YVC Program Standards
-Conduct frequent, supervised, team-based service projects that address a variety of important community needs.
-Recruit youth ages 11-18 who represent the diversity of the program’s community.
-Assign a program director responsible for managing the program.
-Establish an integrated education and reflection process for participants.
-Provide leadership opportunities for youth volunteers.
-Use the trademark Youth Volunteer Corps name and logo prominently in close coordination with the name and logo of the YVC host.
-Provide no financial inducement for Youth Volunteer participation.
-Participate in the program evaluation process.
Who are the YVC affiliates and where are they located?
The YVC network is made up of nonprofits, municipal departments and individuals – “affiliates” – who have all committed to creating consistent, high-quality volunteer opportunities for youth ages 11-18 to address pressing community needs and become informed and inspired through service-learning.
We have dozens of affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada including YMCAs, United Ways, Boys & Girls Club, municipal departments, volunteer centers and more. Our model is adaptable for communities of any size, from smaller towns like Corvallis, OR, to mid-sized communities like Hampton Roads, VA, to major metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, PA.
Find our current locations here.
How does the program work? When do most programs offer service projects?
In a nutshell, YVC program staff work with youth to develop high-quality service projects, recruit volunteers ages 11-18 to serve on those projects, connect youth with additional leadership opportunities, and work to promote the cause of youth service. Often a Youth Advisory Board helps guide programming and offers further leadership development. Programming looks a little different in each community, but affiliates adhere to the eight YVC Program Standards and offer either:
- An intense YVC summer program with multi-day projects structured like a day camp
- An ongoing school-year program with after school, weekend and school break projects
- Both! (year-round)
An affiliate choosing to conduct a minimal level of programming for only part of the year (summer or school-year only) may choose to receive a lower level of support and corresponding dues from YVCHQ. To discuss this program option, please contact YVCHQ.
What new funding could YVC attract to my organization?
Running a YVC opens doors to funders interested in preparing youth for success, reducing at-risk behavior, boosting the capacity of local nonprofits and other benefits. With our custom-built volunteer management software, affiliates can assign a strategic focus area to each project and generate the content needed to write grants and prepare annual reports with just a few clicks. YVC is a media-friendly program that can increase exposure for your organization and engage a new population of parents who can donate, advocate and volunteer. We also have YVC-specific grant templates, access to our fundraising team, and offer ongoing notifications of pertinent funding opportunities and YVC-exclusive affiliate grants.
How much does YVC cost to start and maintain?
The only fixed costs to be a YVC affiliate are our one-time start-up fee ($500) and annual affiliation dues. Affiliation dues are based on the YVC program budget and are distributed on April 1 annually. Affiliates earning a gold rating on their annual evaluation will receive 20% off their dues. The most current dues rates for new affiliates can be found in the organization or individual applications.
Staffing is by far the biggest cost associated with running a YVC, but each YVC host determines the level of support that fits best with their needs and assets. Naturally, the quality of the YVC program is directly related to the amount of time the program director is able to offer it, so we strongly encourage a full-time program director for most communities to ensure the greatest impact.
What will the initial training from YVC Headquarters Consist of?
Ideally, the individual(s) to receive initial training is the person who will serve in the program director role and oversee the day-to-day operations of the program. Trainees will walk through the YVC Program Standards one-by-one to learn how to successfully implement each according to their local community needs and organizational capacity. This includes community mapping, project planning, recruiting youth volunteers, service-learning and the basics of working with youth. There are also tutorials of our volunteer management software – Ydat – and the online resource library. Training concludes with a step-by-step walkthrough of an actual service project. Trainings can happen in-person or via video conferencing software.
What does the evaluation process required by Program Standard #8 consist of?
For affiliates, evaluation is critical to measuring and improving impact, properly allocating resources, and demonstrating the program’s value to YVC host leadership, funders, and other stakeholders. For YVC Headquarters, the qualitative and quantitative data from affiliates is combined with research from independent evaluations to provide vital, well-rounded evidence for the effectiveness of the program model, which is crucial to the improvement, sustainability and growth of the YVC movement.
- Year-round affiliates must complete an annual evaluation conducted via phone with a YVC Headquarters staff member.
- All affiliates must collect and submit YVC statistics as requested. Required data include youth volunteer demographics and number of projects, agencies, hours and youth. Our custom-built online software called Ydat makes this very simple.
- All affiliates must collect and keep individual applications/profiles and parent waivers for each youth volunteer. You may utilize the waivers provided by YVC Headquarters or use your own provided it includes the required elements.
- All affiliates are required to administer our official Youth Survey to youth reaching 30 hours of service. The survey can be completed online from any smart phone or computer.
- All affiliates must classify each service project into one or more Strategic Focus Areas (Compassionate Communities, Healthy Lifestyles, Arts & Culture, STEM & Environment, and Education).
- All affiliates must participate in any independent evaluations coordinated by YVC Headquarters.
How old is YVC? How did it get its start?
YVC was founded in 1987 in Kansas City, MO, by David Battey, who still serves as YVC’s President. While researching his thesis as a senior at Williams College in 1985, David visited existing service organizations and interviewed leaders in the newly forming youth service field. He found a lack of consistent, challenging, community-based service opportunities for youth of diverse backgrounds. Developing a framework for such a program, he returned to his hometown of Kansas City and established the Youth Volunteer Corps as a program of the local United Way. Forty-two YVC youth served in the summer of 1987. Eventually YVC became its own nonprofit organization, and over 30 years later, the YVC Network has grown to include dozens of programs across the U.S. and Canada that have engaged more than 300,000 youth in more than 5 million hours of service!
What is YVCHQ? How is the YVC Network structured?
Located in the heart of Kansas City, MO, YVC Headquarters
provides resources and support to its current affiliates while also striving to bring YVC to new communities. We provide initial and ongoing training for affiliates, plan the annual YVC Summit, and provide a host of other opportunities from youth recognition to marketing materials to program evaluation tools. It’s all designed to strengthen individual YVC programs, connect them with each other, and grow the YVC movement. YVC affiliates operate independently throughout the U.S. and Canada. Most YVC affiliates are hosted by another local organization like United Way, YMCA, Parks and Recreation, etc. Click on the YVC Network graphic to expand it and learn more about our structure.
How do I start?
If you are part of an organization interested in launching YVC or an individual planning to propose YVC to an organization near you, go to the Organizations page. If you are an individual considering launching YVC independently, go to the Individuals page.