Volunteer Power News - Number 84
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2010 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: Why? Why Do We Have Volunteers?
"Why—Why Should You Ask The Question, "Why?"
Many of you are probably thinking, "I don't need to know why. I need to know how. I need more steady, quality volunteers. I don't need to be spending my time thinking about developing a philosophy of volunteering. I just need some more volunteers."
Most of you who are reading this e-zine are middle managers. You are a director of volunteers in a non-profit organization, an associate minister, or a volunteer yourself. You are constantly recruiting and leading volunteers, and you are the one on the front lines. In many ways this is a difficult position because you are the primary one in the organization who feels the constant need, impact and importance of volunteers. You want to empower your volunteers while the executive director or board of directors just wants volunteers to stuff envelopes or do whatever the staff cannot do. But you have a much greater vision for your volunteer program.
So you are probably asking, "Why should I read a book on the why of volunteers? Why should I waste my valuable time even asking the question, ‘Why?' Why should I read a volunteer leadership theory book?"
Most books on volunteerism are how-to books. From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement by Susan Ellis is not a how-to book. This is a "why" book. It answers the question, "Why are volunteers essential?" And I don't know of another book that addresses this question better than Ellis's book. She wrote the bestseller in 1996, and just released the third edition with up-to-date material on the importance of volunteer program infrastructure, risk management, outcomes evaluation and more. I read the new edition over the weekend, and in my recommendation I want to answer two questions:
As a middle manager you need to sell the "Whys" of the volunteer program. In your organization each middle manager is passionate about their area of responsibility. If you are in a church, the music minister thinks, sleeps, and dreams about music. The children's minister . . . well, you get the picture. If you are in a typical non-profit, the development director is thinking about donations, estate planning and raising money. And when you talk about volunteers, you are often a lone voice.
The only person who sees the whole picture is the executive director, president, CEO, or head minister. Executive directors are constantly thinking vision, mission and execution of the entire organization, and they should. But so often they aren't thinking about volunteers. Read the typical executive director annual report and see how very few mention volunteers filling significant roles. Too often they don't understand the why of volunteers or even know the positive influence of volunteers and what volunteers can do for the organization.
Enter you. To increase the impact of volunteers on your organization, you need to sell them.
If your executive director or governing board would ask you to tell them why volunteers are important, what would you say? Do you have an effective, convincing two minute elevator speech on the importance of volunteers for your organization?
Susan Ellis in her first chapter says that she often asks the participants in one of her workshops to imagine the "utopia" organization in which they do not lack for resources. They have all the money that they need so that they can hire unlimited staff, offer one-on-one client service, pay for all types of consultation, and even go to the Bahamas for planning retreats. Then she asks the group to come up with as many reasons as they can why they would still need volunteers. Some of the participants answer that if they had a "utopia" organization they wouldn't use volunteers because volunteers are a pain, and they only have a volunteer program because they can't afford staff. The implied corollary, according to Ellis, is that if there were sufficient money, staff or whatever, then volunteers would not be necessary.
The chapter is insightful. Susan says that after a lively discussion, the group usually identifies some very significant answers to the question, "Why do we want volunteers?" I counted over 20 reasons that a volunteer program is vital for the non-profit. The purchase of the book is worth reading just this chapter.
Let me give one example. Ellis points out that volunteers donate on average 10 times more money than non-volunteers. She writes:
As an executive, you do have to be concerned with the funding to keep your doors open. So while I have just stressed the importance of engaging volunteers for the benefits they bring as volunteers, consider this perspective as well: A check never writes itself. All contributions of money or valuables come from peoplewho are voluntarily demonstrating their support of your cause. This implies a strong correlation between those who give time (to whom we refer as volunteers) and those who give money (to whom we refer as donors). Would your consideration of volunteers change if you were to start calling them "time donors"? Or speak of "fund raising" as "people raising"? From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement by Susan J. Ellis, © 2010, Energize, Inc, page 22).
