VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
Find tips to oversee the work of volunteers and practical suggestions
to supervise them. Everything from ideas to help you work more efficiently
to the latest in research on keeping volunteers happy and productive.
Employees gain respect from supervisors and colleagues when they contribute
to overall mission of the organization or program, and not just his/her
"little corner of the organization." Knowing you are contributing
is also a way to "re-charge those batteries."
Be clear about the way your organization
- What is the mission?
- What are the numbers or statistics that are used to track performance
related to that mission?
- Determine a way to capture statistics from the volunteer activities
and programs that illuminate the mission and add positive statistics.
If you are in a budget crunch, determine ways to increase donations
or cut expenses. For example, could your printed and mailed newsletter
move to the internet with the help of some volunteers, and how
much money will that save the organization.
Set high standards for
your own performance and expect everyone, including volunteers, around
you to reach for similar goals. If you are motivated it inspires and
Try to make a commitment to
the organization that mirrors the mission and motivates you. Complete
this sentence. "This organization stands for . . ." Now
assess how your contributions are making an impact of what the organization
stands for. Think of concrete ways to connect your work performance
to what the organization is.
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Volunteer managers often receive feedback from a supervisor or administrator.
Here are two methods to get feedback from the volunteers.
- Make a
copy of your job description
it to volunteers
- Ask people
if you have been meeting all your responsibilities as they are
directions and ask people to indicate how they would rate your
accomplishment of your duties. It can be numerical (scale of
1 5, with 1 being the best); graded (traditional A
F); or more general (exceeds expectation, meets expectations)
an evaluation form based on the organizations performance
a method to distribute to volunteers.
- The return
of the evaluation should be an anonymous process for the volunteers.
No names required.
- Make sure
the form can be tabulated easily using a spreadsheet form, similar
- Ask for
honest feedback, as if the volunteers were the supervisor.
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It is the rare volunteer program that has not had to deal with a crisis
or mishap - everything from inappropriate volunteer behavior with a client
or member to the loss of a volunteer or a client. The ability to cope
with disasters, big and small, is the sign of a professional. Here are
some tips to cope with the next crisis.
How serious is this? Begin by
determining if this is really a crisis or it will take care of itself
in due time. Some managers rank crisis from the worst they have experienced
as a ten and then anything else from 1 to that terrible ten!
What is the worst that can happen?
This is a way to maintain perspective. Ask yourself how important
this will be in six months or a year.
Break it down into manageable parts.
Breaking a problem down makes it seem doable. Make a list of all the
things to be done or address. Tackle them in small increments (prioritize
them first). Set goals to do two a day or four per week. This makes
the situation seem less ominous.
Who else has faced this type of problem?
This is when the professional network of volunteer managers is invaluable.
It is likely an experienced volunteer manager has tackled this problem.
Consult them for advice and help, if need be.
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
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.
FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS SEEKS MEMBERS
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.
information contact Robin Popik,
who is a Volunteer Resource Supervisor. She can be reached by phone at
972-941-7114. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer Today.
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