|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
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.
~ July 2006 ~
I am running for President of a non-profit organization
that I have served for the past 12 years. I am very familiar
with the organization history and mission and have served in other elected
positions before. However, this is going to be the first time in the history
of the organization that the President position will be challenged. I
am preparing for a forum in September. What type of questions can I expect
from the membership? I have never participated in an open forum before.
I certainly would appreciate hearing from you.
Without knowing any specifics about your organization, here are the questions I would ask you as a member:
I belong to an all-volunteer organization whose membership is shifting from stay-at-home mothers who can work during the day to full-time working women who can volunteer only on weekends and in the evenings. Are there any books that can guide us on how best to manage this evolving volunteer workforce?
Our society has changed dramatically from the time when people (mostly women) could volunteer on a full-time basis on weekdays. Volunteer program managers have responded to this change by "retooling" their volunteer tasks to accommodate these "episodic" volunteers.
Nancy Macduff has written an excellent book on utilizing episodic volunteers, "Episodic Volunteering: Organizing and Managing the Short-Term Volunteer Program." It's available for sale ($30) on the Volunteer Today website bookstore. This book covers the basics of integrating short-term volunteer opportunities and people into the existing program. It begins by placing the episodic volunteer position in the context of the larger program and moves on to assessing the need, writing position descriptions, all the way to reward and recognition. The book is filled with charts, self-assessment tools, and forms suitable for copying.
I am updating my volunteer application. Are there
any new questions I should add?
One of my clients recently updated its volunteer application and added a section that I really like called "Previous Experience." We usually ask for any previous employment or volunteer experience, but they expanded this section by adding the following:
Each of the above categories provides space to give a brief description, name of organization, years of service or participation, etc. You could add categories that relate specifically to your organization and "mine" more information about potential volunteers.
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
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