Oh, I forgot, we don't need money—we are loaded. So should I forget this one? No, in the real world we do need money.
I would recommend that you get this book, read it and develop your short and powerful presentation—ten really cool essentials that volunteers bring to your organization. I should add that the book is not all theory. Chapters on risk management, electronic communication, social networking and virtual volunteering offer practical suggestions for those working with volunteers.
Second question: What should you do with this book?
I have several suggestions:
About Susan Ellis:
Susan J. Ellis is President of Energize, Inc., a training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteerism. She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australasia, and Israel to create or strengthen their volunteer corps.
She was the recipient of the Association for Volunteer Administration's 1989 Harriet Naylor Distinguished Member Service Award. The BetterWorldHeroes Web site has included her on their calendar of "heroes" for December 5 (International Volunteer Day). Susan is an active volunteer in a variety of volunteerism associations and several Philadelphia-based community groups.
Leadership Feature: Tom McKee coming to Arkansas Conference on Volunteerism, Phalanthropy and Nonprofit LeadershipMany of you ask when I am going to be in your area and if you can attend a workshop. Most of my workshops are designed for a specific non-profit; however, from time to time a conference is open to the public. On April 29th, I will be delivering the key-note and facilitating a Volunteer Leadership workshop in Springdale, Arkansas. The link below has registration information.
The 35th State Conference on Volunteerism, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership
Tom's Speaking Schedule
Last month I spent a rewarding weekend in Oskaloosa, Iowa where my son Jonathan and I did our NEW BREED training workshop together for volunteer managers in the greater Iowa area. Great people - about 75 volunteer leaders. It was so rewarding for Jonathan and me to spend a whole day helping these leaders think strategically about mobilizing the 21st Century Volunteer. The feedback from the group was exciting as they walked away with a ton of great ideas for recruiting and leading a whole new breed of volunteers.
I am passionate about leadership development for the leaders of non-profits. This week I am leading a Team Building Workshop for the leadership of San Benito County in California. Then I'll be delivering the key-note at the Arkansas State Leadership Summit and then teaching a Volunteer Leadership break-out session in April.
Here's a peek at my speaking/training schedule so far for this year. The workshops highlighted in red are open for your participation.
January 27, 2010 (San Benito County, California)
January 26, 2010 (Elk Grove, California)
SAMN - Key-note Address for Volunteer Leaders
February 10, 2010 (Talladega, Alabama)
Volunteer Power Workshop - SBC Student Ministry Summit (Shocco Springs Conference Center)
February 25, 2010 (Spokane, Washington)
Keynote -- Washington State University 4-H Clubs
March 6, 2010 (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
Volunteer Power Workshop - Community Non-profit Leaders
March 26-28, 2010 (San Benito County, California)
April 15, 2010 (San Benito County, California)
April 29, 2010 (Springdale, Arkansas)
Summit 2010 -- Division of Volunteerism and Arkansas Community Foundation
Keynote and breakout Volunteer Power Workshop
May 1, 2010 (Sacramento, California)
Key note - "Unleashing the Power of the PTA with Volunteers" at the California State PTA Convention with over 3000 PTA leaders from the state.
May 8, 2010 (Chicago, Illinois)
Volunteer Power Workshop - Association of Gospel Rescue Mission Convention
June 16, 2010 (Edgemont, South Carolina)
Volunteer Power Workshop - National Wild Turkey Federation
September 11, 2010 (Dallas, Texas)
Volunteer Power Workshop - Department of Homeland Security—National Guard Auxiliary
October 1, 2010 (Columbus, Ohio)
Life Serve Conference
All-Day New Breed Workshop - GROUP Publishing Volunteer Leadership Convention for church leaders
I'm still booking summer and fall speaking/workshop dates. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to bring me out for speaking or doing any of these workshops for your group.
Volunteer Power Workshop: Reenergize Your Volunteer Leaders with a Half-Day, Full-Day or Two-Day Volunteer Power Workshop.
The New Breed of Volunteer
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Recruiting and managing the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way
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.
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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