota and assists the Council in establishing priorities and expectations for Council activities such as evaluation measures and appropriate member conduct.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
Nationally, the Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency and grantmaker that supports AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. It is the agency that sets the dates and establishes themes for national days of service and AmeriCorps Week. The Council supports the second goal in the 2011-2015 CNCS Strategic Plan, to “Strengthen national service so that participants engaged in CNCS-supported programs consistently find satisfaction, meaning and opportunity,” by engaging one of the strategies listed in the Plan, that is, “Connecting national service participants engaged in programs to each other to enhance the participant experience,” (p.17-18, Strategic Plan: 2011-2015, Corporation for National and Community Service). Within Minnesota, the state office of CNCS supports the Council by providing one adviser and occasional cash and in-kind resources. The state office helps connect the Council to VISTA and Senior Corps programs operating in Minnesota and assists the Council in establishing priorities and expectations for Council activities.
AmeriCorps Program Staff
AmeriCorps program staff provide the Council with access to AmeriCorps members. It is the responsibility of the entire leadership team (lead by the President) of the Council to effectively engage and communicate with AmeriCorps program staff in Minnesota, in order to communicate with their AmeriCorps members. At a minimum, the President should communicate four times per year with staff operating in Minnesota to communicate the value, impact, and opportunities provided and created by the Council. AmeriCorps program staff also occasionally provide the Council with cash and in-kind resources, and will on occasion advise the Council and assist the Council in targeted outreach.
It is the vision of the Council to promote engagement, communication, collaboration, and education to empower AmeriCorps members and the Minnesota community. As such, AmeriCorps members are the ultimate stakeholders in the Council's work. Their interests and needs should be considered and responded to in every aspect of the Council's work.
The application should be updated annually.
The InterCorps Council of Minnesota is a peer-led organization made up of AmeriCorps members from State, National, and VISTA AmeriCorps programs throughout Minnesota. The vision of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota is to promote engagement, communication, collaboration, and education to empower AmeriCorps and the Minnesota community.
All applications will be submitted for review by program staff, then reviewed first by a committee of previous Council members, and then reviewed and selected by ServeMinnesota and CNCS advisers to the InterCorps Council of Minnesota. All selected members are required to attend the first meeting of the year, and will have the option to decide whether or not they would like to continue membership at that time. Members will also have the option to run for leadership positions (see Leadership Positions below) at that time.
InterCorps Council of Minnesota Member Expectations
Based on the description of Council committees, please rank your preference (1 being your top choice, and 4 being your last choice) for the committees you would like to serve on. Please describe your interest in these committees, as well as your qualifications for the committees. No member will be guaranteed admission onto the Council, and the application process is competitive.
Social and Networking
Education and Training
Short Answer Questions:
1. What is national service and why is it important to you?
2. What do you feel is the value of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota?
3. What value would you bring to the InterCorps Council? What do you hope to gain from your experience as a Council member?
Within the InterCorps Council there are seven leadership positions which include a President, Vice President, Results and Impact Specialist, and four Committee Chairs.
In addition to regular Council member expectations, those in Council leadership positions must:
Please complete the following three questions if you are interested in serving in one of those roles (please use separate sheet of paper to answer questions).
1. I am interested in serving as (circle all that apply):
Results and Impact Specialist
A Committee Chair
2. I would like to serve in this role because:
3. I feel I am qualified for this role because:
DISCLAIMER: As an AmeriCorps member, your service at your site must be your top priority during your service year. Please consider this carefully before you commit to serving both at your site and as a member of the Council.
Purpose: To ensure that the makeup of members on the Council reflects different groups represented by the Council (VISTA, state, and national; metro and Greater Minnesota) and includes as many AmeriCorps programs in Minnesota as possible--see report of AmeriCorps in Minnesota.
As it is possible, Council leadership will take into consideration creating a representation balance on each committee, ensuring that each committee has:
1. At least one member from metro and Greater Minnesota.
2. A balance of AmeriCorps VISTA, state, and national members.
3. At least one member with previous Council or AmeriCorps experience.
To achieve this, Council leadership may encourage members who aren’t strongly drawn to one committee or another to fill any “gaps” a committee may have.
