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Training Volunteers 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.

~ July 2010 ~

TRAINING FOR PAID STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS IN A TIGHT ECONOMY

Training and travel are often slashed in tight economic times.  Managers of volunteers cannot spend thousands of dollars to attend large national conferences.  Volunteers who are increasingly filling middle management roles need training similar to that of the paid staff and there is no money.  Eliminating the opportunity for training can send a “panic” message to staff and volunteers that is erroneous.  So, what to do to keep training available?  Here are some suggestions.

Look for local manager of volunteer professional association.  Many communities have an association of managers of volunteers that meets monthly.  These groups usually have a local speaker to provide information on specific topics related to manager of volunteers. One group in the Northwest invited a customer service representative from a phone company to come and talk about social media and the volunteer program.  This is an ideal place to take volunteers who are assuming managerial responsibilities. The best way to find out how to join the group is to contact United Way.  They are not always the sponsor, but usually know a local contact person.  Sometimes these groups hold large training sessions with outside speakers for a nominal fee.

Plan to attend regional training.  New York City, Central Indiana, and the Puget Sound area in Washington State have regional associations of managers of volunteers.  These groups often sponsor outside training with notable speakers for a nominal fee.  As an example, Central Indiana is hosting an all day training with multiple workshops on October 14, 2010.  (See the Volunteer Today Events page) This also a good place to train volunteers who are in managerial positions, as well as paid staff.

Get specialists for free.  Ask trainers from other large nonprofits in the area or corporations to provide training “pro bono.”  Human resource managers from corporations have many skills similar to those of a manager of volunteers.  Ask someone to do an “in-house” workshop on supervision for paid staff or volunteers who supervise volunteers. 

Collaborate with others.  When organizations have a similar mission a collaborative training can bring the cost of training down.  Several youth serving programs in Eastern Washington collaborate to provide first aid, CPR, and other types of training for volunteers.  Keeps the cost low and the focus can be on similar clientele served.

Online training.  Portland State University and North Texas University both have online training for managers of volunteers.  Both programs include training classes ranging from recruitment to recognition.  This type of training eliminates the cost of travel, lodging and food.  Both programs attract managers of volunteers from around North America.

Improve your in-house training Consider using senior volunteers and paid staff as trainers.  Workshops on specific topics like supervision, recognition, coaching could be presented by a current member of staff.  Make it available to paid staff and volunteers who manager other volunteers. 


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Professional Development

Ideas, theories, information, and training for those who manage the work of volunteers


RECRUITMENT OF VOLUNTEERS

ONLINE TRAINING FOR MANAGERS OF VOLUNTEERS


Recruiting Volunteers

September 2010

  • Want to improve and organize your recruiting efforts?
  • Interested in targeting a specific group for recruitment efforts?

Beginning in September the Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program offers an online course, Recruiting 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.

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

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


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Honolulu, Hawaii

Sponsored by the Hawaii Association of Managers of Volunteers

September 17 and 18, 2010

Volunteer Management for a New Decade

For more information: Visit our Events page


 

Portland State University Training for Managers of Volunteer Programs

Institute for Nonprofit Management

Department of Extended Studies

Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program

 

Portland State University’s Volunteer Engagement and Leadership certificate program offers classes all semesters throughout the year. Recruiting volunteers is the first class in a series of six courses and covers the organization of the recruitment effort. It includes the impact of societal changes on volunteering, practical strategies for organizing recruiting include conducting needs assessments, strategic planning, and position descriptions. There is also information on the basics of marketing in the volunteer arena, advertising and promotions, screening and the utilization of volunteer recruiting teams.

The second class in the series is training volunteers. It moves the student from understanding the concepts of how adults learn to organizing content, writing learning objectives, and writing a training plan. Both classes will be offered during winter semester, beginning in January 2010.

Class is fully online

x For registration assistance phone (503)725-4822 or Toll Free: (800) 547-8887 ask for ext. 4822

x Online contact: http://www.extended.pdx.edu/degrcomp/programs/v_engagement.php

GENERAL INFORMATION

Portland State University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management and the Department of Extended Studies have partnered to offer an educational series designed to build your volunteer program to standards of excellence and provide professional development for you.

Volunteers are engaged in programs and projects around the world in new and exciting ways.  Recruiting and organizing them is art and science. This new program teaches you cutting edge strategies to engage volunteers.

The Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program (VELP) offers two formats to educate professionals and others on how to successfully engage and lead volunteers.  Formats provide hands-on practical exercises and experiences for learners at all levels to enhance their work with volunteers.

Learning Option 1 - Online course in Volunteer Engagement and Leadership-Students from around the world engage in first class instructions from seasoned veterans in the organization of a volunteer program.  Topics include recruiting, screening, planning, marketing, supervision, evaluation, and recognition, to name a few.  This is an asynchronous class. For more information visit the PSU Web site.
http://www.extended.pdx.edu/degrcomp/programs/v_engagement.php

Learning Option 2 - Online learning is not for everyone, so the Institute for Nonprofit Management provides the same content as the online course, but in a face-to-face format.  Visit the INPM Web site for more detailed information on the open enrollment Institute or one tailored to a single group. http://www.extended.pdx.edu/degrcomp/programs/v_engagement_training.php


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JOURNAL FOR DIRECTORS OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS

The International Journal of Volunteer Administration is a practitioner journal grounded in solid scholarship in the field of volunteerism, but with practical advice for those who manage volunteers.

The Journal is a refereed publication of the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, USA. The IJOVA seeks to provide an exchange of ideas and a sharing of knowledge and insights about volunteerism and volunteer management and administration, both in North America and internationally.

Formerly published by the now-dissolved Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA), The Journal is a not-for-profit service of the Department and North Carolina State University that seeks to connect practitioners, academicians, and consultants in greater service to the global volunteer community and the professionals who lead it.

The IJOVA is governed by a six-member Editorial Board representing the three predominant genres of volunteer management professionals: (a) practicing managers of volunteers, (b) consultants, and (c) academicians focusing upon volunteer management and administration. Three Board members represent the United States while one member each represents Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

Subscriptions are a modest $40. for the electronic journal. For more information and to read six issues for free go to the IJOVA Web site.


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AL!VE SEEKS MEMBERS


The Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) is a national organization that supports and advocates for professionals in the field of volunteer management.  Membership is diverse cross section of professionals who are managers, directors, trainers, and consultants committed to the engagement of volunteers.

You can learn more about AL!VE at their Web site.  http://www.volunteeralive.org There is information on the board of directors, resources, newsletter, and committees.  It is now possible to join the organization online as it moves forward in its development. 


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Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA)

Volunteer Today encourages mangers of volunteers to enhance their skills and effectiveness on the job through a variety of educational opportunities. Experienced managers of volunteers can highlight that skill achievement by seeking the Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) endorsement. The Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) advances the profession and practice of volunteer resource management by certifying individuals who demonstrate knowledge and competence in the leadership of volunteers. Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) is an international credential awarded to practitioners with at least 3 years of experience who successfully complete an exam and written portfolio process. Originally developed by the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA) several decades ago, the credentialing program is now sponsored by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. For detailed information visit their Web site at: http://www.cvacert.org.


COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT

Close to 300 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.


Interested in assessing your volunteer recruiting strategies?

Use a self-directed evaluation tool

Get help with one of the Volunteer Program Evaluation Series.


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