VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


  • Training Volunteers: To Touch or Not to Touch
  • Is it Effect or Affect?
  • Taking Your Newsletter Online

Training Volunteers: To Touch or Not to Touch

Many volunteers work with children or vulnerable adults. The urge to hug or reassure with a friendly arm around the shoulder is almost irresistible for volunteers. Many training programs for volunteers forbid touching. This seems to be unrealistic and unlikely. A better solution is to train volunteers (including practice sessions during training) on the appropriate forms of touch. Here are some hints to train volunteers on the "touchy" topics. 

Is it Effect or Affect?

Busy volunteer offices are often in need of a good dictionary and the one on the shelf was printed in 1959! There is help online.

The Oxford English Dictionary (surely the English language's best!) is now available at http://www.oed.com. This is a twenty-volume tome! The dictionary is in the middle of a revision (its second in 116 years). The revision is expected to double the words. It will be complete in ten years.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) is available at http://www.m-w.com.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (third edition) is available at http://www.dictionary.com.

The Oxford Dictionary has a steep price for subscribers, the other two sites are free.

Taking Your Newsletter Online

Many organizations have plans (or have) produced an online version of their printed newsletter. There are several things you need to consider before producing that online publication. Here are a few:


Washington State University offers a Volunteer Management Certification Program through the Internet. Individuals around the world can earn a certificate in managing or coordinating volunteers, without leaving home.

For more information, visit Volunteer Today's Portal site. Internet Sites You'll Love. Look for the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link to their Web sites.


The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators and directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAAVPLG is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities.

Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for those who are not local government members but may have an interest in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network, and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project.

For more information contact Glenis Chapin, who is a member of the Executive Committee. She can be reached by phone at 503-588-7990. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer Today.

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Copyright by Nancy Macduff.

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