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In this issue...

October Hot Topic: Practicing What We Preach: Volunteers Helping Us, Too 


Volunteer Management Videos on YouTube

Success Stories from Everyone Ready Members

New in Our Online Journal,

Susan's Tip of the Month: Observe Your Way to Becoming a Better Trainer
Upcoming Volunteer-Related Events


October 2012


Oct. 7: Sewa Day 


Oct. 11-12: OHVMA Annual Fall Conference 


Oct. 15-Nov. 17: Everyone Ready Online Training: Formulating Organizational Policies that Support Volunteer Involvement 


Oct. 27: Make a Difference Day (U.S.)


November 2012


Nov. 5: International Volunteer Managers Day!


Nov. 7: People to People International Global Youth Forum


Nov. 15: National Philanthropy Day (U.S.)


Nov. 19: Everyone Ready Online Training: Educating Up: Gaining Executive Support for Volunteer Engagement

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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
October 2012
a1October Hot Topic: Practicing What We Preach: Volunteers Helping Us, Too


One of the enduring mysteries of the volunteer management field is how often those who lead volunteer efforts do not build a team of volunteers to help them in their important work. Do you?


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. 

a2Volunteer Management Videos on YouTube


Last month we alerted Update subscribers about International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay) coming up on November 5th. Colleagues at Volunteering Queensland (AU) have been creating lovely "teasers" based on this year's theme: "Leaders of Volunteers: Who Else Could Do That?" See those already available and stay tuned for more.


Volunteering Queensland is doing wonderful work in video year-round. They have a video team of volunteers who produce regular YouTube clips on a wide range of subjects. Check out the variety at Volunteering Qld TV or browse their "playlists" ranging from "Cultural Stories of Volunteering" to "Queenland's Disaster Readiness Challenge" to a youth-led creative series called "Volunteering Banned."


DoSomethingU also has a YouTube channel that directs its messages to young adults and teens. See How to Recruit and Keep Volunteers - a 4-minute overview with clever visuals by Micaela Connery.


Other video-sharing sites are also popular and can be searched for volunteer-related posts, including blip and vimeo.


There's also TED, the nonprofit site dedicated to "ideas worth spreading." In their "Talks" section, you'll find video presentations - all under 6 minutes in length - on many fascinating subjects. Try starting a discussion at your next volunteer training session with one of the ones tagged "politics," "humanity," or whatever piques your interest.


You never know what you'll find on YouTube these days. Try searching on terms such as "volunteer management" or any subject for which you'd like to find a discussion starting tip. In preparing this section for the Update, Susan searched her own name and discovered an interview she had done two years ago during a conference - but she never knew was actually posted. It's on trends in volunteering.


And, for those of you who missed it a few months ago, our "Top Ten Reasons Why Your Organization Does NOT Need Training in Volunteer Management" is still viewable.



a3Success Stories from Everyone Ready Members


Our Everyone Ready online training program has an impact on more than just how member learners handle their jobs. We've heard many stories of organizational-wide success. In a new section of the Everyone Ready information site, we have begun to share some of those stories from our members. Read them here.


Individuals can now enroll in Everyone Ready for just $49 a month! (Sign up now and get 3 free trainings!) Automatic monthly payment or you can stop your membership any time after the first two months. Sign up for a full year and save 20% off. Learn more.



a4New in Our Online Journal, e-Volunteerism


e-Volunteerism is our international, subscription-based journal for informing and challenging leaders of volunteers. Since the last Update, the following articles have been posted to complete Vol. XII, Issue 4:

  • Learning Technology Platforms: The Next Step in Training Volunteers in which Sue Jones, Training Designs Editor, reviews some of the exciting new online tools for trainers of volunteers.
  • This quarter's Points of View essay (always accessible to any site visitor free of charge) is Keeping the Plural in Points of View, Susan J. Ellis gives everyone the opportunity to identify key issues faced by volunteer management practitioners today. A big thank you to the 9 readers who have responded to date. Read their thoughts and add your own for the next two weeks!

The next quarterly issue will be posted on October 15th. Upcoming new articles include: a report on happenings in New Zealand to build support for the position of manager of volunteers; advice for becoming a more effective writer to attract and motivate volunteers; an essay from 1982 on working women and volunteer organizations (Voices from the Past); a study identifying hidden conflict between volunteers and agencies in Western Australia; and more.


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.



a5Susan's Tip of the Month: Observe Your Way to Becoming a Better Trainer


Every leader of volunteers is a trainer. Sometimes it's obvious, as when we present orientation/induction sessions, create an in-service volunteer training workshop, or speak at staff meetings. Other times it's much more informal, as we convey all sorts of information and offer support through conversations and even e-mails.


How successful are you in the role of trainer? You can improve your skills or add new training techniques to your repertoire by intentionally observing learning situations led by others. In other words, when you are the learner, step back mentally to watch how you are being taught as well as paying attention to the subject matter itself.


Here are some questions to guide your observations. In all cases, you may find examples of great training techniques or bad ones - but you can learn something from either perspective.


When participating in a session with professional conference or workshop speakers, ask yourself:

  • How did the speaker/trainer open the session? Was it effective in getting the audience's attention? Why or why not?
  • In general, how did the speaker interact with the audience?
  • What type of visuals did the speaker use along with oral presentation? How did s/he integrate those? How about use of handouts?
  • What small group exercises were used? How did the small groups form? Were the instructions clear? Was enough time allowed for discussion? How did the speaker "debrief" the exercise for the full group?
  • How did s/he transition from one topic or theme to another?
  • How did s/he deal with questions from the audience?
  • Did anything unexpected occur and how was it handled?
  • Did you laugh at any time and did it help you learn?
  • How did the session end?

During any in-house meeting (staff, committee, whatever), consider:

  • How did the leader open the meeting? Was the right tone set?
  • What's the balance between reporting and discussing?
  • Do all participants feel free to ask questions or make comments?
  • Which parts of the meeting felt most useful or informative and why?
  • Were written materials provided before or during the meeting and were they helpful?
  • How did the meeting end?

Similar questions apply to online training sessions, such as webinars.


The point is to be more intentional in your observations, specifically analyzing how and why one speaker engages you while another doesn't. (This is a great way to make a really boring session useful, of course!) For sessions that intrigue you, talk to some of the other people in attendance and see if they agree with your assessment of what worked. Depending on the situation, you can even talk with the speaker directly to ask why she or he chose a particular exercise or handled an incident in a certain way.


By making it a habit to observe any speaker or trainer (on television, too), you will become more aware of how important it is to present information in an engaging way - and how often the method and tone have a greater impact than the content itself.



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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