The Council’s leadership team consists of a President, a Vice President, a Results and Impact Specialist, and four Committee Chairs. The President, Vice President, and Results and Impact Specialist form the Executive Committee. The Chairs are members of their respective committees. Additionally, AmeriCorps members may apply to become an ICC Ambassador or the ICC Ambassador Liaison. No two Council members may hold the same positions (e.g. no co-chairs).
Results and Impact Specialist
Service Chair - Additional Responsibilities and Qualifications
Training and Education Chair - Additional Responsibilities and Qualifications
Social and Networking Chair - Additional Responsibilities and Qualifications
Communications Chair - Additional Responsibilities and Qualifications
InterCorps Council of Minnesota Ambassador
The InterCorps Council of Minnesota offers a position for AmeriCorps members who are not interested in or unable to serve as a Council member. InterCorps Council of Minnesota Ambassadors fully support the work of the council and agree to publicize all Council events to their corps and other community groups. They also have the option to serve on a task force to complete a specialized project during the Council year.
Other Possible Duties
Ambassadors may participate on a Task Force, as determined in collaboration with the Council’s Executive Committee and the Ambassador Liaison. Possible Task Force opportunities include Council recruitment, helping to plan social events and training opportunities, or helping to plan days of service.
Ambassadors must commit to a minimum of two hours of Council-related work per month.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please send an email to email@example.com, ATTN: ICC Ambassador Position. Please include the following information:
InterCorps Council of Minnesota Ambassador Liaison
The InterCorps Council of Minnesota Ambassador Liaison organizes and supports all Council Ambassadors. The Ambassador Liaison is a member of the Communications Committee and works with the Council’s Vice President to execute the duties of the Ambassador program.
Ambassador Liaison Expectations
Since the Ambassador Liaison is a member of the Council, general Council time commitments will apply.
At the annual Council retreat, in addition to selecting a Chair, the Communications Committee will elect an Ambassador Liaison. The Council’s Vice President and President will also be invited to vote in the Liaison election.
In you are interested in becoming the ICC of MN Ambassador Liaison, please think about/answer the following questions before the annual Council retreat.
1. Why would you like to be selected as an ICC Ambassador Liaison?
2. What leadership experience do you have and how could you apply your experience to this position?
Process to Apply for Leadership Position
Summary of leadership positions, qualifications, expectations, and duties will be included with application materials and are available in the previous section (“Leadership Positions”).
Applicants will submit additional information along with their initial Council application, including:
Process for Election to Leadership Position
The current Council advisers will review leadership application materials and screen candidates, allowing them the opportunity to ask for more information or express concerns over candidates.
Prior to the first Council meeting, all leadership applications are given to all accepted Council members for review. Members should review leadership application materials before this meeting. At the first meeting, candidates will give a short presentation on their qualifications and motivations for leadership positions (no more than three minutes), and members can ask candidates questions. This will happen in the large group for Executive Committee positions and in the committees for the Chair positions. No more than one person shall be elected for a leadership position.
These procedures are intended to be used as a resource when needed. Conflicts should be approached through discussion, and many will be solved with simple consensus and conversation.
If a member of the InterCorps Council feels that they would like to leave the Council, they should start by having a conversation with their Committee Chair. At this point, the Committee Chair should meet with the member and the Vice President, if desired, and focus on brainstorming ways to have the member continue serving on the Council. If, for instance, a member wants to leave because they feel their Council-related workload is too heavy, they could be switch to a different committee or take on more of a supporting role in their current committee. The Committee Chair may consult with the Vice President and President in this process, and the member may bypass the Chair in favor of speaking with the President or Vice President if they feel uncomfortable discussing their concerns with the Chair.
If the member still feels that they would like to leave the Council, the Vice President will conduct an exit interview with the member. This could take place during the initial meeting, if the member has decided to still leave the Council after brainstorming. The Vice President may share the information with Council leadership, but should be sensitive to the confidentiality rights of the exiting member. Council leadership should consider using the information from exit interviews to guide their actions, informing, for example, how meetings are run, how workloads are delegated, etc.
