| 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.
~ January 2006 ~ Topics
Are you a paid manager of volunteers or a volunteer who is in a leadership position with a group of unpaid workers? In either role you provide leadership for a program, event, board, committee, or cause. There is much written about the effective leader. Here is a list of characteristics that appear often on lists for effective leaders. Read about the characteristics and then use the checklist to assess your own qualities as a leader. Start 2006 off right with a plan to improve.
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.
Evaluating Events or Projects
Evaluation following an event or project can be haphazard. The work is done, the money raised, or project completed. People are anxious to move on to new events or projects or just rest. Evaluation, however, is critical to future success. Skip it and you skip the chance to make more money, serve more people, solve more problems, or save more.
Evaluation begins by managers of volunteers preparing statistical reports. These should include anything that can be counted: money raised, people impacted, number of participants, clients served, individuals placed, etc. And it should be compared to previous years to see trends in such things as money and/or attendance.
Another task is getting people to attend an evaluation meeting. It can be a conference call, online chat, or face-to-face meeting. No matter the environment it needs focus. Often people arrive and just wander around talking about what they liked or what they didn't like. Here is a more intentional way to get feedback.
At the end of the event, or within a few days, see that key volunteers (those you would invited to an evaluation meeting) receive a list of questions that will be discussed at the meeting. Those who cannot attend can submit them, and the rest can just bring notes or thoughts. The questions provide a focus for a short and meaningful meeting. Volunteers leave feeling they actually accomplished something that will make for a better event or project the next time.
Here are some suggestions for questions.
1. What part of ____________________ did you find most enjoyable? List two or three things that stand out for you.
The questions are a bit different from
those normally asked, but are likely to surface those issues people
see as impacting success. And it personalizes the evaluation process,
while getting at the underlying reasons for what makes an event or project
work or not work.
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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