months before the annual recognition event, the director of volunteers of a
mental health center began to take photographs of volunteers while they were
"on the job." They thought this was for PR purposes.
At the event,
each volunteer received a photo of him/herself in a matte frame imprinted with
a thank you message. It certainly showed "we see you" as a volunteer! - Observed at Hall-Mercer Mental Health Center, Philadelphia, PA Share Your Recognition Idea
|Volunteerism Quote |
"I did not find the
world desolate when I entered it. My fathers planted for me before I arrived,
so I plant for those who come after me."
- from the Talmud Share Your Quote
|Connect with Energize|
|Energize Volunteer Management Update|
|August Hot Topic: Limiting Volunteers through Insurance
Self-help and other volunteer groups are
increasingly being prevented from serving the community because of demands to
carry liability insurance. It may sound reasonable to require insurance, but is
this just another way of saying "no" to volunteer initiative? The real
question is: "What is the risk of not doing something?"
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.
|Need to Educate Your Organization about
In the past few months we've welcomed some
wonderful national organizations as new members in Everyone Ready®, our online volunteer management
training program, including AFS-USA and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. But we thought it might be helpful to remind
everyone that you do not have to be a huge, multi-site organization to get the
benefits of this great resource. In past
Updates we've told you about individual enrollment, but this time we want to
focus on the plan we offer for organizations wanting to enroll up to 75
The Limited Basic membership is designed for smaller agencies, generally
with one main location. In many ways,
this special enrollment option provides the same resources as what national
organizations get, but at a lower cost because of the limit of 75
learners. This means that up to 75 staff
members (and/or leadership volunteers) get:
this for less than $9 a month for each of 75 people! This makes it
cost-effective for staff development in a hospital, museum, private school,
county park system - all sorts of settings in which volunteers are active, but
the staff may never have been trained in how to partner with and support volunteers.
- Year-round access to Everyone Ready monthly training materials: six online seminars and six self-instruction
guides, plus 365 days of discussion board Q&A with the expert trainer for each
featured topic. There are 12 new topics
- A library of self-instruction guides and the
introductory seminar, Building the Foundation for Volunteer Involvement, that remains available to learners for as long as you continue enrollment.
- Full access to the current issue of e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community and to the complete archive of all past journal articles (over 320 and growing).
- Interaction on the discussion board with the
learners in all Everyone Ready member organizations.
that larger organizations may want to pilot
test a more extensive enrollment in Everyone
Ready by starting with the Limited Basic plan and allowing some staff to
Not in the USA?
special note to our non-American colleagues.
We have had organizational members in Canada and Australia, and
individual members from several other countries - and trainers from outside the
too. While the materials are presented
in English, we work hard to make the examples universal. We invite you to try Everyone Ready and see how applicable the principles are to your
work anywhere. We're so sure you will
find the seminars and guides useful that we promise to return your enrollment
fee if you feel the content is too American to adapt to your situation. And we always welcome suggestions from all
our members to make our materials even better.
Everyone Ready members are enjoying
the seminar on "Generations: Adapting to
Volunteers of Different Ages," led by trainer Peter Brinckerhoff. It will be succeeded in mid-August by Katie
Campbell's self-instruction guide, "Mandated Service: A Human Resource
Opportunity." In mid-September it's
another brand-new seminar on emerging trends and issues facing volunteer
projects, presented by Susan Ellis. See the whole list of upcoming topics.
|While Supplies Last: A Chance to Buy Out-of-Print Books|
Sue Vineyard of Heritage Arts was
clearing out her inventory and offered us the remainder of three classic titles
that are now out of print:
So, we are offering these titles
in our online bookstore while
At the same time, we have several
copies of Linda Graff's respected risk management books in printed form. We
normally only carry Linda's books in e-book form, so now is your chance to
order them in paperback and have them shipped from our office in the U.S.
Many of these titles are available both in
e-book and printed versions, so please be sure to add the edition you want into
your shopping cart by selecting the correct button.
And for one more perk, we are
offering Ivan Scheier's last book, Making Dreams Come True without Money, Might or Miracles, at a special 50% discount! It is only available as a print book. If you haven't been inspired by Ivan's unique
perspective on the role of a leader of volunteers as a "dream catcher," you
should get this volume now.
|Susan's Tip of the Month: Learning from Supporters and Detractors of Volunteers|
If you're like me (and a lot of
volunteer managers I've known are!), you really want to please everyone. Of course this is unrealistic, but it ought
to be possible to create more supporters of volunteers in your organization
Begin by identifying who on
staff is a real champion of volunteer involvement - the people you go to if you
need a creative role for a volunteer or anything else special. On a piece of paper or an Excel spreadsheet,
write down their names in a column (if you don't want anyone to see your list,
use code names!). Then, next to each,
identify why you think each person is
so positive. Is it because:
Obviously there are many
other possible factors.
The volunteers you've assigned to them in the past have been
They are secure in their work and so able to share it more easily?
They are naturally warm and welcoming?
They have a good relationship with you?
Their direct supervisor rewards success with volunteers?
In the third
column, identify what benefits the
staff member seems to derive, personally, from success with volunteers. Things like gains a sounding board for new
ideas, access to many different skills, more ways to help their clients, etc.
Now draw a line across the
page and do the same thing for staff members who are often positive, but not
always. Can you find reasons for their
occasional reluctance by comparing your answers in columns two and three to
what you identified above for the greatest supporters?
Draw another line across the
page and repeat the process for those who seem "on the fence" or neutral. Do it once again for those staff who are
more often negative than positive.
Finally, analyze those staff who really seem "bent on destruction" - who
are always negative about volunteers.
As you look at the possible
reasons why detractors might be that way, you will be able to separate issues
out of your control from things you can possibly do something about. Are their attitudes based on bad experiences
with recent volunteers or on unsubstantiated prejudice? Might they be completely untrained in how to
partner with volunteers, and yet not realize that? Do they receive feedback from their managers
about how well they do or do not work with volunteers?
So now you can make a fourth
column headed "What I Might Do." Consider how you might use what you have diagnosed about supporters to
approach resisters. Are there real issues
that you can take care of and change the situation (such as not assigning
volunteers at particularly hectic times or requisitioning another
workspace)? Is there a way to ask for
the help of supporters to do some peer outreach to their more negative colleagues?
The real point is that
rarely is there only one reason why volunteers are welcomed or not. It comes down to personal relationships with
each staff member - both with volunteers you may ask them to supervise and with
you as leader of 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.
5450 Wissahickon Ave. C-13
Philadelphia PA 19144
|Pass It On!
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news groups and others who work with volunteers.
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