Placement Eligibility Evaluation Methodology
The staff of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) determine the compatibility of prospective placements with LVC’s mission and goals. An effort is made to recruit placements representing a wide variety of issue areas and communities, ranging from direct service to public policy, community organizing, and advocacy. We take into account the specific merits and circumstances of each prospective placement.
The total number of placements we are able to approve in each LVC city is also a factor. LVC approves a slightly higher number of placements in each city than will actually be filled, because making the best possible placement/Volunteer match is important to the experience for Volunteers and Placements. Therefore, although the probability is high, we cannot guarantee that all approved placements will receive a Volunteer. Outlined below are the approval criteria, which inform our decisions on placement applications.
- Organizations must be a 501(3)c status non-profit.
- Placements must be within reasonable commuting distance of LVC houses. Placements must either be easily accessible by public transportation or be willing to reimburse the cost (including liability insurance and mileage) of a private vehicle. If agencies need a Volunteer to serve evening hours when public transportation is either unavailable or unsafe, they must provide a transportation plan before being approved as a placement possibility.
Mission and focus
LVC is looking for agencies that address issues of social justice – making sure everyone has access to basic resources and opportunities. We look forward to working with organizations that demonstrate excellence in their work, and that have a policy of openness and non-discrimination toward people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, religious expressions and racial backgrounds. Learn more about Our Values.
- LVC places Volunteers with nonprofit organizations and ministries who are caring for the earth and working for peace with justice. We seek placements that enable Volunteers to integrate their values and actions, and that foster a deeper understanding of how to change institutional systems that maintain oppression.
- LVC’s focus is on underserved urban communities. LVC tries to strengthen communities and will give greater weight to placements that empower community members and work for systemic change.
- We seek to place Volunteers in organizations that are not otherwise able to afford a full-time staff person in the position and therefore the Volunteer position does not displace, duplicate or compete with a regular, full-time, compensated employee.
- We seek placements that are on a journey of becoming anti-racist/anti-oppression, and include sexual orientation and gender identity in their anti-discrimination policies.
- We look for the representation of people of color in supervisory and other leadership positions.
- We look for agencies where the staff composition reflects the client base and community served and where there are opportunities for people from the community or former clients to work in the agency.
- We also consider the overall number of staff at an organization, the turnover rate and the number of people that will work alongside the Volunteer at the particular site.
- We look at the composition of an organization’s board and management staff and put emphasis on placements that are representative of the population served and have people of color in leadership.
- We also look for agencies that give voice to the communities they serve in decision-making.
Volunteers make it possible for their organizations to accomplish more with less. However, a successful application will demonstrate an agency’s ability to afford the placement fees required by Lutheran Volunteer Corps.
LVC places stipended Volunteers in organizations that do not have the financial capacity to employ a regularly paid individual to do the same work. At the same time, LVC looks to place Volunteers in organizations that do have the financial capacity to pay the placement fees. LVC has preference for organizations that:
- Can demonstrate the financial need for a stipended Volunteer and financial capacity to pay a Volunteer.
- Show that their salary and benefits for the highest paid, full-time employee are not more than four times the lowest paid, full-time employee.
- Have a fair compensation and benefits policy for all employees.
- Have diverse and stable funding sources: contributions from many individuals and organizations
- Can demonstrate overall financial stability of the organization.
Volunteer Position Description
- The position description must be full-time, fill a need within the organization, and support its work for social justice.
- Positions should be both challenging and of a reasonable workload.
Supervision & Mentoring
- Quality training and supervision for the Volunteer are expected. The experience, longevity, and accessibility of the Volunteer’s direct supervisor are key factors.
- One of the things volunteers hope to receive from their year of service is a deeper understanding of the barriers to social justice, and the ways that people work to bring them down, whether through meeting basic needs or through challenging unjust dynamics in society. A successful Volunteer placement is interested in mentoring by example and with supportive supervision.
Applications are accepted from organizations that are current or past LVC placements and from organizations new to LVC. All applications are considered equally and the same criteria will be used to evaluate them all; current or past placements receive no priority in acceptance decisions.