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to 2002 Archives
| ~ October 2002 ~ Topics
- Word-Wanted Ads
- How to Handle a Media Feeding Frenzy
- Tips to Manage Changes
A recent issue of The Volunteer Management Report
suggested a novel idea for people to find the perfect volunteer position.
Newspapers run "want-ads' for paid work, why not for unpaid. The
paper might create a section of its want-ads where people could list
their qualifications and interests in a volunteer position. It might
run once per month and be supported by many agencies or organizations
in the community.
A local volunteer center could spearhead the effort, by meeting with
organizations interested in getting local newspapers to do this. Ads
might be "seeded" at the beginning until the idea catches
on. This might entail having recently recruited volunteers list their
interests and qualifications, as if they were still looking for a position.
This type of project might start with smaller, "shopper" type
newspapers, which are often more closely connected to the community
in the way a large metropolitan paper is not. Work your way up to the
For more information on The Volunteer Management Report
call 712-2239-3010 CST or visit thir website at http://www.stevensoninc.com.
How to Handle Media Feeding Frenzy
- Begin with prevention. The program (and organization) should have
policies on dealing with the media. In nonprofit organizations the
board of directors establishes policies for who talks to the media
and who does not. The policy addresses behavior for staff and volunteers.
- Policies about talking with the media are reviewed during volunteer
orientation. Volunteers should never talk to the media, without the
knowledge and arrangements of the organization for whom they volunteer.
- It is important to keep volunteers in the information loop during
a crisis, as any institution should do with staff, as well. This requires
a plan, which includes equipment up to the task of mass communication.
The larger the organization, the more critical the use of electronic
- In most situations that draw out the media, big and small scale,
there is a designated spokesperson for the organization or agency.
The volunteer program manager needs to be in the communication line
with this person, so they, in turn, can keep volunteers up-to-date
on events. The more people feel included the less likely they are
to go around the existing procedure and go to a media person with
- Following the crisis, organize a "debriefing" committee
to assess how the situation was handled and how it might be done differently
in the future. Revisit the new plan each year, to be sure you are
ready to cope with the next crisis.
Tips to Manage Changes
Volunteer programs seem to attract change like a moth
to a flame. Policy shifts, new positions are created, old positions
are eliminated, staff come and go, the office is shifted to a new location,
and mainstay volunteers move on to new challenges. Coping with these
changes can turn hair gray and add wrinkles. Here are some tips to help
organize the change to help lessen the pressure.
|The change process works
best when it begins with facts. Make a clear case for why
this particular change is being made. Have a fact sheet or FAQ ready
to go when you begin talking about the change.
Involve those impacted by the change
in the decisions about what is going to happen and when. One volunteer
manager noted a problem; she did some research (interviewed people
and turned it into a statistical report), and went to her advisory
committee with the facts. The advisory group's conclusion was the
same as hers. Something had to change. Now the change is not one
person's idea, but rather a group.
Begin with an advisory group or board
to identify skills needed to make the necessary change. Organize
those with skills into a task force to make recommendations, create
a plan, aide with implementation, and evaluation when the change
is complete. Sometimes adults need help in being creative. The first
meeting of the task force might include some creative exercises
to get that part of the brain working on innovative solutions.
The volunteer program manager and leadership
of the task force need to be working continually to obtain the necessary
resources to implement the change.
It is helpful to create incentives for change.
People are more inclined to embrace a new way of doing things if
there is something in it for them. The incentives need not necessarily
be financial, but there should be a list of the benefits to individuals
from the impending change.
It is also the time to collaborate.
This might mean involving other staff or departments in the organization
or going outside the organization to make the change happen. Working
with others can also bring a fresh eye to a situation and result
in a better plan.
Create a written action plan to implement
the change. Make it available to anyone impacted by the change.
Then everyone knows where the process is headed and the places where
it is appropriate to have input.
| October 9-12, 2002 - International
Conference on Volunteer Administration, Denver, CO, Adams Mark Hotel,
sponsored by the Association for Volunteer Administration, for more
information click on the graphic above.
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
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