If a member is not fulfilling their duties as a Council member, the Committee Chair should begin the removal process by having a conversation expressing their concerns to the Vice President. The Chair should outline the reasons removal is being pursued, and, with input from the Executive Committee, suggest action steps the member needs to take to avoid removal. The concerns and action steps will be shared with the member by the Chair or by the Vice President. The Chair or Vice President will ensure that the member is still interested in maintaining a commitment to the Council, and will collaborate with the member to create a timeline of action steps to avoid removal. The plan will be shared between the member, Chair, and Vice President, holding each accountable for fulfilling or altering the plan as needed. If the plan is not fulfilled, if the member is unresponsive, or if no agreement can be reached, the Vice President will ask the member to leave the Council.
Removal of Leadership
If a Committee Chair isn’t fulfilling his or her duties, members of the committee should express their concerns to the President and Vice President. This process could also be initiated by the Vice President or President. The Vice President or President will schedule a meeting with the committee chair, and ask members of the committee to attend this meeting, in order to voice their thoughts honestly and collaborate on a plan to improve the situation. If no members are able or willing to attend, they should provide the Vice President or President with their list of concerns and action steps. The President should attend this meeting if he or she wishes, or if requested by the committee chair, members, or Vice President.
When a plan is agreed upon, it will be shared with the Committee, Chair, and Council leadership, holding each accountable to ensure that the plan is fulfilled or altered as needed. If the plan is not fulfilled or if no agreement can be reached, the Vice President should schedule a committee meeting for as soon as possible an conduct a vote to elect a new Chair. Council leadership, the Chair, and the Committee should decide if the member will remain on the Council.
This procedure could also be used for the removal of any member of the Executive Committee, but the removal should be voted on by the entire Council. A two-thirds majority is needed.
Each year's Council will discuss and formally approve a calendar for the next year's InterCorps Council at the June Council meeting, which will include AmeriCorps Week, 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service, and Council meetings. This will be done to provide a framework for the new council. Prior to the June meeting, each committee will develop a calendar proposal for their work for the coming year. The next year's Council will adopt this calendar, making changes as necessary with the approval of the Council. The Transition Committee should support the new calendar and position the next Council for success, including booking space as necessary for meetings. Proposals should reflect the Council's commitment to quality work that engages and empowers AmeriCorps members and Minnesotan communities.
The approved 2011-12 calendar of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota is available on the Council’s private wiki, and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/ixtwr3.
There are four different types of meetings conducted by the Council. These meetings are outlined below:
InterCorps Council of Minnesota Meetings
Executive Committee Meetings
The Council will strive towards consensus when making decisions. In order to gauge Council opinion on a topic and whether the full consensus decision making model is necessary, a thumb vote (thumb up is "I Support"; thumb down is "I am against"; thumb sideways is "I have a question that needs addressing or a comment I need to add") should be taken upon introduction of an issue.
When a decision must be made, the Council should follow a consensus decision making model as facilitated by the President or Vice President and following the steps below (Edited from http://www.consensusbook.com/):
Step 1: Framing the Topic
Step 2: Open Discussion
Step 3: Identifying Underlying Concerns
Step 4: Collaborative Proposal Development
Step 5: Choosing a Direction
Step 6: Synthesizing a Final Proposal
Step 7: Closure
Note: the President and Vice-President may omit parts or steps of the above process if appropriate.
After the above model is used, a vote should take place in order to confirm consensus among Council members. Voting may take place either through written ballots or by thumb vote. The Council should strive for a 2/3 majority.
If there are 3 or more options to vote upon, the Council may use range voting (http://rangevoting.org/) in lieu of the options above.
In the event that there are a multitude of options and feedback is desired, the Dotmocracy (http://dotmocracy.org/) approach may be taken.
It is the responsibility of the committee to develop and implement at least three service projects that engagem members across the state throughout the year; one during 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (http://www.911dayofservice.org), one during Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (http://www.mlkday.gov), and one during AmeriCorps Week (http://www.americorpsweek.gov).
