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In this issue...
January Hot Topic: "What's Ahead for 2009"

Take a $99 Test Run of Everyone Ready®

January Issue of e-Volunteerism Honors Ivan Scheier

Susan's Tip of the Month: "Setting Expectations with Student Volunteers' Teachers"

Recognition Idea
Resume Writing

In my volunteer program at the Philadelphia Family Court, we recognized graduating student volunteers with a special seminar on resume writing.

It emphasized how they could describe their volunteer work as a credential that would impress prospective employers or university admissions officers.

- Submitted by Susan Ellis, Energize, Inc.

Share Your Recognition Idea

Volunteerism Quote
You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.

- Winston Churchill

Share Your Quote

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Energize Volunteer Management Update
January 2009
a1January Hot Topic: "What's Ahead for 2009?"

In the spirit of the new year, Susan considers what 2009 might hold in store for volunteering -- from actions of the new Obama Administration in the US, to developments in our professional associations, to the future of conferencing in our field.  What are your predictions and wishes?

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

a2New! Take a $99 Test Run of Everyone Ready®

Have you been curious about Energize's online training program, Everyone Ready, but reluctant to enroll for a whole year?  Has your conference travel budget been slashed and keeping you at your desk?  We'll bring volunteer management training to your fingertips!

Sign up for a $99 TRIAL MEMBERSHIP for two months, with automatic monthly credit card payments of $49.00 thereafter (you may cancel the monthly billing at any time after the initial $99 payment).  Learn more.

The trial membership gives you a complete test run of the Everyone Ready program benefits including:

  • The two (2) introductory topics (which remain available throughout your membership):
    • Building the Foundation for Volunteer Involvement, Online Seminar
    • Focus on the Volunteer Program Manager: A Task Analysis of the Role and Its Significant Issues, Self-Instruction Guide
  • Two (2) new featured topics, an Online Seminar and a Self-Instruction Guide, each available for one month
  • Full access to the e-Volunteerism online journal and its archives
  • A 10% discount in the Energize Online Bookstore
Or, you can save money and pay in full for a year's membership in this unique learning community. 

Enroll by January 16 and you'll be in time for Carol Weisman's online seminar, "Building and Sustaining Strong Volunteer Leadership," that starts on January 19th.

A special note to readers outside North America: Online training is truly an international option!  All the featured topic resources are available for a full month, 24/7, which means that you can be in any time zone on the globe. Though the materials are in English, we make a conscious attempt to make our vocabulary and learning examples as universal as possible. If we mention the United States, we also comment on what the possibilities are elsewhere. So, if you understand and enjoy this monthly Update from Energize, you should give Everyone Ready a try.  We already have learners from six countries, but the more the merrier!

a3January issue of e-Volunteerism Honors Ivan Scheier

The next quarterly issue of e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community will be posted on January 15.  As announced, it will be devoted in its entirety to remembering and honoring the life's work of volunteerism pioneer Ivan H. Scheier, who died on October 6th.  For many readers, this may actually be an introduction to Ivan's remarkable out-of-the-box thinking, which we think is a great tribute. 

The contents of the issue will be:
  • A Points of View commentary by Steve McCurley and Susan Ellis on why Ivan is worth remembering and how else we should honor those who contribute to our field.
  • Rick Lynch offers an article looking at Ivan's "people approach" in developing volunteer work versus the usual paid work approach.
  • An article on the "Challenge Think Tanks" that Ivan ran around the country for over a decade, written by several colleagues who participated in these.
  • The Research-to-Practice and Along the Web areas both assess materials by Ivan.
  • The Training Design presents Ivan's famous "MiniMax" game.
  • Voices from the Past offers an excerpt of a long out-of-print booklet Ivan wrote in 1984 called Meanwhile...Back at the Neighborhood.
  • The Keyboard Roundtable discusses an interesting article by Ivan called, "Volunteer Administration: A Continuing Misnomer?"
  • Plus reminiscences and stories from a wide range of colleagues who sent the journal their thoughts in preparation for this issue.
Everything is still remarkably relevant. Judge for yourself, and please respond with your own thoughts. 

a4Susan's Tip of the Month:  "Setting Expectations with Student Volunteers' Teachers"

The new year is also the start of another academic semester, so it's likely you will be welcoming a fresh batch of students into volunteer roles.  If the students have come to you for a formal school purpose  -- such as to get academic credit for a course, write a research paper, or fulfill a requirement for graduation -- there will undoubtedly be a faculty member with whom they, and therefore you, will interact during the course of service. 
It's a good idea to schedule a meeting to clarify the expectations of the school or particular teacher. These days you might be receiving service-learning students from elementary school through graduate studies, with different issues related to each age group. Consider developing a mutual "roles and responsibilities" sheet with the faculty member, to delineate descriptions of who will do what.

Reach agreement on such points as:

  • What are the school's goals for the student's service and how do these align with the needs of the agency?
    • Is the primary concern the number of hours logged in or completion of a project or work plan?
    • Does the school prefer certain types of volunteer assignments or staff supervisors with specific credentials?
    • What's the optimal balance between service and learning? Between observing and doing?
  • How will responsibility for training and supervision be divided equitably and effectively between you?
    • Will a faculty member expect to come on site periodically to see the student? What is needed from the agency staff during such visits? What might you want from the teacher?
    • Will the teacher be conducting any "reflection" discussions in the classroom to help students learn from their experiences? Do you have a role to play in this process?
    • How will you work together to enforce both agency and school rules?
  • How often and how will you be in touch with each other during the semester?
  • Will the student be graded for the work done in the agency or receive some sort of formal credit for time logged?
    • Who assigns the grade, using what criteria?
    • Do you need to keep any records to help the assessment process? Write a report or recommendation of any sort?
    • What attendance records must you keep?
    • If a student is not providing the agreed-upon hours of service, who will keep track and follow up? In other words, will the school do the enforcing?
  • For students under the age of 18:
    • Who will obtain parental permission and generally liaison with parents?
    • Who supplies or reimburses student transportation?
  • Deal with administrative questions, such as:
    • Who is responsible/liable for insurance coverage of the students?
    • Will there be an end date to the project or continuous coverage by a new class of volunteers?
    • If the student wants to continue as a volunteer with your organization past the official placement period, how will the transition take place?
Discussing such questions at the beginning will avoid confusing duplication of roles and will establish good working relationships. Be aware that teachers and group leaders may have unrealistic expectations of what your agency can offer student volunteers. Listen to their requests, but feel free to set limits on what will be possible. Your bottom line is service to your clients or consumers.
Ideally, the faculty liaison will remain your point of contact over time so that you do not have to renegotiate everything for each student who offers services.
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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