VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for
MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION
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| ~ July 2002 ~
- A Question from Ask Connie
- Tips to Raise Money Online
- What To Do When You Only Get Only Half the Story?
- Tips to Speed Up a Slowpoke
- Getting Ahead When There are Conflict Road Blocks
A Question from Ask Connie
The subject of volunteers and fundraising has many layers and
variations. The one that many volunteer program managers struggle
with is whether or not to solicit financial contributions from
their direct-service volunteers (not volunteer board members or
trustees). I'd like to hear from you!
Are the volunteers in your organization solicited for financial
contributions? If so, how? If not, why? Please send your responses
to me AskConnieP@cs.com,
and I'll share the results of this informal poll in my September
Thanks for your help and Happy Summer!
Tips to Raise Money Online
Egrants.org( http://www.egrants.org/resources ) has
published a guide to help organizations use email and the Internet to
raise money. This San Francisco nonprofit processes online donations
for charities. It also has a weekly email newsletter with tips on online
What To Do When You Only Get Only
Half the Story?
Sometimes you receive information that you are sure is only part of
the story. Short of calling someone a liar, what do you do? Try these
- Halt! Stop the conversation
on some pretext; meeting, phone call, bathroom, etc. Then the next
day start the conversation all over. Tell the person that you had
to leave and cannot remember where they left off and need to cover
the same ground. If the person knows you are not going to let the
matter drop, they will frequently fill in all the blanks.
- Confess. Tell the
person you are baffled by what they are saying. Say things like "this
is strange," or "Help me get this all straight." Summarize
your confusion very briefly, no more than a sentence or two. Then
make firm and steady eye contact while the person fills in the silence.
- Change. Do not respond
to what the person is saying, but bring up something light and non-threatening.
It should be a topic the other person enjoys talking about, too. Then
go back to the topic where you were getting only part of the story.
Say, "Back to what we were discussing. Help me to understand
- More. Ask the person
to tell you "the rest of the story." You can do that by
asking such questions as: "What other information can you share
on this?" "What else should I know about this?" This
is the time for a curious tone of voice. Best not to sound suspicious.
Tips Speed Up a Slowpoke
Volunteers work at different speeds. If you need to
help someone go faster here are some tips.
- Begin with the expectations for performance.
The volunteer needs to know the standards for completing the work.
Then describe specifically how fast they are doing the work. This
is not the time to be vague. "In order to complete this project
in a timely way, everyone working on it needs to enter 6 TDT forms
into the computer every hour. I noticed that for your last couple
of visits you have been putting in 3 per hour."
- Ask if you can help. In the
most supportive way ask how you can help them increase their speed.
"I want to make sure that you have everything you need to complete
this project. How about if I review with you the steps in doing this,
so we are sure that you are doing it in the most efficient way?"
- Ask the volunteer to tell you
how long it will be before you can see an improvement in his/her performance.
The volunteer needs to tell you how soon before they meet the minimum
standard for the task. "We need these all completed by the first
of the month. How soon do you think you can hit that six per hour
- Offer options. The volunteer
may be misplaced. Reassure them that there are lots of other needs
in the organization and this position is not for everyone. You value
them and the contribution they can make. "I want you to know
how much we value your willingness to achieve our goals. Not everyone
is suited for every job. If you think this is a poor placement for
you, let's discuss moving you to an area when you can help us and
the requirements are more suited to your skills."
Getting Ahead When There are Conflict
The volunteer manager who is the most successful is
the one who is seen as a key part of the managerial team. One of the
most challenging times for the professional is when there is conflict
with an individual or other part of the organization. The lists below
suggest career advancement strategies and career sabotaging behaviors,
when conflict is the issue. You get to choose.
Career Advancement Strategies
Career Sabotaging Behaviors
||Conflict is inevitable in
the workplace. The person who is seen as professional and a team
player is the one who engages in finding solutions. This means
engaging the person with whom you are having a conflict in an
open and honest effort to brainstorm solutions to the impasse.
||Sticking your head in the
sand is not the solution to conflict used by professionals. Ignoring
the problem or the person,or acting "distant" around
the person paints you with the brush of ineptitude if someone
is being charitable and unprofessional in the worst-case scenario.
Engage in empathy
||Empathy is not sympathy.
It is putting yourself in someone else's place and trying to see
a situation from their point of view. The professional has a tendency
to do this, especially where conflict is involved.
Laugh at others
||It seems easy, sometimes,
to make fun of others, to demean them or ridicule ideas or behavior.
The non-professional does this, using what they think is humorous
sarcasm. That type of behavior is not the best career move. Another
way to sabotage your career is to display anger with harsh words
and a loud voice.
Make the first move
||The professional is quick
to say they are sorry and reach out to others to solve problems.
The goal is to make amends and move on.
||Blocking the work of others,
retaliating, or seeking to get back at someone with whom you have
a conflict does the person doing it more harm than the person
it is directed toward.
||Team players express honest
emotions at the time of conflict. They describe how they are thinking
and feeling, but in ways that others can hear.
Win-no matter the cost
||Arguing vigorously and refusing
to budge is a tactic used to win, no matter what. An unwillingness
to change or even consider other people's ideas is a sure way
to career suicide.
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER
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
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.
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