VISTA Webinars

Upcoming VISTA Webinars

When you register for a webinar, you will receive a confirmation email. Please keep this information to sign in at the time of the webinar. 

Questions? Email us at vistawebinars@cns.gov

On-Demand VISTA Webinars

Click on the title of each webinar listed below to view a recorded video of that webinar, and to access a PDF version of the webinar or other supporting material.

Webinars on Life as a VISTA

Virtual Member Orientation:

Countdown to VISTA Service
Pre-service onboarding call to prepare VISTA candidates enrolled in the Virtual Member Orientation for their first day of service.

Launching Your VISTA Service
During this webinar on their first day of service, VISTAs in the Virtual Member Orientation are welcomed to the VISTA program and sworn in. The webinar also highlights the VISTA program’s mission, discusses the VISTA Assignment Description (VAD), and directs new members to resources and sources of support.


VISTA Benefits:

VISTA Benefits and Taxes: Just the Basics
On this webinar we will explore the basics of the tax landscape, dive into the various tax implications around VISTA benefits, and introduce resources for tax preparation and assistance.

Living on the Living Allowance
Join us for this interactive session focused on how you can make the most of your time living on the living allowance.

Managing Student Loans (updated 9/8/16)
Student loans can be daunting to navigate. As a VISTA member, you have many options available for managing student loans both during and after service. This session outlines several options to postpone, repay, and reduce Federal loan payments and explores Public Service Loan Forgiveness as an option to eliminate loan balances altogether.

Stories of Service: Living Allowance
Living on the VISTA stipend while in service can be challenging. In this “Stories from Service” session we’ll hear from two currently serving members about what it’s like to live in very different parts of the country on the living allowance.

Using the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (updated 6/08/17)
The Eli Segal Education Award is one of the most significant benefits for many VISTAs. To make the most of this award, it’s important to know all the ways it can be used and understand the limitations.


Serving Effectively:

Supervisor and Member Q&A: Mental Health, Stress, and Resilience
This session for VISTA supervisors and members was a follow-up to the webinar, "Mental Health, Stress, and Resilience", addressing additional topics around mental health and providing an opportunity to explore additional questions.

Mental Health, Stress, and Resilience
This session explores how to identify and respond to stress, compassion fatigue, and other potentially more serious emotional and mental health issues. Learn how to take care of yourself, how to provide support to others, and what resources are available to ensure the emotional and mental well-being of VISTA members.

Avoiding Burnout During Service
This presentation will assist you in identifying your risk for burnout by helping you recognize your ongoing, common stressors (particularly those related to your VISTA role) and your ability to cope with them.

Building Your Professional Network for Service and Career (updated 1/25/18)
During your service, your ability to foster professional networks is essential to building partnerships, raising funds, developing programs, and engaging the community. After your VISTA experience, being able to leverage your networks for professional success and social impact can have a substantial long-term effect on your life.

Exploring Implicit Bias and Perception During Your Service Year
Whether you have entered a new community or are serving in your hometown, your past experiences shape how you see the world. In this session we will explore implicit bias and how it shapes our daily interactions. Members will begin to identify how their personal identity and biases can impact interaction with the community and project effectiveness.

Managing Up: Navigating the VISTA-Supervisor Relationship (updated 10/20/16)
Having a successful VISTA service year is all about creating a shared understanding between you and your supervisor about roles, expectations, and outcomes. This webinar provides practical tips and advice for managing and communicating up with your supervisor.

Plan Your Professional Development
Designed for VISTAs who have recently completed Pre-Service Orientation, this webinar will help you develop a plan for learning what you need to know to succeed in your VISTA service, introduce you to the tools you have on hand as a VISTA, and show you where to find learning opportunities here on the VISTA Campus and beyond. (updated 8/31/2017)

Recursos para tu Desarrollo Profesional como VISTA
Esta sesión para nuevos miembros VISTA le ayudará a desarrollar un plan para aprender lo necesario a fin de tener éxito en su servicio como miembro del programa. Conozca dónde hallar oportunidades de aprendizaje en el VISTA Campus y fuera de éste.

