|VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
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.
Ideas from Trainees
Trainees can be a source of information to improve training sessions. Ask people who have been through training some pointed questions about the training and then implement the best suggestions. You can get information through a simple survey, or just chatting with randomly selected volunteers. Be sure to ask people who may have complained about training, he/she might have the best ideas. Here are some possible topics about which you should make inquiries.
Want more ideas for training? Check out our online bookstore for Sharing Moments of Recognition Every Day by Linda L. Graff.
The Pasta Auction
Training younger volunteers (and some oldsters) can be made more fun with the Pasta Auction. During a daylong training, trainees received pieces of pasta (penne is a nice size) as a reward. Arriving on time. Representing his/her group at the easel pad presentation. Being a group scribe. Returning on time from break. Asking questions. Helping another student or the teacher. These are all possible reward points. Twice during training there are "Pasta Auctions" for simple prizes. If your organization has such things as hats, pins, pencils, wristbands, posters, etc., they are ideal gifts for the auction. This activity becomes fun with people loaning others pasta to buy gifts, and laughing about a silly pasta auction. It is team building and brings levity to what can be an intense training session!
The Easter Egg Hunt
Many volunteers work in areas large and complex in size and scope; a park or recreation area, hospital, museum, school, and the list goes on. How can they gain comfort quickly with the people and the physical environment? The Easter Egg Hunt might be the solution.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
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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