VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION

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.

~ January 2003 ~ Topics

Creative Recognition Gifts

Plaques and certificates are a staple of every volunteer recognition events. Here are some options to inject creativity into those events to reward hard working volunteers. They work well with committee recognition, too.

“You always have great ideas”

taped to a light bulb

“You are a guiding light.” –

taped to a flashlight

“No one can hold a candle to you.”

Taped to a candle

“Pills to cheer you up.”

Candy in old medicine bottle

“You energize the group.”

Taped to a battery

“This a project that dished out headaches.”

Taped to small packet of aspirin or Tylenol-type product.

“You always have cracker-jack ideas.”

Taped to Cracker Jack box

“You swept into our life and cleaned up.”

Taped to a broom

“You always came up with the right idea.”

Taped to a pen or pencil

“Your efforts brought us the sweet smell of success.”

A sachet with fragrant dried flower petals.


For more information on Recognizing Volunteers and paid Staff, read The Art, The Science and a Gazillion Ideas. by Sue Vineyard. This book can be found and purchased in the Volunteer Today Bookstore.


Return to the Menu
Rethinking Collaboration

Many organizations with a pool of volunteers are involved or encouraged to participate in collaborative efforts. Working together in a community for a common goal warms the hearts of funders, providers a better array of service to clients, members, or patrons, and usually builds capacity for the organization.

Collaborations are alliances and come in different styles and levels of commitment. Alliances are usually formed for some greater good. The volunteer program, its staff and volunteers are often part of community alliances for which they get little or no credit.

Review the definitions below and then make a list of the many alliances of which the volunteer program is a part. That list should be a part of the annual report of the activities of the department.


Level One: Communication

Level Three: Coalition

Level Two: Cooperation

Level Four: Collaboration

Level One: Communication
Individuals and organizations develop communication links to exchange information. The emphasis in this type of alliance is on tapping other organizations for information and/or resources. The focus is usually narrow, but can result in long-term relationships.

Example:
The volunteer program manager of a homeless shelter has an on-going relationship with the volunteer program manager at the governmental organization that provides assistance to the poor. There is a regular communication flow; newsletter, phone calls, and attending training sessions when relevant at the partnering agency.

What Communication Alliances Do You Have?
  • .....................................................................................
  • .
  • .
  • ....................................................................................

Return to the Level Menu

Level Two: Cooperation
Participation at this level is driven by individual involvement, rather than organizational mandate. It is usually a loose informal association of a few people for some mutual benefit, or easily attainable goal. A project may grow out of it depending on the vigor and enthusiasm of the participants.

Example:
A volunteer manager participates in an association with other volunteer managers from the community to enhance training for everyone. This provides the opportunity for professional growth and also represents the organization to others in the community. Sometimes these contacts can lead to a Communication level of alliance as described before.

What Cooperation Alliances Do You Have?
  • .....................................................................................
  • .
  • .
  • ....................................................................................

Return to the Level Menu

Level Three: Coalition
This level of community alliance or collaboration builds links at the organizational level. Organizations participate in a more formal way around an issue or other commonality. The purpose is usually to create energy and synergy around an issue or topic. Coalitions tend to be short lived, even though what they might work on is complex. When collaborating at this level, each organization has a share of responsibility for the success or failure of the project.

Example:
Volunteer program managers from organizations who deal with the poor; homeless shelters, food banks, government welfare programs, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and the like, have a coalition that meets monthly. They share information about such things as demand for service, what resources are available and what are low (like food at a food banks), anticipate the needs and how to meet them in the future, and devise a method to screen those using the various organizations so money and resources are distributed equitably.

What Coalition Alliances Do You Have?
  • .....................................................................................
  • .
  • .
  • ....................................................................................

Return to the Level Menu

Level Four: Collaboration
This is the highest and most difficult level of working with other community organizations. The relationships are formalized and involve a long term commitment to shared decision making, allocation of resources, and responding to mutually identified needs.

Example:
Arts organizations in a community work together in a collaboration to conduct a joint fund raising campaign, similar to those of United Way. The alliance requires each entity to take up some responsibility for the activities, shoulder the burden of the cost of the endeavor, and determine a method to distribute the revenue from the campaign. The volunteer managers in each of the organizations work together to streamline the efforts of volunteers from each of the groups to conduct the actual campaign.

What Collaboration Alliances Do You Have?
  • .....................................................................................
  • .
  • .
  • ....................................................................................

Return to the Level Menu or Return to Top of the Page

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.


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 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.


Return to Top of the Page
A Service of MBA Publishing
925 "E" Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
VOICE : (509) 529-0244
EMAIL: editor@volunteertoday.com


All materials copyright protected ©2003

The content of all linked sites are beyond the control Volunteer Today and
the newsletter assumes no responsibility for their content.