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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 74
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter

© 2009 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
  1. Featured Article: Helping Parents, Teachers and Youth Find Volunteer Opportunities to Fulfill Mandatory Volunteering.
  2. Monthly Leadership Tip for Volunteer Leaders: The Four Myths of Branding in the Non-Profit Sector
  3. Volunteer Power Specials: Special Savings for a Volunteer Power Keynote or Workshop.
Featured Article: Helping Parents, Youth and Teachers Find Volunteer Opportunities to fulfill Mandatory Volunteering.
As if parenting isn't tough enough, we now have another mandate known as mandatory volunteering. Mandatory volunteering--you've got to be kidding. What an oxymoron! The classic definition of volunteerism is "to choose to act in recognition of a need." How can "to choose" and "mandatory" co-exist?

I would like to recommend a FREE (Yes, thanks to the author's generosity, you can download this for free—and volunteer managers love FREE) guide for parents, teachers and teens that tackles this quandary for the overburdened parent who has to monitor both aspects of "mandatory" and "volunteering." Get Involved! A How-to Volunteer Guide for Parents, Teachers and Youth is a tool for both parents and teens.

Get Involved! offers guidance to those looking to volunteer and those seeking to help youth and teens find meaningful opportunities. Topics include skill development, types of volunteering, terminology, determining your volunteer personality, projects for young children, scholarships, resources and more.

The author, Mary Lynn Perry, has been in the volunteer management field for over 15 years. She has coordinated volunteers for the National Museum of African Art, managed an institution-wide internship program for the Smithsonian Institution, served as executive director of Business Volunteers for the Arts managing pro-bono volunteer projects, managed volunteer services for Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, and is currently Volunteer Coordinator for the city of Sacramento, California. Additionally she has volunteered for a wide variety of non-profit organizations, serving on boards of directors as well as providing direct service. She holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland and an M.A. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Perry often gets a call from a frantic mother crying that her little Sophie needs 40 hours of volunteer service before she graduates—next week. Perry sets out to help parents avoid this last minute panic and guides parents through the process of picking the best available volunteer opportunity. But Perry is also a mother, and she wants her children not only to experience the benefits of volunteering, but she wants them to make a valuable contribution to the non-profit organization. She decided that parents needed a basic course in the ins and out and benefits of volunteer service; therefore, she begins with the basics such as definitions, the types of volunteering, how to approach volunteering, what to expect, and finally how to track the experience for use on college or job applications.

The six chapters include everything from the opportunities of skill development and empowerment to the ten different types of volunteering. Perry helps the teen and parent discover the "volunteer personality" of the teen volunteer, in other words just what type of passions are lying dormant in the pre-volunteer teen. Since family volunteering is hot right now, she walks us through stages of child development and what volunteering opportunities are available for each age group.

Although some may find the research and definitions beyond their interest, the quick read is worth a parent's time to discover what these great opportunities volunteering can do to help them raise their children. I believe that it should be given to all parents when their first child enters middle school.

But Mary Lynn not only writes as a manager of volunteer services, but also as a parent. She demonstrates that volunteer service doesn't just have to be a requirement to graduate from high school. Volunteering can be a wonderful occasion for work experience and resume building. And work experience is more significant than ever as the jobless rate among America's teens is the highest it has been in 55 years. Perry points out that teen joblessness has reached 59.1% according to data released by the U. S. Department of Labor. Experts predict the same or slightly higher levels of teen unemployment to prevail again next year. The overall downturn in the economy has forced older students and workers to take jobs that traditionally have been available to teens. Fewer and fewer teens are able to gain valuable early work experience that will help them in future employment.

But there is another huge advantage of volunteering that every parent needs to know. The organization "Youth Service America" claims that "youth who volunteer just one hour a week are 50% less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, or engage in destructive behavior. They are also more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote and be philanthropic." Parents can use that kind of encouragement and motivation to get involved in this mandatory requirement.

This publication is also available at no cost—that's FREE. And we all love something that is free.

Download the How To Volunteer Guide.

Monthly Leadership Tip: Four Branding Myths
One of the exciting privileges of my business is that I meet amazing people. Many of the most interesting people I meet are the volunteers who lead our organizations. I also have the opportunity to meet other consultants who are presenting on the same program where I am delivering a key note. I always arrange my schedule to stay and listen.

Last month when I was speaking at a Friends of the Library USA San Bernardino County Library annual convention, I met Larry Checco who is a branding consultant. His clients include the American Red Cross, United Way of America and Volunteers of America. I had the opportunity to eat lunch with Larry (he even gave me a ride back to the airport-- saved my taxi fare), and we talked about branding and volunteering.

I have copied, with his permission, the following four myths about branding from his website. If you are interested in consulting or training in the area of branding, I would recommend Larry.

The Four Myths of Branding
Larry Checco

Myth #1
Marketing and branding are one and the same.

