Affiliate Group News

Hot Off the Press

Three more new groups bring our total to 167

Our NPCA family is growing! We are pleased to announce the addition of not just one, not two, but three new groups this month! One is a geographic group, one an affinity group and the third a workplace affiliation group.

  • Peace Corps, NPCA and Rotary have almost identical missions, values, strategic plans, programs and projects. Partnering for Peace - Friends of Peace Corps and Rotary has a mission to bring Rotary International, NPCA and the United States Peace Corps closer together to make it easier for Rotarians, Peace Corps volunteers, and returned Peace Corps volunteers to meet and carry out Peace Corps’ Three Goals and Rotary’s Future Vision for humanitarian service.
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) at the Department of Labor (DOL) - through the affiliate group RPCVs and Friends @ Labor - formalized their status as an affinity group with DOL in the fall of 2013 and have since become a robust group. The group has been able to network RPCVs and former AmeriCorps volunteers with groups across the Department, improve DOL’s hiring processes, volunteer in the local community, and continue the mission of the Peace Corps’ Third Goal of helping Americans understand the people and cultures of the countries in which they served.
  • The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Association of Utah (RPCVAU) connects returned volunteers to one another, to our local community, and to the world for continued service, outreach, and support. Their mission and goals are to (a) provide a statewide communication network of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs); (b) increase understanding in Utah of the peoples and cultures of developing countries where Peace Corps serves; (c) support Peace Corps and contribute to its policy making process and programs; (d) extend Peace Corps idealism and the spirit of volunteerism into local community activities; (e) inform RPCVs of opportunities in education, employment and social activities; (f) assist Peace Corps in recruitment, the volunteer in the field and returnee in reconnection; (g) assist refugees, immigrants and visitors in the same generous spirit with which we were received abroad.

Please join us in welcoming them to NPCA affiliation!

Nominations Open for Board Elections

You know who they are. Your group would not be where it is now without them. They are amazing community organizers, entrepreneurs, fundraisers, and marketers. Just think how they could strengthen our whole Peace Corps community if they were on the NPCA Board of Directors.

Send them our way. Have them express their interest in NPCA board service. We'll be in touch to follow up and talk with them about how they can best serve our community. Then you can officially nominate them for board service.

Nominations are now open for three member-elected positions on the NPCA Board of Directors representing the following divisions:

  • Geographic Divisions
    • Southern Tier
    • West
  • Country of Service Division
    • Asia and the Pacific

Learn more about board service and download the nomination materials. Nomination deadline: May 1.

 

Complimentary Registration for Peace Corps Connect

The annual Peace Corps Connect conference is the premier forum for networking and collaborating with fellow affiliate group leaders and other members of the Peace Corps community. In recognition of the contributions of our affiliate groups in championing Peace Corps ideals and continuing to impact the communities you serve, we are pleased to offer one complimentary conference registration for each NPCA affiliate group.

Hosted by National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado (RPCVCO), the 2017 Peace Corps Connect conference will celebrate and build upon the great partnerships of the greater Peace Corps community.

Groups must maintain their active affiliation with NPCA to be eligible for this complimentary registration. Instructions for the complimentary registration will be sent the week of May 22.

Group presidents (or those similarly named on your leadership team) should designate whom to receive the complimentary registration by Friday, May 19 via this form. Registration instructions will be sent the following week.

 

Next Webinar:

Highlighting your Group on the NPCA Website

 NPCA's new community builder platform is designed specifically to help affiliate groups thrive. In this webinar for current NPCA affiliate group board members, you'll learn some of the features of this new site, particularly how you can update and use your affiliate group's listing in the group directory to highlight your group's successes and recruit new members. All groups will need to review and update their listing this year, so get ahead of the game on this webinar. Following an introductory overview, there will be plenty of time for Q&A; bring your questions!

Wednesday, May 3 at 8 pm EDT
 
Your hosts: Elizabeth Dowell, Technology Migration Consultant, and Kate Schwanhausser, Membership and Events Coordinator
 

Showcase your group and share your best practices - lead a webinar! Interested? Contact us to learn how.

 

A Free Webinar …

Opportunities for Service in Support of Refugees, First-Hand Stories, Advice from the Field

 

You are cordially invited to a free online presentation…

As new refugees continue to enter the United States, those individuals and families already here require our help.

Hear from experienced refugee advocates; advice from service representatives; examples of need and opportunities to Help

Tune in and learn more . . .

