Keeping a record of your hours and turning them in by the deadline each year is very important. Not only do these records allow for recognition of volunteers for their hard work, but they are also invaluable for program evaluation.This provides a record of the many ways MGVs serve the public. Local and state governments, which fund the program, are very interested in how effectively UW-Extension uses tax revenues. Consequently detailed records benefit both the MG Program and its clients.
Recording and Submitting Hours
If possible, record your volunteer and/or continuing education activities when you complete them. If you wait until the end of the year to write this down, you may forget how much time you really spent on projects and underestimate your contributions (or just decide it’s too much trouble and get no credit for your hard work). The deadline for submitting hours is October 1 of every year (or earlier in some counties). Turn your reports in by the deadline to your designated County Coordinator.
Timesheets are a method to keep track of the hours you volunteer as a MGV. They may be kept on paper or electronically. The MG Program Office offers a standard timesheet, but not all counties use this. Check with your county to be sure you are using their preferred form!
- Standard timesheet for 2017 – pdf to print
- Standard timesheet for 2017 – Excel file to download
- Standard timesheet for 2018 – pdf to print
- Standard timesheet for 2018 – Excel file to download
Couldn’t Complete All Your Hours?
If you are unable to complete the minimum number of hours for recertification, you can complete a one year exemption request form and submit it to your local county in order to receive MG Program Office communications for the following year. It is expected you will resume normal participation and submit hours the following year. All other requirements (including the CBC and MRT) must be met to be eligible.
If you have been away from the program and want to resume as a volunteer, see “Time Off” under Policies.
Guidelines and suggestions for activities that qualify for volunteer hours are outlined on the last page of the standard timesheet. However, the County Coordinator is the final authority on determining what is acceptable. A general rule of thumb is that the activity benefits the community (not just an individual). Contact your local county UW-Extension office BEFORE you embark on a project to make sure it is OK as volunteer service! Travel time based on the time a MGV leaves home until returning home, minus personal errands, and preparation and research time can be included in volunteer service hours. (Travel time to CE programs cannot be counted.) See Volunteer Projects for more information.
Continuing Education Hours
Continuing education (CE or professional development) is a way for MGVs to learn more after Level 1 training and keep up with the latest horticultural information. Policies on what counts as CE vary by area. Check with your County Coordinator (usually the county UW-Extension agent) to be sure of what is acceptable in your county.
CE may include:
- Horticulture programs at your local meetings
- Twilight meetings or field days
- Horticultural seminars at local colleges
- Lectures at botanical gardens, or presentations by MGVs
- MG conferences
- Level 2 training
- Online advanced training
- Approved TV programs
- Wisconsin Horticulture Updates
- Responding to Horticulture Inquiries
- Reading articles on this website (if approved by your facilitator)