Volunteer Power News - Number 114
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2012 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: The New, New Breed of Volunteer is Even Newer
The Occasional Volunteer
How do we engage volunteers who are merely fulfilling a requirement? They have little passion, if any, for their involvement, which is very different from most of our volunteers. Some of these requirements might be a court ordered demand, an organizational requirement such as a homeowners association, or the demands of an youth organization for parents to take their turn as a volunteer.
In response to our last newsletter, The Challenges and Opportunities of Leading Four Generations of Volunteers, I received the following e-mail from Denis O'Brien, Volunteer Development Manager for Foroige, in Ireland. They are tackling the problem of what I have called the non-volunteer volunteer head on, and I want to share it with you. When I got his e-mail, I was fascinated by his term, "the occasional volunteer."
Here is the e-mail I received from Denis:
I work as the "National Volunteer Development Manager" for one of Ireland's largest and leading youth organizations. We have been operating for 60 years and originally based much of our work on that of the 4H organization in the USA. We reach more than 10% of the population of 10 to 18 year olds, have 5,500 volunteers and 370 staff. For more see www.foroige.ie.
I am really interested in your non volunteer volunteer article - we have loads of those! Our youth groups all over the country draw up rotas [a U.K. term meaning a register of names showing the order in which people take their turn to perform certain duties] of parents - against our advice. We want a core group of passionate people and indeed a group of 4 or 5 of those is enough to run one of our groups - but so many people get involved because they feel they have to, no one else will, or because they want something for their young people and no one else is providing it. Almost inevitably such people cease volunteering when their own children age out of the group.
What we have introduced is a concept of "occasional volunteer." This allows clubs to draw in parents up to 5 times a year without requiring them to attend training, or go through reference and Garda (Police in Ireland) checks. These occasional volunteers are not allowed unsupervised access to young people or to deal with behavior issues. They are the extra pair of hands on a day trip or big event, or to fill in if a regular volunteer is absent etc.
It does not solve every problem - we have had to revise our recruitment procedures to clearly state that volunteers are those who freely give time etc. and state that young people cannot be excluded because their parents are not able to volunteer.
As we develop better communication systems, I hope to develop strategies to draw in some of these volunteers to become more passionate and perhaps swell the 10% a bit more through telling them of the value of what they do and the impact on the young people.
I loved "The New Breed" and always read your monthly newsletter. Many thanks
After reading his e-mail, I spent a very enjoyable time on Foroige's, website. I recommend looking at it. Finally I contacted Denis and asked his permission to reprint his letter. Denis not only gave me permission, but he sent me the following policy document description about the occasional volunteer.
Occasional volunteers are those who help out at once off events/ programmes / trips on an irregular basis, but in any event not more than 5 times a year. The category of Occasional Volunteer does not include those who attend the club regularly on a rota basis.
The Recruitment Process
These do not need to undergo the normal recruitment process, nor do they do not need to undergo Garda Vetting. However it is required that occasional volunteers must always be accompanied by a regular voluntary adult leader/paid staff when with young people. It is recommended they attend a preparatory meeting with the regular leaders but in any event should be given clear information on:
Denis commented about policy document description: "It's a bit dry and legalistic but such is the nature of procedural documents."
Thanks so much, Denis, for sharing this with us. I give you props for deciding to do something about the problem of the occasional volunteer. You are doing a great work, and we share your passion for the youth of Ireland (and the world).
Check This Out: Tom McKee Speaking at ReGroup-January 21-23 in Loveland, Colorado
Reaching Today's Volunteer
Most of my workshops are not open to the public, but are designed for a specific non-profit organization. However, I am going to be teaching The New Breed, Volunteer Power workshop that is open to the public in Loveland, Colorado in January 2013.
The January Conference
Focus on Faith-Based Organizations
January 21-23 (A three-day conference)
Understand, empower and grow the volunteers in your ministry!
We know that finding (and keeping!) good volunteers is challenging. We've created this leadership training event to equip you with the best tools and knowledge to help you understand today's volunteer. You're invited to join us for a 3-day interactive training with Thomas McKee. It's a time for learning, sharing with others, and getting tangible tips you can take back to your church to multiply your volunteer involvement.
This training will help you:
Download Conference Information
January 21-23, 2013, Loveland, CO
Before December 31st: The cost for the ReGroup is $149. Only $119 per person if you register 2 or more!
After December 31st, 2012: $199 per person.
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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