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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 91
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
  1. Featured Article: "Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement" - A new book that you will want to read as you think strategically for the next year.
  2. Volunteer Power Leadership: Creating a Statement of Philosophy on Volunteer Engagement
Featured Article: Leading the Way-Why You Will Want to Read This Book
"Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement"

I know a book has impacted me when I find myself using it and quoting it the very next day. My reaction to Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement: Practical tools for Busy Executives, written by Betty Stallings along with Susan Ellis, immediately answered the question I always ask when I recommend a book: Why? Why should I read this book? I am recommend this book to your for three reasons.

Reason One: I found myself using the information the very next day.

I read the book on a Friday. On Saturday morning I was speaking to over 100 leaders from a non -profit organization, and I began by asking two questions that were prompted by reading Stallings' work.

I asked these leaders to define the word, "Empower." After they thought about that definition for a few minutes, I asked them, "What infrastructures do we have in our organizations that keep us from empowering our volunteers?" The discussion was enlightening and eye opening to many of those leaders.

Two words leaped off the page in Stallings' opening paragraph. She had me hooked, and those two words prompted me to ask the leaders the two empowerment questions. What were those words? Empowerment and Infrastructure.

Here are Stallings opening words of Leading the Way.

In my thirty-five years in the field of volunteerism, I have witnessed stunning and exciting changes in the way people are donating time to create a better world. However, it is my observation-supported by research in the last decade-that many organizations have not kept up with these changes and therefore are not welcoming, supporting, and empowering community members to be effective advocated and contributors to their mission. Opportunities about to engage the incredible talents of volunteers, but only if organizations put the infrastructure in place to capture all the time and skills community members can offer.

Ask the leaders in your organization, "What infrastructures are limiting the empowerment of your volunteers?" Or if you want to ask the same question in a positive way ask, "What infrastructures are in place to capture all the time and skills our volunteers can offer?"

Reason Two: Involving Volunteers

The second reason that I am recommending Leading the Way is Stallings' passion for volunteer involvement. She claims that volunteers are not a program; they are part of the team of people working toward a mission. And central to Leading the Way is the dedication to the belief that key decision makers must pay attention to ten key factors to involve volunteers in their mission. The ten factors are the ten sections of the book. The ten sections are in a very specific, sequential order.

Also note how each section focuses on volunteer involvement.

Section I: Personal and Organizational Philosophy about Volunteering
Section II: Planning for Volunteer Engagement
Section III: Budgeting for and Funding Volunteer Involvement
Section IV: Hiring and Placing Staff to Lead volunteer Engagement
Section V: Creating a Management Team for Volunteer Involvement
Section VI: Building Staff Commitment and Competency to Partner with Volunteers
Section VII: Integrating Volunteers throughout the Organization
Section VIII: The Board's Role in Volunteer Engagement
Section IX: Ensuring Legal Compliance and Managing Risk When Involving Volunteers
Section X: Monitoring, Evaluating, and Improving Volunteer Involvement

Leading the Way focuses on the aspects of volunteer engagement in which executive leadership is crucial, including strategic planning, policy formation, staffing and evaluation.

Reason Three: This book is not a theoretical book-but a tool box packed full with practical tools

I have a woodworking shop at my home and often find myself planning, sawing, drilling, sanding and staining my latest project. For every project, I always buy a new tool because my father, who was a builder, taught me that precision tools not only make the project fun and rewarding, but they often are the difference between a prize-winning masterpiece and a frustrating project that just sits in the shop waiting to be completed. Just as the best tools are essential for the craftsman, effective tools are a must for the volunteer executive. Leading the Way is not a theoretical book. It is a tool box that contains over 80 worksheets, idea stimulators, key concepts, action steps, check lists, self-inquiry, surveys, collaborations strategies, executive self-assessments and real live examples. Let's face it, few executives take the time to strategically plan for volunteer involvement. They just keep cranking out events and programs. And their events and programs are needed and effective for the most part. But what many executives are missing is the untapped potential of talented resources that are lying dormant in the many volunteers who show up for their events. Perhaps the reason that they are missing this potential is because they don't have the right tools.