Starting Off Right: Professional Workplace Success
In this webinar you will learn pragmatic strategies for professional communications, relationship building, VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) accomplishments and solution oriented performance outcomes.

Time Management
We’ve all been there: it’s the end of the week and you didn’t accomplish your goals. Whether you’re challenged by creating a realistic plan, face constant distractions, or find you haven’t built in enough time for others to respond, time management can help. Learn proven techniques from an accomplished time management speaker while gaining practical strategies and tools to better manage your time.


Life After VISTA:

Improve Your Giving And Receiving Feedback Skills
Have you ever needed to give someone feedback, but felt unsure how to start a difficult conversation? Join us to learn key skills and attitudes for both giving & receiving feedback! In this interactive workshop, we will reflect back on our personal experiences with feedback, and draw knowledge and insight from current research to identify best practices in creating a culture of feedback.

Ace Your Next Job Interview
Learn techniques to help answer and ask questions; review online and in-person interview etiquette, and make sure you can speak succinctly about your AmeriCorps VISTA experience. With proper preparation, you should have the confidence to conduct a great interview.

Considering Your Career Options: What Can You Do Today?
How can you best explore and consider your options for a meaningful, rewarding career? This webinar introduces ideas and strategies for engaging in career exploration and development today and in the future.

End-of-Service Transition: Preparing for Life After AmeriCorps VISTA
In this session you’ll learn how to access key forms and hear from VISTA member support specialists about common misunderstandings and helpful tips when completing service requirements. We’ll also cover options for future plans after your service year and give you some ideas on how to carefully approach that very important decision.

Getting to Know the Federal Hiring Process and Your Non-Competitive Eligibility Benefit
This session will help prepare AmeriCorps VISTA members and alumni to search and apply for positions within the federal government. Specifically, we'll focus on how to use your unique Noncompetitive Eligibility (NCE) status, a benefit which enables AmeriCorps VISTA alumni to apply for federal jobs without having to go through the standard competitive process.

Strategies For Focusing Your Career Search
Whether you are a first-time job seeker or someone looking to switch sectors, career planning can be a daunting process. Victoria Crispo, a career coach and Manager of College and Professional Outreach at Idealist.org joins us to share strategies and tools you can use to bring focus to your career search. In this session you’ll gain ideas for how to reflect on your priorities, create a personal mission statement and build a targeted employer list.

Supervisors & VISTAs Planning Together for Life After VISTA
A year goes by fast, and when it comes time to end service, do you know what the next steps are? Supervisors and VISTA members can work in tandem to ensure a successful transition post service for both the program and the VISTAs.

Translating VISTA Service to Your Résumé and Career (updated 4/13/17)
How would you describe your VISTA service to a potential employer?  How might you translate your VISTA skills, experiences, and responsibilities to the language of your desired field?  What can you do during service to prepare for your life after VISTA?  This webinar provides participants with several tips and strategies for translating their VISTA experience to the post-service job search, including how to best describe service on a résumé and how to prepare for and engage in career development both during and after service.


Prospective VISTAs:

AmeriCorps VISTA Virtual Info Session
Are you ready for the next step in your career? Are you passionate about making a difference here at home and working alongside communities for positive change? Want to learn valuable non-profit management and community development skills? Consider joining AmeriCorps VISTA! We have year- long and short summer service opportunities available and are looking to hire now! From Alaska to Puerto Rico and everywhere in between, AmeriCorps VISTA members work with community leaders to develop job opportunities, increase access to education and housing, promote healthy living, and much more.

Webinars on the Work

Volunteer Engagement:

Planning a Productive Meeting
Meetings, whether in-person or at a distance, can be essential to accomplishing the important work of your service. The first step is to make sure that you need a meeting. Then, there are several steps to make the meeting worthwhile and effective for everyone involved.

