Energize Inc. logo
In this issue...
July Hot Topic: The Correlation between Time Donors and Money Donors

Hints from Everyone Ready Faculty

Looking for Comments on Disney "Give-a-Day" Project and Cities of Service

Tip of the Month: Huge Conferences vs. Manageable Ones
Recognition Idea
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 Hale

Share Your Recognition Idea

Volunteerism Quote
"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own."

- Abraham Lincoln

Share Your Quote

Connect with Energize

Follow us on Twitter   Find us on Facebook

e-volunteerism logo

Everyone Ready logo
Energize Volunteer Management Update
July 2010
a1July 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
You can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or RSS text feed -  or listen to the audio online.

a2Hints 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."

a3Looking 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:
  • 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."
Any experience, good or bad, is welcome! We may e-mail with you or telephone. Please send a brief description of your experience to info@energizeinc.com. Thank you!

a5Susan'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:
  • 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 about them.
  • 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.
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!

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/.