Power News Number 22
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2004 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
A warm welcome to
all volunteer managers - those of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize
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Issue: Cool stuff that you have never heard before
I was preparing
to speak at a convention of volunteer managers and I was calling members
asking them the two questions that I often ask when I am preparing my
- What are you
looking for from your presenter? (Or, what is your biggest need?)
- What don't you
want to hear?
One person summed
up what everyone else was saying when she said to me these two statements:
- I want to hear
something I have never heard before
- I don't want to
hear what we always hear-the "R's" of volunteer management,
"recruit, reward, remind, re-frame, retain, refresh, restore, and
Wow-what a challenge.
But this volunteer manager was saying what we all feel, "Does anyone
out there have any fresh ideas.
YES! I took the
challenge and developed a presentation "Ten Things You Haven't
Here they are: This
month I will give you the overview-next month I will begin a series
talking about one or two a month. If you want to hear them all, they
make a great training day or conference speech.
I will be presenting
this information in Kansas City in October for Compeer-an very impressive
organization that recruits volunteers to serve as advocates, mentors,
and friends to very special adults and children being treated for mental
health and emotional problems. Compeer began with only 12 friendships
in Rochester and has grown to 120 programs in 33 states, Canada and
Cool Things You Need to Know About Volunteer Management
Some Cats Got It, Some Cats Don't (to quote the Big Bopper). There
is nothing you can do to motivate volunteers. Motivation is an inside
job and people do things for their reasons, not yours. So what? You
know this. But what you don't know is how to create a volunteer culture
that stimulates the inside motivation of each volunteer. If volunteer
managers knew how to do this, they would have a highly charged, motivated
Passion is more than motivation. Passion is why you get out of bed
in the morning. Passion is the synergistic connection of your gifts,
your temperament, and your motivation focused on a cause. Oh, you
know this also. But what most volunteer managers don't know is how
to tap into this passion.
Its not who we know. We all know that strategic alliances are the
core of finding a network of volunteers. But what we don't know is
that "its not who you know." If it were whom you know, then
you would never be looking for volunteers. The key to a network is
the people who know the people you know. I have a lot to say about
this--how to build strong networks and which doors to knock on.
(Sorry-I know its an R) This one is very simple. People don't volunteer.
Volunteer isn't a verb-it is a noun. What does that mean? It means
that we quit our "pleeeeeeeease volunteer". It means that
announcements work sometimes, but most of the time people want to
be asked. Bottom line-people don't volunteer, they want to be asked.
Creative, out of the box, strategic thinking is needed in volunteer
management. So many volunteer managers just do it the way it's been
done for 100 years and the 21st century volunteer is so different.
We need a new kind of leader for changing days
Permission vs. interruption marketing is essential for the volunteer
manager. Here I lean on the writings of Seth Godin and the power of
your organization's web site and your e-zine.
Branding is not just for COKE. Girl Scouts have a brand. United Way
has a brand. Campus Life has a brand. What about your organization.
Your brand may be international-which is best; however, a local brand
can be powerful. I am reminded of the three Pizza stores who put signs
in front of their store. One sign read, "Best Pizza in the state."
The second one read, "Best Pizza in the Nation." But the
third one read, "Best Pizza on the block." You can have
a brand that is local and powerful. Test it against the DNA of branding-Dependability,
Novelty, and Attitude.
(whoops another R). There is a very simple, very inexpensive way to
retain volunteers. It is not in prizes and awards. It is in one word.
Feedback. I want to talk about the importance feedback. Well, I know,
this is not really new. It is really very old, but probably the most
important of all of these 21st century ideas and there are some 21st
century ideas on how to give feedback.
If anything is going to happen. Peter Drucker said, "If anything
is going to happen, everything degenerates to work." Volunteer
management is hard work. It is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week job.
And you are never finished. How do you know that you have had a good
day? How can you be sure you have had a good day when ten people have
said "No"? There are ways
Getting a good scorecard. We so often exaggerate our successes and
rationalize our failures. Good evaluation is difficult. Let me ask
you one question, "Do you know why your volunteers quit?"
There is a wealth of information in the answer to that question.
Here are the ten
cool things about managing volunteers. I tackle one or two a month for
the next ten months. E-mail me and let me know which one you would like
to hear about first. (Tom@advantagepoint.com).
I set the priority by your response.
Oh by the way, for
those of you have been reading my newsletter and articles for the past
few years-none of this stuff is new to you-because what I have been
saying for the past few years is, "We have to think a new way about
how we mobilize the power of the 21st century volunteer."
Thomas W. McKee
Tom McKee is a leading
volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach
Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more articles
by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles
section on our website.
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