Roles and Responsibilities
Committee Chair: See the handbook section on leadership roles and the additional committee chair resources for more general information about what makes a successful committee chair, meeting facilitation, and responsibilities that all committee chairs share. For all service projects, the chair should guide the committee to:
All committee members: Member are expected to fulfill the following:
Registration Maven: could be different member for each Day of Service, or divided among multiple members.
Day-of Site Lead: An AmeriCorps member who registered for a service site and is recruited by the service committee to:
Lead Service Member: The member of the service committee who has organized the project through the site contact.
Site Contact: The person at the hosting organization who has organized the project with the lead service member.
The 2010-2011 committee has found it helpful to meet two weeks after each Council meeting. Because there is committee time at each Council meeting, committee meetings are essentially every other week. Depending on which region committee members are from and individual schedules, this will vary. Keeping the wiki updated and being in contact via email or phone with questions helps meetings run smoothly, especially when things are busy.
Planning Multi-Site Service Events (see the "Guide for Planning Multi-Site Service Events" on the wiki for more details)
The Communications Committee will formulate an overall timeline for each Service Day to keep track of each committee's deadlines and responsibilities (eg- Service Committee sending the registration link to Communications Commitee for distribution to Program Directors). Because Social/Networking and Training/Education events are often planned around service plans, it's important to stay on top of things. Find the AmeriCorps Week 2011 Timeline on the Wiki for an example of how far in advance things need to happen.
Arranging Day-of Site Lead
Once people begin registering, the Registration Maven should contact those who indicated they were interested in being the Day-Of Site Lead. The day-of site lead is responsible for:
While at site, the Day-Of Site Lead should try to collect the following information (this could also be collected by the organizing Service Committee member via phone call or email to the Site Contact the day of or day after the project):
After registration is closed, an email should go out with site-specific information. This should confirm the date, time, and address of each site, include the contact information for the Day-of Site Lead, and give any details about what volunteers should wear or bring, such as dress for garden work, bring work gloves and water bottle, and so on. This email should also include the contact information of anyone who indicated they wanted to carpool on the registration survey. Attach the Volunteer Release Form to this email-- but it's also a good idea to have the Day-of Site Lead bring extra copies. This email could be sent by the Service Committee member who organized the site or the committee member in charge of registration.
Depending on Council-wide plans, service participant evaluations might be rolled into an evaluation that includes Social/Networking events and Education/Training events. You should also send out a partner evaluation for sites that hosted projects. See the wiki for sample evaluation language and past service day evaluation results. Evaluation should always be conducted in consultation with the Results and Impact Specialist.
The Hunger Heroes Handbook is a guide for AmeriCorps members to plan independent projects in their communities. It's intended for areas where Service Committee members weren't able to find organizations to host formal days of service, but where there are still members interested in serving. It works well to list "Hunger Heroes" as an option on the registration form for a Day of Service. One Service Committee member is in charge of sending the toolkit to each person who registers, checking in with them and assisting them through the process, and reporting any results of Hunger Heroes projects. This kit is available on the wiki in an MLK-Day-related form, and an AmeriCorps-Week-related form.
It is the responsibility of the Social and Networking Committee to create events and activities that foster a sense of community, collaboration, and communication between members of AmeriCorps programs throughout Minnesota.
In addition to meetings during the monthly Council meeting, meetings are currently held two weeks before the large Council meeting on Monday at noon. Members can attend in person or via phone (conference call). Reminders are sent by the committee chair, and agendas are created by the committee chair with input from members and sent out a day prior to each meeting. The committee chair facilitates the meeting, based upon the agenda, and a note-taker takes minutes at the meeting, and then posts to the wiki in a timely manner.
Tasks of the Committee
Committee members are expected to:
Committee Chair: The Committee Chair is expected to:
Event Point Person: The Event Point Person is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the project start to finish; keeping an eye on the goal of the project but also coordinating details (logistics, evaluation, outreach/marketing, tasks); asking for help from other committee members and delegating tasks; and posting ideas, progress, and outlines on the wiki.
It is the responsibility of the Education and Training Committee to provide appropriate training and educational opportunities to members of the InterCorps Council of Minnesota and AmeriCorps members throughout Minnesota.
