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Volunteer Training and Professional Development

The Training page for Volunteer Today has historically focused on tips for trainers. Each issue will now 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: editor@volunteertoday.com.

~ August 2007 ~ Topics

Introductions in Training
Training Evaluation Letter
Training Galore for Managers of Volunteer Programs


Introductions in Training

Introductions during a training session can drag on, be boring, and take too much time. Here is a simple introductory activity that is quick and lends itself to loosening up the group and getting them ready for training.

crowd imageProvide each person with a 3 x 5 card with lines and pen or pencil. As them to jot down three questions he/she would like to ask a person he/she met for the first time. Suggest to the group to be creative and not just go for name, job, etc.

Give the group 3 to 5 minutes to formulate and write down questions. Ask participants to move around the room, exchanging questions and answers. Tell them to try to meet as many people as possible. Allow 8 to 10 minutes for this activity.

To debrief the introductions ask the following questions:clock image

    1. What were some of the more interesting things discovered about people?
    2. What would you have learned if you stuck to the normal "training workshop" type of questions?
    3. What questions were most productive in learning about the other volunteers in the room?

The debriefing should take no more than 10 minutes.



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. Details for Handling Problem Volunteers Book

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Training Evaluation Letter

Evaluating training is as important as the training itself. It is through evaluation that trainers get information about what is working for learners and what needs work. One method of getting feedback is to have the learners write the trainer a letter. This sample letter is different from the "check-box" type of evaluation, but can provide valuable information.

Dear ________________

I attended the ______________________ training you taught on ________________________(date). I want to share with you a series of insights I have gained about my volunteer position.

1. I will be required to do the following:

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

2. Information in training that was most useful in helping me carry out those tasks was:

a.
b.
c
d.
e.

3. The suggestions I have for you are:

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.



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swirl image Training Galore for Managers of Volunteer Programs swirl image
  • Earn a certificate as Washington State University in its Volunteer Management Institute for managers of volunteers in Spokane, WA, November 6 - 9, 2007. Designed to accommodate beginning managers, as well as those with more experience, it is an in-depth look at the new forms of volunteering and how to manage the episodic and traditional volunteer. Sign up now for a price break with early bird registration. For more information visit the Web site at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer/.
  • Thursday, August 16, 2007, "New Vitality for Volunteer Programs: New Models, New People, New Strategies," Nancy Macduff, Trainer, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., for more information contact Barb Bush at: volunteercenter@clearwire.net.
  • The Association for Volunteer Resource Managers Conference, October 3 - 5, 2007 in Dallas, TX. For more detailed information go to: http://avrm.org/.
  • Wednesday, October 3, 2007, "Revitalizing Your Government Based Volunteer Program Using the Multiparadigm Model of Volunteering," Nancy Macduff, Trainer, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Southside Conference Center, Dallas, TX. For registration information go to: http://avrm.org/.

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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