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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.

~October 2012 ~




Thursday, November 14, 2012
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Trainer:  Nancy Macduff

Keep “Em Laughing and Learning:
Effective Volunteer Training

One too many PowerPoint’s? Volunteers skipping training sessions? Want to build more enthusiasm for training? Want to build technology into training—other than PowerPoint?  This session reviews the essential components of training.  Then participants practice creating a training session with excitement, interaction, and fun.  Bring your creative hat to plan that next training session.

Creating Job Security:
Building The Internal Influence of the Administrator of Volunteers

Administrators of volunteers create job security by running effective programs.  They are indispensible to their organizations.  Review a checklist of strategies designed to make you indispensible.  Discuss with your colleagues how they build internal influence.adult students at table


Becoming the Manager of the Motivational Store:
From Theory to Practice

Managers of volunteer programs with a wide cross-section of people are good at providing the motivational “ingredients” that keeps people for the long term or keeps them coming back for episodic stints!  Names like Maslow, McClelland, Herzberg, Clary-Snyder are people who can tell us about what motivates people in their volunteer work.  This session identifies motivators and translates motivators into action.  It is the “food” that attracts people to a program or helps keep them engaged.  Review some theory and then apply it to read life.  Assess your program to see what your “motivational store” looks like.

For more information: Contact Wendy

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logos assortedFive Tips for Making Your Volunteer Program a Part of Your Brand, a September 13, 2012 HandsOn Network Blog post, will move you to ask whether or not your volunteer program is indeed part of your organization’s brand.  It will push you to reflect on your volunteer program in relationship to your “call to action,” “customer service,” “how you talk about your volunteer program,” “people in your volunteer program” and “your home for your volunteer program.”  The post refers to Dan Pallotta’s writing, for the Harvard Business Review, about the difference between a logo and a brand and it directs you to his article, which is the basis for this topic. 

Be an integral part of your organization.  If you do not view your volunteer program that way now --- start stepping along this path by reading a worthwhile post at:


Thanks to Paula Beugen for sharing this information.

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

An 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 several 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.

Trends in Volunteering

  • Until 1990 the percentage of high school seniors who participated in volunteering, at least once per month was steady at 23%.
  • By 2005 participation by high school students was 34%
  • Wilson suggests the percentage is higher in 2012 due to high schools requiring hours of community service and students padding college applications.
  • The Iranian government wanted to improve health care throughout their country, which is largely rural.  The government has enlisted women to achieve that goal.  Improve. with approval of their husband or father’s, women across the country became a widespread health care network.  This has increased the status of these women in the community.
  • Modernization (the post-modern era) continues to increase the numbers of people wanting episodic volunteering opportunities.  Short of duration and short of commitment.
  • A trend analysis by Einolf (2009) includes projections about volunteering into 2015.
  • Baby boomers will volunteer in slightly higher numbers and for more hours than the previous generation.
  • This will sustain the increase in volunteering by seniors that has been the pattern for the last several decades.


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Disagreeing is often discouraged in volunteer programs.  The term “we’ve always done it that way” is common in committee and board meetings. And certainly by individual volunteers.  This TED talk asks you to consider the power of “disagreement.”  The examples are taken from private business, but can be applied to any situation, including the volunteer program.  See the video and then ask yourself, “Do I encourage people to disagree?”

Dare to Disagree

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