Staff-made Volunteer Dinner- Submitted by Corrie McGibney, Coordinator of Volunteer
Services, Village Clinic
Share Your Recognition Idea
our annual holiday party this year we cooked and served a full course meal!
Staff volunteered to cook and were all assigned jobs; cooks, plate fillers,
servers, etc. We collected donated gifts and drew
names for a chance to pick one. Everyone contributed decorations...
Our physicians said grace and toasted
the volunteers to reaffirm their value in our organization. It was a tremendous
gift of caring by the staff and a wonderful experience of feeling appreciated
by the volunteers!
"I slept and dreamt that life was pleasure,
I woke and saw that life was service, I served and discovered that service was
Share Your Quote
|Energize Volunteer Management Update
|December Hot Topic:
When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and
an organization turn to volunteers to fill gaps when budgets are cut and
employees laid off? This
ancient question has resurfaced, for obvious economic reasons. Most
volunteer program leaders feel their stomachs tighten when this issue is
raised. But we have to let our brains keep working and find a way to
respond with care and concern when our organizations are struggling for their
lives. Economic crisis is a teachable moment, with the potential to
educate everyone about smart, motivating engagement of volunteers.
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.
|Important New Report
from Colleagues in Minnesota
The December Hot Topic references
the newly-released report, The Status of Minnesota's Volunteer Programs in a Shifting
Environment. This survey of 280 nonprofit and governmental organizations was conducted in late September
by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA). 60% of organizations reported an increased
reliance on volunteers. MAVA furthers
its reputation as one of our field's outstanding professional societies by the
way they have responded to a critical issue and how they have presented the
information. Hard facts - no whining -
solid ideas. Get the report and more
details at www.MAVANetwork.org/shiftingenv.
|International Volunteer Day Is December 5th
Join colleagues around the
world in celebrating volunteers on the United Nations-declared International
Volunteer Day (IVD), 5 December. Even
though the event is only a few days away, you can still participate. Visit the Web site
for ideas, publicity materials, and logos. Or start planning today for IVD 2010!
This year, the theme of IVD is Volunteering for our Planet, aimed at supporting the UN
Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, starting
7 December. It aims to demonstrate that
people are willing to take positive action and that volunteers are a part of
|Reminder: Post Your Educational Event to Our Calendar
As 2009 winds down, it's time to think ahead to what's
scheduled for the coming year. Please
remember that Energize offers a calendar of volunteer management-related workshops, conferences, academic courses, and more -- anywhere in the world -- and it's free
to post your event with us. As long as
your program is open to public registration and is focused on volunteer issues,
we are happy to help you spread the word. The power of the Web is that this sort of calendar promotes your event
far and wide, and you never know whether you'll attract someone from far away
who is visiting your city or someone from across the street whom you've never
met! Of course, you may simply want to
use the calendar to plan your own professional development opportunities.
about 2010 is a great lead-in to wishing all of our readers an abundant and joyful holiday season, with hopes for only good things in the new year.
- Best to you all, the staff at Energize, Inc.
|Susan's Tip of the Month: "Deck the Halls and Check the Pulses"
The end of
one year and the start of the next is a great time to "check the pulse" of
people in your organization. Keep things
easy with a very short feedback request consisting of only two main questions --
one looking back over the year ending and the other looking ahead. But ask for a specific number of short
responses to each.
the questions do not necessarily have to be about volunteers, nor do you have
to limit the participants to volunteers only.
In fact, asking everyone, regardless of position or pay status, to
respond will allow you to use the responses to demonstrate the role of the
volunteer office in organizational recognition and planning. Here are two ideas for how to do that, based
on the sample questions above.
- In 2009, what two things did you do or see someone else do that you felt were really important to the people we serve?
For 2010, what two things would help you to be even more successful in your work here?
many answers you will get to question #1 will make everyone feel good (it's that
time of year, after all). You might even
post the "really important" actions on big sheets of newsprint in some area
seen mainly by paid and unpaid staff. Make
sure the comments are legible and presented seriously, but you can also use
colored markers, glitter, whatever, to make these posters festive. (Be sure to
say something at the top such as "The Volunteer Office Wants You to Know..." so
that you get the credit for the idea!)
question #2, you might collate the answers and group them under topic
headings. Distribute the list to
everyone individually. There are many
ways you can go from there. You might
ask everyone to circle the five ideas they like the best and promise that, in
2010, you will attempt to put volunteer energy into those areas. Or you might offer to facilitate a meeting in
each unit or program to discuss what's needed and what you, collectively, can
do to accomplish this.
important caveat: Do not ask for any feedback that you can do nothing about! In other words, if you do not feel able
to tackle the issue of "what do you need to be successful," ask a different
question. The whole point is not to
conduct a survey per se, but rather
to use the holidays to make people reflect positively on what they did
throughout the year, and then to be upbeat for next year.
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/.