Volunteer Power News - Number 68
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2008 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
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In This Issue
Featured Article: Why I Am Optimistic About Non-Profits in 2009 - by Thomas W. McKee
Why I Am Optimistic about Non-Profits in 2009
As I look at 2008, I should be discouraged. According to the newspaper my house is worth almost 40% less than it was a year ago and my retirement 401K investments have not fared any better. Non-profits are anxious. This year many of the end-of-the-year appeals for money in my mailbox communicate a feeling of panic. To make matters worse, the economic downturn is leaving many people suffering and looking to government and community organizations for support. Funding for these services cannot keep up with increased demand.
That's a lot of bad news. Should we all join in on the panic?
Not even close. As I have traveled this past year and met with volunteer leaders from AmeriCorps VISTAS, state agencies that manage volunteers, churches, DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies), community volunteer centers, and non-profit associations, I believe that we are experiencing an outburst of entrepreneurial volunteerism that is creating solutions. And we are just beginning to see the impact of this movement. I was encouraged and energized by the words of David Isner, former CEO of The Corporation for National and Community Service, in his farewell speech delivered last month at Georgetown University. He challenged the students to step up to a new paradigm of volunteering (read or hear David's entire speech " From Dropouts to Downturns"). I think that his words can be summarized in the following two statements that capture the significant changes in volunteerism.
The old paradigm: Volunteering is a nice way to engage people to help others in need.Volunteers are tackling significant issues of poverty, health care, prisons, the homeless, and illiteracy. What I witnessed this year is just the beginning, and we have not yet begun to experience the results of Volunteer Power. And this is why I am optimistic.
The new paradigm: Volunteering is a powerful method to tackle the huge problems that are overwhelming our society.
So how do we gear up for 2009?
How do we mobilize the millions of volunteers needed this next year? We are on a roll, and we can make a difference if we understand how to take advantage of three volunteer leadership drivers.
Driver One: The infrastructure is in place.
We live in a country that is filled with organizations that are ready to go. One list of non-profit volunteer organizations is on the VolunteerMatch website. Their list of Preferred Partners includes the following:
American Red Cross
American Red Cross Blood Services
Feeding America (formerly named America's Second Harvest)
Girl Scouts USA
Habitat for Humanity - Hurricane Recovery
Kids In Need
Los Angeles Unified School District
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Points of Light & Hands On Network
Last month when I interviewed Christine Wallace from Volunteer Sacramento, I learned of some organizations in my community that I didn't even know about, and I also learned that most communities have volunteer centers (for Christine's interview see last month's newsletter— Edgy Volunteer Leadership Ideas).
Last summer my son Jonathan and I facilitated a Volunteer Power workshop for the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). The leaders of CDFA had gathered volunteer managers from non-profit organizations from all over the state and what amazed me was how many of them were addressing the same humanitarian needs with volunteers that my home state of California does by public sector employees. Since many of our state services are in serious trouble because of our California budget crisis, I thought that we could take a lesson from New Hampshire.
And in addition according to Mark Chaves, we have more than 300,000 religious congregations in the United States. (Congregations in America, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 3). And many of these churches are tackling these problems.
We have the infrastructure in place.
Driver Two: People are ready and willing to volunteer.
I was a college student when President Kennedy gave his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961 and he called his fellow Americans to ask what we could do for our country. We rallied with enthusiasm. I am sensing this same kind of enthusiasm today primarily from two groups of people: the boomers who first heard Kennedy's speech and from young people. David Isner, said,
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. "From Dropouts to Downturns" delivered at Georgetown University)
Last October I was in Wyoming training a group of AmeriCorps VISTAs who were working to fight illiteracy and improve health services. Their mantra was, "Fight poverty with a passion". At lunch I visited with one young woman who was a recent college graduate and joined VISTA for one year before starting her professional career. She told me that she had just completing one term (one-year) and was signing up for another term. I thought as I talked with her of the 75,000 AmeriCorps members, the 500,000 Senior Corps participants, and 1.4 million Learn & Serve America students! They are making a difference. I was encouraged.
Last year, in California statewide, 6.5 million volunteers contributed nearly 900 million hours of service valued at $17 billion to the California economy. Sue Carter, the executive director of Volunteer San Diego, www.volunteersandiego.org, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes individuals and groups to make a community impact through volunteer action reports that every dollar that Volunteer San Diego receives is turned into $3.64 of community service. Volunteers provide a 360 percent return on investment - a strong case for more seriously considering service as a solution for community needs.
Another reason that I am optimistic is the surge of high school and college students who are using their entrepreneurial skills to tackle these issues. I recently had the opportunity to speak to 300 honor students at our local high school renaissance club about the power of volunteering. Huge numbers of today's students are seeing the need and don't want to just stand by and watch. They want to get involved. And some are so young. Kendall Ciesemier started a nonprofit organization, Kids Caring 4 Kids when she was only twelve-years old. A few years later, in September of 2007, during Kendall's second week as a freshman at Wheaton North High School (Illinois), former president Bill Clinton, in town on tour for his new book, Giving, honored her at a school assembly. Afterwards, Clinton swept her away to a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show, where, during a commercial break, an anonymous donor traveling with Clinton pledged $500,000 to Kendall's organization. (Chicago Magazine, January 2008 for complete story)
Volunteers of all ages are ready and willing. We just have to know how to recruit and mobilize them.
Driver Three: Organizations are intentional about recruiting and managing the new breed of volunteers.
Are you ready to recruit and lead the new breed of volunteers? Do you know how to mobilize your volunteer team for this new shift in volunteer management? Do you know how to look at crisis as an opportunity to transform the public desire to make a difference into solutions for our world through volunteer power? Has your volunteer management system made the shift from "nice way" to make volunteers feel good to "powerful change agent" method?
