| Training Volunteers 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
~ September 2011 ~
EDUCATING FOR HARMONY: ENGAGING THE PAID STAFF AND THE VOLUNTEERS
By Susan J. Ellis, Energize, Inc
Is it possible to replace or supplant employees with volunteers when budgets are cut?
The best advice? Plan for volunteers when times are good if you want their help in times of crisis. Crisis is the worst time for an organization to begin to involve volunteers. This reinforces the notion that volunteers are a temporary band-aid and is sure to be met with staff resistance to volunteer help just when they themselves are coping with an increased workload. Further, it is hard to sound sincere to the public about welcoming their help when recruiting in desperation.
In general, it is next to impossible to fill a gap left by a full-time employee with a single, qualified and available volunteer. Instead it would require an intricate schedule of several volunteers, each giving a certain number of hours per week and each bringing the organization a different set of qualifications. Take all the concerns of "job sharing" and multiply them several fold!
You can facilitate a meaningful discussion of the best way to handle the real problem of forced lay-offs. Convene the appropriate people for several hours to do the following, in sequence.
You end up with the remaining employees now tasked primarily with the most vital, daily functions. The activities you removed then become the basis for legitimate volunteer position descriptions. You will be asking volunteers to handle important work that can be done on a once-a-week basis or that makes use of special talents for which the volunteers have been recruited. But there is still one more part of the exercise:
This approach to the unfortunate need to trim the budget is therefore good management of both paid and volunteer staff. The organization is paying for the best utilization of its employees and will attract volunteers in its support.
In a true financial crisis, your mission comes first. It is legitimate to share information about the emergency situation with current and potential volunteers and to ask for their help. You are likely to get it. The key is honest and open communication about the plans to hold things together until new funding can be found. Solicit everyone’s ideas for how to operate in the crisis. Set a timeline for reassessing how things are going and, perhaps, for when to throw in the towel. Volunteers are a vital part of transitioning to a more effective, fully-funded organization but they cannot be expected to carry the load indefinitely.
Most important, always remember that volunteers are your most effective advocates for funding your work. Especially in a crisis, make sure you are asking volunteers to be spokespeople with legislators, donors, and other funders. Raising more money and having great volunteers are mutually compatible goals.
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 third and fourth classes in the series are Leadership and Communication in Volunteer Programs and Supervision and Management of Volunteers. These classes engage students in analysis of personal leadership styles, techniques to resolve conflicts, supervision types, and essential elements of managing a volunteer program. These classes begin in March 2011.
Class is fully online
For registration assistance phone (503)725-4822 or Toll Free: (800) 547-8887 ask for ext. 4822
Online contact: http://www.extended.pdx.edu/degrcomp/programs/v_engagement.php
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.
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
A TIP A DAY ON MANAGING VOLUNTEERS
Interested in quick tips on recruiting, coaching, communication, record keeping for your volunteer program. Follow Volunteer Today publisher and editor, Nancy Macduff on Twitter. She is posting quick ideas each workday on Twitter about the administration of volunteers. Check out this new quick resource on Twitter at NLMacduff. It is the VERY abbreviated form of Volunteer Today.
Nancy is seeking tips, hints, ideas, comments on things related to the management and administration of volunteers. You can leave a Tweet on the Twitter site or email Nancy at email@example.com. The tip cannot be longer than 140 spaces or characters.
REMEMBER: Followers on Twitter can set their profile on privacy to avoid getting unwanted Tweets. Also, you must pick up Tweets, they do not pop up like your email. Make it a bookmark on your computer. Yes, you can Twitter from your computer, you do not need a smart phone!
If you have not used this social media form of communication and would like to learn how to use it for future communication with volunteers, this is a good way to practice. Tell the people in your organization and your colleagues in the community about this new site, exclusively for those who coordinate the work of volunteers.
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.
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.
AL!VE SEEKS MEMBERS
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.
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/. Thanks to Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list
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