This week, a group of SOURCE members, including a manager and consultants from a wide variety of client teams, held an IdeaJam with representatives from the Inland Valley Volunteer Resource Center. An IdeaJam is a brainstorming session, usually geared towards addressing a specific issue or problem. The IdeaJam process usually consists of three parts: an opportunity for the SOURCE team to learn as much about the client as possible, a free flowing discussion of ideas big and small, and a more focused analysis of a few specific ideas.
The Inland Valley Volunteer Resource Center (IVVRC) is a local non-profit organization that serves to connect volunteers and nonprofits in the area, mostly through an alternative sentencing program for those that choose to do community service in lieu of a fine or jail time. They seek to “work towards social justice” and develop “emerging leaders” by providing alternatives to manual labor community service. New CEO, Andrew Quinones, believes that the IVVRC provides an excellent opportunity for a shift towards skill based community service that will continue to develop better citizens and a restorative approach to justice.
The IVVRC, as mentioned, has undergone a recent change in leadership, and they hoped to use the IdeaJam as an opportunity to run a SWOT analysis for their organization. After hearing about the current status of the organization, and Andrew’s vision for the IVVRC, the SOURCE team moved into asking questions. As the SWOT analysis progressed, the team was able to identify some of IVVRC’s best strengths as well as some serious weaknesses. The success of the IdeaJam, though, came as the discussion on opportunities honed in on what we identified to be the organization's top priority: a new website and related online registration process. We realized that in order to harness all of the great ideas for additional programming, the IVVRC first had to solidify its position as a volunteer connector for community based organizations and nonprofits by ensuring a successful rollout of a website for the organization. By identifying some possible short-term means to organizational goals, like a skill to non-profit matching database and website marketing, the SOURCE team was able to provide the IVVRC with some tangible ideas as they move towards updating and growing their organization.