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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.

~ December 2005 ~ Topics

Save Phone Time

Saving 3 minutes on each phone call of the day could add up quickly. How can you save time on phone calls? Here are some tips.

  • Identify the key points you wish to make during the phone call.
  • Email the key points to the person you are calling. Be sure there is agreement about the topics to be covered.
  • Stick to the list and check off items as you cover them.
  • If you do not complete the work, reduce phone tag by scheduling the next meeting.

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.

Details for Secrets of Leadership Book Details for Risk Management Book

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Stifle Criticism 101

Volunteers serve on boards, committees, and serve clients or members. Frequently they have ideas about how to do things differently. Here are some phrases you can use to stifle that pesky creativity.

    1. It's not the time for that right now.
    2. How do you know it will work?
    3. You'll get used to it. It is the way we have always done it.
    4. It's too complicated.
    5. Upper management doesn't go for that kinda stuff.
    6. We'll look into it later.


Retention of volunteers is based on PRIDE (happy, satisfied feeling for having or achieving something).

P Positive work environment
R Reward and reinforce individual and group efforts
I Increase involvement of volunteers
D Develop volunteer potential
E Evaluate everything and everyone


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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