Chocolate Bars- Submitted by Linda Sunderland, Hospice Peterborough
Share Your Recognition Idea
We always have our volunteer recognition event
in June but I did not want National Volunteer Week to go by without some
special acknowledgment. During April, I sent all our volunteers a chocolate bar
and an invitation to our recognition BBQ in June.
It was such a small and simple gesture but I
have never had so much feedback. This way even the volunteers who never come to
events received a treat, and they were surprised and thrilled.
"If you can't go where people are happier, try to make people happier where you are."- Ashleigh Brilliant
Share Your Quote
|Energize Volunteer Management Update
|March Hot Topic: AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Targeting Volunteer
We are now seeing
implementation of the idea that AmeriCorps (and also Senior Corps) members can
be deployed as volunteer coordinators in organizations that do not have staff
to lead volunteer involvement. Susan examines the potential and
concerns of this initiative and concludes: "It is absolutely critical that
we, as professionals in volunteer management, monitor these developments and
get involved early, rather than too late." What do you think?
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.
|Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day - with a
What began over 16 years ago as "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" to show
girls the many types of careers adult women have, long ago expanded to include
boys and a larger scope. The idea is
described like this on the program's Web site:
to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work®
program goes beyond the average "shadow" an adult. Exposing girls and boys to
what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important,
but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and
possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing
them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps
toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to
their achieving success. Each year, we develop new interactive activities and
partnerships that will assist us in taking girls and boys to the future they
Doesn't it sound to you like volunteering fits right in, as
well? Ironically, the 2010 Take Our
Daughters and Sons to Work Day falls on April
22, right in the middle of National Volunteer Week in the USA and Canada. So...why not piggyback on the
publicity and hold a "Take Your Youngster to Volunteer Day"? Invite every volunteer to bring in a son,
daughter, grandchild, niece or nephew and throw a party to show what
mom/dad/gran/aunt/uncle does when she or he says, "I'm going to volunteer this
The day can be fun for everyone - and a nice form of
recognition event, too, since the volunteers will get to show off in front of
youngsters they care above. You'd also
be investing in the future, since these children will learn early that
volunteering is as important to life as a paid job. If you have any volunteers already taking
their children to their place of employment for the Day, suggest they add on a
visit to your agency at the same time.
Then, of course, write a press release and see if you can
get local media to cover your event as a "new twist" on a day that happens
Weekly "News from the Field" Postings
We send this Update monthly, but
also update the Energize homepage every week, on Sundays. Specifically, we select something of interest
that has come across our desks in the past week or so and post it as a "News from
the Field" item. We put a teaser line on
the homepage, but then describe the news in more detail on an interior page. You can
always catch up because we continue to show past news items in reverse
chronological order on that page. In
fact, we archive the news every six months and keep the archives also
accessible to you.
In February, the news items
included links to a major new report on Baby Boomers and volunteering, a
heads-up on an attempt to get the U.S. Congress to revisit the volunteer
mileage deduction issue, notice to nominate young volunteers for a $2500
award, and more.
You can get the news
item as an RSS text feed or follow us on Twitter, as we tweet the headline each week.
|Susan's Tip of the Month: Volunteers below the
Are you keeping track of all the volunteer
support your organization receives? Are you sure? In the course of a year, it
is common for agencies to benefit from the donated services of a wide range of
people, yet only those formally designated as "volunteers" are reflected in the
reports of the volunteer program. Who doesn't get counted? People who come to
the agency in a roundabout way, bypassing the procedures of the volunteer
services office - flying in "under the radar," so to speak. Examples include:
really matter if these service providers think of themselves as "volunteers,"
nor is it necessary to use that word to describe them. But here is what they
have in common with each other and with the more traditional concept of a
- Graduate students doing professional
internships. Often the contact is made by the university program directly to
the relevant department head (social work, nursing, etc.). Because these
students are just about fully trained and are called "interns," welcoming them
is seen as a professional obligation or courtesy by the staff, to whom it may
seem insulting or irrelevant to treat them as "volunteers."
- Groups who help the organization collectively,
perhaps for one visit a year such as caroling, garden clean-up, or running a
holiday party. Here the contact may come through an activity or therapy office,
or even directly through administration.
who visit under various types of chaplaincy programs. These visits frequently
go beyond an occasional friendly chat. They may be regularly scheduled and the
clergyperson may, in turn, recruit others from a congregation to provide
additional personal services. This is most often viewed as service to the
client, rather than as service to the organization.
of staff and board members. It is not uncommon for an agency to become
surrogate child care, particularly for teenagers. "Helping out" after school or
during long school holidays usually means coming to the office with mom or dad
and doing a variety of odd, generally menial, jobs. Even more frequent is
bringing along one's family members (of any age) to help at a special event.
or consultants with special expertise who donate their professional services,
generally directly to the board of directors or to the executive staff.
keep track of these time donors from an organization-wide perspective or are
they largely invisible? Without a process for integrating such service
providers into the volunteer corps, you won't screen them, have a record of
their service, report their contribution, or even thank them properly. They will
also miss out on support and appreciation, as well as invitations to contribute
in additional ways.
- Receive no financial
remuneration from the agency for their services (even if they are paid by
their own employers, they are not reflected on your payroll).
- Come to the facility for short
periods of time on a diverse schedule.
- Generally have no real
understanding of how your organization functions prior to coming in to
basic instructions to do their assignments properly (even the consultant needs
to learn how to use your phone system or database).
organizations want to demonstrate that intangible called "community support." If
you continually under-report the actual contributed services you receive by
ignoring volunteers normally below the radar, you aren't providing a true
picture of how many citizens prove through their actions that they care about
note about all those relatives of staff and volunteers who are dragged into
helping at a special event. Slap a button on them that says "official
volunteer," get their names, and give them some choice as to what they'd like
to do (rather than being a "go-fer" for their relative). Afterwards, say thank
you to them. You might end up recruiting
some genuinely willing volunteers!
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.
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