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Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com.
to 2002 Archives
~ June 2002 Topics ~
- Volunteers and Fundraising -- A Poll
- Active Listening Training for Volunteers
- Finding Grants for Volunteer Training
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!
I am looking for video and/or audio tapes that our mental health organization
can use to train volunteers to answer a supportive listening and suicide/crisis
intervention line. I am looking for videos or audiotapes that demonstrate
or provide examples of active/empathetic listening and identifying and
reflecting feelings. I have found "Communicating with Compassion."
Do you know of any additional videos or audio training tools that would
be appropriate for training volunteers to communicate with people experiencing
a mental health crisis? Thanks!
Vickie at mental health association
Check out the International Listening Association at http://www.listen.org.
This professional association promotes the study, development, and teaching
of listening and the practice of effective listening skills and techniques.
Click on "Listening Resources," where you'll find Listening
Exercises, Listening Tests & Assessments, Listening Factoids, Convention
Paper Resource Center, and more.
I did a quick search on http://Google.com (search
"suicide prevention" or "crisis centers") and found
the following two sites, among many, that might be of help:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at http://www.afsp.org.
I cruised around the site quickly, and it appears there might be some
resources you can use on the "education" or "link resources"
in the left column.
American Association of Suicidology at http://www.suicidology.org.
They have a variety of options in the left column, ranging from "publications"
and "resources" (which looks really helpful) in their "bookstore."
I am on the advisory board of a nonprofit gift and thrift store that funds
a Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Assault program. We have over one
hundred volunteers for our thrift store and are looking for grant monies
for the training these people. Do you have any ideas?Jean
The first thing that occurs to me is corporate sponsorship for a volunteer
training program. You could probably secure one or two corporations
or local businesses in your city to sponsor your volunteer training
program. It isn't difficult to make a strong case for investing in training
(or building the capacity) of the citizens who volunteer to support
your organization. It's a combination of community development and supporting
your organization's mission. This type of activity is attractive to
corporate funders because it's well defined with a beginning and an
end. Another thought is to approach your local community foundation(s).
They are usually supportive of training activities for volunteers.
I will be assisting with training of teen's ages 13 to 16 in June. They
will be working together in a Summer VolunTeen Program. I would like to
take about 30 to 45 minutes helping them to get to know each other. Can
you recommend an icebreaker? Do you know of an icebreaker for adults,
Thanks, Lois M.
Here's one of three icebreakers you'll find in a great
article written by my friend and colleague Mary Merrill. It's taken
from her website at http://www.merrillassoc.com (click on "Topics
of the Month"):
Games may be used effectively at the beginning of a meeting,
session, workshop, etc., as a means of securing interest and
setting the tone for the session. Games quickly create a mood
of openness, playfulness, and interactive learning. An opening
exercise should be relatively quick and should grab the attention
of the participants. Opening activities are often designed to
get participants up, moving, acquainted, and energized. Beginning
the meeting with "Name the Name" creates a different
mood than having participants go around the room and introduce
themselves. The following three games are recommended as icebreakers,
or opening activities. They can be done "for fun"
or prizes can be offered to create a mood of competitiveness.
"Name the Name" takes 15-20 minutes minimum and is
good for groups of 10-30 people. Each player is given a pencil,
nametag, and slips of paper. On the name tag participants are
instructed to write their name, but omit every other letter.
For example, Mary Merrill would be M_R_ M_R_I_L. Each player
puts on his/her nametag. Players are to mingle with each other,
observing nametags, and attempting to "guess" the
correct name. "Guesses" are written on a piece of
paper and given to the player named. Players do not look at
the "guesses" until time is called. At the appropriate
time, players look at the names they have collected, read them
aloud, and announce which one is correct. Variation: if many
of the players know each other, names of famous people may be
substituted for the players' names.
Additional References and Resources:
- Butler, Susan, (1986), Non-Competitive Games for People
of All Ages, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers.
- Neil Warren Associates (1990), The Warmups Manual,
Toronto, Ontario: Learnxs.
- Rohnke, Karl (1985), Silver bullets: A Guide to Initiative
Problems, Adventure Games and Trust Activities. Hamilton,
Mass.: Project Adventure, Inc.
- Scannell, Edward (1990), Games Trainers Play, New
York: McGraw-Hill Inc.
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.
Send your questions to Connie at
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
2939 Van Ness Street, NW - Suite 1248
Washington, DC 20008
VOICE: 202-966-0859 FAX: 202-966-3301
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.
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