A Free Evening
When it came time to recognize volunteers at the science center, I felt the best gift we could give our volunteers was a free evening for them and their families in our great facility. The bonus was seeing how easy it was to get staff to volunteer that evening so the volunteers could party.
The added bonus was hearing staff say the next day how much they enjoyed meeting all the volunteers and seeing how much these people loved our science center. The staff, especially those who didn't work closely with our volunteers, were especially struck by how much our volunteers treasured and valued what they did for us, and how proud they were to "show off" for their families...it was a great way to build camaraderie and a real morale booster. - Submitted by Marcia HaleShare Your Recognition Idea
|Volunteerism Quote |
"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's
- Abraham LincolnShare Your Quote
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|Energize Volunteer Management Update|
|July Hot Topic: The Correlation between
Time Donors and Money Donors |
Organizations need to
see that money donors and time donors are closely intertwined - and that people
move in and out of both roles over a lifetime. Volunteers are a critical
component of an organization's mix of resources, not only in contributing
skills but also as a potential source of money - a fact that leaders of
volunteers need to highlight more often. We need to cultivate all
supporters for the long-term.
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.
from the Everyone Ready Faculty|
The faculty of our online training
program, Everyone Ready, respond
to questions from learners on a discussion board that's accessible
year-round. Often their replies include
tips and links to sites that are not strictly volunteer related, but which have
value for volunteer program managers. (Sometimes the hints come from other
learners, too.) Here's a sampling:
Members of Everyone
Ready receive this sort of information on a regular basis! The topic starting on July 19th is "Generations: Adapting to Volunteers of Different Ages."
- Andy Fryar, in his current Self-Instruction Guide on
delegating, recommends finding a good
'to-do list' organizer to "coordinate the tasks you are left with after
delegation. I use a free resource called ToDoist." Andy also recommended the information and
downloadable worksheets on this page of businessballs.com: "Delegating Authority Skills, Tasks and the Process of Effective Delegation."
- One of the learners, joining in a discussion about
volunteers and American employment law, recommended the site "Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor,"
where she "looked at the searchable sections in regards to 'volunteers' and 'public
- Martin Cowling shared several online examples of volunteer handbooks:
- The "Pitfalls and Obstacles" seminar surfaced a
range of links, from free online scheduling software VolunteerSpot, to the article "Basics of Time and Stress Management" by Carter McNamara, to three articles on organizing/managing e-mail:
for Comments on Disney "Give-a-Day" Project and Cities of Service|
Energize is always considering
potential articles for our site and for publication in e-Volunteerism. Two topics currently intrigue us and we
are looking for colleagues willing to share their own experiences with these
projects. Can you help us? Here are the topics:
experience, good or bad, is welcome! We
may e-mail with you or telephone. Please
send a brief description of your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
- The "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" project that
launched early this year with lots of fanfare, reached its goal of one million
participants in a single month, and closed down. We particularly want to talk with agencies
who urged their volunteers to apply for the free tickets or who had an influx
of new volunteers who joined to get free tickets. We would also like insight into the
behind-the-scenes administrative process.
- The "Cities of Service" initiative that celebrated its first anniversary at the recent National Conference on Volunteering and Service in NYC. We are trying to find any city that can report actual accomplishments beyond the appointment of a "Chief Service Officer."
|Susan's Tip of the Month: Huge Conferences vs. Manageable Ones|
I've just returned
from the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City, where 6,000 attendees wore matching name badges
but only rarely had the chance to interact.
No event of this size can be truly satisfying. It might have some fun moments and, by the
luck of the draw, someone at your table in a workshop might be a great "find"
for networking. But if what you want is
real learning and sustainable exchange, avoid the mammoth circus in favor of
events gathering under 1,000 people.
For example, consider attending a state or provincial conference on
volunteer management. These rarely have the money for plenary sessions with
glitz and hoopla and so can focus on skill development workshops and
participant interaction. I have never found a planning committee that wasn't
thrilled by a registration from another geographic area (and when one comes in
from another country, there is
genuine excitement). You can find (and submit a posting for) regional
conferences in the events area of the Energize Web site.
Here are some ways to decide if a conference might meet your needs:
It always amazes me that people will go to a giant national conference
without any advance notice of what will happen there, while a little bit of
exploration will uncover conferences far less expensive and far more useful.
Give it a try - maybe I'll see you off the beaten path!
See if there is an online description of the
conference that gives details about the speakers and topics to be covered. If
the organizers can share such details in advance, there is a greater chance
that the event will actually deliver what it promises. Ultimately, avoid
conferences that cannot describe their program (even in a personal e-mail or
phone call), or have many slots with "to be announced."
- Consider physical logistics. Conferences are always
better if they have a home base. Be cautious about events that scatter
registrants across three or more hotels, since that means people sleeping off
site will not remain in the primary hotel's lobby or restaurants. This cuts
down on your networking opportunities and increases the amount of energy you
will expend during the event, too.
- Are you attracted to the location? Visiting a new or
appealing city is always a good reason to pick one conference over another -
really. Does the event have off-site learning opportunities such as field
visits or service projects? Even better.
- Learn about the keynote speakers. Often the
presenters in break-out sessions are local, which is fine. As with any
conference, you will find a range of solid speakers and inexperienced speakers,
which is not necessarily a big problem in a small group (if the person at least
has something worthwhile to share). But in a plenary session, you want to be
sure of quality. Personally, I try to avoid "celebrities" such as local tv news
anchors and all politicians! Google the names of the speakers and learn more
- Do not assume that travel will be expensive. I have
learned one truth from my airline experiences: you cannot predict the cost of a
ticket! Before you nix an event because of distance, check a travel booking
site and see whether there are any special deals available. This includes
checking what a room at the conference hotel costs if you do not book through the conference. Very
often you can get a better price on the room than the so-called "special
conference rate." It's worth a try.
- Contact whoever is listed under "for more
information." We are a friendly field. The person acting as contact point will
be more than happy to answer your questions, both about the conference itself
and about the people who usually attend - and also about what to do on a visit
to the area.
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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