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Publication #FCS9057

Florida Association for Family and Community Education Certified Volunteer Units1

Elizabeth B. Bolton and Muthusami Kumaran2

Certified volunteer unit (CVU) is the official designation for credit given for volunteer activities performed by Extension Family and Community Education (FAFCE) members as a part of a mission, goal, or purpose of the local, state, or national organization. Only those activities or services performed in connection with or as a result of FAFCE programs are to be counted as CVUs.

CVUs are given to document services or activities performed by unpaid volunteer members and leaders. These services or activities should have a value or worth to some individual or group in order to be recorded. Time spent in receiving training should not be counted, even though the service or activity could not have been performed without such training. The exception to this is preparation for teaching a lesson, which may be counted. Receiving training is more appropriately documented under Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or similar records.

CVUs are services performed for others, hence the name volunteer units. Training received, on the other hand, benefits the individual even though it may ultimately be used to train others. When training is used to teach others, it then becomes a volunteer service and the hours of volunteer service, are counted but the training to perform the volunteer service is not. For example, an FAFCE member may receive CPR instruction as part of her leader training. She may then give this same training to her club and later to a group of school children. The hours she put in to receive the training may not be counted for CVUs but may be counted for CEUs or other education credit. The hours she spends to deliver the training to her club and to the school group should be counted for CVUs since she is giving that training to others as an FAFCE representative.

If she delivers the CPR training to others as a representative of another group and not as an FAFCE representative, she may not receive CVUs for it. Only those services delivered under the auspices of Extension Family and Community Education at the local, state, or national level may be counted as CVUs.

It is possible to record volunteer hours for other organizations, but they should not be documented as FAFCE volunteer services on the CVUs record sheets. CVU log books may be used to record service to other organizations, but these hours cannot be certified by the local FAFCE Council president. In deciding whether to record a service, ask yourself these two questions: (1) Did I give or receive a service? Record service given. (2) Was the service I gave in the name of Extension Family and Community Education? Record the services given in the name of Extension Family and Community Education.

Using the CVU Service Log

Column 1. Record the month, day, and year you performed a volunteer service.

Column 2. Use the categories and components to indicate the kind of job you performed. Use the category names to describe what you did. The components under each category are examples of that kind of service. These need not be listed in your log book unless you want more specific information.

Column 3. Use a job title (such as “teacher”) if one is appropriate. If not, leave this column blank.

Column 4. Record the number of hours spent.

Column 5. Record the total mileage.

Column 6. Record the expenses other than mileage and indicate what was purchased.

Column 7. Record the number of people you reached.

Categories and Components

Teaching. Include all activities directly or indirectly related to teaching. Teaching is defined as showing, telling, or demonstrating to another person(s) specific skills or information in a subject or discipline. Teaching activities must have involved preparation prior to training and should not include spontaneous sharing of information. Teaching activities should relate to a specific subject or skill. Two hours preparation time may be added to those components requiring prior preparation of lessons, materials, etc. For example, a lesson that took 1 hour to deliver may be counted as 3 hours if preparation was required to deliver the training lesson to leaders. If the same lesson is delivered more than once without additional preparation time, record only the actual time spent in delivering the training. Components include:

  • Delivering a training session for leaders.

  • Preparing curriculum material for training.

  • Presenting a planned demonstration.

  • Presenting a talk to an FAFCE organization or another organization.

  • Training officers and Program of Work chairmen in organizational procedures and duties.

  • Developing or writing handbooks, brochures, training guides, promotional materials, and questionnaires.

  • Evaluating, analyzing, and summarizing results of meetings and survey documents.

  • Teaching a Program of Work lesson or skill.

  • Other work; please specify

Community Services. Include all activities directly or indirectly related to services or activities performed to benefit the community, state, or region, or certain of the client population. Include only services performed as a result of FAFCE membership or an FAFCE organized project. Do not include good deeds or monthly activities that would have normally taken place or that were done under the jurisdiction of another organization. Service is distinguished from the other categories; to perform a “service” is to serve or do as opposed to the task of teaching or administering. Components include:

  • Organizing and participating in fund raising for community projects.

