|Posted on June 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM||comments (0)|
1. Volunteers want you to be prepared for them.
Many of us at some point have worked in the temp world. A common experience is to be sent to an office to work only to find that the office is unprepared. So you sit around trying to look busy when really you are twiddling your thumbs. Don't let this happen to your volunteers. The temp worker, after all, needs the money and will likely put up with this, but your volunteers will see you as disorganized and inconsiderate. Don't bring a volunteer in until you have everything worked out, from the job description to a place to work with proper equipment, to something to do immediately
2. Volunteers want to feel welcomed.
Act as though your volunteer is a guest in your home. Show her around. Introduce him to your staff and other volunteers, have your executive director drop by and say hello and thanks. Don't let your volunteer feel uncomfortable for a minute. Show that your organization is warm, friendly, helpful, and happy to see your volunteer.
3. Volunteers want good training.
Even if the task assigned is a simple one, take the time to explain it, demonstrate it, and mentor the volunteer through the first few hours. Provide a buddy, another volunteer who is experienced, to help the new one. When training a group of volunteers, be sure to use adult learning techniques such as group involvement. Volunteers don't want to be lectured to. They want to participate in the training. Include in your training clear expectations for your volunteers. Let them know what the job entails and the quality measures that you will use to evaluate their work.
4. Volunteers want to do interesting work.
Most volunteers are willing to roll their sleeves up and do physical labor as long as it is meaningful. But grunt work is out. Do not use volunteers to do the tasks your staff doesn't want to do. Envelope licking, wheelchair pushing, and mindless filing do not appeal to modern volunteers. Think of your volunteers as extra staff who are capable of performing complex tasks that take advantage of their experience and skills. Provide leadership opportunities to those volunteers who are willing and have the time to shoulder more responsibility.
5. Volunteers want to know up front how much time the job will take.
Everyone is busier than ever, and many volunteers may only have time for short term assignments. Project-oriented, rather than ongoing, assignments seem to work particularly well. Decide how much time your job will need and include that when you publicize your volunteer position. Will it take 6 hours a week that can be done over three days? Does it need to be done on a weekend? Do you need your volunteer for the summer, for a season? Does the volunteer need to be available from 2 to 4 p.m. during the week?
Provide lots of options so that you can appeal to a busy soccer mom as well as the retiree who has more time. Think about offering "alternative" opportunities, such as project-based family volunteering and even virtual volunteering.
6. Volunteers want to be appreciated.
Tell your volunteers frequently that they are doing a good job. Although you will want to come up with some creative ways of formally saying thanks, don't overlook the power of a simple gesture such as taking them to lunch, providing a small gift, or sending a thank you card to their home.
7. Volunteers want to be communicated with.
Regular communication is motivating for volunteers, while the lack of it is one of the chief reasons volunteers become dissatisfied. Volunteers like to have a particular person who looks after them. If your organization does not have a volunteer coordinator, be sure to assign someone to be the point person for your volunteers.
Be ready to listen to volunteers and respond to concerns immediately. Don't just communicate via email with your volunteers. Telephone them, have meetings, invite them to stop by your office, mail them regular updates or a volunteer newsletter.
8. Volunteers want to know that they are helping to make the world a better place.
Let your volunteers know how they are making a difference. Share success stories about your clients and programs. Bring them up-to-date on progress toward your organization's goals. Let them see your work in action through tours, presentations on the issues by your experts, and by inviting them to provide suggestions about how your work can be done even better.
9. Volunteers want to be socially connected.
Volunteering is a great way for many people to socialize, so provide the opportunity to do so. Become a matchmaker for friend making. If you think a couple of volunteers would get along famously, provide that opportunity by assigning them to do a particular job together. Provide some time for coffee or lunch. Invite them to your events and follow up to encourage them to attend or even provide help in getting there. Invite a volunteer to become an informal social director who might provide outside opportunities for volunteers to get together.
10. Volunteers want to learn something new.
Anyone who is willing to volunteer for an organization is likely to have a healthy curiosity and willingness to try new things. Indeed, many volunteers do so just so they can learn new skills or about interesting topics and issues. Provide that opportunity. Turning your volunteer job into a mini-educational experience will be highly valued by potential volunteers and will likely result in some great referrals as your volunteers tell others about what a great experience they are having.
|Posted on June 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM||comments (0)|
With the resurgence in volunteerism inspired by the new president, you may be inundated with calls from people who have decided it is time to give back. It may be time to take a look at your volunteer program and spiff it up so that your volunteers will want to come and stay. Volunteers are not that hard to please.
