A Leader’s List: 5 Ways to Keep Volunteers Engaged

Courtesy of Carlisa Endoso


Everyone loves to feel appreciated. Recognition, a simple thank you, and showing appreciation goes a very long way. As often as you task your committee members with “jobs to do,” spend an equal amount of time showing acknowledgement and appreciation. As humans, there’s no motivation as powerful as knowing that you’ve made a difference.


The best volunteers are those who have a sense of ownership of their project. Make expectations clear.  Some people like checklists. Literally, list steps 1-10.  Some people like to add their own twist and change things up. When is that ok? When is it not? Be explicit about the beginning-middle-and end of a project. What does that look like? What outcome is expected? What skills are needed to get from point A to point B? Note important dates. Send reminders. 


Keep in touch with your committee on a consistent basis. With the increase of social media, email, texting and the like, communication is easier than ever. Well, it should be, right!? Recognize and respect that favored modes of communication vary from person to person. Ask members how they most like to communicate; be it a phone call, text, snail mail, or email. When action is needed, set dates to reply by.  Set up follow-up trainings on best practices with relevant and necessary information including updates on what’s current with committee tasks.


Build a sense of community among your committee. They should feel connected to each other and not just to the task at hand. Email threads can be helpful in this regard, but there’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned interaction…in person. Hold a face to face meeting. Collaborate. Together. Consistently.


You are a leader because your peers chose you. Be proud of that in itself! Reflect on your role and how it fits into the bigger picture. “Think back and look forward.” How can it be better next time? What was successful? What was challenging? What would you have done differently? What advice do you have for the next person who takes on your leadership role? Most of all, be proud and share that pride with your volunteers.

Announcing the 2016-17 Board of Directors and Executive Management Team

JL-23Congratulations to the Junior League of San Diego’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team for the 2016-2017 league year.

President Rachel Scatizzi
Executive Vice President Lisa Cobble
Treasurer Carolyn Russell
Recording Secretary Shauna Sliwkanich
Director of Compliance Brandi Cropper
Director-at-Large (1-year) Virginia Chambers
Director-at-Large (2-year) Emily Green
Sustainer Directors Debbie Rider and Alison Bushan
Nominating Chair Marissa Johnson
Board Assistant Joni Flaherty
Executive Vice President Lisa Cobble
Executive Vice President-Elect Jen Glaser
Community Vice President Carlisa Endoso
Finance Vice President Mason Szuberla
Fund Development Vice President Catherine Vaz
Marketing Vice President Kimberly Jackson (Skiff)
Membership Vice President Kim Fox
Training Vice President Brooke Harrington
Sustainer Advisor Barbara Kramer
Nominating Chair Marissa Johnson
EMT Secretary Jackie Kallberg
EMT Assistant Amanda Katona

The Junior League of San Diego is in its fourth year of a dual-structured leadership team. The Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the League, and develops the strategic plan and initiatives for each League year. The Executive Management Team (EMT) is led by a volunteer Executive Vice President and Council Vice Presidents and is responsible for the operations and management efforts of the League.

We’re looking forward to continued success under the leadership of these women as we grow the League and our contribution to the San Diego community.


The training council is excited to announce a new wonderful opportunity for members of JLSD who are looking to get further connected. We are seeking participants for an exciting pilot program to facilitate mentoring relationships among members of the Junior League of San Diego. The goal of this program is to increase engagement and strengthen members’ connection to the league. The Training Council will launch a small pilot mentoring program to connect 1st through 3rd year actives with members who have several years of experience within the league and a passion for JLSD. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a meaningful mentor relationship, discuss relevant league issues and hear different perspectives on the league experience. Participants will be paired together based on their personal goals and are encouraged to meet once a month to develop their one on one mentor relationship. Involvement in this pilot program is voluntary and will not count towards any placement credits.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot membership mentor program, as a mentee or mentor, please complete an application online here.

If you have any questions regarding this new pilot program please contact:  membershipmentors@jlsd.org .


The Training Council is launching JLSD’s first annual Board Academy!  This certificate program has been developed to meet Junior League’s mission of developing the potential of women and training volunteers with the leadership skills needed to improve the community.  Participants will learn expertise ranging from the legal and fiduciary duties of the Board of Directors to how to speak and use social media about your organization.  Through the program, participants will learn how the Junior League of San Diego functions as a non-profit organization – the knowledge gained will be invaluable to one’s Junior League career, better equipping leaders in any path chosen! Strategic planning and impact evaluation are extremely valuable skills that are transferable to other facets of professional life.  Competences learned through these trainings can all be used in other community or professional board positions.  This is a great continuing education program to add to your resume!

JLSD’s Board Academy is bringing in professional instructors to teach in their respective areas of specialty.  The value that you will receive from this series of trainings would be very costly to obtain from comparable certificate programs through other organizations – all is offered to JLSD members for FREE!  Please sign up for the entire series, or as many as your schedule allows.

There are limited spots available that will fill up quickly, so sign up today for Board Academy Training!

