Bullies are not just on playgrounds and middle schools. They are in volunteer programs and in the work place. In fact, a survey by http://www.workdoctor.com found that bullying is four times more likely to occur than illegal discriminatory harassment.
If volunteers are leaving a site in droves, check out if there is a bully in residence. It could be a staff member or other volunteers.
Bullies can be trained to use a softer approach, improve their interpersonal communication, and practice stress management techniques. But you must first document the impact of their behavior by logging lost staff and volunteer hours.
There are times when contacting all volunteers is a must. If you have 600 volunteers you are doubtless ready to stop reading. DON'T! A new service is available that makes contact with people via the phone or e-mail, and size is not an issue.
Thanks to Grapevine (Volunteer Managers Newsletter) for alerting the world to CallingPost. It is a free service available to any civic, non-profit or volunteer group. The organization sets up a user list of people to receive messages by phone or on the Web. Once set up the organization is issued a user identification and password. Prepare a 30 second message that is then delivered between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Busy signal? They keep calling back.
Imagine the uses. Send out new schedules, reminders about training, whip up enthusiasm for events, conferences, auctions.
Check out the service by calling 888-808-7678 or http://www.callingpost.org.
The international Association for Volunteer Administration will hold its annual conference, Oct. 3-6 at the downtown Sheraton Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Based on the theme "Mosaic 2001," the conference will offer a variety of speakers, workshops and networking opportunities with particular focus on diversity, technology, partnership and professionalism. Highlights of the conference include:
There will be a discount on the conference registration fee through Aug. 24. To request a registration booklet, call 804.346.2266, write to AVA at email@example.com or P.O. Box 32092, Richmond, VA 23294 USA. Visit http://firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Recruiting online often consists of a list of volunteer positions, an application, and phone number to call. The Web can be used more creatively to really sell the volunteer opportunities. Ask the folks at CARE USA, who got a $1.5 million donation from Kresge, thanks to a "virtual field trip."
CARE USA created a report on water contamination and disease following Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua. The report included pictures and details on the problem. For example, in one shot a CARE staff member is seen given away a jacket to a child with skimpy clothing and no shoes . . .and up to their ankles in dirty water. This real time photo helped convince the folks at Kresge to move outside their normal donation patterns and contribute to the clean up effort.
Here are some tips to help you make volunteering a better sell on your Web site or in a brochure.
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 Resources. Look for the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link to their Web site.
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.