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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: mba@bmi.net

~ January 2012 ~

ARE YOU USING LIFE EXPERIENCE IN TRAINING?


Life experience is an essential feature of the adult learning workshop.  It comes with each person in the training session and is likely more influential than any text, handbook, video, or personal trainer anecdote.  View this 2-minute video to learn more about the influence of life experience on the new volunteer in training sessions.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3YQ4ZZPa8A

Hear are some tips on how to incorporate life experience in a workshop:

CONCEPT
IN PRACTICE
Acknowledge its value during introductions “The purpose of this training session is to build on your considerable experience and add to what you know.”
Ask people to bring their personal experience to bear on discussions. “My hope as your trainer is that you will share your experiences—good and bad—so we can all learn from each other.”
Be willing to accept that not everyone agrees with you and might have a different life experience.  “I have not had that experience, but I appreciate your sharing.  Let’s talk about the difference in the two perspectives and how we might handle each of them.”
Relate the training experience to real life and its impact on his/her work as a volunteer. You will see that this activity is similar to that in other groups; church, professional club, school group, or the like.  You are just transferring your skills to a new arena.”
Emphasis is on when a life situation creates a need to know. “I suspect that some of you have never done anything like this and want to quickly get to practicing.”
Make exercises self-directed, so volunteers can use personal experience as he/she learn new concepts and practice. We are going to do an exercise now where you will be asked to use your previous life experience in a new way.”
Use learning exercises and experiences with a task-centered or problem-centered orientation to learning. The next exercise in training is where we use real life.  The encounters you will be discussing in your group have actually happened.  When we are done I’ll share how it was addressed, but right now we want you to use your life experience in practicing how you would deal with it.  Keep in mind that not everyone handles things the same way you do!”

 

Get a tip on some aspect of volunteer administration daily on Twitter.

You do not need a twitter account. Just visit the site on the Web. Paste this address into your browser and you can pick up new ideas. Book mark the page for ease of revisiting.

http://twitter.com/nlmacduff

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Professional Development

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



Online Training for Directors of Volunteer Programs

blue dot Recruiting Volunteers

blue dot Training Volunteers

Winter January 9, 2012

  • Want to improve and organize your recruiting efforts?
  • Plan a recruiting campaign with a volunteer recruiting team>
  • Organize content for interactive and effective training.

In January the Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program (VELP) offers the online course, Recruitment of Volunteers (8 weeks) and Training Volunteers (8 weeks) in conjunction with the School of Public Administration’s Institute for Nonprofit Studies and the Department of Extended Studies.  The class is 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 in all classes are interactive and designed to build skills directly applicable to a manager of volunteers program.  Assignments can be used immediately in existing volunteer programs. 

Training Volunteers begins with principles of adult learning that impact retention. Students organize content, set measureable learning objectives, explore different training techniques, and create a training plan. There is emphasis on evaluation of training. Practical application is the hallmark of all assignments.

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


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Portland State University Training for Administrators 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 five courses and covers the organization and administration of volunteer program. Other classes include: Recruiting, Training, Leadership, Supervision and Communication, and Evaluation and Recognition.

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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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 mba@bmi.net.  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.


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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.

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/. Thanks to Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list

book cover

Available through the Volunteer Today Bookstore


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