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In this issue...

May Hot Topic: Three Things Volunteer Managers Can Learn from the Social Media Revolution 


Energize Books on Kindle

Calling All Authors and Readers: Take Part in the Books & Ideas Exchange at NCVS 2012!

More Opportunities for Writers

New in Our Online Journal, e-Volunteerism

Susan's Tip of the Month: Successful Delegation
Upcoming Volunteer-Related Events

May 2012


May 5: Join Hands Day, US 


May 14-20: Australia National Volunteer Week 


May 15: Governor's Conference on Volunteerism, Concord, NH, US 


May 22-24: Singapore Volunteerism Conference, Singapore 
Susan Ellis will be presenting


May 21-June 16: Everyone Ready Online Seminar and Discussion: Interviewing, Screening and Placing Volunteers  


June 2012


June 1-7: Volunteers' Week 2012 in the UK 


June 6-8: NYSADVS Professional Development Conference, NY, US 


June 16-20: National Conference on Volunteering and Service, Chicago, IL, US 


June 18-July 14: Everyone Ready Self-Instruction Guide and Discussion: First Days Count: Orienting and Welcoming Volunteers for Success


Submit an Event 

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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
May 2012
a1May Hot Topic: Three Things Volunteer Managers Can Learn from the Social Media Revolution


Guest commentator Rob Jackson draws three critical points from recent  social media data that have direct relevance to leaders of volunteers - and gives tips for responding.  Are you keeping up with how fast things are changing?


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. 

a2Energize Books on Kindle


This past December, Amazon.com reported selling more eBooks for its Kindle reader than books on paper and we bet many of you enjoy electronic reading on-the-go, too. The 2010 edition of From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement has been available on Kindle from day 1. Now we have added The (Help!) I-Don't-Have-Enough-Time Guide to Volunteer Management as a Kindle edition and plan to make other titles available in that format as well. Find the Kindle edition of both books in the Amazon.com Kindle store:

Stay tuned for the ePub versions for Nook and other reading devices. Those may be in the works as well.


a3Calling All Authors and Readers: Take Part in the Books & Ideas Exchange at NCVS 2012! 


Energize, Inc. is participating in a special way this year at the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS): we're in charge of the "Books & Ideas Exchange" in the conference exhibit area. This means we'll be selling a wide range of volunteer-related books in bound form while hosting a number of meet-the-author chats.


We'll offer printed editions (when available) of all titles in the Energize Online Bookstore as well as books by conference speakers and workshop presenters. In addition, if you have a favorite volunteer-related title that you would like to see in the conference store, please let us know no later than this Friday, May 4th.


Of course, if you are attending the conference in Chicago, please stop by to browse and buy (and introduce yourself!).


a4More Opportunities for Writers


While we're on the subject of reading and writing, there are a few opportunities open at  e-Volunteerism:

  • The Along the Web special feature in each issue is less of a writing challenge than a product of serious Web browsing, compiling an annotated list of Web sites on a chosen topic. The journal is looking for four individuals who are willing to commit to doing one Along the Web article each year. Of course, if two of you want to join forces and commit to doing two a year, we'd accomplish the same goal. We select the topics together in advance and then you have several months to do the work.    
  • Laurie Mook, the Research to Practice section editor, is seeking a panel of volunteer management practitioners to provide her with periodic reality checks about the frontline value of academic research she is reviewing. This is an on-call assignment for any of you who are intrigued by surveys and statistics.    
  • Starting with the next issue, Points of View will be written each quarter by a variety of people. Different members of the editorial team will take turns writing the essay, and we also welcome well-articulated perspectives from you, our readers. If you have an opinion you would like to explore in an essay - and open to discussion - please submit your idea. Any volunteer-related topic is fair game.

To express interest in any of these opportunities, or to submit a manuscript for possible publication as an article, please send an e-mail to editor@e-volunteerism.com.


a5New in Our Online Journal, e-Volunteerism


e-Volunteerism is our international, subscription-based journal for informing and challenging leaders of volunteers. The current issue is Volume XII, Issue 3. It launched since the last Update, with the following articles already available:

Still to come in the next two months:

  • "Reducing the Risks of Lawsuits Involving Volunteers"
  • "Volunteering Is Learning: The Volunteer Manager as Trainer"
  • A review of the study, "Social Computing Technologies: Supporting Volunteer Bridge-Building Work?"

This issue continues through July 14th when the new quarterly issue will be posted. 


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 twelve volume years.


PayPal option added! We have just created a link for journal subscribers who wish to pay for the journal using PayPal.


a6Susan's Tip of the Month: Successful Delegation 


One of the most important skills needed to be effective in working with volunteers (or, for that matter, in working with paid colleagues and even members of your family) is that of delegation. Here are some reminders of what it takes to share work successfully, adapted from a section on delegation in The (Help!) I-Don't-Have-Enough-Time Guide to Volunteer Management (now available in the Amazon Kindle store):

  • Recruit the most appropriate person (or team) genuinely willing to handle the task. Don't fall into the trap of settling for the nearest available warm body.
  • Discuss the work to be done in detail, negotiate how it will be done (as well as the end product), and then create a written assignment description.
  • Define your role in relation to the delegated project, too.
  • Tasks you assign to others should be concrete and manageable, with clearly-defined timeframes and deadlines. Define complex tasks in stages, so that people can feel a sense of achievement as each benchmark is reached.
  • Tell the truth about the time required to do the job properly and your expectations for when it should be finished. Similarly, whenever possible, assign the whole task at once, rather than revealing something new each week.
  • Give people titles to match the responsibility they will be handling, and then consistently refer to these titles yourself.
  • Give the person/team information that sets the task into context. People work more intelligently when they understand how their activities mesh with the activities of others, or how a new task builds on a previous one and, in turn, brings the organization closer to its goals.
  • Identify and provide access to resources and materials the person/group can use to get the job done.
  • Never underestimate the importance of good instructions. A basic part of training, instructions are the key to starting a job. Do not assume that anyone, particularly a volunteer, is completely familiar with your office procedures, policies, legal regulations, or anything else affecting a task. Instructions can include samples of similar work; knowing how something was done in the past is a great beginning point for a new job.
  • Discuss some alternate contingency plans, should an original tactic not be successful.
  • Set limits: At what point must you be consulted or involved, approve expenditures, receive progress reports?
  • Remove limits: Encourage people to exercise creativity and initiative in those areas where there are no hard and fast rules to be followed, or where you feel they have adequate expertise.
  • Develop a reporting plan: How often and in what form (e-mail, phone, face-to-face in person or online with webcam) will you communicate with each other about progress? Negotiate the frequency of contact necessary to offer mutual feedback and support.
    • Do not ignore silence (and don't be silent yourself). Communication is the most important element in a successful collaboration. It allows both of you to feel that you are on track and, if a problem arises, it will not fester. Volunteers feel more appreciated when they know you are aware of their efforts.
  • Once you've delegated, don't undercut the independence of the team member. For example, refer all questions about the delegated project to the person responsible.
  • Make it a condition of starting a task that the volunteer commit to training his/her successor or replacement. Though this may not always work perfectly because of the frequent time lag between needing a volunteer and finding one, people should know they are expected to help assure a project's continuity. Therefore they might even return to your organization for a day or two to help train the new team member. Another strategy is to ask team members to keep a written record of their procedures that can be passed on to their successors. None of us wants to think our hard work will be lost indefinitely, so passing the torch is satisfying.
  • When you begin a new delegation, set a time to meet or talk again fairly soon. This appointment provides an incentive to the team member to make some progress by then and gives you the opportunity to assure yourself that things are off to a good start.


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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