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~ May 2002 ~ Topics
  • Volunteer Today Remodels Its Bookstore
  • Raffles for Signing Up Volunteers
  • Closing the Deal
  • Be Honest in Recruiting

Volunteer Today Remodels Its Bookstore

Interested in books or kits on working with volunteers or boards? Visit the newly "remodeled" Volunteer Bookstore. You can order online, using a credit card, behind a secure "fire wall." You can see pictures of the books and read about the content. And shipping is your choice-fast or pony express!

The snappy new design is due to Laura Bunt our intrepid Web Master, Ruben Bybee of Blue Mountain Internet, and Sara Strickland-the scanner master! It is also so you can find resources in a timely way to run your program more effectively. Click on the Bookstore link in the main menu.

Raffles for Signing Up Volunteers

Volunteers who sign up for jobs at a Wisconsin senior center are automatically eligible for prizes. Volunteer positions (20 per month) are listed on a message board. People can take down the listing, sign up to work, and they are automatically registered for the weekly raffles. Gifts are simple; notepads, coin purses and the like. Winners' names are posted at the front desk and included in the organizations newsletter.

Closing the Deal

Silence is an ally when you are recruiting volunteers. Practice making a closing statement that is powerful and ends with the question, "Do you want to join our team as a volunteer?" BE QUIET.

The silence moves control of the conversation into the hands of the volunteer. Do not talk, fidget, move, shift, write, or dig in a brief case. Maintain body and verbal silence. Silence sends the message that you respect the person and want them to have time to make an informed decision.

This lesson is one that good salespeople learn early on. Practice it before using it during a recruitment interview. It is hard to sit absolutely still and be quiet, but moving or talking gives the prospective volunteer a signal that moving on to another topic is permissible.

Be Honest in Recruiting

Misleading volunteers can lead to migraines! Avoid this through a policy of honesty about all positions in the organization. Here are some tips:

  1. List clearly the qualifications for the task. Do not hide them in vague language ("must be physically fit and able to carry 25 pounds across a 20 foot room, requires patience with individuals who can be rude, etc.)
  2. If appropriate list what characteristics would make someone ineligible for the position.
  3. Outline the duties for the task or service in brief descriptive statements.
  4. List benefits of the position, but also share the challenges the volunteer might face.
  5. Provide the prospective volunteer with the names of current volunteers who can give up-to-date information about the position.
  6. Allow volunteers to "shadow" a current volunteer doing the position before they agree to do the task or service.


The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.