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On this page are ideas from strategies to help you work more efficiently to the latest in research on keeping volunteers happy and productive, as well as ideas, suggestions and hints to build volunteer recruitment capacity.

~November 2008~

Who Are You Trying to Reach:  Some Facts on Advertising and Promotion

  • 34% of people under 25 say they get no news during the day; this is up from 25% in 1998
  • Believability ratings for news aggregators—Google News or AOL—are lower than for major print, cable, and broadcast outlets.
  • 51% of CNN viewers are Democrats, 39% of Fox viewers are Republicans.
  • 37% of the population goes on line for news at least three days per week; compared to 31% in 2006
  • 44% of college graduates go online every day for news compared to 11% for high school graduates.


The Pew Research Center for People and the Press identified three segments of news audiences: 


  • 23% of news consumer are in this category
  • Mostly middle-aged
  • Get news from multiple sources (traditional and Internet)
  • Engaged
  • Sophisticated
  • Demographically sought after


  • Youngest of the news audience
  • Median age of 35
  • Make up 13% of the news consumer pool
  • Better educated than Integrators
  • Leading the way in using the Web


  • This is the most common segment within news audiences
  • 46% of news consumers
  • Older population (average 52)
  • Least educated (60% have no more than high school diploma)
  • Most prevalent source of news is TV
  • Have little or no interest in tech news or science

Source: “ Notes”, publication of the National Assembly Of State Arts Agencies, Oct. 2, 2008

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Managers of volunteer programs are on the cutting edge of changes in the world at large.  He/she is often seeing things in society transformed before others in the organization realize it.  Here are some trends that are likely to influence the nonprofit and volunteer world.  Information comes from the World Futurist Society.


  • Time is becoming the world’s most precious commodity
  • In the US workers spend 10% more time on their job than they did a decade ago.
  • Technical and executive workers in India are reporting the same stresses as their Western counterparts, especially when working on US and European schedules.
  • Single workers and two-worker families are interested in anything that saves them time.


  • In the US about 9% of men and 6% of women are self-employed. 
  • Workers under 30 would prefer to start their own company rather than advance through corporate ranks.  About 10% are actively trying to start their own businesses
  • A large majority of people under 30 distrust large institutions
  • Small business –those with fewer than 500 employees have created 92% of the new jobs in the US, over the last 14 years.


  • Large businesses are reshaping or trying to.  The organizations will soon be comprised of specialists who rely on information from colleagues, volunteers, and clients to guide their actions.
  • Management styles are changing.  Upper management often consults with these specialists, mentioned above, on a variety of issues.
  • Management is giving fewer detailed orders to subordinates.   Instead it sets performance standards for various parts of the organization, supplying feedback on whether the goals have been met.
  • The new styles of management are especially appealing with Generation X and Millenials.
  • Computer technology has stretched the span of control for a supervisor, from a handful of people to 21 subordinates per supervisor.
  • Downsizing, restructuring, reorganizing, and cutbacks are common and are expected to continue through 2010.
  • The opportunities to advance in the work place are narrowing.  In 2001 one in 50 people were promoted; in 1987 it was one in 20.
From-The Futurist; May and June 2008

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Resource for Writing:  Online Dictionaries and More

         Many managers of volunteer programs have needs for “wordy” resources.  Check spelling in an online newsletter; make up a poem to recognize a volunteer, looking for just the right word—all require dictionary type resources.  Here are some of the resources available online.  Beware:  Most have ads.


Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus:

This is a free online dictionary and thesaurus, word games, a word of the day, and many other English language and vocabulary reference tools.  There is even help for the crossword addicts in the world.

The Free Dictionary

This is a free online dictionary and thesaurus, with an encyclopedia link to Wikipedia and others. Easy to get derailed from work on this site.  The game Hangman is on the home page with other word games.  No apparent ads, either.


This features a free online Dictionary, Thesaurus, Crossword Puzzle, Word Games, a Word of the Day and an Online Translator.  You must sign up and the home page offers links only to those who have signed up.


This is a rhyming dictionary and has link to a thesaurus too. It features a search for rhyming words, has reference tools, and a spell checker.  There are also reference tools for quotes from Shakespeare to Mother Goose. 

Some of my favorite lines from Shakespeare-from this dictionary:

If music be the food of love, play on;

out, damned spot! out, I say!-

Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'

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Interested in Assessing Your Recruiting?
Volunteer Program Evaluation Series has an Assessment Tool

Visit the VPES Home page for details: http://www.volunteertoday.com/VPES/vpeshome.html


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