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VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

RECRUITING & RETENTION

Visit this page for ideas, suggestions and hints to build volunteer recruitment capacity.

Recognition Image

~ July 2004 ~ Topics

Pink Wave Image The New Wave of Volunteers Pink Wave Image

They were born from 1965 – 1976, came of age as alienated risk-takers, burned out young, and are turning into pragmatic mid-lifers. These are the views of Generation X expressed in the pages of American Demographics. They are the new crop of volunteers. The more you know about them, the easier to target specific types of volunteer positions in their direction. Here are some observations from American Demographics, May 2004.

  1. Lifestyle - GenX invented the notion of "free-agent." They choose their own options, way of life, and design for living. They are not about to step into "Dad's" shoes at the Rotary Club. Volunteer jobs need to be designed with them, not for them.
  2. Economics - These are folks who have reshaped and revitalized many areas of the economy since the early 90's. The biggest contribution is to creating a performance-based business ethic, based on job orientation. The old ways of measuring and valuing in business are often scoffed at by this group, so too in nonprofit organizations and volunteer programs.
  3. Politics - Generation X and Howard Dean. This group has the lowest level of adult voter participation of any. Politics for them is a one-to-one endeavor. These are not lobbying type individuals.
  4. Family Life - GenX families are increasingly protective of their children. Traditionalism is making a comeback not seen in decades. Being with family is all important.

More information on Generation X can be found in the May issue of American Demographics at http://www.demographics.com.



What Is It That Constitutes A Professional Volunteer Program? Part One

Organizing the volunteer program to gain professional respect requires a systematic completion of activities that lead to an end. Decades of research and experience by managers of volunteer provides an outline of what must exist in order to consider a volunteer program truly professional. In a three part series Volunteer Today lists the elements of such programs and the benchmarks that demonstrate the element is well in place. Review this list and see how your program is doing.

Part One

Element
Benchmarks
1. Maintain statistical information on all volunteers.
  • Computer database of demographic information on volunteers (age ranges, gender, educational levels, race/ethnicity, geographic location, etc).
  • Regular reports on statistical profile of volunteers and their contribution to the organization’s mission.
  • Statistical profiles of work of volunteers and paid staff, with regular distribution.
2. Assess needs related to deployment of volunteers.
  • Ask volunteers to review position descriptions.
  • Ask paid staff to review position descriptions.
  • Determine volunteer positions that have outlived their usefulness.
  • Determine need for new positions.
  • Assess "who" is volunteering in a variety of demographic categories.
  • Assess needs of volunteers related to such things as training, management, supervision, recognition, and evaluation.
3. Written annual strategic plan to enhance or create the volunteer program.
  • Written plan approved by supervisor, that includes goals, objectives, and action plans to carry out the volunteer program.
  • Report on the plan (Annual Report) distributed internally and externally each year.
4. Written position descriptions with a consistent method of task creation.
  • Written task and/or position descriptions for all volunteers - long term or episodic.
  • Consistent and regular assessment process of need for current volunteer positions.
  • Consistent and regular assessment process of need for new volunteer positions.
  • Flexible system to allow volunteers to create new volunteer positions.
5. Method of collecting information on the current and potential markets for volunteers.
  • Regular analysis of demographic information on volunteers and potential groups to be targeted for recruitment purposes in the service area of the organization.
  • Collection of information on different types of volunteer recruiting strategies and their success rate (online listings, face-to-face events or meetings, indirect recruitment, etc.).

Our August issue brings Part Two of the Elements of Effective Volunteer Programs.



Lost a Phone Number! Use Reverse Look-Up

Question Mark ImageYou have a name and no phone number! What is a body to do? Reverse look-up! There are two online services for Canada and the US that can look up the phone numbers with a name and address. And they aren’t the only ones.

Next time you find yourself without a needed phone number, try a reverse look-up at Infospace at http://www.inforspace.com/info/reverse.htm or Anywho at http://www.anywho.com/rl.html.



Single Volunteers

Looking for a new source of volunteers? Check out the web site Single Volunteers, Inc. at http://www.singlevolunteers.org. They are an international organization designed to encourage singles to volunteer, with chapters in the United States, Canada and Australia. There are chapters in Boston, Baltimore, San Diego, Washington, DC, Calgary, Richmond, and many more.

Local sites provide information on volunteer projects to members who sign up. As of this July 2004, there are 1000+ members in Boston, MA, who's chapter has arranged discounts for classes at the venerable Boston Center for Adult Education.



Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for: The One Minute Answer to Volunteer Management Questions by Mary Kay Hood and Volunteer Recruiting & Retention, A Marketing Approach, by author and managing editor Nancy Macduff. For more information, check out these books and more at our online bookstore.

One Minute Answer Book Recruiting & Retention Book Image



DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT AWARD FORMS AVAILABLE

The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future. The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, call 202-729-8000.

1-800-VOLUNTEER
By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center.
This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.


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