  • Participating in community improvement projects such as crime watch, neighborhood cleanup campaigns, and support for volunteer fire department.

  • Participating in Program of Work projects that involve community service.

  • Providing companionship to a shut-in and the aged as part of a project

  • Giving telephone guidance and reassurance (for example, hot lines).

  • Adopting and serving as a problem-solver for underprivileged families.

  • Stimulating community interest in government.

  • Assisting in voter registration.

  • Engaging in lobbying

  • Proposing legislation.

  • Serving on advisory bodies to government, Extension councils, etc.

  • Organizing self-help groups.

  • Forming a coalition for planning and actions.

  • Testifying at formal or informal hearings (county/state/national) on behalf of Extension Family and Community Education.

  • Participating in club and community efforts to appreciate people of different races, cultures, and locations.

  • Promoting urban and farm youth and family exchange visits.

  • Other work; please specify.

Public Relations. Include all activities that relate specifically to the function of promoting or improving the FAFCE organization image locally, statewide, or nationally. These services or projects should be part of a planned program or project and may extend to other organizations or groups. However, these projects should pertain primarily to the FAFCE organization–its purposes and the benefits to be derived from it by individuals, families, and communities. Spontaneous public addresses may be included in this category. Components include:

  • Writing and/or delivering a radio or TV presentation.

  • Coordinating a speakers bureau.

  • Speaking at a meeting of another organization.

  • Speaking at county commission meeting.

  • Preparing posters, brochures, and newsletters.

  • Recruiting new members.

  • Oral history project work.

  • Other work; please specify.

Administration, Organization, and Management. Include all activities directly or indirectly related to administrative function, which is defined as managing the activities of a project, overseeing the tasks of a project and coordinating their happenings, or organizing events or tasks. Administration activities must involve a specific goal or project, and may include the ordinary officer or chairmanship duties that take place. Components include:

  • Organizing a fund-raising drive.

  • Managing the budget of a fund-raising project.

  • Organizing a telephone survey.

  • Organizing a petition to city, county, or state government officials.

  • Organizing a membership recruitment project.

  • Organizing a Program of Work community improvement project.

  • Managing a day care center for young FAFCE members.

  • Event preparation, such as setting up meeting rooms, contacting speakers, etc.

  • Conducting business meeting for your FAFCE club, council, etc.

  • Organizing officer or Program of Work activities.

  • Other work; please specify.

Procedures for Implementing CVUs

The participation of a county in the CVU program is a decision that should be made by the county council. Thus a county may choose not to participate if it desires. However, statewide participation of FAFCE county councils is encouraged by the FAFCE Executive Board since this is an excellent means of recognizing the many outstanding services performed by members in the name of FAFCEs.

Service logs may be ordered from the state advisor's office. Orders should be accompanied by a check made out to the FAFCE for the exact amount. Individual members can buy the service log through their county council secretary or treasurer. A record of volunteer hours should be kept by individual members in CVU service logs.

Members should list volunteer activities related to services performed under the auspices of the FAFCE only. Those activities performed for other organizations should not be listed in the FAFCE service log. This is a decision of the FAFCE Executive Board. The Board feels that other organizations have their own means of documenting service and acknowledging individual volunteer members.

The service logs should be signed by the county council president when 500 hours of total time are accumulated. A certificate should be given when 500 hours are recorded.

The CVU brochures and the certificates may be ordered from the state advisors office.

The FAFCE members who record service in the CVU service log should be honored at a county activity such as Achievement Day or other local ceremony. The ceremony and the time for recognizing FAFCE members will be at the option of the county council.

The agent advisor may request a yearly record of the types and kinds of volunteer service done by FAFCE members in the county to be included in her yearly record of accomplishments of activities. The collection and inclusion of this data into county accomplishment reports is at the option of the agent advisor.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FCS9057, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 1986. Revised June 2015. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Elizabeth B. Bolton, professor emerita; and Muthusami Kumaran, assistant professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.