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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.

~July 2012 ~




Walkathons, golf tournaments, races are so “yesterday” in the fund raising game.  Here are some ideas to raise money that not everyone has done.

People are recruited to sit in a rocking chair and rock the way to money for the organization.  Find a very public venue, get lots of rocking chairs, get volunteers who agree to get pledges for the hours of “rocking” they do.  Let people who walk up rock for a donation—say $1.00 a minute.  (Locate in big mall for this).  There are million variations.  It does take excellent pre-planning.
People pay for individuals to do an entire day of sculpting, painting, music or some other creative endeavor.  Again, the participant solicits pledges to support their activity.  It is public and many can participate.  Others can view as the work is done.  Think of the ancillary ways to earn money; food and beverages, donation buckets, chance to do an art piece on your own.  One organization earned $15,000 doing this. 
An autism society organized pledged donations for engaging families  in an indoor play center.  Match your fundraiser to the mission of the group.  Easier to get volunteers when there is a match.  This is one with lots of jumping, running, and fun for kids and parents.
In Boston volunteers knit to support the work of a homeless shelter.  Have a goal…..is the event for attention? (lots of people in a visible place) or is it to raise money (pledges, donations, sponsors, etc.).  Could do fly tying, crochet, tatting, whittling.
Dance Marathon
A big hit in the 1920-30s is making a come back.  A Dance Marathon is aimed to attract young people at a college.  Get students to run it and make the entry fee the donation to the charity.  Be sure to have gifts for the winners.


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Volunteerism Research:  A Review Essay”
John Wilson
Nonprofit and Volunteer Sector Quarterly
from April 2012

A recent article by John Wilson in the journal of the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action, the Nonprofit and Volunteer Sector Quarterly, carried a review of research on various aspects of volunteering.  For the next few months the results of his review in a variety of areas related to volunteerism will appear in Volunteer Today.  Many university libraries have the electronic version of this journal.

blue dotA Finnish study discerned five different motivational role identities for current volunteers:

-the influencer-fighting injustice
-the helper-benevolent, compassionate
-faith based-bearing witness
-being in community; value based- loyalty, solidarity
-achieving success-leadership, paying back, being good citizen

blue dotAttachment theory suggests that people only engage in helping others when they feel reasonably secure, personally
blue dotPeople who avoid attachments are not likely recruits to volunteering
blue dotResults of recent research from the Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI)
(This is a decades old inventory that measures the motivators for those who volunteer)

-After three months of volunteering the only remaining viable motivator was “value system” related to time served
-After 12 months of volunteering the “understanding” and “enhancement” movtivators are the strongest predictor of continuing volunteering
-A study of students in 12 countries found that those motivated by career motivations were most likely to engage in episodic volunteering.

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