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VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


Visit this page for ideas, suggestions and hints to build volunteer recruitment capacity.

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~December 2003~ Topics

Altruistic Behavior and Religious Faith

The evidence continues to amass of the connection between religious belief and altruistic behavior. That is the random acts of kindness, which include volunteering and giving to charities. The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago surveyed 1300+ people last year. There were “acts of kindness” listed in the survey, like giving to charity, volunteering, lending money, and more. People who said they attended church weekly averaged 128 acts of kindness per year. While those who never attended church averaged 96 acts of kindness per year.

There was no correlation between those living in urban areas or small towns. Women, more than men reported feeling disturbed by the plight of others. For full results of this study visit the website at: http://www.src.uchicago.edu/prc.

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What do you know about 21 year olds?

4.1 million people will turn 21 in the US in 2003. Here are some facts to help you understand them as you plan recruiting strategies.

  • 41% live with mom and dad
  • 60% of college students will return home after graduation
  • There is a 1 in 4 odds that a 21 year old was raised by a single parent
  • 93% have their own credit card (60% of 21 year olds in 1999 had a credit card)
  • $3000 is the average of credit card debtYoung Woman Reading Picture
  • 1 in 3 chance they will vote for President in 2004
  • 78% are not married
  • 19% are married
  • 62% are non-Hispanic whites
  • 3% are multiracial
  • 43% have a tattoo or body piercing

Email that Works

Email that is effective is often hard to come by. If you are using email more and more to communicate with volunteers or staff, here are some tips to help.

Reread. Typos, misdirected fingers, and left out words can create confusion for the reader. Take the time to reread what you wrote.
Delete the incoming message. Unless it is an act of the United Nations, delete the previous message, before answering. If you want to reference something in the previous message, save it the section you wish to refer to, paste it, and then comment.
Make the subject line clear. An empty subject line means the reader could think they are getting spam. Make the line clear and short.
Skip the formatting. Avoid blue, italics, and other fancy features. Those background shots of your dog should be left out, as well. They all take time to load on the readers screen and many times are incompatible with another email program and the reader gets garbage. Keep it simple.
Keep your communication professional. Skip the crazy names or funny addresses. This is business and it needs to be fun, but email is to save time, not use it.

Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for: "Building Effective Volunteer Committees," by Nancy Macduff and "The Board Member's Guide," by Jeanne Bradner. For more information, check out these books and more at our online bookstore.

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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, call 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.

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