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~ July 2006 ~ Topics

VTNews Exclusive Information from Seattle June 17, 2006
Credible Health Information Web Sites
Volunteering By State: 2005
One Hospital's Volunteer Shortage

JOB Vacancy

Volunteer Services Coordinator (20 hours/week), Washington, DC
Community Family Life Services assists low-income and homeless individuals on the road to permanent self-suffiency. Programs include emergency assistance, employment support, transitional housing and youth development and advocacy. We are seeking a part-time Volunteer Services Coordinator to recruit and successfully integrate volunteers into the our work. Experience in volunteer management strongly preferred, this program is ready to grow bigger. Responsibilities include overseeing annual walkathon participation, educational presentations, holiday donations and various one-time group projects as well as tracking of volunteer hours, recognition and maintenance of records. Click here for full job announcement. Send cover letter and resume to Carol Daugherty, cdaugherty@cflsdc.org, 305 E St. NW, Washington, DC, 20001 telephone: 202-347-0511 x405 or fax: 202-347-0520.

VTNews Exclusive Information from Seattle June 17, 2006

Eighty-four managers of volunteers from programs large and small, national and international, consultants and trainers gathered Saturday afternoon, June 17, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle (during the National Community Service Conference of the Points of Light Foundation) to discuss professionalism and the future of an association for those who manage volunteers. They were joined by phone by 30 colleagues from Canada and the United States. For copy of the agenda click here.

The four-hour session began with a brief background on the difference between professional associations and resource producing support organizations by Susan Ellis of Energize, Inc. She compared the past history of professional associations with that of the network that exists for those who manage volunteers in health care facilities and medical centers. She followed up with a visual review of the establishment of associations related to the professional management of volunteers taken from the book By The People. (Ellis and Campbell) A copy of the chart can be viewed here.

Katie Campbell presented information on two of the Association for Volunteer Administration’s programs, the Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) and the Journal of Volunteer Administration (JOVA). The Journal is now a publication of North Carolina State University’s Department of Cooperative Extension. It will be an online journal and has been renamed the International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA). Dr. Dale Safrit, former JOVA Editorial Board member is the Editor of the new journal. A report on the journal can be found by clicking here.

Campbell continued her report with the status of the CVA program. A new nonprofit organization, the Council for Certification for Volunteer Administration (CCVA) has been founded to manage the continued credentialing of managers of volunteer programs. A report on this organization and its plans can be viewed here.

The VRM Roundtable, an offshoot of Charity Channel, was created in March 2006 to electronically gather managers of volunteers in a dialogue about what the future holds for a formation of a professional association. Claudia Dalton, a member of a nine person Leadership Team, presented a written report on the progress of pursuing the vision of a new independent US association for managers of volunteer resources. The primary achievement is the formation of nine teams to address the issues related to the formation of an association. Each team has a leader(s), with 100 people volunteering to serve on the various committees. Those interested in this group can sign up to be part of the listserv needs to visit the Charity Channel web site and sign up to be included.

Karen Key, from the American Association for Retired Persons, presented a report from the National Organizations’ Volunteerism Network (NOVN). This is an association of individuals who are responsible for volunteerism activities in large national organizations (Volunteers of America, AARP, etc.). This informal group brought four recommendation forward based on the development of their own association: (1) Create an association that is an access point for share resources. (2) Be a credible national presence. (3) Create an outreach program to those who are managing volunteers and do not know there is a profession with professional standards. (4) Develop adequate and appropriate staffing at the national level. Keys reported that NOVN is prepared to support an initiative to form a new professional association with information and financial resources.

Following the information session the 80+ individuals were divided into small groups to answer questions such as:

  • What are the things that support our identity as professionals?
  • What did AVA provide that we didn’t get anywhere else or that was valuable to maintain or adapt in some way?
  • What did we not get from AVA that might now be possible?
  • What is the vision for how to support our profession?

Small groups reported. This information will be collated and reported on to the VRM Roundtable and Cybervpm listservs. Volunteer Today, will post the information from the small group discussions on its Web site as soon as it is available. Notices will be sent to subscribers when it is posted.

There was considerable discussion following the group reports about the existence of different groups who are working toward the same aim of creating a professional association. Various people spoke about the options of moving forward toward a consensus decision-making effort to bring together the various efforts to form an association. There were suggestions that more investigation of models for professional associations is needed.

A timetable of activities to move forward on the organization of an association with names and tasks assigned to those participating in the meeting. First steps are being carried out during the conference with an effort to reach out to the 2000 conference attendees to let them know about the efforts to form a professional association.

A meeting similar to the gathering in Seattle is being held on September 21, 2006 following the Association of Directors of 4 – 8 at the Philadelphia Marriott. It is a follow-up with reports and further discussion on the formation of a professional association for managers of volunteers.


Nancy Macduff
Managing Editor, Volunteer Today

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Credible Health Information Web Sites

More and more consumers are turning to the Internet for health information. 42% of people in a recent survey said they believed the information they found to be credible, this according to the Medical Broadcasting Company and Nielson/Net Ratings survey. It was only 16% for other media like TV, newspapers, radio, or magazines.

Here is a list compiled by The Futurist magazine of sites deemed to be credible health information locations.

Source: The Futurist, May-June 2006

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Volunteering By State: 2005

Utah is at the top and its neighbor Nevada is at the bottom, as far as the percentage of people giving voluntary service. The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service has completed an analysis of the data based on the Current Population Survey's (CPS) September Volunteering Supplement conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The overall average for US volunteer rates is 31%. But, in Utah close to 50% of the population is volunteering, while in Nevada the number was 21%.

The top five states for volunteering are Utah (49.88), Nebraska (43.24), Iowa (40.33), Minnesota (40.24), and North Dakota (40.01). The bottom five states are West Virginia (23.77), New York (23.30), Rhode Island (23.17), Louisiana (23.06), and Nevada (21.30).

The highest average number of hours volunteered in a year was 220.6 for Idaho, the lowest was 83.2 for North Dakota. The average age for volunteers was the 40's. The lowest average age was 40.7 in Georgia, with the highest in Delaware with 47.1.

These and other statistics on volunteerism are available at: http://rgkcenter.utexas.edu/investigator/archives/2006/06/000239.shtml. This from Volume 1, Issue 2, Winter 2005.

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One Hospital's Volunteer Shortage

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Volunteer Services Department at the Medical Center conducted a research project of 26 teaching hospitals across the US. 62% of those institutions experienced a shortage of adult non-student volunteers and 46% reported difficulties recruiting new adult non-student volunteers. One center reported the average age of its non-student volunteers was 82.

The hospitals reported a 52% increase in the total number of volunteers over the past five years, but it is attributed to a large influx of students. The average number of hours worked by volunteers stayed consistent at about 191 hours per year.

For more information: Amy Waddell at: awaddell@mednet.ucla.edu.

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