Here's a quick and inexpensive, but "heartfelt," idea for Valentine's Day.
Attach a foil-wrapped chocolate heart to a kiddie Valentine. Include a message like "You really put your heart into your work" or "Our heartfelt thanks for doing a great job." Share Your Recognition Idea
| I always wondered why somebody didn't do something
about that. Then I realized I was somebody.
- Lily TomlinShare Your Quote
|Energize Volunteer Management Update
|February Hot Topic:
"A New Era of Responsibility":
An Open Letter to President Obama
It is already clear that US President Barack Obama is going to
be an advocate of volunteering as part of what he has termed "a new era of
responsibility." So this is a unique
moment in which the profession of volunteer management can make itself
visible. This "Open Letter" presents
concrete requests and asks you to add
your perspectives as well. Susan's
approach to Obama is:
... [W]e have heard such rhetoric before but I genuinely believe that your
Administration will be different and add tangible resources to the lip
service. Your hallmark is seeking solid
information and educated opinions to develop your strategy, so this open letter
is intended to give you input on the subject from professionals who work in the
field of volunteer engagement and understand its complexities. Here is what we
believe your Administration can do to strengthen volunteering in the United States.
Note that Energize has sent a printed copy of the Hot Topic,
along with a gift of By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers, to the White House.
Read this Month's Hot Topic
Remember you can listen to the Hot Topic as a podcast, too!
Charitable Mileage Deduction Once
Again up for Vote
After six months without action, the effort to
raise the US income tax deduction amount for charitable driving
from its long-time level of 14 cents per mile to the business rate
(currently 58.5 cents) is once again in the news. The legislation from last year went nowhere, but suddenly the mileage
deduction for volunteers is part of the new "Stimulus Package" in
Congress right now and the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations
(PANO) is once again keeping everyone informed. See Susan's
July Hot Topic on this
subject and the full legislative history on the PANO
Web site. The 1/29/2009 press release concludes:
Our official position is in support of raising
the volunteer mileage rate to 100% of the standard business rate. In 2008
we supported Platts' H.R.2020 and Senator Casey's The Charitable Mileage
Deduction Equity Act, S.3421. Platts' new bill H.R.345 is virtually identical
to them. But if Grassley's proposal shifting discretion to the IRS is included in the Stimulus Package, then it is likely to pass. The new volunteer rate would become variable at the discretion of the IRS. The IRS will probably raise the volunteer rate to the moving rate (which is currently 24 cents). While this is a far cry from 100% of
the business rate, we can work with the IRS later to ensure that the new volunteer rate is close enough to the business rate to make a difference.
a Free Conference Call to Learn about
whether Energize's online training program, Everyone Ready can meet your needs? Get a short
"sneak peek" at how it all works and learn how current members capitalize on
using Everyone Ready in their organizations.
Ask your questions
(without feeling pressured) in a live conference call with Susan. There are
three opportunities to join a call:
are free in North
those of you located elsewhere can use Skype or other VOIP calling systems to
dial into the landline at minimal cost.
February 25th at 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
March 2nd at 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST
March 5th at 5:00 p.m. EST
register, please e-mail email@example.com with your name, telephone number, and
in which of the calls you want to participate.
We will respond with instructions for phoning in.
too that you can 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). Enroll by March 13 and you'll be in time for Susan's online seminar, "New Approaches to Recruitment," that starts on March 16th.
Day Gifts for Colleagues
Show a colleague
that you think the world of him or her on Valentine's Day! Here are four books that are special and make
- Making Dreams Come True without Money, Might or Miracles
Inspiring examination of why dreams die, how to keep dreams alive, forming dream-nurturing environments, and rules for dreamers
and Dream-Catchers. The late Ivan
Scheier's last book. Paperback: US $14.95
- Visionary Leadership in Volunteer Programs: Insight and Inspiration from the Speeches of Marlene Wilson
A collection of favorite and most-requested presentations from Marlene Wilson, volunteer management pioneer and leader in the field.
US $16.95, e-book: US $12.00
- By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers
The only presentation of the full scope and depth of volunteer activity throughout
three centuries of American history -- a fascinating read.
Hardcover: US $34.95, Paperback: US $24.95,
e-book: US $16.00
- Raising Charitable Children
Carol Weisman warmly provides practical tips for adults to share the gifts of generosity, selflessness, and compassion with children of all ages and get past the "gimme-gimme" mind-set. e-book
only: US $10.00
|Susan's Tip of the Month:
"The Importance of Self-Esteem"
librarian in Indiana was being interviewed on National
Public Radio about the increase in usage of public libraries, particularly of their
resources for job hunters. The reporter
asked if the library staff was feeling the strain, and the librarian mentioned
that volunteers were really helping out. She noted that "gratitude" for library services was evoking all kinds of
donated help, including one out-of-work patron who -- on his own initiative --
had been shoveling snow off the library steps after every storm to show his
appreciation for what was available inside.
made me think about how people react to being helped. A lot of volunteering is based on the
assumption that recipients of assistance acknowledge being "in need." But that may actually be the hardest thing
about being helped: lowering one's
self-esteem to accept the kindness of others.
emergencies, people are instantly forced to change their self-image. After losing a home to flood or becoming
unemployed due to layoffs, a person may shift suddenly from being a proud donor
or dedicated volunteer to a human service agency's "client." It takes a while to adjust how that
person sees him/herself.
times without crisis, it's vital to see recipients of service
holistically. The patient in dialysis is
also a high school teacher; the parent picking up donated food is a skilled but
out-of-work carpenter; the homeless teenager is a budding artist. All individuals are multi-dimensional, even
if we are focusing on one aspect of their situation. Can recognizing this uncover new volunteers and
increase the self-esteem of clients?
If you know
that someone is unemployed, invite him or her to apply as a volunteer, even if
only temporarily. If you think that
someone is reluctant to make use of your organization's services out of pride,
consider presenting the transaction as barter or exchange. For example:
"There are a number of families in this same
situation. Let's talk about how --
together -- we can help everyone. Maybe
one of you can pick up the emergency supplies for those who have no transportation,
while someone else can prepare larger recipes that can be frozen into portions
for the one who is homebound."
should ever feel that this invitation to help with the solution is in any way
an expectation in order to get the
help. You might not use this approach with everyone. But if you see a client who seems
uncomfortable with "accepting charity," taking a "volunteer recruitment
approach" might be win-win.
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.
5450 Wissahickon Ave. C-13
Philadelphia PA 19144
|Pass It On!
Pass on this update to interested
news groups and others who work with volunteers.
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/.