~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
V.T. readers ask questions
about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an
experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides
the answers for all to see.
|~ March 2001 Questions ~
- Effective Recruiting Brochures
- Resources for Firing a Volunteer
- Public Speaking Tips
I am a new Manager of Volunteer Services for a liberal arts Christian
College of 4,000+ students. I work with individuals who want to
volunteer with our paid staff at the college in various positions.
I would like to design a brochure to interest others in the communities
who have ties to our school to volunteer. Do you have any suggestions
of what others have used as far as wording goes to attract people
to volunteer at their organization? Thanks for your help.
You're right to consider carefully what to put in a recruiting
brochure. This may be the only "contact" you have with
some potential volunteers, so you want it to be accurate, inviting,
and reflect your organization in a positive way. Here are some
things to consider:
color if you can afford it; it catches the eye.
pictures too because they speak volumes about what you're doing.
If possible use a variety of shots that depict the diversity
of your activities and your volunteers.
a response mechanism, a tear-off piece that can be mailed in
to apply or receive more information.
the benefits of volunteering (learn new skills, meet new people,
have fun, free food, parking, etc.).
the requirements of volunteering (number of hours/days, computer
skills, likes a challenge, whatever).
the volunteer opportunities available.
a brief description of your organization and what you do; remember
you're pushing the volunteer opportunities not only your organization.
information on how to sign up or learn more about volunteering
I am attending a college in Canada in the Fundraising and Resource
Development course. In my Volunteer Management course, I am doing
a presentation and project on how to fire volunteers. It has been
very difficult to find any examples or scenarios of how people
have fired their volunteers. I was wondering if you had any examples
that you would like to share with me. Also, I'd appreciate any
suggestions you may have on how to effectively fire a volunteer,
any articles you could send me, or even any good Web sites. Thank
you so much for your help and input.
First check out CyberVPM., http://www.cybervpm.com. Click
on "frequently asked questions" from the home page.
Then scroll down to the questions on handling difficult volunteers
and firing volunteers.
Next, check the bibliography at
the Energize site, http://www.energizeinc.com. It's the
world's largest bibliography on volunteerism. Do a search for
resources on firing volunteers or working with difficult volunteers.
I'm doing a series of presentations to civic groups around the
city about our organization and available volunteer opportunities.
I'm not an experienced public speaker. What tips do you have for
me to be successful?
When you've got your presentation ready, you'll have the greatest
improvement in a very short time if you remember these ten tips:
Do you have a
question? Now you too can ask an expert!
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has
15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted
and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National
Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America,
and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
- Don't be afraid to pause. It
takes time for listeners to understand you. Speak slowly and
clearly at first until people get used to your voice.
- Don't fear repeating main ideas
if you think they're important or someone has missed them.
- Stand if possible and speak
at a level comfortable for all to hear. Be loud and clear, but
not "staged" or affected. If they can't hear you and
understand you, listeners will tolerate but ignore you.
- Conversational, not oratorical
style is best. A polished speaker has little advantage over a
humble but plain-talking person. Don't try to imitate a "great
speaker's style" you will only sound insincere.
- Don't apologize. If you are
unprepared, everyone will know it. If you are scared, saying
so will only make it worse by drawing attention to it. Don't
dwell on negative feelings of fear or inadequacy. You'll always
look better than you feel.
- Stick closely to your outline.
If you lose your place, pause and look at your notes; then go
on. Don't try to hide your confusion, but go on with the speech
as smoothly as possible.
- Get off to a good start. Relax
and breathe deeply before you start. It is easier to keep a steady
pace than to start weakly and then catch up. Stand straight,
but not stiffly. If you are balanced and comfortable you will
look, sound, and think better.
- Gesture and movement should
be smooth and controlled. Avoid sudden or jerky movements. Avoid
overuse of the same gesture or mannerism it can distract
- Use words that are clear, straightforward,
and suitable for you, your listeners, and your subject. Avoid
verbiage, profanity, loaded words, and slang.
- Develop a sense of form or structure
in your speech. This means that you are aware of the introduction,
main ideas, and conclusion. Also, a speaker sensitive to the
need for listeners to digest/comprehend information develops
the use of transitions that allow you to glide from one issue
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
2939 Van Ness NW Street, Suite 1248
Washington, DC 20008
Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.