Building Sustainability into a Volunteer Program
Learn how to anticipate volunteer expectations and then build relationships that enhance volunteer engagement. Discover ways you can make an impact on your volunteer program during your year of service.

Creating Group Volunteer Opportunities that Engage and Inspire
This webinar aims to provide you with tools and a process around planning a group volunteer project and helps you think through some important aspects before you jump in.

High Impact Volunteer Recruitment
Participants will learn to use marketing techniques to diversify their volunteer force and to create messages that will increase the proportion of qualified candidates they attract.

Innovative Volunteer Recruitment
Recruiting the right individuals for your volunteer roles is critical to effective volunteer engagement. But how can you best do this and where can you find them?

Creating Volunteer Positions that Appeal and Engage
This webinar offers an overview of how to craft (or redesign) appealing volunteer positions so that you can find - and keep! - the right volunteers for your organization.


Resource Development:

Generating In-Kind Contributions for Your Organization
Nonprofit organizations need financial contributions, but many can also benefit from caring people donating items of value. Further, many donors find it easier and often more fulfilling to donate 'things' to those in need and such gifts can reduce operating expenses. Learn how to identify your organization's needs, request in-kind support, and appropriately thank contributors.

Strategizing Your Funding Search
Learn to develop a search strategy that will identify funders who are aligned with your project’s goals, connected with your community, or committed to those your project serves. Gain insights into where to look and how to find out what funders care about and how much support they are likely to provide.

Creating an Online Fundraising Strategy
Understand what online fundraising options are available. Determine the right platforms and tools, as well as what they can do (and what they can’t) to help you focus on strategies likely to succeed.

Writing Winning Proposals: Advice from an Experienced Grant Reviewer
Hear an experienced grant reviewer describe the basic elements of a proper letter of intent and grant proposal. He clears up common misconceptions while sharing effective practices for approaching each section of the proposal. This webinar gives you tools to be a serious contender in a competitive arena.


Outreach and Communications:

Building a Digital Ad Campaign
Digital advertising is everywhere and the platforms and mediums are changing rapidly. Whether you are considering micro-campaigns using Facebook ads or planning a multi-channel campaign targeting different audiences, it is important for nonprofits to understand the framework of planning and implementing a successful digital ad campaign that is easy to maintain and measure..

Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
Determine the right platforms and tools, as well as what they can do (and what they can't) to help you focus on strategies likely to succeed.

Creating High Impact Images for Better Outreach
This webinar helps you create images that support the messages your organization wants to communicate. Additionally, it shows how good design principles (such as color theory, typography, formatting, and composition) make effective images and where to find images that will help you in your marketing efforts.

Planning a Social Media Campaign for your Project
First, learn to set realistic goals for a social media campaign that are tied to important project goals. Examine the six essential components of a social media plan and see how each contributes to a successful plan. Then, learn how to craft each component for your own project’s social media plan, building in metrics so you will know if you’re on track.

Social Media Strategies for Advancing Your Project
Are you tasked with promoting your project’s mission or attracting community support? Social media strategies can be part of a successful plan for marketing, outreach, fundraising, or volunteer recruitment.

Writing Powerful Impact Statements
It's one thing to say that VISTA is doing important work, but to tell the real story of VISTA you'll need to show the impact of your work. Learn an easy-to-use approach to reporting on the impact of your VISTA service, and discover the many benefits of telling your VISTA story. Original webcast on December 4, 2013

Writing with Purpose, Precision, and Pizazz
Learn how to craft messages tailored to your audience that effectively communicate your ideas in a concise and persuasive way. Whether writing a grant proposal, a press release, a resume, or an email this webinar will help you write with clarity, style, and efficacy. Original webcast on July 10, 2014.


Poverty:

Applying Decision-Making Insights to Strengthen Anti-Poverty Efforts
This webinar explores the science of decision-making and explores how scarcity impacts the choices we make. It explores examples of behavioral applications in such areas as college access, increasing the reach of school meal programs, prisoner reentry and workforce development programs to assist you in thinking about how these approaches might inspire you in your VISTA service.

