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Improving the Volunteer Experience at GSCO

We know that the staffing and structural changes discussed in previous posts are difficult changes both for our staff and volunteers. Despite the fact that many of these changes were motivated by our financial limitations, we are dedicated to using our retraction as a motivation to take a fresh look at our systems and processes and create a streamlined system that makes life easier for our volunteers.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce the following changes (effective immediately), designed to help empower our volunteers and help Girl Scouts of Colorado return to our grassroots origins. Our Program team has worked exceptionally hard to design and prepare these changes on a short timeline. I hope that you will agree that, although we know we have additional ground to cover, these changes are giant steps towards improving our support of our most valuable asset, volunteers.

With our new processes, you will find it easier to:

Complete most requests online We are introducing a new online form tool, through Adobe Forms Central that provides a much improved experience with online forms. All of the new processes below utilize this advanced system and we will continue to update our old forms with this new software.

Set up & change signers on bank accounts Whenever your group needs to open a new bank account or change the authorized signers, just submit the new Bank Account Authorization Request form online. As long as the new signers have completed the volunteer application process, you’ll receive an email with an authorization letter to take to the bank. We also made it easier to access the guidelines for managing group finances.

Help a girl find a troop We have made some improvements to our interest form too. As a volunteer, you can send this link to anyone who needs help finding a troop – or you could even fill it out on their behalf, with permission of course. We have dedicated staff Recruitment Specialists and volunteers around the state who work with families to find and start troops for new Girl Scouts.

Plan a group money earning activity Troop/Group Leaders are approved to coordinate group money earning activities. Written approval for each activity is no longer required. Just follow these group money earning guidelines and we’ll ask you to how it went on your Annual Troop Report next year. If you need help planning a money earning activity or have any questions about the guidelines, contact your Program Support Specialist.

Plan an overnight or extended trip Volunteers who have taken the required travel training(s) are approved to coordinate overnight trips (1-2 nights, including sleepovers) and extended trips (3 or more nights). Written approval for each trip is no longer required, just submit a simple Overnight & Extended Trip Notification to let us know the basic trip details in case of an emergency situation. We trust that the Trip Advisor will follow the troop travel guidelines. Your Program Support Specialist is available to help if you have any questions or need some advice.

Note: If your overnight or extended trip is at a GSCO property, you don’t need to submit a notification because we’ll have your trip details in your site reservation.

Apply for an Opportunity Grant Every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout! We have a new Opportunity Grant Application that can be submitted by a parent/guardian or troop volunteer online. Grants are awarded up to 80% and are available for: • uniforms & books • camp (day & overnight) • Council-sponsored programs (events, series, travel) • adult learning opportunities • GSUSA destinations

An application is not needed for financial assistance for girl/adult memberships or volunteer background checks. Opportunity Grants are not available for troop-planned travel.

Receive Troop Sponsorship funds A Troop Sponsorship is a monetary donation of $250 or more that is made payable to Girl Scouts of Colorado with the intention of being transferred to a specific troop/group, per the donor’s request. Internally we made some changes so we can process these requests quickly. If your group ever receives a donation of $250 or more, and the donor needs an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, submit the new Troop Sponsorship Notification online and have the check sent to the Denver Service Center with a note from the donor to designate the gift to your troop.

Your troop may accept monetary donations of any amount directly, but the donor will not receive an acknowledgement letter for their gift – that’s why we provide this service to troops!

Get the Best in Volunteer Training First, we are removing the cost to volunteers for nearly all adult trainings and reducing the cost for the few that will retain a small fee.

We are also increasing the frequency of trainings. Specifically, Nuts and Bolts, our primary training for new volunteers will be offered at least weekly through our online training platform to help new troop leaders get started right away.

Finally, we are introducing new age-level trainings this fall to help you feel comfortable presenting programming for your specific age group(s).

Find Great Program Resources We are releasing several new program materials that will help make program planning easier. The Service Unit Event Planning Guide (and program templates) will help you plan your event or camp! Program templates will also soon be online for you to use.

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