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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.

~March 2014 ~


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         Anyone managing volunteers rarely has “down” time.  This is the time when those pesky jobs you never have time for could be done.  It is however, important to give your taxed brain a “rest” during the day in order for it to work more efficiently as the day progresses.  Set a 30-minute period aside every other day to do some of the tasks listed below, or other things that you put off doing because you are too busy.

ad for brain weekClean up the computer.  Reorganize and discard emails and email files that are no longer needed.  Clean up your desktop.  Reorganize the tool bar on the computer to make it work better for you.  Do the same with bookmarks on your browser.

Spring cleaning for your folders.  In the old days of paper, businesses would do an annual cleanup of files.  Do the same for your computer folders and files.  The project completed two years ago can be discarded or archived.  Put a file on the organizational server with information of such archival material, if you cannot part with it.

Teach yourself a new skill.  You really want to create a database for volunteers, but time eludes you and those database programs like Excel are scary!  There is a tutorial to learn how to use it.  Take time to up-grade your skills

Upgrade databases.  Records of events, recognition, names, and hours served.  The last thing on a to-do list is database entry.  Set aside time to do this, or better yet, recruit an online volunteer who can do it for you.  It is a virtual volunteer position the person can do on his/her timetable and you have saved a heap of time.

Paper files?  Decide to have them cleaned out before July 15 each year.

Write out a training plan.  Training plans should be written in a “training plan format” so someone who comes after you can pick it up and the training is consistent from year to year.  Take it out of your brain and get it on paper and the computer.  Include original copies of handouts and a list of other resources needed (handbooks, PowerPoint, overhead, etc.)

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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.



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