VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for
Return to 2002
| ~ February 2002 ~
- How Do You Rate on Networking?
- Volunteer Turnover
- Formative Evaluation Technique
- Burning Questions in the Parking Lot
How Do You Rate on Networking?
Networking is a way to promote yourself, your program,
and your organization. Knowing people comes in handy when your are raising
money, seeking resources, or help with a project. Here is a quiz to
see how you are doing as a networker?
||1. I am a member of the professional
association for those who work with volunteers or charities in
||2. I serve on committees or other
leadership roles in my professional association
||3. I often say "Hi" to
people when I am standing in a line.
||4. At the last organizational social
event I attended, I started a conversation with someone I did
||5. I follow-up with new people
I meet by telephone or e-mail.
||6. I have lunch once a month with
someone who does my job in another organization.
||7. I have business cards.
||8. I take my business cards everywhere,
even on vacation.
- 5 or more yes responses and you are a good networker;
- four and you have some work to do;
- less than four and you need to read up on networking.
There are natural reasons why volunteers move on.
Sometimes, however, volunteers send signals that not all is well, before
they stop coming to an assignment. A volunteer might send some cues
before they leave. For example:
promotions, new plateaus. This might be working on a committee,
training new-comers, being asked to serve on an advisory group,
join a speakers bureau, or help redesign their current position.
Challenge means an opportunity to gain new skills, meet new people,
and do new things.
didn't realize this is what I would be doing."
pre-conceived notions about their positions, sometimes erroneous
ones. Sometimes asking the volunteer what they expected might
mean you could move them or alter responsibilities. Reshaping
duties can keep them happy and staying with the organization.
never see you."
like feedback, and buckets of it. They want to know they are serving
the needs of the organization and helping clients. They want to
know if what they are doing is right or wrong. Informal input
from the supervisor or the person directing the volunteer program
is an essential part of retention.
Formative Evaluation Technique
Formative training evaluations are those that occur
while the training is in session. It is the results of group presentations,
quick quizzes, or participants practicing their proficiency at a new
skill. The Evaluation Bulls-Eye is a quick and effective means to check
in on a presentation before participants break for lunch to see if you
are on target!
Burning Questions in the Parking
Trainees often arrive at the training session with
"burning questions." These are things that they need to know
immediately. Sometimes they are so focused on those questions it is
hard for them to participate in training that is not directly related
to that topic.
Adults are usually willing to postpone answers, if
they are assured the questions will be addressed during the training
session. One way to deal with this is with the "Burning Question"
Parking Lot. Here is how to create it and a visual example below:
- Use a sheet of easel paper and draw what approximates the layout
of a parking lot. You can put pictures of cars in some of the spaces
and landscape with trees and bushes. Computer graphics are your friends.
The empty spaces are for those post-it-notes with burning questions.
- Leave two or three post-it-note pads on each table with pencils
and tell the trainees that at any time during the session they can
write burning questions on the pads, then put them in the parking
- In your training plan, include 10 - 15 minutes to review the questions
and answer those that have not already been addressed. Most trainers
find that the questions put up early in the session are answered in
planned activities, leaving only a few questions to answer.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND
Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic
programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually
master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors
undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the
professional development window, consider taking a course at one of
these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero.
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.