I am a Transition Coordinator at a special education high school. I am looking for statistics regarding volunteerism and how it can prepare anyone for a job, and more importantly how it can put them ahead of the pack (making the well-rounded candidate). Do you have any suggestions for me? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
There are statistics about volunteering in the U.S. at http://www.independentsector.org. Click on "Giving and Volunteering" in the left-hand column. You'll see why people volunteer, what they volunteer for, and their giving patterns.
One of my colleagues, Mary Merrill of Merrill Associates, has written two excellent articles on the professional benefits of volunteering. You'll find the articles on her website at http://www.merrillassociates.net. Click on "Topic of the Month" and look in the left-hand column for "Creating a Resume to Showcase Volunteer and Service Experience" and "Ten Professional Development Benefits of Volunteering." These thoughtful, well-written articles can be printed out and shared with all of your students!
Im creating a volunteer mentor program. Can you direct me to any resources that will help me?
Do a Google search on the web for "volunteer mentor" and youll find pages and pages of information on existing mentor programs language, forms, etc. For example, theres a good application form at http://www.businesslincboston.com/forms/mentor-form.html, a good mentor questionnaire at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/pboro/mentoring-pdf/appendices/volunteer-questionnaire-3.pdf, and a job description at http://www.dalycityyouth.org/mentor/MentorJobDescription.pdf.
Ive been the manager of a very large volunteer program (more than 500 volunteers) for nearly ten years. Im looking for ways in which I can grow professionally in my job. I dont want to leave my job, but Im feeling as if I need to do something to expand my professional horizons, such as workshops, college courses, and/or conferences. What do you recommend?
There are many resources to keep you connected to the larger universe of volunteer management and expand your professionalism at the same time.
I recommend that you subscribe (if you dont already) to the many
free listservs that discuss volunteer issues such as:
Of course, you can always take courses at your local university on subjects that interest you and/or are directly applicable to your work. Topics that come to mind are public speaking, marketing, fundraising, organizing special events, nonprofit management, etc. AVA offers certification Certified Volunteer Administrator for volunteer managers. And, there are many good online certificate programs now, such as Washington State Universitys Volunteer Manager Online Certificate Program
As for workshops, check with your local Volunteer Center to see what they have to offer. And, AVA offers the only annual conference for volunteer program managers, with a wide range of sessions for senior volunteer program managers like you.
What is a docent? How can this type of volunteer program be applicable to nonprofit organizations other than museums?
Websters dictionary defines docent as a person who leads guided tours especially through a museum or art gallery. While the definition is quite clear, I know of many non-cultural organizations that utilize docents in a variety of ways. For instance, a nature preserve utilizes docents to lead walks for visitors through the gardens. A zoo provides docents to give public lectures near animal exhibits. State parks utilize docents to give demonstrations for visitors. And, the Supreme Court docents give tours as well as staff the information desk and give Courtroom lectures. Even though the definition relates to an arts setting, I suggest that you not let that stop you from thinking of creative ways to utilize docent volunteers in your organization!
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.
your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
A Service of MBA
Publishing-A subsidiary of Macduff/Bunt Associates All materials copyright