Here are three ways that you can get ready:
First way: Use the absolutely free resources on www.volunteerpower.com website. That is our mission—to provide free resources to help you mobilize the power and passion of your volunteer leaders. You have permission to print the articles for training, discussion and development. I have used many of these articles with staff. We read them and then discuss how we can implement the ideas. The achieves of past newsletters are filled with many discussion topics for your use—and they are all free.So What? Why I Am Optimistic about Volunteering
Second way: Follow the four steps of volunteer passion
Third Way: Give a copy of The New Breed to your volunteer leaders
CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) ordered 100 of The New Breed for their volunteer leaders and gave them out at their volunteer recognition luncheon.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers purchased 275 copies of The New Breed, to give their volunteer leaders at their six leadership meetings in 2009.
Susan Ellis, President of Energize, Inc writes about The New Breed:
Jonathan and Tom McKee's book, The New Breed, is an enthusiastic, thoughtful, and contemporary look at volunteering as it is evolving in this new century. There's no question that organizations must utilize up-to-date management techniques to attract and retain the wide range of people who want to serve their cause. In a practical and often humorous way, the authors introduce real-life challenges in volunteer engagement and give wonderful suggestions for everything from recruiting to using computer technology for communication. They aim to inspire the leader of volunteers and they succeed.
– Susan J. Ellis, President, Energize, Inc.
In conclusion, we cannot depend on legislators to try to fix the country's problems of poverty, health care, prisons, illiteracy and the homeless. Crisis always seems to bring out the best of us. It is in the American DNA. Katrina, 9/11, the fires, floods, and now the economic crisis has cut off many services. I am optimistic because of the individuals, organizations, and churches that are looking at the needs of their communities and the world and putting together teams of volunteers to tackle the issues of our day.
And let' face it, this is what volunteerism is. In By the People, Susan Ellis and Katherine H. Campbell define volunteerism as "To volunteer is to choose to act in recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit, going beyond one's basic obligations."
Marlene Wilson says that the three key elements of that definition are:
And this is why I am optimistic about next year. What I witnessed this year is just the beginning, and we have not yet begun to experience the results of Volunteer Power.
Volunteer Power Workshop: Filled with New Ideas, Trends and Ways to Empower your Volunteer Leaders.
The New Breed of Volunteer Demands a
New Breed of Volunteer Entrepreneur
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Recruiting and managing the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way
SECTION I: THE NEW VOLUNTEER CULTURE
The 21st century volunteer culture is very different because of seismic shifts that have changed volunteer management. These shifts have impacted the volunteer organization; therefore how we recruit and manage the new breed of volunteer is a whole new game. The seismic shifts include the following:
The Two Leadership Factors: Guidance and Trust
Tom's Books: The New Breed and/or They Don't Play My Music Anymore
IN STOCK! CLICK HERE FOR MORE
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TO GET A COPY
(FREE U.S. SHIPPING!)
Here's a glimpse of the Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Common Predicament
Where It All Begins
SECTION ONE: THE VOLUNTEER RECRUITER
Chapter 1: Who Is the New Breed of Volunteer?
A Profile of the 21st Century Volunteer
Chapter 2: Recruiting the New Breed of Volunteers
The "Courting" Relationship
Chapter 3: Finding the New Breed of Volunteers (Not Scaring Them Away)
The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting Volunteers
Chapter 4: Tapping into Two New Breeds of Volunteers
Retiring "Boomers" and "Generation @"
SECTION TWO: THE VOLUNTEER MANAGER
Chapter 5: Motivating the New Breed of Volunteers
Discover Three Levels of Motivation
Chapter 6: Empowering Volunteers to Do It Their Way
Move from Delegation to Empowerment
Chapter 7: Managing the Virtual Volunteer
Virtual Volunteers and Using Technology
Chapter 8: Managing High Maintenance Volunteers
Performance Coaching the Volunteer from Hell
SECTION THREE: THE VOLUNTEER LEADER
Chapter 9: Leading the Successful Volunteer Organization
Mobilize the Collective Power of Volunteers
Chapter 10: A Leadership Case Study
A Fable of How to Do It Right
SECTION FOUR: RESOURCES
THIS BOOK AND TO GET A COPY
Plan Your Future
When the World
Get Tom's Inspiring Book
THEY DON'T PLAY
MY MUSIC ANYMORE!
As we try to navigate the 21st Century in this increasingly fast-paced and technology-driven world, many people are drowning in our culture of unremitting change. In the innovative book, They Don't Play My Music Anymore, Thomas McKee presents a creative approach to facing personal and professional change. He offers eight essential principles that can help you gain the confidence to face an unknown future. Using these techniques, you will develop a new thinking frame by which to approach your future with hope and confidence as you learn to embrace change instead of merely reacting to it.
Tom's Eight Principles
Will Help You Gain the Confidence
To Face an Unknown Future
"In a world where change seems to be happening faster than the five miles every second the Space Shuttle travels, They Don't Play My Music Anymore offers a practical, common sense approach to not only surviving this frenetic pace of change, but building and growing from it. Incorporating Tom's methodology as I chose to make a change in my profession has helped me map out and launch into new adventures in many ways as exciting as the three space missions I flew. I very highly recommend applying these principles!"
Rick Searfoss, NASA Astronaut
and Space Shuttle Commander
Hear Tom McKee Live: Listen to an MP3 of a ten-minute sample keynote presentation by Tom McKee, The Power of Volunteer Passion
Keynote Speaker is Just
You can count on Thomas McKee for any size group. He has spoken to over one half million people in Europe, Africa and the United States over the past 35 years and has worked with some of America's top corporations, organizations and associations.(More info about Tom here)
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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