Stick with It!
When volunteers are discouraged, hand out sticky
notes, with "Stick with it!" written on top.- Submitted by Sara Ervin Share Your Recognition Idea
|Volunteerism Quote |
"A civilization flourishes when people plant
trees under which they will never sit."
- Greek Proverb Share Your Quote
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|Energize Volunteer Management Update|
|September Hot Topic: |
Information Overload - and How to Cope
Today the most important tool for life-long learning is the Internet and,
in only two decades, we've seen the evolution of ever more powerful electronic
tools. The trouble is that we are drowning in data. What does this
mean for our own professional development and for volunteer involvement?
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.
| New! Toolkit for Busy Execs
by Betty Stallings|
checklists, worksheets, idea stimulators, real-life examples,
self-inquiry assessments and more, are designed to be used immediately to guide
planning and decision-making in key aspects that are crucial for executives to
take a lead role when involving volunteers such as fund development, planning
and policy development, and evaluation.
Leading the Way enables readers to
implement, quickly and effectively, the key concepts from the newly revised 3rd
edition of From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement.
the Way will be available by the end of September. Pre-order today and save
|Plan Ahead for International Volunteer Managers
Day - November 5th|
Update readers already know that
behind the legions of volunteers who serve our communities
...lies an equally dedicated group of
individuals and agencies who are responsible for the coordination, support,
training, administration and recruitment of the world's volunteers - skilled
professionals who are adept at taking singular passion and turning it into
effective action.And that is the
premise behind International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay), celebrated annual on the 5th of
November - only two months away. Andy
Fryar, chair of the IVMDay International Planning Committee, writes: "We have
been thrilled with the amount of activity which is already being organically
planned right around the world by volunteer management groups - but we are
always keen to continue to spread the word."
The IVMDay Web site explains the
history and purpose of the day, reports on events that took place last year on
5 November, and even provides the official logo (shown here) in a wide range of
downloadable formats. There is a great list of ideas for how to celebrate IVMD, too. Here are four from the list:
- Coincide annual conferences to fall on IVMDay and
then make it a feature of the program.
- Have the President of your VM network/DOVIA write a
letter to the line manager/CEO of each member telling them how important the
work the VPM does in their agency is.
Remember to send a thank-you message to the extended
group of staff in your agency who support the work of volunteers (but who may
not be recognized as a VPM). It's a great way to gain support and educate.
You can also exchange
ideas with colleagues on the IVMDay Facebook page.
Send an e-card to your peers and colleagues.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Susan's Tip of the Month: Space
Planning to Support Volunteers|
space is at a premium for employees, don't be surprised if there's a problem accommodating
volunteers, too. Saying "we welcome volunteers" is contradicted if the person
has to hunt around for a work surface and chair or beg for someplace to store
materials in-between shifts. Assess available furniture and equipment in terms
of the impact of more people (volunteers) coming into the facility at various
Help staff in
each unit to think through where volunteers can sit at a clear surface and what
office equipment they can use. Where can messages be left for the
volunteer? Other volunteer work space needs include:
- Secure storage space for
volunteers' coats and other personal belongings (and uniforms, if
- Places for volunteers to store
work undisturbed from one shift to the next
- Volunteers who work one-on-one
with members of the public or clients may also need private talking areas
- Group work space for meetings,
training sessions, or special projects
common to budget for things like a new desk or extra telephone for each new
employee hired. Yet it is far from
common to routinely add such basic work tools for volunteers, generally under
the assumption that very part-time workers have fewer needs. Not necessarily. Placing a few extra desks in various offices
might prove useful for employees visiting from other sites or occasional
consultants, as well as for volunteers working a few hours at a time. Keep the
desks stocked with basic supplies, as well as with instruction sheets for using
the phone system or the copying machine, and they will be a welcoming "home
base" to assist volunteer productivity.
unassigned work stations available is also a way to give volunteers who usually
work off-site, independently in the field, or online a place to sit if they
come on site once in a while. This is
the nonprofit equivalent of corporate "hotelling" or "hot desking" practices,
providing unassigned seating in an office environment for a mobile workforce.
Sharing Staff Space
If your organization
has a cafeteria or lunchroom, a staff lounge, or even a coffee area, it will be
necessary to establish policies on whether and how such space will be shared
between employees and volunteers. Do not
leave this to chance. Without clear
guidelines, you run the risk of inadvertent and uncomfortable confrontation. Keep in mind that you may have many more
volunteers than employees on site at some times, and that some volunteers will
be teenagers or seniors or others unlike the paid staff.
the answers to these questions - and think through the implications and
alternatives of each decision:
- Are all volunteers to have full
access to all public and private space in the building (except for
personal offices)? If not all
volunteers, which ones? As
determined by whom?
- If food or beverages are
available, does everyone pay the same for them? If not, what are the criteria for paying
more or less?
- Is there some reason why
employees might want occasional privacy? Why? Where? Under what circumstances? How will this be explained to volunteers
consistently? (Now ask the same questions for volunteers.)
of details make work go smoothly for everyone and integrate volunteers into the
organizational environment in a welcoming way.
there be different rules for those volunteers who give many hours on a
consistent basis to the organization (versus those who come in once a
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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