| Volunteer Training and Professional
The Training page for Volunteer Today has historically focused on tips for trainers. Occasionally there were articles about training for the manager of volunteers. With this issue the focus is shifting. Each issue will have information on some aspect of professional development for managers of volunteers and some articles on how to be a better trainer of volunteers. The author of this page, Nancy Macduff, is open to ideas and suggestions from readers on what might be useful information in the area of professional development. You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ April 2007 ~ Topics
Rapid Response Teams
The radio awakens you to learn that an issue or event has happened with potentially harmful impacts on your organization. Surprises are inevitable in the arena of volunteerism. You and the corps of volunteers need to move fast. A trained Rapid Response Team (RRT) of volunteer advocates can move into action quickly, but only if they are trained and prepared. Here are the steps to organize a RRT.
We now have downloadable books available in PDF format. Check out our online bookstore for Handling Problem Volunteers by Steve McCurley and Sue Vineyard now available electronically.
Perceptions About Others
Volunteers can and do work with people or things very different from their own life experience. Perceptions can color the effectiveness of the volunteers. Many training sessions for volunteers contain admonitions of not judging others based on externals or life circumstances. This exercise is designed to start off such a discussion by tuning the learner into the fact that "the eye sees, but the mind evaluates."
1. On easel paper make the following drawing.
2. Ask the group what they see. Responses will includearrows, home plate, three houses on their side. When someone sees two K's, highlight the K's and show the next diagram.
3. Now ask the group what they see. Very likely people will say two H's. Ask the group, "Would you have seen the H's if someone had not first pointed out the K's?"
4. Discussion questions:
This exercise takes about five minutes.
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://tltc.shu.edu/npo/. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.
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