  • Activities that have been effective
  • Discussion of current needs
  • Opportunities to help

Wednesday, May 17 at 8 pm EDT

Help us Showcase our Community

What have you accomplished lately? Do you have a member of your group you'd like to highlight? We love to publish news of recent outstanding achievements of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, and others in the greater Peace Corps community in our quarterly WorldView magazine. Email text with your years and country of service to the NPCA’s Community News Editor, Peter Deekle, at pdeekle@peacecorpsconnect.org. Please include your telephone number and add a photograph, if you wish.

 

#ProtectPeaceCorps

A friendly reminder to please join the weekly #ProtectPeaceCorps webinars at 9 PM Eastern on Tuesdays for updates, materials and resources, and more concerning NPCA's campaign to secure level funding for the Peace Corps and robust funding for International Affairs. Log-in info:
 
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/181419862
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,181419862# or +16465588656,181419862#
Or Telephone:
    Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
    Meeting ID: 181 419 862

Every group should have an Advocacy Coordinator. Don't have one yet? Designate one of your other officers to join in or contact us to designate your group's Advocacy Coordinator.
 

Coming Soon - Annual Group Renewal

You've been asking for it and we've been working on it: the annual affiliate group renewal. This is the time each year about now when we check in with each affiliate group to see how things are going. It's also a great time to let us know how we can help you thrive.

How can you prepare for it? Hopefully, you already have what you need and have been sharing it with your members. Then you'll just need to share it with us. What will be needed: an activities report and a financial report (if you handle any money) for calendar or fiscal year 2016. That's pretty much it. Stay tuned as to when and where to submit it. (And if you haven't yet done so, post those to your website and/or email it to your members.)

Back by demand:  Monthly Group Newsletter

Now back by popular demand: a monthly newsletter for NPCA affiliate groups. This landing page will always have the most recently updated headlines, but the crucial action items and deadline reminders will come directly to you once each month. In between, be sure to track news on this page and through the NPCA e-newsletter, Around the Well.

Are you a group leader and didn't get the newsletter? Contact us!

Affiliate Group News

Get on Board with NPCA's New Community Builder Platform

The new NPCA Community Builder platform is here and ready for NPCA affiliate groups to get on board!

The new platform - hosted by SilkStart - is an all-inclusive system for member management; website creation, hosting, and administration; communications and marketing; calendar and event organization; fundraising campaigns; and payments and invoicing.

Groups attending the Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM) last week got a comprehensive introduction to the website/database platform and how it benefits groups. If you were not able to attend the AGNAM, please take five minutes on each of these two items:

  1. Watch this short video for an overview of the tools and features of this new platform.
  2. Complete and submit this short survey to assess your interest in and expectations of adapting the platform for your group.

For examples of websites that use SilkStart’s platform, please have a look at NPCA and NorCalPCA’s websites.

Thank you for completing the survey!

Ready to transition your group to SilkStart? Have questions about transitioning to SilkStart? Email NPCAGroupWebsites@peacecorpsconnect.org

 

Helping Your Group Thrive

 

Grow Your Membership

When one group adds 20 paid members in a flash, we take notice. So, how did New Mexico Peace Corps Association achieve that last fall? They contacted NPCA to get language they could post to their community on how to join/renew in our new system.

We're sharing that language (and links) with all groups. Simply fill in your group's name where indicated and send it out. Try it!

Thank you for supporting <<GROUP NAME>>. As you may know, <<GROUP NAME>> is an official affiliate group of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), an organization dedicated to advocating for a bigger, better Peace Corps and strengthening the Peace Corps community, including groups like ours.

NPCA recently launched a new website – complete with a new online portal and community directory. On your profile, you can add a photo, share your story and send messages to your Peace Corps friends. We encourage you to check it out!

And, going forward, please join and renew your membership through the NPCA’s website. It allows you to be part of the online directory, and you can join more than one group at the same time.

Please follow these steps to renew:

  1. Head to NPCA’s website: www.peacecorpsconnect.org

  2. If you’ve been a member of NPCA in the past, you’ll already be in the system and just need to retrieve your login. To do so, click on “Sign In” and use the “Forgot My Password” link to reset your login information. (Your username is your email address).

  3. Once you’re logged in, hover over the “Connect” tab on the main menu and a pop-up will appear. Click on “Your Membership.”

  4. On the next page, you can select your NPCA engagement plan. There are lots of options, from becoming a free member, subscribing to WorldView magazine or becoming a Mission Partner. In the box below, you’ll be able to select <<GROUP NAME>>. You can just start typing the name, or scroll through the dropdown menu. Select as many affiliate groups as you like!

