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In this issue...
November Hot Topic: How Will the Economic Crisis Affect Volunteering?

Free, Live Webinar on November 12th

Welcome to New Everyone Ready Organization Members

Susan's Tip of the Month: "A Decision-making Guide to Printed Recruitment Materials"

Recognition Idea
Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

This year I sent out Thanksgiving cards to my volunteers. It's a great way to show our appreciation toward the end of the year and at the beginning of the December holiday season.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is perfect for the message we're sending, and it lets our volunteers know we're thinking of them.

- Submitted by Taci Lato

Share Your Recognition Idea

Volunteerism Quote
"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation."

- Susan B. Anthony

Share Your Quote

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Energize Volunteer Management Update
November 2008
a1November Hot Topic: How Will the Economic Crisis Affect Volunteering?

The global economic situation affects us all as private individuals and within community sectors.  So, how will a recession affect volunteering? Susan offers some perspective; you share your hopes, fears, and predictions.

Read this Month's Hot Topic
Remember you can listen to the Hot Topic as a podcast, too!

a2Free, Live Webinar on November 12th presented by Susan Ellis (Sponsored by VolunteerMatch)

On November 12th, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (11:00 a.m. Pacific time), VolunteerMatch is offering a free, live webinar in its Learning Center series with  Susan Ellis as the presenter.  The webinar topic is:

In-House Advocacy for Volunteers
A critical role of the volunteer program manager is to serve as in-house educator - assuring that all paid staff, from executives to frontline workers, have the skills and attitudes needed to partner with volunteers.   This means educating volunteers, too.  This session will look at strategies for raising organizational commitment to volunteer engagement, new ways to celebrate and shine a light on volunteer accomplishments, finding "teachable moments," and advocating for what's really needed to support a successful volunteer program.

Click here to register (and see technical requirements).

There's no fee to attend, but the phone call may be a long distance call depending on your location.

a3Welcome to  New Everyone Ready Organization Members

Now in its 5th year, Energize's online professional development program in volunteer management, Everyone Ready, continues to grow its learning community.  We are delighted to welcome two new national organizations -- the March of Dimes and National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) -- and a new statewide member, the Hawaii Department of Education.  They join this list of current organization members:

Alzheimer's Association
American Red Cross
Catholic Charities USA
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
Humane Society of the United States
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
US Army Volunteer Corps
Volunteers of America
Volunteering Victoria (AU)
Youth For Understanding USA

If you are a part of any of these national organization
networks, be sure you are making use of the Everyone Ready resources available to you now.  (If you need help finding how, contact us at everyoneready@energizeinc.com.)
If you would like to explore how your organization can join Everyone Ready, start at the preview area of our Web site and then request a personal tour.  Memberships are available for both large and small organizations, and also for individuals.
In fact, we also want to welcome our most recent individual participants.  They come from several countries and a range of different sorts of organizations.  Remember we now offer a monthly automatic credit card payment option.  Why not join us today?
a4Susan's Tip of the Month:  "A Decision-making Guide to Printed Recruitment Materials"

Recruiting volunteers is a continuous process of keeping your organization and its volunteer opportunities visible to a wide audience.  One tool is printed materials, whether simple paper handouts after a presentation, flyers on selected bulletin boards, brochures for pick-up at exhibits, or inserts of various kinds.  Word processing programs have made it easy to develop a range of recruitment "pitches," storing different wording and mixing-and-matching paragraphs and images to target specific audiences as needed. 
It's important to note that a single piece of material cannot meet all recruitment needs!  So how can you determine what you should prepare for what purpose?  Here are questions to answer that will help you to narrow your choices and ultimately create the best piece each time.

Audience and Objectives
  • Who will see this item?
    • Is this their first introduction to you or not?
    • How informed are they already about what your organization does?
    • How informed are they already about what volunteer opportunities exist with your organization?
    • What potential do they have to become volunteers? Are they getting the information because they:
      • Already are interested in volunteering?
      • Are financial donors or other supporters?
      • Happen to see it while looking for general information about your organization?
      • Receive the information incidentally without even realizing what it is?
    • What is their demographic profile? (Age, gender, education, etc.)
  • Where will they get it?
    • Is this a volunteer recruitment event?
    • A casual, even recreational, event?
    • A serious professional event?
  • What do you want them to know?
  • What, if anything, do you want them to do once they know it?
Location and Opportunity
  • How will they get this?
    • Is it an optional take-away or will everyone get a copy?
    • Will someone mention it orally or will it be provided without explanation?
    • Will it come in the mail or via e-mail?
  • How much time will someone likely spend on it?
Content and Look
Depending on your responses to the questions above, you can then select the best:
  • Size
    • Does it need to match other materials given at the same time?
    • Will it be inserted into something else of a certain size?
  • Length
  • Content
    • Is this going to focus on a single volunteer opportunity or try to introduce a variety of volunteer assignments?
    • Is it a teaser to get people to learn more or will it try to give details right away?
  • Tone (For example, is humor appropriate?)
  • Level of language
  • Visuals
    • What fonts will look clean and easy to read?
    • What photographs or illustrations will make your point while matching the tone of the piece?
  • Degree of permanence
    • Is this a "throw-away" that can be on plain paper stock or do you want people to keep it longer and so should use heavier, text stock?
  • Space for tailoring or personalizing

Absolutely, positively always include CONTACT INFORMATION, including your Web site URL!!!  And then make sure you have more information there (that is current).
Finally, a word to the wise: PROOFREAD carefully!  Not just for spelling errors, but for clarity and completeness.  Ask several people who were not involved in designing the piece to look it over for you and ask questions.That will help you assess if you are indeed communicating what you want.

About Us
Energize empowers and inspires leaders of volunteers worldwide. Our specialty is creating and selecting the most relevant, innovative resources in volunteer management. We're advocates for the power of volunteers and for the recognition of the leaders who unleash it.

Energize, Inc.
5450 Wissahickon Ave. C-13
Philadelphia PA 19144
Phone: 215-438-8342
Fax: 215-438-0434
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Material may be re-posted or printed without additional permission, provided credit is given to Energize, Inc., and our Web site address is included:  http://www.energizeinc.com/.