This program of Volunteer Coordination is designed to give your agency the necessary tools and information about a few things volunteers have a right to expect from you - master these and you should be able to recruit and keep your volunteers. It also give you the information you need to give your volunteers so they know what you expect from them.
For some people, volunteering grows naturally out of an association with a group or because of a cause they passionately need to support. But for many others the desire to volunteer is more general - you know you want to do something, but you're not sure what, or with who, or for what cause.
At a time when many are worried that the United States is experiencing a general decline in civic and political engagement, volunteering appears particularly strong among today’s young people. While volunteering is just one form of community involvement, research has shown that it is often connected to other forms of engagement, and, among youth, volunteering plays a valuable role in shaping how youth learn to interact with their community and develop the skills, values and sense of empowerment necessary to become active citizens. (Corporation for National and Community Service 2005)
There is a large, growing youth population in the United States. Service learning and community service graduation requirements have increased awareness about volunteerism. Scholarship and university entrance requirements encourage students to gain volunteer experience. Studies show that young people are competent, reliable, committed volunteers when they find an organization that offers them meaningful work and respectful support.
The Corporation for National and Community Service released a study on youth volunteers in November 2005, as part of the Youth Helping America series, indicating 55% of people in the United States between the ages of 12 and 18 engaged in volunteer activities (15.5 million youth). These young people are volunteering at almost twice the rate of the adult population, which was reported to be 29% in the 2005 US Bureau of Labor Statistics Report. While more teens than adults volunteer, teens tend to volunteer less hours than adults, typically giving about 29 hours of service per year.
This survey reinforces previous surveys that suggested a growing interest in volunteerism among young people. This study reveals some additional interesting facts.
A youth with a parent that volunteers is nearly three times more likely to volunteer on a regular basis. The power of a mentor (parent or other significant adult) to influence volunteering had been confirmed in a variety of studies by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The overwhelming trend towards short term, episodic volunteering is consistent across a variety of age groups.
Organizations interested in engaging youth volunteers should design opportunities and projects that specifically appeal to today’s youth.
Young people today are much more globally aware than previous generations. They are interested in significant volunteer work that is directly connected to the mission or the cause.
Young people like collective action. They enjoy working collaboratively with all ages, but they also like to be treated as equals in the group. Young people prefer activities they can get their arms around and be involved in the entire project. They will bring additional resources to the project if they feel fully engaged.
The web offers young people an “at your fingertips” reference and referral service. Organizations need to be present on the Internet to attract and retain today’s youth.
Corporation for National Service (2005). Building Active Citizens: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering. Brief 1 in the Youth Helping America Series. Washington, D.C. Downloaded December 1, 2005 at http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/05_1130_LSA_YHA_study.pdf ; U.S. Department of Labor (2005). Volunteering in the United States. Washington D.C. Downloaded December 1, 2005: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.toc.htm
|Posted on June 25, 2010 at 12:26 PM||comments (0)|
All Non-Profits are invited to share their Mission Goals, Volunteer & Intern Opportunities, Wish Lists, Upcoming Calendar of Events and More...so we can share it with....
All Junior and High School Students who want to sign up for required Community Service Hours and Internships, and partner with...
All Local Businesses, Congregations & Community Organizations who want to see how they can make a positive contribution to worthy community enhancement projects and missions
|Posted on June 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM||comments (0)|
CSIVI Mission Statement: Bringing volunteers and opportunities together in rewarding community service projects to encourage civic and social responsibility in our youth and the community.
CSIVI Mission Development:
Community Service Involvement – Virgin Islands (CSIVI) believes young people bring vital resources to needs in their community an, in turn, personally benefit from the experiential learning such involvement brings. We are committed to the extended classroom of service to others because it allows students to synthesize and apply what they have learned, to realize themselves as contributors to society, and to gain experience in deciding direction for their lives.
Service to the needs of others is a personal act of caring reflecting sensitivity to the interdependency we share as human beings. It requires acquisition of skills and application of knowledge by informed, positive and productive participants. While the goal of service is to effect positive change in the lives of persons served, important by-products for the server are affirmation of self and growth of character.
Defining the nature of needs and taking action to meet them is an important endeavor. No educational system is fully responsible until it assists society in this vital process.