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In this issue...

November Hot Topic: Part-time Volunteer Management Means Equally Limited Volunteer Involvement  


Thank You to Everyone Ready® Contest Participants

New Energize, Inc. Blog Coming Soon!

New Issue of e-Volunteerism Explores Credentialing/Certification in Volunteer Management

Susan's Tip of the Month: Little Things Mean a Lot

Recognition Idea

Women Volunteer: From Benevolence to Justice


Regis University celebrated the International Year of Volunteers in 2001 (IYV2001) by highlighting the streams of women who have volunteered throughout the history of the United States.


Submitted by Mary Lou McNatt, Regis University, Denver, Colorado, USA


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Volunteerism Quote

Here's a true story:  Daughter to her 90-year-old mother: "Mum, what about Meals on Wheels?" Mum replied: "No, dear, I don't think I could volunteer for them anymore."  


-- Participant at Australian Volunteer Conference


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e-Volunteerism: A journal to inform and challenge leaders of volunteers

Everyone Ready Online Volunteer Management Training
Energize Volunteer Management Update
November 2011
a1November Hot Topic:  Part-time Volunteer Management Means Equally Limited Volunteer Involvement 


The majority of people who lead volunteer involvement do so only part-time. There is a serious disconnect between an organization's desire to engage volunteers and an understanding of how much expertise and time are needed to ensure success. Why is the position underestimated?  How can we show that spending time on volunteer management is a necessity, not a luxury?


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. 

a2 Thank You to Everyone Ready® Contest Participants


Our Everyone Ready contest ended on October 31. We had an outstanding response! Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope it helped you and your executives consider how the entire organization could be better prepared to welcome volunteers as partners working toward the goals of your organization.


We are currently reviewing the entries. Winners will be announced by the end of November on the Everyone Ready contest page, Facebook, Twitter, and in next month's Volunteer Management Update.  We will also notify contest winners directly.


a3New Energize, Inc. Blog Coming Soon!

Sometime this month, visitors to the Energize site will discover some changes.  We are merging and expanding several of our longstanding features into a new, official  Energize, Inc. "News in the Volunteer Field" Blog. It will be posted at http://blog.energizeinc.com/  (the current home of the Energize Book Blog), with the newest post always visible from the Energize, Inc. Web site homepage. Why the changes and what do they mean?

  • International volunteer management news, currently a weekly posting on our site, can be provided on a more flexible schedule. We'll be able to share news with you promptly, even as events occur. The new blog format will allow readers (that's you!) to comment and respond, and to search for older news items more easily.
  • The current Energize Book Blog will no longer be a stand-alone resource, but its notices, interviews, and reviews about books in our field will continue as regular feature postings on the new blog. No need to go to a different place for this news.
  • The new blog will be searchable by type of posting, subject, and keyword. We have incorporated all past weekly news items and Book Blog postings made in 2011 into the new format, so you can already find things from the recent past. 
  • Postings will be made by different members of the Energize staff for their areas of focus. Clicking to the staff member's name will let visitors browse all the items written by each person.
  • Susan's monthly Hot Topic will remain exactly as it is now:  a provocative essay eliciting discussion among you in the field on a key topic for a full month.  It will remain the first feature on the Energize homepage and also be highlighted at the top of the News in the Volunteer Field Blog. 


a4New Issue of e-Volunteerism Explores Credentialing/Certification in Volunteer Management

All the articles in the latest issue of e-Volunteerism center on the theme of "Credentialing in Volunteer Management." This unique contribution to the field attempts, for the first time, to present an overview of what credentialing means and how it is being approached around the world.  Contributors from eight countries share their different approaches to the recognition of proven volunteer management skills. Don't miss this set of articles and do join in the international discussion!


e-Volunteerism is our international, subscription-based journal for  informing and challenging leaders of volunteers. The current issue, Volume XII, Issue 1, opened on October 15th and runs through January 15, 2012.


Articles already available include:

Articles yet to come this quarter:

You can subscribe to e-Volunteerism for a full year or for 48-hour access. Note that subscribers have full access to the Archives of all previous eleven volume years. 

a5Susan's Tip of the Month: Little Things Mean a Lot


We're coming to the end of the September-November conference "season" (everyone takes a break for the end-of-year holidays), and I've been reflecting on what separates a successful conference or training event from one that misses the mark. Of course it is vital to have expert, energetic speakers, but the real key is attention to detail. Whether you are planning a big conference, a local workshop, or even an in-house meeting, give consideration to:


Finding Everything

  • Accurate instructions for getting to the meeting site, with information on where to park or what public transportation is nearby, whether the venue has security precautions such as requiring ID or sign in, etc.
  • A floor plan on which the room names or numbers match whatever is shown on program materials indicating what takes place where.
  • If meals are not provided, suggestions for nearby places to have a meal or buy take-out.
  • If meals are included, note whether these are unstructured opportunities for talking with other participants, structured group exercises, or non-interactive while a speaker presents.
  • Include two check boxes on the registration or RSVP form that allow each participant to give permission 1) for his or her e-mail address to be shared with everyone else, and 2) for her or his photograph to be taken during the session and used in event-related reports or publicity. Then create and distribute a name and e-mail list - and take lots of photos!

Getting Acquainted

  • Despite the universality of nametags at group events, it is dismaying how few session organizers give much thought to them as a tool for exchange. The world's expert on nametags, Scott Ginsburg, has written many wonderful (and funny) things about these "front porch" discussion starters on his Web site at www.hellomynameisscott.com. One example: Nine Ways to Spice Up Your Nametag for More Engaging Conversation. At a minimum, nametags should:
    • Have everyone's first name written large enough to see from at least 10-15 feet away.
    • Be affixed high enough on the body to be easily readable and not continually flipping over (or else put the name on both sides).
    • Offer some identifying information other than name to jumpstart an initial conversation.
  • Plan something for people to do between arriving and the start of the meeting/event that is interesting and also encourages talking. A few ideas:
    • Open the exhibit area early
    • Provide coffee along with tables and chairs
    • Ask for a photo and one-paragraph bio from every participant and post these alphabetically along the wall (or cluster them under relevant headings). Leave some space around the pictures for sticky notes and invite people to write short messages to anyone they hope to meet in person throughout the event. (Anyone finding such a note can immediately "check out" the writer on the same wall.)
    • Recruit and train hospitality volunteers who proactively introduce new arrivals to a few other people (without being pushy, of course).
    • Hang some interesting, emotional, or funny photographs and run a silent caption contest, giving people cards on which to write their ideas and their names, then tack or tape them under the picture.
  • Alternate between letting people go or sit wherever they want and assigning them to be with a new group of colleagues. This can be done for breakout sessions, meal tables, or field trips. It's another way to use nametags, since the group assignments can be noted by colored dots or numbers in one corner of the tag. Note that even a small meeting can include some breaks for "change your seats" - this may be initially dismaying to some people, but ultimately introduces everyone.

Mental Preparation

  • When acknowledging registration, include something that will help participants to come to the event with the right mindset. This might be a set of questions, relevant data, motivational quotations, or anything else that provides immediate common ground. It could be links to articles or reports available online that offer useful background reading.
  • Rather than an "agenda" that simply shows the flow of time during the day, include bullet points under each agenda item with questions that need to be discussed or decided during that time slot or that summarize pro and con arguments on the topic.
  • Allow time before adjournment for everyone to reflect on what was discussed or learned and what next steps they each want to take upon returning home.
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 USA
Phone: 215-438-8342
Fax: 215-438-0434
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