VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism



  • Photos That Sparkle
  • Winning Back Members
  • Selecting a Leader
  • Do You Need Advice From an Expert?
  • What's In and Out In Youth Trends

Photos That Sparkle

Volunteer activities provide wonderful photo opportunities. The bigger and more active the event, the better the chance for good pictures. Photos can be used in recruiting materials, annual reports, or bulletin board displays. Having shots for the media can also, bring good placement for television or print stories. Here are some tips to getting good exposure for your program.

Winning Back Members

Membership is a requirement for some volunteer programs, especially those affiliated with hospitals, orchestras, or museums (although they are not the only ones). Here are some hints on winning back straying members. A committee of current members could be formed to help rebuild membership. Many of the hints below can be carried out by that group.

Find out why they left - Call members who have not renewed. Express concern for their lapsed membership. Ask for details about why they left, and do not get defensive when they tell you. Record the answers and compare them with others making similar calls. The top problems will come to the surface.

Ask the former member for a second chance. Apologize and offer to correct a problem. Make some type of peace offering. It might be a discounted membership, or renewing their membership so they don't lose the year they were out (especially if this is counted towards some type of recognition).

Create a "Most Wanted" list. Look into the database of members, back 18 months, to find those people whose membership is needed by the organization. The person might have key information, or be a substantial donor. Learn as much as you can about what they did in the organization and why they left. Follow the steps above to bring them back.

Build a plan to routinely check on membership turnover. Work to understand why people leave and then put plans in place to remove the things that drive people away.

Change tasks to meet needs. If time commitment is the issue for the member, find new and innovative ways to involve them on a short term or episodic basis, so they stay on as members.

Selecting a Leader

Is your organization seeking new leadership? An administrator or executive director? Here are some handy ideas to make the selection process effective. Studies show that the leader is the person who can make or break an organization or department. The selection of a new leader involves an understanding and definition of real leadership. Here are things to consider as the selection process gets underway.

How do applicants describe leadership? The organization needs to know what type of leaders it is seeking, and be able to articulate it, before the interview process begins.

The organizational leadership (a board, or managers) needs a clear vision of what direction is desired for the organization. This means such things as strategic and political conflicts must be resolved, before the hiring process begins.

Never overlook internal candidates. Good leaders are usually developing people to replace them.

Be wary of the person who "looks" like a leader. Visionary leaders might not be right to do the nuts and bolts work of moving the organization forward. As in all of life, looks can be deceiving. Checking a track record of a potential leader is imperative.

Do You Need Advice From an Expert?

Do you have a question on some aspect of recruiting, retaining volunteers, doing those important interviews, finding resources to help you do your job better, or questions about volunteer recognition. Volunteer Today has a resident expert. Connie Pirtle, answers questions at the page, "Ask Connie." You can pose questions and read your answers in the pages of VT in ensuing issues. Connie has decades of experience in managing and training people who work with volunteers. Her advice is sound, practical, and to the point. Click here to see the questions and answers for this month.

What's In and Out In Youth Trends

Are you trying to recruit young people? Do you know what interests them? Here is a short primer on what's in and what's out from Emerging Adult Research, Inc.

What's In

 What's Out
  • Julia Stiles
  • Mandy Moore
  • Vans
  • Yellow
  • Popular
  • Taco Bell Commercials
  • Seth Green
  • Play Station
  • The Rock
  • Bowling Bags
  • Floral Motifs and rhinestones
  • Jennifer Anniston
  • Puff Daddy
  • Reebok
  • Black
  • Angels
  • Geico Commercials
  • Adam Sandler
  • Sega
  • Steve Austin
  • Messenger bags
  • Butterflies


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.


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.

Return to the Top of the Page

Copyright by Nancy Macduff.

Some images on this site are licensed from Web.Pix
Copyright 1996 DiAMAR Interactive Corporation, all rights reserved.