Find copies of the course outlines, and a description of each course here.


Community Partner Spotlight: Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI)


The first week of each month we will bring you our Community Partner Spotlight featuring a nonprofit we work with to help raise funds for transition age foster youth. This month we are proud to highlight the incredible work of the Children’s Advocacy Institute!

Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) was founded at USD’s School of Law 25 years ago, and is one of the nation’s premier advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children, especially foster youth and TAY. In its academic branch, CAI provides extensive training for law students and attorneys to become effective child advocates. In research and advocacy, CAI leverages change through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. CAI also convenes the 300 statewide and regional member Children’s Advocates Roundtable held quarterly to discuss industry issues. CAI operates out of Washington DC, Sacramento and San Diego.

JLSD’s 87th Annual Charter Day

The Junior League of San Diego’s 87th annual Charter Day celebration will take place Sunday, March 6 at the beautiful San Diego Yacht Club. Featuring Trisha Meili, The Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility, as the keynote speaker, the luncheon celebrates JLSD’s legacy of community service and the importance of women’s leadership in San Diego. Purchase Tickets
Charter Day Details
Sunday, March 6, 2016
10:30 a.m. –VIP Reception
11:30 a.m. — Reception
12 p.m. — Luncheon
Keynote speaker: Trisha Meili
San Diego Yacht Club
1011 Anchorage Lane
San Diego, CA 92106
Tickets: VIP $70| General $35

What Makes Charter Day Different
JLSD’s Charter Day luncheon brings together Junior League members of all generations — and their friends — to learn more about JLSD’s rich history serving the San Diego community and hear from some of San Diego’s most prominent leaders.

Unlike many JLSD events, Charter Day is a member event — not a fundraiser. The luncheon is designed simply to celebrate JLSD’s work across generations. Charter Day is a great “friendraising” event to invite friends and family to attend.

The History of JLSD’s Charter
In early 1927, Mrs. Lillian Bradly, in her capacity as Chairman of San Diego’s 18th Annual Charity Ball, visited with the director of the highly-touted Junior League Ball of Pasadena. While there, she also met with the President of the Pasadena League and learned more about the goals of the extraordinary organization. She came away from her visit determined to establish a Junior League in San Diego.

Later that year, Mrs. Bradly and her friend Emily Clayton founded the Junior Committee for San Diego Charities with the express purpose of securing admission into the Association of Junior Leagues of America. Their first goal was to establish a Day Nursery to care for the children of working parents.

In 1929, with sponsorship from the Junior Leagues of Santa Barbara and San Francisco, AJLA accepted the entry application from the Junior Committee. The Junior League of San Diego became the fifth League in the state of California, and the 105th member to join the Association of Junior Leagues.

Since then, the Junior League of San Diego has been integral in assessing community needs and instituting programs to meet those needs. The Polinsky Center, Voices for Children, LEAD San Diego, and Kids on the Block are just a few of the organizations and events that were created by JLSD single-handedly or through a collaborative community effort.   Over the years, JLSD has partnered with dozens of San Diego non-profits to provide strategic volunteer support as well as financial assistance and Community Assistance Grants. From its inception, JLSD has addressed critical issues such as Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention, Literacy, and Family Support for Education, reduction of childhood obesity in San Diego and now focuses its efforts on Transition Age Foster Youth.

Please join us in celebrating JLSD’s 87th annual Charter Day at this special event! Purchase Tickets

Community Partner Spotlight!


The first week of each month we will bring you our Community Partner Spotlight featuring a nonprofit we work with to help raise funds for transition age foster youth. This month we are proud to highlight the incredible work of Voices for Children!

Founded in 1980, Voices for Children is a private, nonprofit organization in San Diego and Riverside Counties dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care. Their volunteer CASAs—Court Appointed Special Advocates—work one-on-one with a foster child or group of siblings. CASAs are advocates, investigators, and problem-solvers. They are a source of consistency, visiting regularly with appointed children in foster care. CASAs also review reports, interact with professionals working on the child’s case, and provide information to Juvenile Court judges so they can make well-informed decisions and ensure the child’s needs are met. With the support of a CASA, a foster child is more likely to succeed, receive vital services, and find a safe, permanent home.

Rosie, a former foster youth, mentee in the mentor program, and a member of Voices for Children’s, The Real Word panel, writes about the impact a CASA can have: “CASAs are amazing people; they selflessly make a child feel more special than they could have ever imagined. The 13 year old girl I used be, who wanted to curl up in a ball and escape from the world, would never have believed that one day she would speak in front of Congress or train new CASAs—but, that is what I do now. Dawna, my CASA, advocated relentlessly for me in court, so that I was able to find permanency and maintain normalcy through extracurricular activities, volunteering, and friends.”

Last year, Voices for Children served 2,509 children in San Diego County foster care with direct advocacy. The majority of those children (2,282) were served by our 1,431 CASAs. An additional 227 were served by Voices for Children staff advocates, through a new Case Liaison program.