|Receive the |
|A People Lens: 101 Ways to Move Your Organization Forward |
has been innovative in its emphasis on what they've coined "A People Lens":
seeing all the work of an organization as dependent on having the best people --
paid and volunteer -- delivering
mission-driven services. There's a lot of interest right now in how to engage "highly-skilled" volunteers, particularly those with professional expertise, in meaningful service
opportunities. This guidebook highlights ways real organizations have found
creative and innovative volunteer projects for a wide range of volunteers,
often teaming them up with agency executives. The "101 Ways" refers to the
unusual and intriguing titles proposed for such positions along with each case
study. And, Volunteer Vancouver practices what it preaches: they utilized a
working group of talented volunteers to put this book together.
US$8.50, electronic version
Paperback can be purchased directly from Volunteer Vancouver.
|Interview with the Authors
Visit our new Book Blog
to listen to or read an
interview about A People Lens
Kelly, Executive Director of Volunteer Vancouver, and Aaron
Sanderson, a volunteer who played a key role in the production of the book.
Do you have a question about engaging highly-skilled volunteers or
implementing a people lens model in your organization?
Post your question
as a comment on the blog or email it to us
. Aaron and Colleen will pick a question to
answer in a future blog post, and we'll try to provide some advice for everyone
who writes in.
| Book Excerpt
What's In a Name?
From A People Lens: 101 Ways to Move Your Organization Forward by Volunteer Vancouver
Have you ever heard anyone
say "just a volunteer"? It does nothing for the image. In the same vein, how we
go about position design, naming our roles and advertising our available
opportunities goes a long way in attracting the right people to move our
Think of the word "assistant". Who do you think of? What skills come to mind? At what level in a
hierarchy does an assistant sit? For the most part, it's a bit lower on the
totem pole that you'll find an assistant. It's a position that executes, rather
than plans, right?
Now think of the word "consultant" and what comes to mind? Most will agree that this person is higher
up on the food chain. More of a strategist than a do-er. Someone with
high-level expertise and experience to bring to a position.
So if you're recruiting for
someone to redesign your marketing materials are you looking for a marketing
assistant or a marketing consultant? To a volunteer browsing available
volunteer positions, there is a world of difference in those two titles.
Naming the volunteer
position you're recruiting for deserves time and thought. What are you really
looking for? WHO are you really looking for? If you want someone to do the
menial tasks associated with a project use titles that reflect that type of
work. If you're looking for someone with a lot of experience who can lead a
project use titles more appropriate for that level of person. Don't forget that
the volunteer position you post is your marketing effort for a role. You must
get someone -- and not just anyone -- to find enough interesting about that position
Another item to note is the
type of expertise you're looking for. Without making too many stereotypical
statements, it's safe to say that an information technology (IT) expert might
prefer a very straightforward title: "database programmer," for example. But
think about a typical human resources (HR) expert. Perhaps their title should
reflect values common in HR practitioners: "people performance expert". Or what
about those creative types -- marketers, graphic designers and the like? How about "branding guru". See the difference?
Who has that job?!
We've all done it. Thought
of a generic role we wish we could fill at our organization and wished for that
mythical volunteer to materialize and fill the gap. And that's entirely
possible, if an organization can approach recruitment strategically. And
strategically means by thinking like the volunteer. A recent search of
volunteer postings on www.govolunteer.ca with the term "marketing" found four postings for "marketing and communications". The problem is that the term describes a department, not a position. And most volunteers are looking
for a project to work on, not a department's worth of never-ending commitment.
Think of the largest
corporation in your community -- possibly a consumer products or
telecommunications company. Whatever it is, it likely has an incredibly
talented pool of employees who would make superb volunteers. And that company
probably has a marketing department. Within that marketing department might be public relations
experts, graphic designers, advertising specialists, strategists, and much
more. But no one person in that department would likely see a posting for "marketing and communications" and know that it applies to them. They have very
niche expertise within that broad category. So if you want assistance with your
marketing campaign -- advertise five different positions that will appeal to
someone who actually holds that job: expert copywriter, graphic designer, new
product strategist, public relations coordinator and publishing layout expert.
Those are all jobs you can find at that large company -- and thus are all
positions that potential volunteers understand. Any volunteer position you seek
should correlate to a job that actually exists. The volunteers will understand
what you seek and whether or not they can deliver it.
granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full
acknowledgment of the source, as cited here:
Excerpted from A People Lens: 101 Ways to Move Your Organization Forward, ©
2009 Volunteer Vancouver. Found in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/5-230-E-1
|Energize, Inc. |
5450 Wissahickon Ave., C-13
Philadelphia, PA 19144
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.