I have several suggestions for you to effectively use Leading the Way.
  1. As you plan for the second decade for the 21st century, use the worksheets at a strategic planning retreat.
  2. Buy it for your executive director and have him/her read the first chapter. Then go out to lunch and discuss the importance of the volunteer program. Hopefully they will be so motivated they will read the rest of the book.
  3. Buy it for your key support staff or volunteers and discuss how you can use the information in the organization.
  4. Give it to your board and have them read it and discuss it.
  5. Find one board member who will give you an ear and give him/her the book.
  6. Read the book and spend some time filling out some of the key worksheets.
  7. Read it along with another book that I have recommended, "From the Top Down" by Susan Ellis. Leading the Way enables the readers to implement quickly and effective the key concepts in the book, From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement, 3rd Edition by Susan Ellis. To see the review of Ellis's work, see, Newsletter #84
Thank you Betty and Susan for your insight and work. Your book is on my recommended list of books at many of my workshops.

About Betty Stallings

Betty Stallings, MSW, is an international trainer, keynote speaker, consultant and author specializing in volunteer management, fundraising and board development. A lifelong volunteer, Betty also founded and was the 14-year Executive Director of a Volunteer Center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She is a popular trainer and speaker known for her vitality, inspiring message, engaging humor, practical presentations and valuable resources.

Betty has been the President of Building Better Skills for 18 years and teaches at universities, provides training for state, national and international conferences and consults with many non-profit organizations, public programs and foundations - internationally. For 10 years she has been Training Editor of e-Volunteerism.com.

She has received numerous awards for her dedication to volunteerism and philanthropy, has written 6 books, numerous training curriculums and has 4 training videos. Among the best known titles are: Getting to Yes in Fundraising, Training Busy Staff to Succeed with Volunteers, The 55 Minute Staff Training Series and How to Produce Fabulous Fundraising Events: Reap Remarkable Returns for Minimal Effort.

Betty's website is www.bettystallings.com.

Leadership Feature: Brief Excerpt: Creating a Statement of Philosophy on Volunteer Engagement
Brief Excerpt

Creating a Statement of Philosophy on Volunteer Engagement

What is a statement of philosophy on volunteer engagement?
It's a written document that articulates an organization's belief in the value and role that volunteers play in carrying out its mission. This statement is then shared throughout the organization and with the public, becoming the foundation upon which volunteer engagement rests. It can also be called a value statement or a commitment statement.

What is its purpose?
How volunteers are perceived in an organization is reflected, intentionally or unintentionally, by the type of volunteer assignments created, the amount and type of resources allocated to engaging volunteers, and the credibility given to volunteer input. Having a statement of philosophy that is understood by all stakeholders (employees, managers, executives, board members, etc.) of the organization makes the difference between "using" volunteers and "engaging" volunteers as partners, effectively and productively, in carrying out the mission. Stating the value and role of volunteers:

  • Expresses the organization's commitment to volunteers.
  • Establishes a clear relationship between staff and volunteers.
  • Creates a framework upon which the board can develop goals and policies for the organization's volunteer engagement.
  • Gives clear direction to all staff that they are expected to partner with volunteers.
  • Becomes the fundamental principle that will guide the organization in developing a vision for volunteer engagement at its best.
  • Helps to determine whether prospective staff and volunteers are a good fit for the organization.
  • Ensures that the organization's commitment to volunteer involvement does not change with trends or new executive staff.
  • Helps volunteers understand their value to the organization.
Who can (should) be involved in deliberating and determining the statement of philosophy on volunteers in an organization?
Creating, reviewing or enhancing your organization's statement of philosophy can be initiated at the top or in the middle of an organization. Ultimately, the final philosophy must be embraced by the board and executive(s) to have clout in setting a standard of approach.

Permission is granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full acknowledgment of the source, as cited here: Excerpted from Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement: Practical Tools for Busy Executives, by Betty B. Stallings with Susan J. Ellis, © 2010, Energize, Inc. Found in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/1-221-E-1.

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
Thomas McKee
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.

Tom McKee
Volunteer Power

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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