  5. On the next page, you’ll fill out your payment information and then you’re all set! Thank you for renewing!

If you have never been a member of NPCA before, instead of following the directions above, you can simply click the “Join” button and create a new profile. You’ll still be able to select your NPCA engagement plan and <<GROUP NAME>> as your affiliate.

If you have any trouble with this process, just reach out to npca@peacecorpsconnect.org for assistance.

Thank you for all you do for the Peace Corps community!

 

Permanent Group Emails

More and more groups are switching to "permanent" emails for their board members, e.g., president@rpcvw.org. Great! We encourage groups to consider that option, which facilitates communication between you, your members, NPCA and beyond. No more updates to make as your officers change.

If you have such permanent emails, we suggest that you use them to set up "permanent" accounts for those positions in the NPCA database. Go to our home page, click on "join now" in the upper right corner and fill in the required fields, including those permanent emails. Then contact us and we'll make sure they are linked to your group listing in the Affiliate Group directory. As your officers change, you just need to log into those records and update the names and they will automatically update on our website. Easy!

 

Membership Lists and Dues Deposits

On a monthly basis, NPCA compiles all of the affiliate group memberships that came through the NPCA community builder platform over the previous month, deposits payments directly into group bank accounts and sends membership lists to groups. During this launch phase of the community builder platform and until we have a place for group administrators to download their own membership transactions, we will email those reports directly to the group leaders as designated. December dues payments were deposited into group accounts on January 19, January dues payments on February 10, February dues payments on March 17 and March dues payments on April 27. Individual memberships in affiliate groups via NPCA continue to rise, so check your email for your group-specific membership list and your bank account for your deposit.

If you haven't yet done so, please designate your points of contact. Check your listing in the Affiliate Group Directory and, if necessary, let us know to update your listing.

 

Membership Renewals

Our new platform is automated to send out membership renewal reminders both 30 days and 10 days before each individual's renewal date, with a final reminder on the date the renewal is due. With the new platform and new look, some of those messages may be overlooked.  Remind your members to activate their profile, check their membership status and renew! We'll be sending some overdue reminders, but your members might appreciate a reminder from you, too! (We've shared some text at the top of this page. Simply copy that and send it out.)

Upcoming Webinars

Highlighting your Group on the NPCA Website - Wednesday, May 3 at 8 pm EDT

Opportunities for Service in Support of Refugees - Wednesday, May 17 at 8 pm EDT

#ProtectPeaceCorps - every Tuesday at 9 pm Eastern (see posting at left)

 

Webinars are held the first and third Wednesday each month at 8 pm Eastern. Have a topic to suggest? Want to lead a webinar? Contact NPCA.

ACTION ITEMS

Take our short survey on your group's interest in adopting the new NPCA Community Builder (SilkStart) platform.

 

Take action in support of Peace Corps!

NPCA Staff Calendar

Happy Hour with Cincinnati Area Returned Volunteers (Hyde Park, OH; May 18) - Anne Baker

Kentucky Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Potluck (Lexington, KY; May 19) - Anne Baker

Peace Corps Commemorates JFK 100 (Boston, MA; May 27) - Glenn Blumhorst, Anne Baker, Kate Schwanhausser

Friends of Fiji Picnic in New England (Hope Valley, RI; May 28) - Anne Baker

Rhode Island Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (TBD; May 30) - Anne Baker

 

We love meeting you all at group events. Do you have one coming up that you'd like one of us to attend? Drop us a quick invitation!

Be sure to add your group events to the community calendar!

Time-Sensitive Reminders

  • Take our short survey to Let us know your interest in our new NPCA Community Builder (SilkStart) platform
  • Submit your nominations for groups doing outstanding community service for the 2017 Loret Miller Ruppe Award
  • Submit your nomination for member-elected divisional representatives to the NPCA Board of Directors (May 1)

Groups that are forming

North and/or South Dakota - contact Tammie Harris at DakotaRPCVs@gmail.com

Zambia - contact Joe Ford at jmf704@gmail.com

The Gambia - contact Vanessa at vanessalj@gmail.com

Tonga - contact Joey at josephbaietti@gmail.com

Need some help forming a group or recruiting members? Contact us!

Groups recruiting new leadership

Friends of Benin - contact Adrienne McCloud at mccloud.adrienne@gmail.com

 

Do you need some assistance getting your group up and running? Contact us!