Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can any organization be a Madison House Community Partner?
A: Madison House partners with non-profit organizations, human service organizations and public programs on the basis of identified community need. These include: schools, senior services centers, day care centers, medical programs, youth mentoring program, and recreation programs.
Q: What is the role of a Madison House Community Partner Coordinator?
A: A Madison House Community Partner Coordinator works to: (1) build a sustaining, supporting, guiding, empowering and cooperative relationship with our student Program Directors and student volunteers; (2) identify appropriate referrals who would benefit from a match with our student volunteers and/or coordinate appropriate services that are a function of the program; (3) maintain regular contact with the agency clients, the Madison House Program Director (PD), and Madison House volunteers to address any program related issues; and (4) participate in evaluation of the program.
Q: How long is my term or obligation as a Community Partner Coordinator?
A: While the term for a Community Partner Coordinator is one academic year, it is a renewable agreement. Many of our Community Partners have been associated with Madison House for 3-5 years and some as many as 30 years. Madison House prides itself in having positive long-term partnerships with organizations. Some organizations elect to share the responsibility or to rotate the duties.
Q: How long does it take to go through the process of becoming a new Community Partner?
A: Madison House volunteering generally follows the UVA semester schedule, meaning that volunteer opportunities are and volunteers are recruited in early August and mid-January. Consequently, preparation for a new site (proposal, site visit, identifying a student Program Director) that begins in the fall can typically lead to volunteers beginning in the spring semester. If the process begins in the spring or early summer, volunteers will likely begin in the fall semester.
Q: When do Madison House volunteers begin and end volunteer services during the academic year?
A: Volunteer registration begins the first day of classes each semester (fall & spring). All volunteers are then oriented and trained for their programs. Depending on the program, students will be on site from mid to late September through early December, and from late January through the end of April.
Q: Are there geographic limitations to where Madison House will send volunteers?
A: According to our mission, our service is with organizations within the City of Charlottesville or the County of Albemarle. With a few exceptions, all of our sites are within a 15-minutes drive from UVA. We do our best to address needs in the city and county by using carpools, but transportation issues do limit the scope of services we are able to provide.
Q: How many volunteers must be placed with an organization to be a viable site?
A: Generally, the goal is for an organization to sustain a minimum of 10 volunteers who provide weekly service. This can be dispersed among multiple days and shifts.
Q: Can an organization sponsor more than one Madison House program?
A: Yes. While most agencies generally have one Madison House program, some receive the benefits of multiple volunteer program initiatives—for example, a school may have separate Tutoring, Cavs in the Classroom and Big Siblings volunteers.
Q: Can an agency/organization use other community volunteers if partnered with Madison House?
A: Yes. Madison House encourages Community Partners to have a diverse volunteer base.
Q: What options are available if our organization has single-day service projects or another need for volunteers outside of the weekly-service model of Madison House?
A: We primarily refer such requests to the Learning in Action website (www.virginia.edu/publicservice) or The Volunteer Center of the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area (972-1705, www.unitedwaytja.org). Other UVA student service organizations are listed at www.virginia.edu/newcomb/sac/.
Q: Does Madison House offer summer volunteer programs?
A: Due to the fact that most of our students are not here in the summer, we do not offer summer programs.
Q: Do Madison House volunteers receive academic credit for their service?
A: No, it is a personal, non-academic decision of each of our volunteers to serve.
Q: Are Madison House volunteers permitted to help with an organizations fund raising efforts?
A: Madison House volunteers are not permitted to participate in fund raising as one of their responsibilities. Should students wish to participate in an event (i.e., answering phones for a telethon), it must be their initiative and outside of scheduled time with their Madison House programs.
Q: Are there any other types of volunteer service that is inappropriate for Madison House volunteers?
A: Madison House volunteers do not provide clerical or office support for agencies/organizations.
Q: How does Madison House evaluate programs?
A: Madison House sends out an evaluation each year for the Community Partner to complete. We do our best to continually improve our programs, so we ask that Community Partners assist us in filling out the annual survey. We also have our Program Directors complete a program evaluation each semester.