| Volunteer Training and Professional
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazz Up That Panel
Do you use “guest speakers” to train new volunteers? Is a panel of staff and/or volunteers part of the training done in your organization? Here is a technique to jazz up the boring format of the panel.
Invite a speaker (or speakers) who is an expert on the topic under discussion. For example, in many programs confidentiality is a big issue. Invite the person with most knowledge in the organization to talk on this topic.
Prior to the arrival of the guest, distribute 3X5 cards to all the trainees. Review how a press conference is conducted. Then give them time to write 2 – 3 questions on their card. The questions should be focused on the speaker’s expertise and not generic questions.
“-----Every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act---is founded on compromise and barter.” Edmund Burke
Readings for Volunteer Training
Some volunteer programs are moving training to the Internet, through a Web site or via email. In some cases the handbook for volunteers is online and available to anyone with an interest. How effective is “reading” as a training tool and are there ways to enhance learning, when reading is the most likely format for teaching? Here are some tips.
Things to consider when selecting reading as a training tool:
Training Busy Staff to Succeed with Volunteers
November 6, 2008
Presented by Betty Stallings
Do you often wish that your salaried staff and leadership volunteers were truly committed to cutting edge engagement of volunteers, and had the skills to effectively and creatively partner with them? If so, don't miss this fast-paced interactive presentation by Betty Stallings and receive your own electronic version of her complete series: Training Busy Staff to Succeed with Volunteers.
Mapping My Professional History
Some professions require practitioners in the field to maintain a steady diet of professional development activities, i.e., attorney, physician, and accountant. There is no such blanket requirement for those who manage volunteers. This leaves to the manager or coordinator of volunteers the personal responsibility to advocate for the money and time to enhance his/her skills. One way to make a case for professional development is to know your professional history. Here is a simple mapping tool that can be used for your own records, but also as a means to show administrators your efforts at self-improvement toward making the engagement of volunteers more efficient and effective.
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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