VISTA Webinars

Upcoming VISTA Webinars

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 pm EDT

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is one of the most significant benefits for many members. Because there are many ways the award can be used, figuring out what’s best for you can be daunting. To help you make the most of this award, this webinar explains the ways it can be used, the limitations, and shares examples of how alumni have used it.

Join us and learn how to:
• Identify the requirements and limitations of the Segal Education Award
• Define what counts as a qualified student loan that can be repaid using the Segal Education Award
• Identify eligible education expenses that can be paid using the Segal Education Award 

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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

VISTA Benefits:

Teleservice Resources for VISTA Members
Explore key elements of VISTA member activities during full-time teleservice and gain best practices and resources for serving remotely. (May 2020)

Maximizing Your VISTA Healthcare Benefit
This recorded webinar will help you get the most from your VISTA healthcare coverage during service. It clarifies differences between the two plans, provides a walk through of the enrollment process and reviews how to use your plan when you need care. The session also addresses some common questions about the VISTA healthcare options.

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
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
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.

Getting Outdoors With Your Education Award
Learn about the ways you can use your education award for learning experiences in the outdoors and abroad, with special guests from NOLS and Outward Bound.

Serving Effectively:

Strategies for Sustaining Your VISTA Project
Whether you are in the final months of your AmeriCorps service or just starting, it is never too early to start thinking about project sustainability. This webinar discusses various actions you can take now to ensure that the capacity you have built at your organization will be sustained. (Recorded 1/28/2021).

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.

Resiliency and Service Wellness
Effectively serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member during this time of great uncertainty, community unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic can be off-the-charts challenging. Fortunately, our individual and collective experiences and legacies are ones of resiliency. This engaging one-hour session includes an opportunity for members to reflect on resiliency rooted in their diverse cultural backgrounds and will explore different approaches to integrating wellness practices during their year of service. (Recorded 09/24/2020)

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
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
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.

Learning Opportunities for Service and Beyond
Designed for VISTAs who completed Virtual Member Orientation, this webinar helps you identify ways to learn what you need to know to succeed in your VISTA service. A variety of tips and resources are shared, covering key skills and practice areas for effective service including community outreach, volunteer mobilization, resource development, and more.

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 Strong: Professional Workplace Success
The first few months in a new position are critical. From understanding organizational culture to working with colleagues to managing your VISTA goals, it’s up to you to set yourself up for success during your service. In this era of remote work and social distancing, using strong digital communication and relationship building practices is even more critical. In this webinar, we’ll explore practical strategies for professional communications and effective techniques for relationship building at a distance in order to assist in a smooth transition into a new workplace. (Recorded 08/26/2020)

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.(Recorded 11/18/2020)

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 Your Non-Competitive Eligibility Benefit
In this session we'll discuss Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE), a unique benefit which enables AmeriCorps VISTA alumni to apply for federal jobs without having to go through the standard competitive process. Specifically, we’ll explore how to highlight your NCE status during the federal hiring process. (Recorded 2/24/2021)

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 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
For members preparing to exit service, these unprecedented times present unique challenges when planning next steps. This webinar will offer participants strategies for translating their VISTA experience to the post-service job search, even in a changing economy. We’ll share tips for how to describe VISTA service to a potential employer, provide examples of how to translate service tasks into marketable skills on your resume, and consider tools for job searching at a distance. (Recorded 06/24/2020)

Prospective VISTAs:

Go Where You're Needed With AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA projects around the country are looking for their next service member. Go where you’re needed by lending your experience and enthusiasm to help start-up non-profit organizations thrive, bring STEM access to under-resourced communities, and everything in between! Watch this webinar to learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA and how to successfully complete your application.

The AmeriCorps VISTA experience
Ready to Go Where You’re Needed? Looking to make an impact in the fight against poverty? Come learn about AmeriCorps VISTA from those currently serving.

Webinars on the Work

Volunteer Engagement:

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
AmeriCorps members are often tasked with finding new sources of funding for their projects. 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.(Recorded 12/17/2020)

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 Grant Proposals
Writing a winning grant proposal is all about having your project stand out to a grant reviewer. Describing your project and it’s potential impact in a way that is concise yet powerful takes practice. Join us to hear an experienced grant reviewer break down the basic elements of a proper Letter of Intent (LOI) and an Executive Summary, two components of a grant proposal that are essential for capturing the interest of a grant reviewer. (Recorded 3/24/2021)

Outreach and Communications:

Digital Marketing for Volunteer Recruitment
This webinar guides you through sustainable strategies for using social media and digital marketing to make your volunteer recruitment efforts easier.

Assertive Communication that Establishes Your Credibility
This webinar explores types of interpersonal communication and provides tips on using assertive communication to address common challenges many VISTAs face when they enter a professional workplace.

Dodging Pitfalls When Running a Community Meeting
This webinar examines five common pitfalls of community meetings and explores how to prevent them and how to handle them if they do occur. You’ll come away with practical tools to use in your community meetings.

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.


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:

The Power of Telling Your Story
How does telling your story help your career? Join us to learn how turning your experience into a narrative can be valuable both in service and throughout your professional life. Whether you're seeking new donors, inspiring others to serve or trying to land your next job, a well-crafted story can be the difference between being taken seriously and being overlooked.

Community Assessments: The Heart and Foundation of VISTA Service
Pinpointing the strengths and needs of your community can be one of the most vital steps to take during your VISTA year, but achieving a proper assessment is often easier said than done. This one-hour session will go through the steps of assessing community needs, providing valuable insights that will help you navigate the assessment process and apply what you learn to your own VISTA project. (Recorded 10/28/2020)

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.

Designing and Leading Virtual Meetings
With so many shifting from in-person operations to remote service, VISTAs have learned to adapt. In this session we’ll explore best practices for conducting effective virtual meetings. You’ll come away with practical tools and tips for facilitating and managing your one-one-one and community meetings. (Recorded 07/22/2020)