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On this page are ideas to help you work more efficiently with volunteers. There are tips on recruiting, engaging, coordinating, and managing the work of volunteers.

~ December 2010 ~



Managers of volunteers collect email address and phone numbers from broad recruiting activities:  speaking at a civic or business club or association, “fairs” in malls, religious institutions, high school or college classes, orientations for new employees in large businesses, etc.  If you are not doing those things you should start.  Have people complete an “interest card" that lists the various types of tasks and business womanservicesvolunteers perform (including the time required). Those names and phone numbers become one means to recruit volunteers, especially of the episodic variety. These are people who might be called three to four days before an event to determine availability. Never throw away sign-up lists.  Us them to create a “bank” (database) file of potential future volunteers.

Golden Rules of Phone and Email Banking

  1. CONNECT- When making a contact tell the person who you are and where they met you. That information should be part of the database. An important part of the “bank” is where the name came from.
  2. CONTEXT- Tell them why you are calling, explain the program and how he/she is needed and can get involved.
  3. COMMITMENT- Get them to make that commitment to an event or program when the person signs up. Don't be confused- a "Yes" is not a commitment. Use the words, "I'll sign you up for Saturday at 10:00 am.  Someone will be in touch with you as we get closer to the event."
  4. FOLLOW-UP- Review what was committed to- specific date, time, place, name of person to see.

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A recent article in The Futurist, a publication of the World Futurists Society explored the way in which thinkers from years passed viewed the importance of embracing the future.  Tom Lombardo, the author, explored the nature of wisdom.  He took a historical view of how wisdom impacts the quality of life and its relationship to future consciousness. 

Lombardo defines wisdom as

Wisdom is the continually evolving understanding of and fascination with the big picture of life and what is important, ethical, and meaningful:  it includes the desire and ability to apply this understand to enhance the well-being of life for both oneself and for others.

Believe those who are seeking the truth, doubt those who find it.

Andre Gide

Andre Gide

Real wealth is ideas plus energy

F. Buckminster Fuller


The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

Winston Churchill



Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past of the present are certain to miss the future.

John F. Kennedy




The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts might make it.

Marcus Aurelius


If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

Margaret Mead




Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.

George Santayana





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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CST
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MST
11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST

Register online at

WIKI? Twitter? FaceBook? My Space? Email? You just figured out how to do an ezine. This workshop provides an overview of various forms of social media and their application in working effectively with volunteers.  Social media is not just for young folks. Learn how to use social media for such things as training, screening, communication, social support and much more. The cost of the AL!VE webinar trainings are $20 for members and $40 for non-members.

This webinar will be presented by Nancy Macduff, an internationally recognized trainer, consultant, and author on volunteer management and administration.  She has served 14 years as executive director of a nonprofit agency and nine years as the coordinator of a government volunteer program.  Nancy is currently the President of Macduff/Bunt Associates, a training and consulting firm, in Walla Walla, WA.  She is also on the faculty at the Institute for Nonprofit Management at Portland State University and Spring Arbor University teaching courses in the management of volunteer programs, at the basic and advanced level.  Nancy also is senior editor and publisher of the free online newsletter, “Volunteer Today.”

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Daniel Pink, contributing editor at WIRED Magazine, has a new book, DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Using the research of Harry Harlow (1940s) and Edward Deci (late 1960s) Pink suggests that old external motivators are less effective as motivators in the 21st century.  There are three motivators holding sway in businesses and schools:  autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  These apply to the changes seen in the way people are asking to volunteer.

Autonomy means acting with a full sense of validation and choice.  This proposes that personal values and choice  matter more than being on time or adhering to a dress code.

Mastery means providing challenging jobs that are just barely out of a person’s reach.  He/she is always engaged, focused, and interested on better performance.

Purpose is a personal and often spiritual connection between the individual and the task.  If someone lacks a sense of purpose, but has autonomy and mastery, the overall accomplishment will lag. 

Riverhead, 2009, 242 pages, $26.95

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Recruiting Volunteers

Training Volunteers

Online Training for Directors of Volunteer Programs

Recruiting Volunteers


Training Volunteers

Winter Quarter January, 2011

  • Want to improve and organize your recruiting efforts?
  • Interested in targeting a market for recruiting volunteers?
  • Looking to design and deliver effective training workshops?

Beginning in January the Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program offers two online course, Recruiting Volunteers and Training Volunteers, in conjunction with the School of Public Administration’s Institute for Nonprofit Studies and the Department of Extended Studies.  The classes are part of a series that leads to certification in Volunteer Administration and can be taken pass/fail or for college credit.

Recruitment of Volunteers engages students in a marketing approach to the recruitment of volunteers.  Interactive activities involve students in practical discussions of the different styles of volunteering—traditional and episodic; building a recruiting plan, advertising and promotion for volunteers, and the organization of a volunteer recruiting team.

Training Volunteers engages students the most effective strategies for training adult learners, determining the content of training, writing learning objectives, selecting activities and exercises for adult classes, and evaluating the impact of training.

Assignments are interactive and designed to build skills directly applicable to a manager of volunteers program.  Assignments can be used immediately in existing volunteer programs. 

For more information on the program visit: http://distancedegree.pdx.edu//programs/v_engagement.php