SASI, an Evanston-based nonprofit supporting seniors with services to maintain their independence and remain in their home, is acquiring a well-functioning program providing in-home companionship visits for isolated seniors. The program, Senior Connections, just completed its 25th year of operations and provides services to approximately 75 seniors, 60 years of age and older. The program recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers who visit and befriend isolated older adults in the Evanston community. There is no cost to any senior for being involved with the program, and the volunteer’s role is limited to friendship and social interaction, typically through one-hour, weekly visits. Volunteers have a relationship with a single senior, some of which last for more than five years.
The Program Manager position is being created to transition the Senior Connections program into SASI and subsequently run the day-to-day program with support from current SASI staff. Ideally, the Program Manager will be on-board to allow a minimum 90-day transition period with the current Senior Connections staff to ensure a smooth transition.
- Match volunteers with seniors, the single most critical element to the program success. Intentionally nurture the early phase of each relationship to help ensure a successful match. Regularly monitor each relationship and develop and implement intervention strategies when relationships falter.
- Transition, with the support and guidance of existing personnel, the current Senior Connections program into SASI’s operations without disruption to existing senior-volunteer relationships. This will include the referral organizations and sources of volunteers, all of whom have personal contacts that need to be transferred appropriately.
- Conform Senior Connections record keeping to align with SASI’s method of documentation and procedures. Maintain and retain documents, electronic and paper, and procedures needed for on-going and future management of the program.
- Recruit, vet, train and support volunteers to match the demand by seniors for companionship visits using existing sources while exploring and expanding sources for new volunteers.
- Maintain and expand the relationships with organizations who refer seniors, volunteers and supporters to the Senior Connections program.
- Meet with prospective seniors, along with another SASI employee, to assess for suitability to the program.
- Be responsible for existing events such as The Appreciation Tea, Fall Luncheon, Holiday Gift bags in December and mailings used to support and maintain volunteers and seniors in the program, and evolve this aspect of the program as needed.
- Coordinate with, and provide input to SASI’s Director of Marketing and Development to develop and implement an appropriate marketing and development approach for the Senior Connections program taking advantage of the well-established and well-regarded brand of the program. Provide input to the website and newsletter on the program.
- Lead Senior Connections specific program fundraisers (Fall Tea letter, Appreciation Tea and Spring Salon co-sponsored with SASI in 2015 and 2016.) with the support of the Board and SASI staff, with more than 100 established donors.
- With support from the Executive Director and other senior staff, lead the development of an expansion plan for the Senior Connections program after the existing program is well established under SASI.
- Provide written input for grant opportunities.
- Attend all SASI fundraising events whether specific to the Senior Connections program or not.
- Regularly report to SASI’s Executive Director on the status of the program.