|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
| ASK CONNIE
VT readers ask questions about volunteer management
and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant
and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
have been assigned the task of creating and heading up an Employee Volunteer
Recognition Program for our company of approximately 250 employees. Employees
are involved in a wide range of volunteer activities. Management has requested
that I come up with a way to promote volunteerism by employees, track
and record the hours volunteered (regardless of the charity or organization),
and initiate a recognition program. I have buy-in from top management,
but little direction. As far as organizing all of this, Im at a
loss. The responsibility fell to me because I am the "public affairs
department. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Based on your description, it sounds to me like you're organizing an employee volunteer program that has recognition as just one element. I have two suggestions.
First, "begin with the end in mind." What do you want the program to look like? How do you want to access the information you gather? How will you use the information you gather? What will employees get out of it? What will management get out of it? What will the community get out of it? Focus on the overall parameters of the program and then build one piece at a time.
Second, get employee input. Form a small task force of employees to help you organize the program. Employee volunteers will be your best resource for information and guidance on what's important to them and how you can gather information most effectively.
Finally, I suggest that you contact the Points of Light Foundation and become a corporate member so that you can take advantage of the services and resources they provide. They know all about employee volunteer programs and I'm sure they can help you get started!
I am often asked about creating a "code of ethics" for volunteers. One of my favorite examples was published some time ago by OxFam International. I'm happy to share it with everyone this month!
Focus On Volunteer Management: The Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers
Has your organization really thought through what rights and responsibilities your volunteers have? So often we create volunteer programs almost as an afterthought. But volunteering is serious business. And examining what responsibilities they staff and even clients have is an essential part of the many-sided relationship.
The following is an example of how one organization, Community Aid Abroad of OxFam Australia, has addressed the issue of volunteer rights and responsibilities:
Rights and Responsibilities
As a volunteer with Community Aid Abroad you have certain rights that you can expect the organization to fulfill to make your time with us valuable and satisfying. As a worker at Community Aid Abroad, you also have a number of responsibilities that you are required to fulfill.
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
A Service of MBA
Publishing-A subsidiary of Macduff/Bunt Associates All materials copyright