VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
The rules of office etiquette have changed over the years. Many employees work in cubicles or in offices where workers sit 3 to 4 ft. apart, with no walls to separate them. Introduce volunteers into this work environment and there is a potential for problems. If those volunteers worked in offices with doors, there are some tips you can share in training to help them be respectful of the space for staff or other volunteers.
You know about 911 and 411, but 211? It is a joint US and Canadian project to provide directory assistance for nonprofit agencies and social services in a given area. Greensboro, NC and Chattanooga, TN already have this service. Do you know what your community is doing about this handy service? The effort to bring 211 to every city in America is spearheaded by The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems Association (AIRS). The idea is to improve access to service. For information on this and other AIRS projects visit their Web site. http://www.airs.org/.
Delegating Your Work
The best volunteer managers are "masters" at delegation. Here are some tasks you could delegate to specially trained volunteers.
Screening volunteers is not the sole job of the person who manages volunteers. A volunteer who has been trained can carry it out. The volunteer screener needs to know all the steps in screening; application, background check, etc. If an interview is required then the person needs to be trained to do that. This is a job for an experienced volunteer with a good sense of who will fit in the organization and who won't.
Reading the latest journal or background on your organization or volunteerism is time consuming and often postponed for "later," which never comes. Homebound volunteers could assist by reading material, writing summaries for the volunteer manager. This saves time and involves people who might not be able to volunteer in other ways.
Data or record keeping is a time consuming task. Most volunteer programs have figured out how to have that done by volunteers. But what about analysis of that data? Collecting information and never looking at it seems wasteful. A volunteer could be recruited to do nothing but analyze the information that is collected and write up short reports. This is an excellent distance type of position for someone who cannot come into the office for other types of volunteer service.
The Simple Thank You
Thank you can never be over done. Here are some tips to express appreciation in a quick and simple fashion.
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
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.
ASSOCIATION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS SEEKS MEMBERS
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.