VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
"Diversity" is a term much bandied about in the world of
volunteerism (and everywhere else, for that matter). Population statistics
shine a light on this politically correct American theme. But the degree
and type of diversity in the US differ widely from region to region.
Diversity today refers to differences in such things as religion, race, sexual preference, age, culture, and working styles. Here are some facts about the population diversity, or that lack of it.
The bottom line of all this is that while some parts of the US are more diverse than ever, it is not true in other locations. These facts impact such things as patterns of volunteering, methods of recruiting, and opportunities for partnering.
MBA Publishing launched a new Volunteer Evaluation Series (online)
in November 2002. The online evaluation, with options for expert consultations
by phone, has four different evaluations currently available and will
eventually have more than twenty. Each evaluation focuses on one aspect
of managing a healthy volunteer program. The authors of the first four
evaluations responded to a series of questions from the editor of VT
about why evaluation is an important part of the vibrant volunteer program.
The January issue of Volunteer Today carried the first of a two-part
interview with the authors about evaluating volunteer programs and why
this cost-effective online system can help individual programs.
The experts are: Jeanne Bradner, Georgean Johnson-Coffey, Nancy Macduff,
and Mary Merrill. For information on these training consultants and
others involved in the Volunteer Evaluation series visit the Web site:
In the second part of this series, the authors of evaluations on recruitment,
risk management, volunteer and staff relations, and organizational readiness
were asked about the online and phone consultation format for evaluating
a volunteer program administrator or manager should invest, both time and resources?
Bradner- "To paraphrase a
significant quote (Santayana): Those who dont learn the lessons
of history are likely to keep making the same mistakes."
Macduff - "Resources, time
and money, are woeful short for many volunteer programs, but the needs
are greater than ever for more effective and efficient operations. VPES
gives the volunteer manager the opportunity to assess what exists and
build a plan for the future for a tiny outlay of time and cash. The
evaluation process is also designed to involve people in the process
who can help in making systemic changes."
Johnson-Coffey - "The individual
assessments are a user-friendly, practical instrument to assess an organization
in a variety of different areas - volunteer and staff relations being
Merrill - "Evaluation tools
are a great way to begin the conversation! Many times program managers
know what the internal problems/issues are. But it is often difficult
to get others in the organization involved. Asking people to fill out
an evaluation begins to raise questions. Once the discussion begins
on a topic, say risk management, it creates energy, excitement, and
buy-in for solutions or new approaches.
Merrill - "I hope to learn
more about the issues local programs are continuing to deal with. For
me this is a cost-effective way to share some expertise and knowledge
with a local program that cannot afford to fly me in for an extended
Bradner - "I personally hope
to help volunteer programs understand the significance of renewal. The
"same old, same old," may have worked yesterday, but we need
to question constantly "Is it right for tomorrow?? That is the
only way to be sure that programs are mission focused and relevant to
the needs of our communities."
Macduff - "For every volunteer
program manager of 10 years there are 30 who just started in a job they
are not sure how to do. This program gives the local program manager
a quick evaluation process that is inexpensive, involves others, and
lays out a map, a Mary Merrill suggested, to improve. If talking to
me on the phone can help a local program grow and refine its operation,
I would be very happy.
purpose of VPES is to help volunteer services managers develop and move
their programs forward, further meeting the needs of volunteers, their
organizations/agencies, and clients. What a privilege it is for me to
be a part of this!"
See samples and much more at http://www.volunteertoday.com/vpeshome.html
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 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.
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