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The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer manager's training level.

~ November 2004 ~ Topics

Review Lottery

Everyone loves a lottery. And lottery tickets can help with a training session review. Make up lottery tickets where you have a copy with a number and so does the participant. Distribute to each participant their half and put your half in a box or container of some type.

At the end of the session ask the participants to write up two to three review questions. Then select a lottery ticket. The trainer asks a review type of question to the person whose lottery ticket is chosen first. If the person has difficulty with the answer, have the rest of the participants assist. The person whose number is selected first then selects the next lottery ticket and asks one of their review questions of the person with the winning number. Continue doing this until everyone has had a chance to answer a review question.

Tip: Have a list of prepared review questions, in case the participants run out of good questions.

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Macduff Conducts Basic and Advanced Workshops in Seattle in January

Nancy Macduff, Senior Editor and Publisher of Volunteer Today is conducting two workshops on the management of volunteers in Seattle, Washington, on January 24 and 25, 2005. Topics for the first workshop include the basics of recruiting volunteers, including episodic volunteers, and working with corporate volunteer programs. The advanced training, for those with two or more years of experience managing volunteers, involves supervision strategies, empowering volunteers, and a primer on risk management planning. For more information contact: Patty Igo at PattyI@UWSC.ORG.

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Trainer Tool Kit

Most trainers have a tool kit that is carried to each session. There are some basic supplies needed, but other things can help out with unexpected circumstances in the session. The kit should be kept together, checking periodically for such things as dried up markers or broken pencil leads.


The Basics:  
Bag of miscellaneous markers in all colors, but yellow, orange, or light pink (they cannot be seen across the room)
Overhead markers, assorted colors, washable
Masking tape, scotch tape, push pins
Extra pens and pencils
3 x 5 cards, assorted colors
Small pads of paper
Incentive items (pencils, erasers, highlighters, candy, organizational give-aways (small)
Housekeeping items-tissues, aspirin, antacids, rag for white boards, wet wipes, payday candy bar for earning your keep, etc
Gag gifts: antacid when someone is struggling to learn something, band-aid when someone comes to the rescue, etc.
Tools related to the topic: samples, "cheat" sheets with answers that the person can use later, photos of places or things important to what is being learned

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Interested in more information on training? Check out our online bookstore for Slide Shows on a Shoestring, authored by Nancy Macduff and An Introduction to Helping Adults Learn and Change, by Russell D. Robinson.

Details for Slideshows on a Shoestring Book Details for Helping Adults Learn and Change Book


Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero/kellogg.html. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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