Roles and Responsibilities
Committee Chair: The Training and Education Committee Chair is responsible for seeing that the charge of the committee is fulfilled as well as reporting to Council leadership and the Council as a whole about the happenings and progress of the committee. See the handbook section on leadership, and the additional committee chair resources for more general information about what makes a successful committee chair, meeting facilitation, and responsibilities that all committee chairs share.
Committee Members: Committee members are expected to:
Trainings for Council Meetings
The Training and Education Committee should survey Council members at the beginning of the Council year. This survey should be designed to collect topic ideas, to identify resources Council members may have regarding speakers or meeting spaces, and to inventory any special skills Council members would be willing to present on. The Committee Chair should work with the President and Vice President to offer mini-trainings and educational opportunities for the Council as part of Council meetings (eg- strengthsfinder, leadership styles, communication, etc.).
Trainings for AmeriCorps Members
Please see the following toolkit for details also applicable to this process. The process for developing trainings for AmeriCorps members includes:
1. Identify topic and potential dates.
2. Secure presenter.
3. Secure space.
4. Publicize event.
5. Open event registration.
6. Host event.
7. Evaluate event in consultation with the Results and Impact Specialist.
Training, Education, and Your Community (Toolkit for Planning an Event in Greater MN)
It is the responsibility of the committee to promote national service in Minnesota, protect the image and brand of the Council, and broadcast the work of the Council and AmeriCorps as a whole both internally to the Council and externally through its website, emails, social media, monthly newsletters, and media outreach.
Branding: Provide a consistent brand image for the Council. This includes, but is not limited to:
Messaging Platform: Promote the Council in a consistent, positive manner with the larger audience. Some main points that are universally good ways to promote the Council and AmeriCorps are:
When able, use quantifiable data that show impact and results. Always promote the Council and AmeriCorps programs in a positive manner.
Social Media: Manage all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIN) on a weekly basis, including:
Typically, one Communications member is in charge of each social media outlet in order to preserve the brand of the Council as well as to provide consistency in posts and messaging platform.
Council Website: Manage website (www.iccminnesota.org) and ensure that its information is accurate and updated weekly. Ensure that website provides the following pages:
Ensure that the website includes a side bar with quick-links to relevant Council-related information (such as a countdown to a Signature Service Day, additional service project, or a link to editions of the Public Spirit). Also provide the website audience with images, videos, and minimal text.
Council Email Accounts: National, State, and VISTA Program Staff can be emailed directly from the Council email accounts ONLY with explicit approval of BOTH the ServeMinnesota and CNCS advisers to the Council. If explicit permission is not given, all emails sent out must be sent first to the ServeMinnesota and CNCS advisers to distribute accordingly. The Committee Chair will manage the following email accounts:
Please see Communications Policies and Procedures section of the Council Handbook (below) to know what types of communication committees can send out without the Communications Committee’s approval.
Public Spirit Newsletter: Distribute monthly e-newsletter, the Public Spirit. Members should write articles that pertain to Council-related events, resources, national service, or great stories of service. Include all relevant Council announcements and updates. Edit articles and use the Council’s MailChimp account to organize and send the e-newsletter to program staff and subscribers from the Council info account.
Media Outreach: Provide media outreach for all committees regarding event information. Media kits should be created by the Communications Chair for all major service events. Kits should include:
When necessary, manage communication to all AmeriCorps members through ServeMinnesota and CNCS staff. All emails sent to AmeriCorps program staff across the state MUST have explicit approval of CNCS and ServeMinnesota staff.
Each year, the committee will collaborate and divide the aforementioned responsibilities according to interest, skill set, time commitment, etc. They will commit to ensuring that responsibilities are completed according to the committee and Council calendar. Communications members will also serve as delegates to other committees to ensure that all information is correct for publicizing.
Roles and Responsibilities
Communications Chair: Please see the Leadership Positions section of the Council Handbook for a full description of Communications Chair responsibilities that are not already outlined above.
ICC of MN Ambassador Liaison. Please see the Leadership Positions section of the Council Handbook for a full description of Liaison duties.
