"What is in a name?" The answer to that question is: "Everything!" Volunteers tell their friends and family their position titles. Clever titles can even attract volunteers. Titles provide status and can impact self-esteem. Here are some possibilities:
Coordinator of Delivery Services
Manager of Information
Leader of the ______ Team
How can you keep those "30 something's" from leaving? Younger workers are quite comfortable moving from job to job, and it is also true of their volunteer work. They have varied interests and it is hard to get them to stay put! Here are some tips to keep them around.
You cannot say thank you enough. Volunteers report that the best thank you comes from the client, member, or individual who received the service. Sometimes this is hard to do. Volunteer managers can make this easy by providing the thank cards.
Ask a volunteer or two to design a simple card that could be used by anyone. Have the design scanned and then put on cards. This is not as hard as it sounds and a local print shop might be willing to devote the time to do this, if your organization pays supply costs. It is also a project perfect for art classes in local high schools or colleges and universities.
Once you have the cards and envelopes, make them up in packets of ten. Take them to anyone who supervises volunteers. Suggest that they use them. Tell them if a client, member, or individual tells them how wonderful a volunteer was, the supervisor might offer one of the thank you cards.
Be sure to check in with supervisors every six months to see if they need to be re-supplied. Those who still have nine cards left are not thinking about thank you often enough. Check on the volunteers assigned to that area. Make sure you thank them.
This is an excellent project for a volunteer. They can oversee the entire project and report to the volunteer manager on the use of the thank you cards.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends that anyone who collects personal information online follow the following guidelines. They are known as the "fair information practices."
||Visitors to the Web site should be notified about the personal information being collected. They also must be told how the organization is using the information. This is especially important if a third party ends up with the data.|
||The security used by an organization should be readily apparent to any user. Some programs use small icons, like locks, to let people know when they are in a fully secure area. If information is shared with a third party, they should adhere to the same security protections.|
||No volunteer should ever be forced to use the Internet to provide information. If you have an online application, you must also have them in a paper format. It is important to make the choice known to users online. The person should not have to ask if they can provide the information in a different manner.|
||Personal information can change. The volunteer needs to have a reasonable type of access to that information, and a means of correcting or amending it.|
Many awards exist for individual volunteers or nonprofit organizations, but government based volunteer programs are eligible, too. The Points of Light, "Daily Point of Light" awards are an example. For more information on this award you can go to the Points of Light web site at http://pointsoflight.org. The Orange County Volunteer Program recently took an award for its innovative approaches to involving citizens in a wide array of county activities. The Grand Traverse County Probate Court was also singled out for a Daily Point of Light Award. They use volunteers to work with first time juvenile felony offenders, who need help successfully completing probation.
Volunteer Today is looking for other places government programs can go to be nominated for awards. If you know national or regional awards--world wide for government based program, please send an e-mail to Volunteer Today.
The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.
The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Toyja R. Somerville at 202-729-8000.
Copyright by Nancy Macduff.