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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs at the local level, including information for cities, counties, boards, commissions, and districts.

~ September 2006 ~ Topics

Urban Institute – A Great Resource
Advisory Committees: A Source of Support
Helpful Communication Techniques when Dealing with Paid Staff

State Government Page

Federal Government Page

Military Government Page

Urban Institute – A Great Resource

Much of what happens in our society affects volunteerism. The Urban Institute is a good resource to keep abreast of changes and realties of our communities.

The Urban Institute analyzes policies, evaluates programs, and informs communities to improve social, civic, and economic well-being. Working in all 50 states and abroad in over 28 countries, they share research findings with policymakers, program administrators, business, academics, and the public online and through reports and scholarly books.

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Advisory Committees: A Source of Support

Many volunteer program managers are swamped! An Advisory Committee, also known as a Support Committee, is a great way to alleviate some of the pressure. The purpose of the Volunteer Advisory Committee is to advise and assist the organization through its director of volunteers to provide a volunteer program that maximizes the talents and skills of volunteers in fulfilling the organizational mission and improving the community.

Here are some tasks for committee members that can enhance the services of a volunteer program:

  • Members of the Volunteer Advisory Committee will advise and assist the director of volunteers in:
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the volunteer program
  • Recognizing and rewarding volunteers for their contribution to the organization
  • Exploring volunteer initiatives that enhance the ability of the organization to meet its mission
  • Utilizing personal networks, where possible, to help recruit volunteers
  • Suggesting collaborative efforts that help the community and heighten awareness of the importance of volunteerism
  • Recommending to the board of directors changes or additions to the volunteer management policies
  • Advocating for the importance of volunteerism.

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Helpful Communication Techniques when Dealing with Paid Staff

As mangers of volunteer programs we rely on other staff to supervise and work well with volunteers. This does not always happen. One issue that often arises is that paid staff do not have enough work for volunteers to do. This causes frustration for all involved.

Here are some communication tips to use when this occurs:

  • Rehearse what you plan to say.

  • Get permission to talk with the person. “Could we meet tomorrow at 3:00pm?”

  • Find a private place.

  • Allow enough time for the discussion.

  • Use Healthy Language:

    • WHEN YOU are not prepared for our volunteers.

    • I FEEL frustrated.

    • BECAUSE the volunteers have been assured that there is a need to assist our clients and they feel unwanted.

    • PAUSE for discussion, reaction.

    • I WOULD LIKE you to have work ready for the volunteers.

    • BECAUSE we both value our volunteers, good service to our clients and I value our working relationship.

    • ASK, “What do you think?”

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Short description of this series: "Organizations are successful at achieving their mission when volunteers and staff are a team. Evaluate the elements of the relationships in your organization and outline the strategies to make things better."

Purchase this package by clicking on either of the following links, which will redirect you to a secure shopping site. Evaluation Only $25.00 and Evaluation & Consultation Package - Best Deal! $99.95 (Resource List not available on this package.)

The author of the Local Government Volunteer Programs page is Georgean C. Johnson-Coffey, M. Ed.
P.O. Box 15118 * Fort Wayne, IN 46885-5118 * Phone: 260-338-1414 * Fax: 260-338-1707
E-mail: georgeanjc@aol.com * Website: http://www.bluevisiontraining.com


The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators and directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAVPLG is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities. Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for those who are not local government members but may have an interest in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network, and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project. For more information contact Robin Popik, who is a Volunteer Resource Supervisor. She can be reached by phone at 972-941-7114. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer Today.

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