QOVF’s Quilt Backlog
We started the backlog earlier this year with 1,668 (VERIFY) outstanding QOV nominations that are more than 2 years old. As of today, that number has been reduced to 1,275 outstanding backlog nominations. That’s a total of 393 in a very short time. Thank you to all of you who are helping us decrease this number!
The QOVF Backlog Committee has been hard at work analyzing causes of the backlog and building a framework to meet current and future needs. Their research found that many factors contributed to the backlog including:
Lack of QOVF support in specific areas. While our organization has a national reach, there are pockets across the country where we don’t have QOVF coordinators, members or groups. In these areas, it’s been a challenge to create and award quilts without local support.
Some areas have a higher concentration of QOV nominations. There are several states that consistently have more requests due to the number of military bases and veterans that live there.
Challenges contacting QOV nominees. In some cases, it’s been a challenge to contact or arrange QOV award ceremonies with nominees for various reasons and that has contributed to the backlog numbers.
Lack of funding. For some areas, lack of funding for quilt supplies or shipping have contributed to the backlog.
The Backlog Committee recognizes there are many factors that contribute to the backlog numbers and will continue to research and evaluate ways to meet this need.
Plan of Action
To best address the current Quilt Backlog, the Backlog Committee created a Plan of Action. Quilt Backlog Plan of Action is posted on the QOVF Members Dashboard here. Here is an overview of the plan:
Recommended process for managing older QOV nominations. The plan outlines a 3 step process for contacting nominees which includes both phone calls and emails in a planned time frame.
Process for nominations we need to cancel due to lack of contact. It’s a challenge to cancel and not fulfill a request given our members’ commitment to the mission. However, by canceling the nomination, we can move on and award a QOV to someone else who has been waiting. Also, if a nominee that was non-responsive earlier contacts us we can always work to award a QOV at that time.
Sample emails and call scripts. The plan includes examples of calls and emails members can use to send nominees. These are based on actual emails and call scripts used by QOVF members who have used these items to successfully contact QOV nominees.
Ways QOVF groups and members can help outside their area. It’s been amazing how many QOVF members and groups across the country have reached out, willing to help with the Quilt Backlog! The Plan of Action shares ways that everyone can help and a framework on where to send quilts. The Regional Coordinators will take the lead on determining needs and coordinate awards, shipping, quilting, etc. in their area. They will be your point of contact for the Quilt Backlog. You can find more information on who to contact for your area in the plan.
Other Tools and Resources
In addition to the Plan of Action, the Backlog Committee and QOVF staff have been working on additional resources and tools to help address the backlog.
Using NAMS as a tool to manage the backlog. Thanks to the NAMS conversion earlier this year, we now have real time data on all QOVF nominations. This is a tool that all coordinators and group leaders who have access to NAMS can use to monitor the backlog requests in their area. The Backlog Committee as well as QOVF groups and coordinators have already been using this data to help manage efforts in their areas.
Activity notes on NAMS requests. An important best practice the Plan of Action asks for is for members and groups who award a Quilt Backlog request to add an activity note on the request in NAMS.
Shipping and resources support. QOVF received a $7,500 grant which will be used to help with shipping and resources for the backlog. In addition, QOVF has an additional $5,000 in this year’s budget to help address the backlog. These funds will help us start to ship and create more QOV’s for these backlog requests. For more information about support, please contact your regional coordinator. You can find a roster here.
Researching more future resources. QOVF Staff and the Backlog Committee will continue to look for funding and support from partners to help address this need.