|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
| ASK CONNIE
VT readers ask questions about volunteer management
and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant
and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
LETTING A VOLUNTEER GO?
I’ve been in the field for 5+ years, but am just now working with senior citizens, some of them 80+. We have a small and close knit community, a strong “family” atmosphere. Part of the attraction for our volunteers is that they get to see people (other volunteers) who’ve become friends over the years. I should say, about one-half of the folks who volunteer for us were there before I arrived.
Sometime soon one or more of these folks are going to reach the point where they can’t do their assignments any more. I’ve never had to “fire” someone because of this particular reason, and I don’t exactly know how to handle it. We don’t have a mandatory retirement age, and my personal feeling is that they should get to do it until they just can’t anymore.
Here are some specific concerns and questions:
Thanks for considering this question. I look forward to your comments.
Generally I would say that treating
volunteers (of all ages) with dignity is very important. And,
letting it be known publicly that
you will treat people with dignity is just as important. So,
whenever you have the opportunity tell people that it is one of your
goals and model the behavior. Senior volunteers already know
that they're aging so it isn't a
secret. Dealing with it candidly and caringly always
works best. If you're not already doing annual assessments of
volunteer performance, it's best to institute it now for everyone so
that you'll have the "built-in" opportunity to discuss privately
with individual volunteers how they're doing, what's working,
and what isn't, from
your perspective and theirs.
Good luck and best wishes!
SATISFACTION SURVERY OF VOLUNTEERS
I would like to get feedback from my volunteers on their likes and dislikes about our volunteer program, but I’m unsure exactly what to ask them. Do you have any suggestions?
First, I recommend that you ask questions that you really want answered so as not to waste anyone’s time. Second, ask questions about subjects that you can do something about so that volunteers don’t think they can solve all the problems they see (or think they see!) at your institution through your survey. Here are a few suggestions for you:
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 25 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
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