In Their Shoes: Perspectives on Spending Decisions Made by Americans Living in Poverty
Why do poor people engage in what seem to be irresponsible or irrational behaviors that could make their condition worse? Buying soda and junk food instead of more nutritious alternatives seems like a bad idea. Spending money on cigarettes or lottery tickets seems wasteful for those who don't have a lot of resources. This webinar examines some of these behaviors and tries to understand them from the perspective of poor people themselves.

Alternative Lenses: Poverty Beyond the Official Measure
Stephen Pimpare, Ph.D., author of A People's History of Poverty in America, discusses alternative ways to think about who lives in poverty, what poverty is and how your understanding of both can enrich your commitment to service and the communities you work with. Original webcast on March 20, 2013

Poverty and the U.S. Safety Net
Join us for a session with Dr. Stephen Pimpare to expand your awareness of social welfare programs and policies to help you as you work to address poverty in service to your communities.

Understanding Poverty: a Behavioral Economics Approach
This webinar explores behavioral economics and the emerging science of decision-making. We will explore why people struggle with complex decisions, how poverty exacerbates the decision-making struggles we all experience, and how concrete, often-low cost strategies can help people make more informed decisions.

Behavioral Economics and Financial Decision-Making
We will explore why people struggle with complex decisions, how poverty exacerbates the decision-making struggles we all experience, and how concrete, often-low cost strategies can help people make more informed decisions.

Fighting Poverty? There’s an app for that!
See how the power of mobile apps, crowdsourced data, geolocation services, and other technology can assist in a variety of anti-poverty efforts. Hear from several presenters who are using apps to further Healthy Futures goals such as healthy eating, alleviating hunger, and promoting active lifestyles

Mining Census Data to Explore Poverty in Your Community
The U.S. Census Bureau offers extensive data to help you better understand the demographics and needs of your community. This webinar discusses how to mine the 2010 Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data to conduct accurate comparisons of characteristics in your community. Original webcast on May 15, 2013


Tools for VISTA Service:

5 Steps to Assessing Community Needs
This webinar will be a live webcast of a consultation session between a VISTA member and a community engagement expert. As they walk through the steps of assessing community needs, you'll learn the assessment process as well as important aspects for navigating it.

Demystifying Stakeholder Engagement
In this session we will use the community building lifecycle and the ladder of participation to identify the tools and strategies necessary to engage the right stakeholders, at the right time, and in the right way to maximize your impact and create sustainability.

Better Together: Organizational Partnerships and Collaboration
The complexity of poverty-related challenges means that communities often benefit from greater collaboration among social impact organizations. What makes partnerships and community collaborations successful? How do organizations collaborate and how do you know what is right for your organization?

Beyond Your Service Year: Project Sustainability Strategies
Your service term may be short but your impact can last for years after you leave. Explore effective practices and ways you can partner with your supervisor to maximize your project's ability to serve the community and fulfill its mission.

Making Everything You Do Sustainable
This webinar explores essential sustainability strategies you can apply to your VISTA service as well as to your other efforts. Gain practical steps you can take to maximize the staying power of your contributions to your organization and the community.

Mapping Assets to Build Community
Asset mapping can be your gateway to building powerful collaborations that build your community’s capacity to address its most pressing problems. Learn how to build upon the skills of local residents, the power of associations, and the supportive functions of organizations to foster sustainable, vibrant communities. Original webcast on August 21, 2013

Using Project Management Techniques in Your VISTA Assignment
This webinar introduces key concepts of project management you can apply to any project no matter how complex or simple. It offers project management basics, introduces helpful tools, and provides resources to help you integrate these concepts and manage the competing demands of your service.

Working Better Together: How to Design and Run an Effective Meeting
Explore what practices make a good meeting, including tips for being a facilitator and running meetings. Identify goals and necessary steps to ensure decisions and ideas discussed are implemented. Original webcast on April 22, 2014.