African-American Partnership Member Spotlight: Janice Robinson
Executive Director of Volunteer Involvement Program (VIP)
AAP: Tell us about your role at United Way of Greater Atlanta and how you impact the company’s strategic goals?
Janice: As the Executive Director of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Volunteer Involvement Program, my role is to develop and manage the execution of a Board Governance curriculum for corporate and community volunteers, and nonprofit agency board and staff across greater Atlanta. VIP alumni serve to strengthen nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Atlanta and beyond by providing well-trained board members.
AAP: What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in community engagement?
Janice: You must have a love for people and the community. Community engagement is a strategic process that focuses on the practices and processes required to maintain a healthy and responsive community. It is a science and an art and when done well, it is a joy.
There are six key skills needed to be successful: 1) people 2) communications 3) project management 4) organizational 5) negotiation 6) data analysis.
If you possess these and are motivating and persuasive, then this work could be for you.
AAP: How have you seen VIP change during your time at United Way?
Janice: VIP has grown from a program that was offered annually and trained 35 leaders to our current model of five sessions annually, including summer, and training upwards of 150 leaders. The leaders have become more diverse, formerly they were mainly corporate leaders; they are now, corporate, nonprofit and community leaders and those that are currently serving on a board to those wanting to start a nonprofit.
We have also developed a customized training, boardDigest, to provide in-house trainings for corporations throughout greater Atlanta.
AAP: What is your favorite quote?
Janice: To whom much is given, much will be required.