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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~November 2003~ Topics

Blue Circle Image Volunteer Administrators to Meet in Portland, OR in 2004 Blue Circle Imge

The international Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA) has announced the dates for the next International Conference on Volunteer Administration. Portland, OR will host the event October 20-23. Those interested in making a presentation at this conference can submit proposals for workshops by December 15, 2004. For more information on this conference and submitting proposals visit the AVA web site.

Green Circle Image !TradÚceloAhora! Green Circle Image

IBM has joined forces with several Hispanic community groups to develop software that will translate information from English into Spanish. About 50% of the information on the Internet is in English. The project had six people at IBM spend six months developing the software. Then IBM donated six computers and the software to organizations in Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angles, Miami, and New York.

The charities plan to integrate the software in programs for housing, job training, and legal aid. The software is being evaluated during this period of time. The company will then provide up-dated versions of the software about every three months until the end of 2004. For more information go to http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives.

Blue Circle Image Advocacy Site Blue Circle Imge

Are you planning to do some advocacy around the issues your organization addresses? Here is a site to help. http://www.NPAction.org features news about advocacy. There are articles, advice, the laws, and regulations for charities. There is also a directory with contact information for the US President and members of Congress to name a few. A nice feature of this site is a listing of journalists with contact information. There is even a chance to throw in your opinion with quizzes and surveys.

The site is sponsored by OMB Watch, a Washington, DC advocacy group that monitors government spending. Money to create the site came from foundations from New York to Los Angeles.

Green Circle Image The Cost of a Volunteer Program Green Circle Image

In the September issue of Volunteer Today, there was information on a new publication on the cost of having a volunteer program, written by the Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service. (Full downloading information was provided last month.). This month, VT reviews some of the findings. The study looked at 21 high quality programs, as identified by 15 experts in volunteerism from around the US. The 21 sites, which were urban, rural, and suburban, were then part of the study. Here are some of the results.
    • Organizations ranged in age beginning from 1866, up to 1997.
    • One had no paid staff and another had 5000 paid staff.
    • Budgets ranged from $116,000 to $1 billion.
    • Included were hospitals, museums, animal shelters, food banks, after school programs, city volunteer programs, and others (a full listing is in the study).
    • Return on the investment of volunteer programs in Europe was the following:
      • Volunteers return between £1.30 and £13.50, for every £ expended. (In US dollars this would be between $2.04 and $21.24, for every $1.57 expended).
    • A Public/Private Ventures (PPV) study concluded that the infrastructure necessary for a volunteer program costs approximately $300 per volunteer.
    • An earlier study by PPV showed that for Big Brothers/Big Sisters the infrastructure cost was $1000 per volunteer.
    • Over half the organizations interviewed were unwilling to accept more volunteers . The reason given was that they did not have the capacity presently to appropriately manage more volunteers.
    • Of the 21 organizations, only 13 had budgets dedicated to the volunteer program.
    • Most costs of the volunteer program are subsumed within the larger organizational budget.


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