Energize Inc. logo
In this issue...
September Hot Topic: Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible

Looking Ahead

The Corporate Track: New Enrollment Option for Everyone Ready

Tip of the Month: Defining Committees for Success
Recognition Idea
Personal Note from Board

Our Board of Directors has a Volunteer Services Committee. These members write a personal, handwritten note to each volunteer who donates anything over four hours during a year. The committee members are given enough information to let them know what work the volunteer has done.

We have recently added a printed note to all our one-time volunteers with the personal signature of the committee chair. This wonderful tradition wasn't started by me, but I am happy to be part of an agency with such caring board members.

-Submitted by Marty Atherton

Share Your Recognition Idea

Volunteerism Quote
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
- Edmond Burke

Submitted by Jackie Bowers, Central Territory, Illinois, US

Share Your Quote

e-volunteerism logo

Everyone Ready logo
Energize Volunteer Management Update
September 2009
a1September Hot Topic: Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible

How can we integrate discussion of everyone's own volunteering into daily life in a natural, even "taken for granted" way?  In the face of hoopla about single days of service, how do we shine a light on ongoing service that is already so pervasive, yet invisible to many?

Read this Month's Hot Topic
You can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or RSS text feed -- or listen to the audio online.

a2Looking Ahead

In the Northern Hemisphere, September is traditionally the start of what feels like a new year. Children go back to school, new television shows start, and professional associations come back to life after a summer hiatus. So what's ahead this season (no matter which hemisphere you're in)? Here are a few things we're watching for you at Energize and will continue to update on our site and in our communiqués as more details emerge:
  • September 11th will be the first officially-designated National Day of Service and Remembrance in the United States, with all sorts of special projects planned.
  • Europe is preparing for the European Year of Volunteering 2011, and we'll soon learn the results of the just-closed competition to select a logo and slogan for the event.
  • The Entertainment Industry Foundation will be launching its promised industry-wide support of volunteering next month, with the inclusion of voluntary service plot lines in all sorts of television and film stories.
  • And Energize is working on a fresh look for our Web site, with a redesigned home page and new ways to navigate to the wealth of information our site offers to leaders of volunteer efforts. We're excited and looking forward to unveiling it to you.
a3 The Corporate Track - New Enrollment Option for Everyone Ready®

Calling all for-profit corporations! In its 5th year of serving nonprofit and government organizations, the Everyone Ready online volunteer management training program is now pilot testing a new Corporate Track tailored to the special needs of workplace volunteer program (WVP) managers who lead a company's community service and corporate citizenship initiatives. For companies with workplace volunteer programs, success demands people who know how to lead volunteers, even when it isn't their "real" job.  So this innovative Everyone Ready program will provide quality information and bite-sized learning resources designed specifically for the business volunteer. 

Director and dean of faculty of The Corporate Track is David Warshaw of Vistas Volunteer Management Solutions, who led General Electric Company's award-winning global workplace volunteer effort that enlisted more than 60,000 employee and retiree volunteers in more than 30 countries. 
We are currently enrolling Charter members in The Corporate Track. This select group will participate in shaping this unique service to the needs of their and other companies. Click here for more information and to request a personal "tour" of the proposed services.

a5Susan's Tip of the Month: Defining Committees for Success

Committees are ubiquitous -- they pop up everywhere for anything. And most people grimace when they are asked to serve on one. Why? Because rarely is any time spent on defining both the work of the committee at that point in time and on the responsibilities of all the members. We jump right into the work at hand. I recommend spending a bit of time at the start of a committee's life, or annually for standing committees, to discuss and answer the following questions.

  • What is the purpose/mission of this committee?
  • What, specifically will the committee do this year?
  • What has it done in the past that will be continued or be dropped? Why?
  • What is the ideal size and make-up of the committee?
  • How often will it need to meet? Are there peak busy times?
  • Can any of the work be done online?
  • What resources are available to the committee?
  • How does the committee fit into the organization's overall structure?
  • Every member must understand and be committed to the decisions above.
  • What is the minimum attendance standard for meetings? Are substitute representatives acceptable? Will there be e-mail discussions in which to participate?
  • What is the minimum expectation for work to be done in between meetings?
  • What are reporting expectations -- and are reports due even if the member is not in attendance?
  • What skills and resources will members be expected to share with the committee?
  • What's the term of office and under what circumstances may a member be asked to resign?
Only then, for THE CHAIRPERSON:
  • The chair must understand and be committed to the decisions above.
  • What special responsibilities accrue to the chair, above and beyond regular committee membership?
  • What is the chair's role prior to each meeting?
  • At each meeting?
  • In-between meetings?
  • As a representative of the committee to the rest of the organization?
and for OTHER LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, follow the same sequence as above.

Finally, it is critical to also define the role of THE LIAISON PAID STAFF MEMBER, in terms of this specific committee (it will change for each committee and each employee, depending on the situation):

  • What is the interrelationship of the committee's work to the work of the employee?
  • How will the chair and employee work together?
  • Who sets the agenda for meetings?
  • What is the reporting procedure...two-way?
  • What is the employee's role during meetings? Is the paid staff person a voting member of the committee?
  • Who will do the clerical support work?
  • What organizational resources will be made available to the committee, through the employee?
Successful committees practice good volunteer management, since most often the people on such a team are there voluntarily -- whether paid or volunteer in other roles.

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
Pass It On!
Pass on this update to interested news groups and others who work with volunteers.

 Send to a Colleague

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/.