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RECRUITING & RETENTION
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| ~ October 2002 ~ Topics
- Incentives for Youth Volunteers
- Reduce Bullying
- The Power of Email
- Volunteer Work-Wanted Ads
Incentives for Youth Volunteers
Looking for incentives for youth volunteers? How about
a scholarship program? Most organizations cannot afford to give college
scholarships to youthful volunteers, but they could set up a scholarship
information program. The program would provide current young volunteers
the facts on post-secondary scholarship programs. Advertise this benefit
in recruiting information aimed at young people.
Many companies and local foundations offer scholarships. For example,
Target Stores have scholarships for high school seniors, graduates,
and current college students, the Target All-Around Scholarships for
Students Program. It annually awards four $10,000 scholarships and 2100
$1000. Scholarships. (More information on the Target Web site at: http://www.target.com).
Information on this program and dozens like it could be available to
young people volunteering in your organization or agency. In fact, a
team of young people might be recruited, along with some parents to
set it up and keep the facts and forms up-to-date.
Kids are not the only people being bullied. In a study
by Gary Namie, "The Bully at Work," 2000, it was found that
- 81% of bullies in the work place are supervisors;
- 14% are peers; and
- 75% of the cases of bullying are against women.
Men and women are equally likely to be bullies. This
form of harassment occurs four times more often than the illegal forms
of discrimination and harassment. If bullies are in the workplace it
is safe to assume there are some in the volunteer corps, as well. Here
are some tips to help reduce the chances of bully-behavior:
|Check out the organization's volunteer policies
on the various types of harassment. Be sure there is a statement
prohibiting mental and verbal abuse or cruelty. And be clear about
the consequences of such behavior for the bully.
|Turnover rates in a specific work area or site,
during certain times of the day or week can be indicators of the
presence of a bully. Keeping statistical records of volunteers who
"just quit" can sometimes help locate the person who is
harassing other volunteers.
|Orientation should review the policies on harassment
of all types. It can also be useful to tell volunteers that the
behavior is not to be tolerated and you are to be notified immediately.
|Volunteers in leadership positions need training
on how to offer criticism without being cruel or abusive. Do not
assume people know how to do this. Better to refresh their knowledge
and skills than have them create a problem.
|Take any complaint seriously and investigate
to the full extent of your authority. Investigate and keep the person
reporting the bullying in the loop on progress toward a remedy.
|| For more information
on policies and strategies for volunteer programs read
These books can be found and purchased in
- Definition: Policies for Volunteer
Programs by Linda Graff and/or
- Risk Management: Strategies for Managing
Volunteer Programs by Sarah Henson and Bruce Larson
The Power of Email
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston runs a
Pan-Massachusetts two day bike-a-thon. Riders agree to raise a minimum
of $1000 through the pledges of friends and family. For the August 2002
ride the organizers added a new wrinkle. The riders received a short
(20 seconds) email with photos and music of past rides. At the click
of a button they could forward the message. The email provided an easy
link to the event's Web site, where online contributions could be made
for the rider.
Riders received the message in mid-July. In the week that followed donations
reached $137,000 in comparison with $77,000 from the previous year during
the same week, when this electronic communication was not used. If you
want to see their site you can visit http://www.pmc.org.
If email can raise money, it can certainly help in recruiting volunteers.
Especially for events, like this bike-a-thon. Here are some suggestions:
- Recruit a volunteer with digital camera and some experience
to photograph events and volunteers, and in some cases clients or
members. Begin building a photographic library for future use.
- Recruit someone to help design an email message with pictures
and music. Test it on willing volunteers before launching, no matter
what a "tech" person tells you! There are many email programs
and different operating systems for computers. You do not want a message
that crashes a computer or takes 20 minutes to download!
- Select an event or one time event where you need to recruit
episodic or short-term volunteers. Organize a recruiting email message
that can be easily forwarded. Tell current volunteers about the need
for volunteers for the event and let them do the work for you by forwarding
an email message to friends, co-workers, or family. Be sure to have
an electronic format for people to sign up.
- Be sure to track the results, even people who inquire, but
end up being unable to volunteer. The greater number of people making
contact, the greater chance to find people for the event.
- Evaluate the result of the recruiting effort. Be sure to
ask volunteers how they felt about being asked to help with the recruiting
effort. You need their help, but do not want to alienate the core
work force for your program.
Volunteer Work-Wanted Ads
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.
October 9-12, 2002 - International Conference on Volunteer Administration,
Denver, CO, Adams Mark Hotel, sponsored by the Association for Volunteer
DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT AWARD FORMS AVAILABLE
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
The award is given five days a week, excluding
holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at
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.
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