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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

V.T. readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~November 2003~ Topics

Dates to Remember

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International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day – December 5, 2003
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National Volunteer Week – April 18-24, 2004
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American Association of Museums 2004 Conference – May 6-9, 2004, New Orleans, LA
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Association for Volunteer Administration 2004 Conference – October 20-23, 2004, Portland, OR

Online Resources to Use

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AAMV Listserv – The American Association of Museum Volunteers (AAMV) has a free listserv for museum volunteer program managers. To join send an email message with your email address to: AAMVList@npgcable.com.
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International Volunteer Day (IVD) is December 5, just four weeks away. The UN Volunteers program has an interactive IVD section on the http://www.WorldVolunteerWeb.org portal to help you plan and report IVD
activities. The IVD (http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org/ivd/) site includes background information, event details, marketing tools, a networking section, and various other resources relating to IVD. Organizations can use the site to promote their IVD events, find suggestions for IVD activities, sign up for a regular IVD newsletter, and more.

Dear Connie:

I am updating my volunteer application. Are there any new questions I should add?


Dear A.R.:

One of my clients recently updated their volunteer application and added a section that I really like called “Previous Experience.” We usually ask for any previous employment or volunteer experience, but they expanded this section by adding the following:

  • Service as a volunteer, mentor, or coach
  • Hobbies that relate to our mission
  • Drama or other public speaking or performance experience
  • Foreign language(s)
  • Experience with special needs groups

Each of the above categories provide space to give a brief description, name of organization, years of service or participation, etc. You could add categories that relate specifically to your organization and “mine” more information about potential volunteers.

Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for: "Volunteer Screening: An Audio Workbook," by Nancy Macduff. For more information, check out this audio tape and workbook and more at our online bookstore.

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Dear Connie:

We have a newly established Police Volunteer Program. We are a small (4500 population) Resort Community. Are you aware of any such communities that have a similar program that I could contact for some guidance, or is there any agency that I could contact to find such communities? A Resort Community differs in many ways from the usual venue for a Police Program. I recognize this difference but I do not believe those in charge recognize it and this impacts my effectiveness. I certainly would appreciate any information you can provide. I am a "volunteer" volunteer coordinator and the Department has had no previous experience working with volunteers. I've had considerable volunteer experience, although not in the capacity I am currently.

Thank You!

Dear Gilda:

I did a Google.com search for “police volunteer program” and found several sites that would interest you. For basic structure of the program, including an application form, visit the City of Orlando, Florida’s site at: http://www.cityoforlando.net/police/crime_prevention/cp_volunteer.htm. Durango, Colorado, also has a police volunteer program that you can check out at: http://www.durangogov.org/resident/services/volunteer.html. I got dozens of “hits” on this search, so you can check out a wide variety of sites for information if you do a search. As you noted, while your venue may be “different” the basic volunteer program structure can be adapted to meet your needs. Good luck!

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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
10103 Edward Avenue * Bethesda, MD 20814 * VOICE: 301-530-8233 * FAX: 301-530-8299

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