A Free Evening
Many volunteers who donate their time to museums or other cultural institutions
do so for access to the facility in addition to their interest in the
mission...I felt the best gift we could give our volunteers was a free evening
for them and their families in our great facility.
The bonus was seeing
how easy it was to get staff to volunteer that evening so the volunteers
could party...[and] hearing them say the next day how much they enjoyed
meeting all the volunteers and seeing how much these people loved our
I almost think the staff looked forward
to this yearly event more than some of the volunteers, it was a great
way to build camaraderie and a real morale booster.
-Submitted by Marcia Hale
Share Your Recognition Idea
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because
he could do only a little.
by Jackie Bowers, Illinois, USShare Your Quote
|Energize Volunteer Management Update
|July Hot Topic:
The Drive towards "Highly-skilled" and "Pro Bono"
New initiatives, such as A Billion + Change, are encouraging corporations to send "highly-skilled" and "pro bono"
volunteers out to help nonprofits. But the basics must be in place to
utilize the offered expertise. Susan identifies six assumptions that need
to be challenged -- not to negate pro bono projects but to assure their success.
Read this Month's Hot Topic
can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or
RSS text feed --
or listen to the audio online.
And thank you for the many replies to last month's
|Announcing the Energize Book Blog
We have launched the Energize Book Blog as
a new resource for sharing information about published resources (online or in
print) that focus specifically on managing volunteer programs and leading
volunteers more effectively.
The number of publications focused on volunteer engagement is growing each
year, yet finding a section of "volunteer management" books at your
local bookstore or library is still difficult. Even large online book venues
categorize such resources as "nonprofit" or "business"
books. So getting recommendations for good volunteer management materials
relies on word-of-mouth. Energize's new Book Blog, moderated by Energize's
bookstore manager Lindsay Liprando, will provide that forum for leaders of
volunteers to share their opinions and hear from others "in the trenches."
In addition to colleagues posting comments, we
will include the following features:
In the current post, author Steve McCurley shares
his sage advice with a volunteer manager who's at a loss on how to handle some
problematic volunteer behavior. To read more great posts planned for the coming
weeks, be sure to visit the blog soon at http://www.energizeinc.com/blog/ , or sign up for the
RSS feed at http://www.energizeinc.com/blog/feed/.
- Interviews with volunteerism authors - and a
chance for readers to ask questions
- Recommendations of books that will help with
current trends in volunteerism
- Materials written for wider audiences, but that
have helped leaders of volunteers strengthen their skills
- Other features suggested by blog visitors over
You'll also see a brand new look
to the entire Online Bookstore -- we hope you like it.
Report from San Francisco
people attended the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco last week. The opening ceremony was
a definite wow, featuring American First Lady Michelle Obama who gave a warm presentation
that felt genuine and empathetic to the real concerns of the field. The lineup
of other presenters was quite spectacular, too, including: Governor Arnold
Schwarzenneger and his wife Maria Shriver (a long-time proponent of
volunteering in her own right, whose father served as the first director of the
Peace Corps), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, political commentator Arianna
Huffington, Jon Bon Jovi (who both spoke about his charitable work and sang
three songs with his band), actor Matthew McConaughey, and various leaders of
the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community
Service. The four-hour session was celebratory and signaled an important
new level of visibility and support for community engagement.
A number of
new initiatives were announced at various points in the conference, including:
hundred workshops provided conferees with information on all sorts of subjects,
along with best practices, new research, and different perspectives on current
- The "United We Serve" summer
service initiative, beginning on June 22nd and running through what will now be called the "National Day of Service and
Remembrance" on September 11th. The
Obama administration challenges "all Americans to help lay a new
foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful
community service." The new Serve.gov
Web site is now branded with the United We Serve campaign.
- A new multi-year project by the
Entertainment Industry Foundation "to
help make service and volunteerism a national priority." EIF will launch
an unprecedented campaign beginning October 19th, within which broadcast
networks will use America's favorite TV shows and personalities to shine a spotlight on the
power of service.
- A collaborative between The
Corporation of National and Community Service and Microsoft Corporation's
U.S. Partners in Learning to design and establish a "new national,
student-driven virtual helpdesk for K-12 teachers and non-profits."
- An agreement with the
University of Phoenix to develop online training for HandsOn Network's "volunteer
leaders," those volunteers who coordinate local project teams.
the best part for us at Energize was meeting so many of our Web site visitors
in person at our booth! Maybe we'll see
even more of you in June 2010 when the conference comes to New York City.
Tip of the Month: Making First Contact with Corporations
community, a few large businesses are known for their philanthropic activity
and everyone seeking money and volunteers requests their help. This means competition and more rejections
than acceptance. Yet in every community there are also scores of companies who
are never approached to contribute to anything.
We all know that most people volunteer because they were asked, so why
not apply this recruitment principle to engaging corporations?
recruiting individual volunteers, the challenge is to figure out where to look
for the most appropriate prospects. The same is true in determining the
businesses most likely to be attracted to supporting your organization. Don't
stop yourself from contacting a company "cold" if you can start the
conversation with something you have in common -- the reason why you think you
should collaborate. For example:
question is: Who is the right person to contact in a company to reach employee
volunteers? Unfortunately, there is no consistent answer. It depends on each
business. Do a little research online and
see if a company you want to approach has staff in any of the following
- You both are focused on the same audience.
You help children; the company sells children's clothing.
- You provide compatible services. You offer
recreational programs; the company does weight loss counseling.
- You are located in the same neighborhood. The closer your locations are to each other, the more obvious the reasons to get acquainted. And employees can even volunteer before or after work, or even on lunch breaks.
- Someone who works in the company is already volunteering with you.
It's always best if you have an "inside" champion to carry your message
to people she or he knows.
In a small
company, don't be afraid to start at the top. Call the President or CEO's office, explain your goal of connecting with
the business, and ask who would be the best person to meet with about
this. In the last analysis, although we
talk about "companies," every business is a collection of individuals. So once you've made contact with someone willing to
listen, your success will depend on winning that person's support first, and
then attracting others together.
responsibility/community engagement. Such offices are
generally found only in the largest of companies, but are logical
contact points if they exist.
- Public relations/marketing. These staff may or may not be officially charged with fielding requests
from nonprofit and public agencies, but they do understand their connection to "community relations." Present your
volunteer recruitment as an opportunity for positive image building and
- Human resources/personnel/employee
assistance. Again, while employee volunteering may not
officially be a human resources function, your approach here would be that
volunteering: 1) builds staff teamwork and morale, 2) can be a way to train
employees in new skills, or 3) can be a part of pre-retirement counseling.
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/.