Communications Policies for the Council
All mass communication regarding major Council projects (service projects, social events, trainings, etc.) that will be sent out to AmeriCorps programs and/or Minnesota communities MUST be filtered through the Communications Committee. Information must be sent to the Communications delegate, and the Communications Chair must be copied on the email. This will ensure that the Council's advisers from Serve Minnesota and the Corporation for National and Community Service are able to review any communication and send it out to the various Program Directors throughout the state. This will also ensure that the Council presents a consistent image, message, and brand.
Any inter-Council communication regarding small events (ex. whether or not we're bringing lunch to training, whether a meeting is 'themed', any committee communication, or leadership communication to the Council) does NOT need to be filtered through the Communications Committee.
Emails regarding details about specific committees' events (ex. project registration confirmation, directions, or evaluation surveys) will be sent by members on those specific committees. Council Committee email addresses will be used for this communication. Typically chairs are in charge of Council Committee email addresses, but they may delegate responsibility if the choose to do so. For example, if a Service committee member is the 'point person' for a service project at Gardening Matters, she can send a confirmation email, directions, or a survey to those participants that does NOT need to be filtered through the Communications Committee. However, all emails in this category MUST follow AmeriCorps guidelines strictly:
Literature regarding specific committees' events (ex. service projects, trainings, social events, etc.) that are open to AmeriCorps members in Minnesta, such as fliers or online registration forms, should be created by members of that committee, and then sent to either the Communications delegate or chair for approval before being sent out en masse. This will help to ensure a consistent image, message, and brand. Please ensure:
While the Attendance policy will differ from event to event, the official InterCorps Council of Minnesota Attendance Policy for events such as service projects, trainings or professional development opportunities, or organized social events is as follows:
If you are unable to attend [event], please notify [event lead] at [firstname.lastname@example.org] within 48 hours, if possible. This will ensure that space will be made available to those on a waiting list [if applicable to said event].
Committees will decide if they would like to include this attendance policy in their media outreach materials or if they would like to modify it based on the event. If they would like to edit it, they may do so. Then, they should send the information to whomever is responsible for communicating the event information to the audience (whether that’s the Communications Committee or a member of the committee that is sponsoring the event). That said person or committee will be responsible for disseminating this information to the event audience, AmeriCorps members and programs, and/or the general public.
In the event of inclement weather or extremely low participation, the Council may choose to cancel an event. The event organizers should collaborate with Council leadership to make this decision, and do their best to notify all registered participants of the cancellation.
To support the InterCorps Council of Minnesota goal of increasing the Council's transparency and accountability, all major Council initiatives should include a plan for evaluation and assessment of the initiative. Plans for evaluation and assessment should be developed in consultation with the Council’s Results and Impact Specialist.
The goals of our evaluation and assessment policy and strategy should be reviewed by the President and Results and Impact Specialist every fall. The goals are as follows:
Types of InterCorps Council of Minnesota Evaluations (adapted from the National Science Foundation)
Steps in the Evaluation Process (from the National Science Foundation)
"Whether they are summative or formative, evaluations can be thought of as having six phases:
As defined by the National Science Foundation, evaluation questions should be developed based on, "Identifying key stakeholders and audiences, formulating potential evaluation questions of interest to the stakeholders and audiences, defining outcomes in measurable terms [and what outcomes would indicate success], [and] prioritizing and eliminating questions."
Evaluation 101, Minnesota Evaluation Association
User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation, National Science Foundation
Assessment, Evaluation, and Performance Measurement: Selected Resources, National Service-Learning Clearing House
The Transition Process has the following purposes:
The Transition Team should be comprised of Council members planning to return for a second year, and should be advised by the Council advisers from ServeMinnesota and CNCS. The members of the Transition Team should be identified prior to the last Council meeting.
It is the responsibility of the Transition Team to attend State and National Orientations and VISTA Pre-Service Orientation when able in order to let new members know about the opportunities available to them through the Council. The Transition Team should also contact program staff to help them identify members that may be a good fit for Council.
The Transition Team should plan the first meeting or retreat of the year, and include the following agenda items: