VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

~ October 2001 ~
  • Ethnic and Racial Sensitivity
  • Technology Basics
    • The Telephone Tree
    • Reminder Cards
  • Conference on Volunteer Administration To Convene in Toronto, Canada

There is grief throughout the world for those lost and injured by terrorist attacks. But, there are also thanks for outpourings of love, condolence, sympathy, and encouragement from family, friends and neighbors from Sri Lanka to Sydney to Sacramento, and Sweden.

"Now let us thank the Eternal Power: convinced
That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction.
That oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
Serves but to brighten all our future days."
John Brown 1715-1766

Ethnic and Racial Sensitivity

An exemplary volunteer program is one noted for racial and ethnic sensitivity. It seems obvious that a diverse volunteer corps enhances the work and image of the organization as welcoming everyone to the work that needs to be done. However, being an ethnically and racially friendly place means more than recruiting minorities. Take this opportunity to assess your organization.

______1.  My organization works diligently to attract employees from all the racial and ethnic groups represented in our area.
______2. Volunteers come from diverse groups in the community, race, ethnicity, income levels, education, age, and geographically.
______3. All publications of the organization include pictures or graphic representations of the diversity of our community.
______4. All press releases or media information is translated into the second or third languages prevalent in our community. They are distributed to outlets using those languages in print, TV, and radio.
______5. When preparing handouts for community meetings, training sessions, or organizational reports, clip art pictures are representative of the ethnic and racial diversity in the community.
______6. Members of staff and volunteers make regular efforts to inform leaders of racial and ethnic groups in our community about the work of the volunteer program and how it is impacting members from their group.
______7. Any printed material used in the volunteer program is checked by appropriate individuals for ethnic and racial sensitivity.
______8. Ethnic or racial slurs, jokes, or stereotypes are never ignored. They are addressed and discussed.

Technology Basics

The Telephone Tree

When talking about technology most people think immediately of the Web, Internet and e-mail. There are other forms of technology in the workplace that can be used effectively in communication with volunteers. The Telephone Tree is an "old" technology that has not lost its luster. Here are some hints to establish and use a telephone tree.

Reminder Cards

How often have you heard? " I told them about this meeting. They are adults, why should I have to remind them to be somewhere they promised to be." This is usually delivered in a disgruntled tone of voice. No doubt this is a true statement, but have you every forgotten a meeting or appointment? It is a rare person over 30 who can say no.
Rather than be angry with forgetful volunteers, get on the reminder train. Here are two techniques to remind volunteers that are relatively painless.

Brighton County Humane Society
Arts Auction for Poodles and Others
February 10, 2002

You agreed to work our Annual Art Auction on February 10, 2002.

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your assigned time. Report to your Volunteer Team Captain _____________
at _____________(time) in the lobby of the Sheraton.

Team Captain ____________ Phone ______________

PLEASE notify the Team Captain if there is a problem and you cannot attend.



Conference on Volunteer Administration To Convene in Toronto, Canada
Workshops, Speakers Appeal to New and Experienced Volunteer Administrators

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 avaintl@mindspring.com or P.O. Box 32092, Richmond, VA 23294 USA. Visit http://www.avaintl.org for information.



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.

Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.

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