Best Practices in Volunteer Management: Tips Online
email from Rosanna Tarsiero on the CyberVPM listserv, sponsored by
the Association for Volunteer Administration, recommended some sites
around the world as having listings of best practices
in volunteer management. Volunteer Today decided to visit the sites
and provide a review for our readers.
Corporation has a Web site with helpful information. One resource
booklet is for two audiences; first, the corporate volunteer program;
and second those seeking grants from corporation. It builds a case
for businesses to establish a formalized employee volunteer program
and gives chapter and verse on why this is a sound business
decision. The second part of the document gives advice on how to prepare
to request funds from a corporate volunteer program. This is one of
several resource documents on this site useful to people managing
volunteer programsnonprofit, corporate, or government.
the site: http://www.community.ups.com/community/philanthropy/toolbox.html
are some things that frequently happen when people serve as volunteers:
person is open to new experiences
oneself as growing over time
expanding his/her horizons
a purpose in life
a sense of competence in managing everyday activities
do these things have in common? According to a study by Sheldon Cohen,
of Carnegie Mellon University, they are some of the predictors of
health and happiness. The study found positive associations between
these characteristics and reduced vulnerability to disease.
study found that people who are happy, relaxed, and positive were
less likely to catch colds than people with more negative emotional
styles, depressed, hostile, tense. The positive folks have lower levels
of cortisol, the stress hormone. He proposes that this reduces peoples
susceptibility to disease.
providing this type of information in recruiting appeals. Many people
worry about their health. Becoming a volunteer can frequently change
peoples view and help them be more positive and that contributes
to better health.
Health and Happiness, The Futurist, January-February 2004)
Someone No, You Cannot Be a Volunteer With Our Organization
volunteers means there will come a time when it is determined
someone who is interested in helping cannot be a volunteer.
The individual does not meet the qualifications required
for the position, a reference suggests the person would
be inappropriate, or a raft of other reasons. Now, your
job is to tell someone no. Here are some tips
to help you get through the ordeal. But, it is important
to say that there is NO way this is an easy task.
your ducks-in-a-row. This decidedly
Americanism term means have your paper work and facts
all lined up and ready to go. This means a copy of the
position description, application, volunteer policy
manual, reference summaries, etc. You want to create
the impression that this is a planned and not capricious
decision. It also provides reference material, should
facts in a simple way. Be clear as to the reason
this is an inappropriate placement for this volunteer.
For example, suppose consistency is one
of the qualifications for the position. In the interview
and checking references, it became clear that this requirement
would be difficult for the individual. Describe the
importance of consistency to the program and clients.
Then describe things the prospective volunteer said
in the interview and how that was confirmed in checking
hide behind excuses. Explain the thinking
behind the requirements, rules, or policies. These things
are put in place to protect volunteers, clients, and
the organization. Remind the person that there desire
to help is commendable and you want to make sure that
the placement is one that will be satisfying to them,
or he/she might have a bad experience. That bad experience
could lead to them swearing off volunteering altogether.
And you do not want to be the cause of that happening.
Find a better placement for the person is as much for
the individual as it is for the organization and its
an alternative. Most volunteer programs have ample
ways in which people can help out. If possible, come
prepared with some other positions you think might be
more suited to the persons interests. If that
fails, suggest other community agencies or programs
where the persons talents would be used to best
for a try-out. If the individual reluctantly say,
Oh, O.K., I suppose I could do something else,
arrange for a tryout. Let the person visit the area
of your organization where you think they might work
best. Have other volunteers give them the insider
view. Let a couple days pass and then call to find out
what they think and if they are ready to serve in a
different capacity. If the person wants to tryout a
different organization, make the arrangements for them.
Talk to your counterpart in that organization and tell
them what has happened and
why you are recommending this. If convenient you might
even meeting them at the other organization to make
matter what, end politely. Be sure to say thank
you and explain that placements only work when there
is a match between the position and the person. You
want to send out a satisfied customer, even
though they were told no. The more professional your
approach to this situation, the more likely the person
will be to tell other people how nicely he/she was treated
instead of trash-talking your organization.
in more information? Check out our online
bookstore for: Volunteer Screening: An Audio Workbook 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
Interested in assessing volunteer and
staff relations in your program?
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.