| MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION
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 and productive.
Movies About Service
Periodically those Internet listserves pose questions like, "We're having a party for the volunteers and want to show a movie. Is there a good movie where volunteers are shown in a positive way?" or "We are having a movie night and want to highlight service. Anyone have any suggestions?" Believe it or not there are answers to those questions.
Check out the Web site http://www.idealist.org/npofaq/16/54.html for a comprehensive list of movies with an uplifting or service oriented theme. There is more explanation about the movies on the site and the owner of the site is always looking for more suggestions. Here are a few samples from that page.
Can you add to the list? Send your movie selections to VTEditor and we will post them in future issues of this newsletter.
Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for Secrets of Leadership by Rick Lynch & Sue Vineyard and Risk Management: Strategies for Managing Volunteer Programs by Sarah Henson and Rick Lynch.
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The Giving Circle: An Option for Volunteers
Giving circles are a growing force in the United States (US) according to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. This way of raising money involves a group of people who are usually friends (and most often women) who pool resources to make donations to improve conditions in their own community. Since 2000, groups like these have raised and donated $44 million. New Ventures in Philanthropy completed a study that showed that 57% of the groups have female only or majority female membership. The causes range from aid to disaster victims across the world to donating video games to a local children's hospital. Donations can be as small as $1.00 per month. This form of philanthropy allows everyone in and is a possible way to engage volunteers in raising money for very specific projects for the organization.
Building the Future Through Scenarios
Direct service volunteers have a vested interested in the survival and health of the organization's they serve. But, rarely are they included in the types of futuring and visioning activities so prevalent with a Board of Directors or Advisory group. They can however, work with the manager of volunteers to look into the future and begin the planning process to move the organization and its volunteer workforce toward that health future.
One method to do this is using futuristic scenarios. Humans are hard wired for story telling. Long before there were alphabets, there were stories. A growing technique for futuring is using stories to illustrate the future and then asking people to reflect on how you get to that place. It isn't about debating whether the changes in the world are right or wrong, but what we do to be ready. For example, the explosive growth of technology is likely to put a helpful robot in the organization within thirty years, so that robot would be part of the scenario or story about life in the world of volunteers.
The scenarios need to paint a vivid picture of the future including such things as the pace of technology, new workplace systems of operation, new roles for volunteers. It should include personal and professional details to help the people reading it see the world as it might be. It needs to touch on human elements, systems or processes, and technology. The story needs to paint something quite different from what exists, but, that is rooted in the reality of the future.
Once the scenario is prepared, then key volunteers are organized into a planning group to read and reflect on the future and make recommendations for activities that can begin now that will help move the organization toward the future in a more orderly fashion. Changes in volunteerism grow more dramatic by the moment. Using scenarios might be a method to move your program forward.
To get you started here is the beginning of a scenario. You need to finish it!
Now it is your turn to continue Paula's story. Use your organization at the placement site. Think 2050. . . not just five or six years out.
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Washington 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 leaving home. 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.
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