The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
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
What is that? The word blog
is a contraction of the words Web and log. It describes a web
site that serves as a personal journal or diary. It is an online
space where people can publish anything from artwork to ranting
and raving. In some cases a blog is just the meanderings of an
individual about their life. In other cases a blog is a publishing
platform with information about public life or events. You can
find blogs on Iraq or tax cuts. Some folks think that these types
of blogs are a purist form of journalism, offering information
not tainted by the views of big media.
in the US about 1997. If you are interested in more information
on the development of blogs, visit the Motime web site http://ww.motime.com.
They have links to historical information.
should someone who manages volunteers be interested in blogs?
Because more and more volunteers are blogging and the things
they say are interesting. It is also something an organization
can offer to volunteers as a means to process their feelings
about volunteering and read what others who volunteer think about
their experience. In fact, some blog hosting sites can set up
group sites for people with special interests. Most of these
sites offer the reader the opportunity to comment on the writings
of the blogger.
made a search of the Web and found some interesting comments
by people who are volunteering, and some ranting about why they
would never volunteer. It was quite instructive - as related
to recruiting and the image of volunteerism amongst the blogger
community. One enterprising soul put a blog about volunteer opportunities
in Kenya. Yet another method to find people on line to volunteer.
some sites where a blogger can get started:
Dr. Is In And It is Free
International Conference on Volunteer Administration
Cincinnati, Ohio October 15 18, 2003 Consultations on the Management and Administration of Volunteer Programs,
World Renown Consultants Focus on Your Program:
Pirtle - Cancelled - updated 10/6/03
Associates, in association with individual consultants, offers FREE
30 minute consultations with one of four experienced managers of volunteer
programs who are currently doing consulting and training on all aspects
of volunteerism. Sign-Up NOW by emailing email@example.com and
requesting a consultant and a time slot. We will post the updated schedules
daily (or more often if needed). Reservations will be based on a first
come, first serve basis. Time conflicts will be accommodated as much
as possible. Sign
up for an available consultation slot. They are limited. To see the
schedule, click here then email us for your reservation. Then visit
the MBA booth at the conference to meet your consultant. If slots are
available, you will be able to sign up at the conferencealso.
to see you at the 2003 ICVA Conference!
The Power of Influence
for volunteer programs was the topic of a recent training session
for this author. With a professional colleague, I developed a
list of things to help managers of volunteer programs increase
their leverage inside and outside the organization.
is influence that is not institutionalized nor necessarily visible.
An executive director or administrator has power because of their
position, a support staff person has leverage (influence) because
they are respected and admired by those with whom they work.
The individual is consulted and considered when it is time to
make decisions. That is leverage. How can you get leverage?
by being the best!
A well run, professional volunteer program is essential to have
leverage. Consistently attracting top quality volunteers, maintaining
a stable attrition rate, working harmoniously with paid staff
and volunteers, and knowing the numbers and sharing them are
just some of the elements to a superior program. Well done work
gives people influence inside their organization and outside,
the leadership look good. Managers
of volunteers who involve leaders, let them shine, and give them
credit for support of the volunteer program are usually respected
as part of the decision making process.
it is tough to find volunteers, but it has rarely been different.
Whining doesnt solve the problem. Moaning and wringing
your hands doesnt help solve the problems. And non-whiners
get more attention than whiners and that is leverage.
ahead to anticipate challenges. Solve them at the earliest sign
so they do not get bigger and require administrators to fix them.
your best promoter. Do
not be shy. Share your thoughts ideas, problems you have solved,
situations you anticipated and headed off, contributions you
and your program make to the health of the entire organization.
Shrinking violets might be pretty, but rarely do they have leverage.
Let people know what you think and what you are doing.
others to help. Involving
volunteers, paid staff, and outsiders is a way to increase the
numbers of people on your team. The more people involved
in any project, the better the chance of it becoming a reality.
Lose the attitude, If I do it myself I know it will be
done right. Leverage and numbers are connected.
or birthday greeting card recognition has long been a strategy
to acknowledge the work of volunteers. Here are some tips on
alternate ways to ratchet up the power of the greeting card.
England Aquarium has a cod that says thank you. They
created a card with a cod likeness so employees could
say thank you to one another. Think of a clever play on words
for your organization and price the cost of creating a card to
be used by paid staff to recognize volunteer efforts, or for
staff to recognize other staff. Pitch a proposal to the administration
to fund this recognition idea.
close out post cards in the local bookstore. Write one post cardthank
you every day to a volunteer or paid staff member, especially
those who work with volunteers.
all supervisors with cards to say thank you to volunteers. Give
them a strip of labels with addresses pre-printed. Make it as
easy as possible for them to acknowledge the work of volunteers.
can acknowledge volunteers. Develop a simple means for them to
write a note to volunteers. Post cards are easy, or pre-printed
3 x 5 cards that say thank you!
Interested in assessing volunteer and
staff relations in your program?
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
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.