Our Girl Scout troop will be recognizing parent volunteers with a "boxed dinner." It has all the dry ingredients packaged up nicely with a recipe for an easy meal on a busy night, with a little clock tag saying "thanks for the gift of your time."- Submitted by Tracy Lindsay
Share Your Recognition Idea
"How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world."- Anne Frank
Share Your Quote
|Energize Volunteer Management Update
|January Hot Topic:
Differentiating between Volunteering and Working
Much of volunteer management today focuses on the
similarities of volunteers and employees. As a practical matter, this is
appropriate. But it is also limiting. It tends to push volunteers
into uniformity rather than celebrating their potential to act with far fewer
boundaries. Think of what we might accomplish if volunteers had free rein
to make the most of what distinguishes them from a paid work force.
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.
|Everyone Ready® Starts Sixth Year
The new year is also
anniversary time for Energize's online volunteer management training program, Everyone Ready® - and it's now year #6. Over time, we have been pleased to enroll over 25 national organizations wanting
to offer access to high-quality resources about working successfully with
volunteers to their whole network of paid staff and volunteer leaders. If you work for one of these organizations,
we hope you are making use of the program, which offers a new topic from an
expert trainer every month. (If you want to know if your organization is a
current member and how to get access to the program's resources, just e-mail us
You can also get an individual membership in
Everyone Ready and multiple individual
enrollment discounts are an option for a professional association wanting to
offer a benefit to a group of its members.
The next online
seminar is Pitfalls and Obstacles to
Volunteer Involvement: Your FAQs, in
which a panel of faculty respond to concerns and issues commonly raised by
people in daily contact with volunteers.
Take a Trial Run now!
|International Resources Broaden Horizons for Us
Energize tries hard to offer you
the best information and materials from around the world. Yes, many of the things you will find at www.energizeinc.com are from the United
States, but the real common denominator
is that we connect you to resources in the English language. That opens the door to information from many
countries, from the UK and Ireland to Australia and New
Zealand, but also Singapore, India, and more. Further, because many people can read English even if they do not often
speak it, the materials on our site can be helpful to colleagues just about
anywhere. Our journal, e-Volunteerism, has a truly global subscriber list and
contributors to date have come from over 20 countries.
One of the reasons that we made a
commitment to selling electronic books is to be able to serve the international
community. You can buy on online with a
credit card, which pays Energize in US dollars but which you then will pay in your currency - and you have immediate access without shipping time
or costs. Conversely, for American
customers, we offer titles from Canada, England, and Australia that are
not otherwise easily found.
Throughout the Energize site we
make every effort to include resources for leaders of volunteers, such as
volunteer centers, professional associations, journals, online discussion
forums, blogs, and more from as many countries as possible - including in our
calendar of training events and conferences. We rely on all of you to tell us if something is missing or needs to be
By the way, we are happy to post
conference announcements or descriptions of professional associations, for
example, in the host country's language, providing you give us the exact
wording (and spelling) and explain the posting in English as well.
|Blogs Are Springing up All Over
No section of our Web site has
grown as rapidly as the listing of volunteer-related blogs. It
has tripled in the last half-year alone! Check out the wide variety of opinions
and perspectives about volunteering in the "blogosphere" - including Energize's Book Blog that we launched last year. As always, we
welcome you to tell us about other blogs for our field that we might have missed.
|Susan's Tip of the Month: Orientation
and Training Are Different
In casual conversation, we often link "orienting
and training" together and, of course, they are related - but they are not the
same. They are sequential, with
orientation (British colleagues say "induction") coming first.
Orientation places the new volunteer into context. It provides an introductory overview of your organization,
sets the tone you want, and clarifies rules and procedures applicable to
all. It's important that orientation be
provided consistently for every
volunteer, regardless of position or background (except, probably for volunteers in single days of service, though
they, too, need some context for their work).
Because it is done for all volunteers, in most agencies, orientation
sessions are created and presented centrally by the volunteer services office,
including such elements as:
Training includes both initial training necessary for each volunteer to get started on his
or her assignment and in-service or ongoing training that can be offered to
keep skills current over time or simply as a way to maintain enthusiasm.
physical tour - with basics such as how the phone system works or where to
store personal belongings
- Introductions to key people - or at least a list of staff and volunteer names
- How to find information when needed
- Emergency procedures
Initial training must be relevant to each specific
volunteer position description, and also must be tailored to the abilities and
experience of each volunteer. Therefore,
it is usually provided by the volunteer's direct supervisor or someone in the unit
where the work will be performed. To be
effective, the trainer needs to:
Ongoing or in-service training is both skills-oriented and a perk for
volunteers. Therefore, you can involve
volunteers themselves in planning and delivering such sessions. Be clear on your objectives (freshen skills?
develop team spirit?) and then design a process that achieves those objectives. Consider:
- Distinguish between what someone needs to know before starting on an activity vs. what can continue to be taught over several sessions as the volunteer is on-the-job.
- Develop content based on learning objectives for the distinct elements of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
- Understand that sometimes what is needed most is simply good instructions!
whenever possible, mesh what you offer volunteers with training that employees
get. This should be two-way: volunteers should be invited to staff
professional development, but the volunteer office can also score a lot of
points if the in-service sessions you offer are equally available - and of
interest - to paid staff!
needs a group meeting, but also what can be shared through the written word?
you build in cross-department fertilization?
updated information be made available to volunteers via a password-protected
area of the agency's Web site?
you collaborate (and share the work) with other nearby or similar organizations
to bring in guest speakers for all of you at once?
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/.