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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ October 2007 ~ Topics

Recruit a Techie

Recruit a Techie

Volunteers with experience in the world of information technology are a hot commodity in many organizations. Managers of volunteer programs can engage IT folks for a variety of tasks. How do you find them and keep them happy? Here are some tips.

1. Work the phone. Talk to a prospective IT volunteer several times on the phone. Make sure they know the state of your organization's computer system. Get the names and numbers related to such things as servers, mainframes, computers, etc.

2. Roll out as warm a welcome as possible. Engage volunteers and staff familiar with the IT system to roll out the welcome mat. Encourage the prospective volunteer to visit your site and familiarize him/herself with the hardware and software

3. Enlist your volunteers and staff as recruiters. Begin by letting everyone know that you are looking for an IT person with these skills, not just anybody who can turn a computer on. The most effective recruiting is often done by those working inside the organization. If the prospective volunteer visits the organization, have your volunteers and staff sell the job too. If person is middle-aged, talk about flexibility, possibility of service from home, how his/her family might be involved. If the prospective volunteer is younger, get younger volunteers and staff to talk about being involved with the organization. Flexibility and work from home are perks for the young, as well.

4. Emphasize the positives. If working from home is possible, mention it. If scheduling can be flexible, spell out the ways. Emphasize the opportunity to really have an impact, something those in big firms rarely have.

5. Keep it real. Never ever gloss over the requirements of the volunteer position. Be straight. Better to tell the truth and have the person say no, than spend the time training the person only to have them leave after a month.

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Excel is a useful computer program for many tasks required in a volunteer program. Here are some quick tips to help navigate this database.

How can I enter the date into a cell so it doesn't change every day?

  • Press Ctrl + ; (hold the Ctrl key while pressing semicolon)
  • Press Ctrl + : to enter the time.

How do I add times together?

  • Just add together like any number (=A1+A2+A3). Use custom number format [h]:mm in the result cell to prevent rollover at 24 hours.

Copy data

  • Fill down..........Ctrl + D
  • Fill right..........Ctrl + R
  • Copy formula above..........Ctrl + '
  • Copy value above..........Ctrl + "

Edit worksheet

  • Edit cell..........F2
  • Insert..........Ctrl + +
  • Delete..........Ctrl + -


  • Column..........Ctrl + space
  • Row..........Shift + space
  • Entire worksheet..........Ctrl + A

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