Volunteer Power News - Number 119
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2013 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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Featured Article: Why Have You Ignored Gen X as Volunteers?
Why Have You ignored Gen X as Volunteers?
"Since statistically 35-44 year olds have the greatest percentage of volunteers of all age groups, why are you ignoring this generation? You just focus on millennials and boomers. Why?" This is the question I was asked last month at a Q and A at the end of a workshop.
It's actually a very insightful question. At first glance, the statistics seem to indicate that generation X is number one in volunteering. Look at a quick summary of the report from Volunteering in the United States-Bureau of Labor of Statistics-2012:
First, since the question at my Q and A was focusing on numbers, let's look at some numbers-the total number of Gen Xers in the U.S.
They are the smallest generation, according to Jeff Gordinier in his book, How Generation X Got the Shaft, But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking,
But second, speaking of the number of volunteers, just where are the 31.9% volunteering?
We need to keep reading the findings of the Volunteering in the United States-Bureau of Labor of Statistics-2012 to discover what kind of volunteer activities that Gen X are doing.
Sarah Sanford, the director of membership for the Girls Scouts of Central California, reports the following:
Although Girl Scouts just celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and the organization continues to see strong interest from girls, it has struggled to meet demand because of a lack of adult volunteers willing to become troop leaders. In the 18-county area of Central California, there are 28,276 girls in 2,200 troops, with 10,000 registered adult members. Out of the adult members, about 3,000 work directly with the girls, while the remainder – mostly parents – help out occasionally. Sarah says that they lose 28 percent of their adult members each year, and they have an immediate need of close to 600 volunteers. . . . She recognizes that people today don't have as much time to volunteer. People are busier, and more moms are working. (Source: Sacramento Bee, Girl Scouts Volunteering)
Why do 28 percent quit each year? It is probably because their daughters are no longer Girl Scouts and the non-volunteer volunteer parent is no longer interested. This may not be the total reason, but I'm thinking it is probably the number one reason.
So who are the best prospects-the low hanging fruit-for recruiting volunteers?
Don't waste your time in trying to recruit the very busy, overworked, Gen X, non-volunteer volunteers who are already volunteering because of their children.
Instead go for the following:
Baby boomers are today volunteering at rates that exceed volunteering among this age group over past decades by as much as 50 percent. More importantly, this best educated, healthiest, wealthiest, and longest lived generation we've ever seen will conservatively double the number of older Americans volunteering within the next ten to twenty years. And, as we chart our course toward becoming a Service Nation, if the Boomers are the wind in our sails, the millennial generation is nothing short of a turbo speedboat engine.
Volunteer Power Key-Notes, Workshops,
Or An Education Day
Unleashing the Power and Passion of
A Whole New Breed of Volunteer
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Recruiting and leading the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way
Volunteers are passionate and the strategic challenge for leaders of volunteers is to know how to awaken this passion for our cause, and then mobilize passionate people for our cause. This is difficult because passionate people are often a pain.
These three workshops are filled with learning activities, case studies, and short video clips for discussion.
Keynote Presentation: The New Breed of Volunteer
The New Breed of Volunteer is very different from the 20th century volunteer. In this keynote presentation you will discover what the 21st century volunteer expects and what you must do if you want to recruit and lead the new breed of volunteer. We can't expect them to change, so we must know how to adapt our leadership style. Some of the characteristics of the New Breed of Volunteer are:
Follow-Up Workshop: The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting Volunteers
When we wrote the book, The New Breed, recruiting and leading the 21st Century Volunteer, in our research (and over 60 combined years of experience in leading volunteers), we identified the biggest mistakes that volunteer leaders are making in recruiting volunteers. In this workshop we will learn how easy it is to fall into the temptation of these traps, and what we must do to have a successful recruiting and screening process. The top mistakes were the following, which we have now labeled the Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting:
The content of the workshop focuses on how 21st century leaders must mobilize the unlimited power and passion of volunteers. Participants of the workshop will learn how to focus the energy of passionate volunteers. It's less about "management" and more about "empowerment." The participants will probe these topics:
Leadership strategies to unleash the passion
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