Branding is less about marketing, advertising and public relations, and more about good leadership, appropriate and ethical behavior and an organization's commitment and ability to fulfill the covenant, or promises, its brand represents. A brand reflects everything associated with an organization, including, but not limited to, the quality of its:

Culture and core values
Programs, services and products

Think of it this way, the brand characteristics you appreciate and admire most in the companies and organizations you like doing business with should be the same brand characteristics to model and nurture in your own organization.

Myth #2
Once we have an attractive logo and catchy tagline, we have our brand.

Many organizations spend an inordinate amount of time, energy and money developing logos and taglines believing they are creating their brands, when in fact a logo and tagline are simply the banners for the brand. Your brand drills much deeper into the core of your organization (see Myth #1).

If all you have is an attractive logo and tagline without the commitment and ability to fulfill whatever promises your brand conveys, then what you have is all sizzle and no steak--and it won't take long for your target audiences to see the smoke and realize there's no meat.

Myth #3
Branding is the responsibility of our communications/marketing/public relations/external affairs departments.

Branding is the responsibility of EVERYONE, from board members to support staff. If it helps, consider the person who answers your phones your "Director of First Impressions."

You might hear, "I work in finance. What does that have to do with branding?" Just ask the folks who worked for Enron, Arthur Anderson, World Com, Global Crossing and a slew of other for-profits and non-profits, alike, how much their finance folks had to do with their organizations' brands--and their livelihoods!

Myth #4
We don't have a budget for branding our organization.

If you effectively leverage your current resources--namely your board members, staff, volunteers, customers, etc.--you may not need much of a budget to better brand your organization.

Your brand is only as good as the people who live it day in and day out. Board members, staff and others who are knowledgeable about what your brand represents, take pride in their work, feel secure in their jobs and are appreciated for the good work that they do make excellent ambassadors for your brand.

Consider: The founders of both Google and Amazon.com relied exclusively on word of mouth to get their companies off the ground.

For more information and other interesting articles information on Branding check out http://www.checcocomm.net/

Special Savings for A Volunteer Power Key Note or Workshop
Looking for a keynote for your annual convention, or a motivational session for your volunteer leaders, or a workshop to help your volunteer leaders recruit and keep their volunteers? Many of the private sector organizations that have sponsored our presentations for conventions are not able to sponsor these events during these hard times. I know many of you are feeling these cuts.

I would love to help. I will work with your organization to make our fees affordable for you by trying to arrange engagements in the same area to cut travel costs.

If you are interested, send me the contact form with your budget, and I'll see what I can do.

Tom McKee
Volunteer Power

Volunteer Power Workshop: Reenergize Your Volunteer Leaders with a Volunteer Power Workshop.
The New Breed of Volunteer
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Thomas McKee

Recruiting and managing the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way

Workshop Content

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:
  • Generations - Gen Y and retiring boomers-the new frontier of volunteers
  • Technology - The addition of the virtual volunteer to the face-to-face volunteer.
  • Empowerment - The knowledge worker demands to be led- not managed
The Two Leadership Factors: Guidance and Trust
  • Guidance - How much hands-on direction do I give?
  • Trust - How much confidence do I have that I can depend on the volunteer?
The Volunteer Power Management Strategy
  • Stage I - Awaken the Passion - The Pre-Volunteer - (Low Trust-Low Guidance)
    • The three levels of motivation
    • The deadly sins of recruiting volunteers
    • The dating process of recruiting
    • The "big idea" method of presenting your passion

  • Stage II - Channel the Passion -- The Passionate Beginner (Low Trust - High Guidance)
    • Communicate expectations five ways
    • Train

  • Stage III - Manage the Passion -- The Talented but often Fragile Veteran (High Trust, High Guidance)
    • Affirm the passionate who are the core of your volunteer team (recognize and reward)
    • Awaken the passion of the veteran volunteer
      • Reframe
      • Refresh
      • Re-assign
      • Re-train
      • Or - if all else fails--Retire

  • Stage IV - Empower the Passion -- The Empowered Volunteer (High Trust, Low Guidance)
    • Delegation vs. empowerment
    • How to empower the volunteer without dropping the ball

Tom's Books: The New Breed and/or They Don't Play My Music Anymore
The New Breed


Here's a glimpse of the Table of Contents:

Introduction: The Common Predicament
Where It All Begins

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 @"

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

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

  • Sample Position Charter
  • Sample Project Charter
  • Interview Guide for Hiring a Paid "Volunteer Manager"
  • Sample Questionnaire for Virtual Volunteers
  • Sample Board Code of Conduct
  • Strategic Planning Retreat - Agenda of Questions
  • SWOT Analysis Form
  • Ice-Breakers and Openers
  • Team Building Activities
  • Sample Training Exercise-A Case Study:


Plan Your Future
When the World
Keeps Changing

Get Tom's Inspiring Book

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
Thomas McKee
Who Takes the Fall When Your
Keynote Speaker is Just

You Do!

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)


Click here to listen

Tom McKee is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at tom@volunteerpower.com. Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com

For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.

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