VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism



  • Volunteer Management and Computers
  • Preparing for the Volunteer World of the Future
  • Where are Those Volunteer Singles and Seniors
  • Confused About Your Generation Designation

Volunteer Management and Computers

Mark Gannon, of the Institute for Volunteering Research in Britain, published his findings from an unpublished survey of voluntary organizations around the issue of computer technology and its implications for managing volunteers.
The research on voluntary groups showed that:

Given this information, he outlined the ways in which computer technology can streamline the work of managing volunteers. Gannon's recommendation makes a good checklist for anyone wishing to integrate computer technology into his or her program. It also has excellent reasons to share with administrators to provide why technology is critical to the continuation of a viable volunteer program.

Reasons to Share with Administrators

Volunteer Management Software

The most direct means by which computers can streamline the management process is with the use volunteer database, made possible by one of the many different types of software. Organizations can create their own, if they have such programs as Microsoft Access, Filemaker Pro, or Lotus Approach. If your organization wants to build its own database, help is available. Gannon recommends visiting this site http://uk.dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Software/Databases. The site is a link to online user groups, Web Directories, and specific database packages.

There is also an index for "off-the-shelf" software for volunteer organization. The Nonprofit Software Index can be found at http://www.npinfotech.org.

The Internet

The Internet is another valuable tool for managing volunteers. For example:

  • The Internet as a Resource The Internet is a helpful research tool. Research is not just for academics. Suppose the organization is contemplating the establishment of a "family volunteer" program. The access to sources via the World Wide Web can provide the information needed to do this job right. Reading Volunteer Today monthly can help in managing a program, or serve as a resource if you have questions, The "Ask Connie" page. It is also possible to connect with others who are doing the same type of job through chat rooms or discussion groups, such as CyberVPM.
  • The Internet as Visibility Volunteer programs need both internal and external visibility. The Internet can help provide that. A Web site is like a "shop window," according to Gannon. That is the most passive use. It can also reach out and ask people to volunteer, including the application and screen process being done online. The UK has such a location, The Site Org (http://www.thesite.org/do-it/) which is an online database of volunteering opportunities for the whole of the UK.
  • The Internet as Accessibility Increasingly, organizations are finding ways for volunteers to provide their service online. The notion of "Virtual Volunteers" is fast moving past the "new ideas" category. Virtual volunteering is now morphing into sub-categories; cyberservice, telementoring, or teletutoring, as notable examples. The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook can be downloaded for free from http://www.energize.com/art/elecbooks.html. The Virtual Volunteering Project of ImpactOnline is another site for information http://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual.

An incredibly useful tool for those managing volunteers is electronic mail. More and more volunteers have access to e-mail either at home or work. Short reminders, up-dates, or fast facts can be broadcast to current volunteers quickly and economically using this medium. Some organizations are even producing an electronic form of their newsletter for e-mail readers.

Gannon concludes his article by saying that these wonderful technologies are not replacements for the previous ways of doing things, but tools to help do those things faster and more efficiently.

Source: "Get Yourself Connected: Managing Volunteers Through Technology." 2000, Voluntary Action, Volume 2, Number 2, Spring 2000 (A publication of the Institute for Volunteering Research, London, England, UK)

Preparing for the Volunteer World of the Future

Futurists are offering suggestions and ideas for the world of employment into the middle of the 21st century. Here is a short checklist to see if you are preparing yourself and your organization for the volunteer of 2025:





Where are Those Volunteer Singles and Seniors

Volunteer programs can aim appeals for service to different markets; employee groups, parents, youth, and so forth. Before taking the time to design a recruitment campaign for a target audience, you must know whether it is worth it in your community. Here are numbers to help determine if your community is awash in either singles or seniors.

Communities with the highest concentrations of never-married or divorced men and women in the US:


 Austin-San Marcos, TX  Austin-San Marcos, TX
 Boulder-Longmont, CO  Denver and Boulder-Longmont, CO
 Gainesville, FL  Eugene-Springfield, OR
 New York, NY  Ft. Lauderdale, FL
 Portland, ME  Reno, NV
 San Francisco, CA  San Francisco, CA
 Santa Fe, NM  Santa Fe, NM
 Springfield, IL and Madison, WI  Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
 Tallahassee, FL  Spokane, WA
 Tucson, AZ  Tucson, AZ

Communities where seniors (55-64) are likely to settle in the next ten years

 Barnstable-Yarmouth, MA
 Daytona Beach, FL
 Fort Meyers-Cape Coral, FL
 Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, FL
 Grand Junction, CO
 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
 Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, FL
 Myrtle Beach, SC
 Naples, FL
 Ocala, Fl
 Punta Gorda, FL
 Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
Wilmington, NC
  Yuma, AZ

Confused About Your Generation Designation

Much is written about the different generations, their behaviors, demographics, employment, and educational achievements to name a few. To understand the information you encounter each day, it is important to know the difference between Generation X and Generation Y. Here is your cheat sheet!

Generation Year Born Age in 2000 US Population
% of Population
GI Generation  pre-1930  71+  25.3  9.1%
Depression  1930-1939  61-70  17.8  6.5%
War Babies  1940-45  55-60  15.6  5.7%
Baby Boom  1946-1964  36-54  77.4  28.2%
Generation X  1965-76  24-35  44.9  16.4%
Generation Y  1977-1994  6-23  70.7  25.8%
Millennials  1995+  0-5  22.9  8.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and American Demographics


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 Crystal
Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

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Copyright by Nancy Macduff.

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