Volunteer Power News - Number 101
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2011 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
A warm welcome to all volunteer managers-those of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.
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In This Issue
Featured Article: One Third of Volunteers Do Not Return. How is Your Volunteer Retention?The annual Volunteering in America report for 2011 was released last month and has some interesting stats on the state of volunteerism in the US. The report, released by the Corporation for National and Community Service each year, is the most comprehensive longitudinal look at volunteering in the United States, spanning over a decade of service data.
One of the red flags of the report was volunteer retention. The report stated that over 1/3 of volunteers did not return.
Data from the Current Population Survey Volunteer Supplement show that about one third of volunteers tend to drop out of service each year. According to the most recent CPS data, 36.5 percent of 2009 volunteers - 23.1 million adults overall - did not volunteer again in 2010. This high rate of volunteer turn-over stunts the productivity of non-profit organizations as they focus on replacing volunteers instead of maximizing impact.
The report issued a call to action.
It's time to revive the call to action on volunteer retention. Each year about a third of Americans who served the previous year do not return the next year. Between 2009 and 2010, the retention rate dropped by two full percentage points, which could be a major reason why the rate overall dropped this year.
Why do people quit?
The report suggested the top reasons why volunteers stop serving and why non-volunteers don't volunteer.
The report uses the word "retention" to refer to any volunteers who do not come back after completing a volunteer assignment, whether it is a one-shot event or a year commitment. So the significant question is, "What can we do to keep them coming back?"
Susan Ellis, president of Energize Inc., reminded us that retention is not the goal-- it is the result of a well-led volunteer organization. I can't remember her exact words, but I was inspired some years ago when I got the point of her comments. When we are doing things right-- proper recruiting, leading, coaching, and empowering-- volunteer retention is not a problem. People will keep coming back. The bottom line is that we are not talking about retention, but effective leadership.
So what should we be doing?
Contact us to book a workshop or key-note presentation.
Check This Out: Using Technology to Mobilize he Collective Power of VolunteersThe following is an article that I wrote for Condo Board News about leading volunteers in a home owners association. Even though this article is specific for a homeowners association, I thought you would be interested in the technology aspect of volunteer leadership.
Using Technology to Mobilize the Collective Power of Volunteers
By Thomas W. McKee, Volunteer Power
E-mail is old school. Web pages are so 20th century. Are you still stuck in the 20th century or using 21st century Web 2.0 technology such as WIKIs,YouTube, Facebook, blogs and Twitter to crowdsource your volunteers?
Whoa? Crowdsourcing? Why do I want to crowdsource my homeowner's association members? Glad you asked, because crowdsourcing is the essence of volunteering. Crowdsourcing is a way to expand a task of one and open it to a large group of people. Homeowners associations have been doing that for years as they depended on crowds of volunteers to get the job done or sponsor an event. However, the social media has pushed crowdsourcing to a whole new level that is far beyond our wildest imagination. Crowdsourcing means creating short online activities that huge groups of people can do from their own computers in a short-period of time. With the use of the social media, you can recruit and retain your volunteers in effective and efficient ways.
Did you know that over 80% of people who watch YouTube videos and use Facebook and Twitter get involved in volunteer groups? In a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (The Social Side of the Internet), they found that social media users (Facebook, Twitter) are more likely to be active in volunteer groups: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants.
This report raises a very important question for those who manage volunteers. How can you take advantage of the social media opportunity to enhance your volunteer community?
Did you know that over 80% of people who watch YouTube videos and use Facebook and Twitter get involved in volunteer groups?
Many HOAs plan events such as charity drives, concerts, holiday parties or educational programs. Most homeowners do feel like they should be doing something, and they want to get involved. Here are several suggestions to enhance such events with technology.
Volunteer organizations often work so slowly. Web 2.0 speeds things up because you don't have to waste time sending documents back and forth either physically or through email. Web 2.0 gives more people in the organization more ownership of the volunteer work. It will remove many barriers of administration and bring more people together on collaborating work.
These are just a few examples of how technology will actually help the organization streamline costs and get more of the work done with more people. To find out more about how to use these tools, just Google any of the topics in this article and you will find a YouTube video on "how to . . ......" Let's face it; you can learn how to do almost anything on the web. Or check out the following websites for up-to date information:
Volunteer Power Key-Notes, Workshops, Or An Education Day
The New Breed of Volunteer
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Recruiting and leading the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way
THE STRATEGIC CHALLENGE
The questions: Volunteerism is hot. From American Idol, Disneyland, Glee, Lady Gaga, President Obama to Wells Fargo, Intel and Wal-Mart, giving back is the rage.
THE TECTONIC SHIFTS THAT ARE CHANGING VOLUNTEERISM
The 21st century volunteer culture is very different because of tectonic shifts that have changed volunteer leadership. These shifts have impacted the volunteer organization; therefore, how we recruit and lead the New Breed of volunteer is a whole new game. The tectonic shifts include the following:
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