Volunteer Power News - Number 94
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2011 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: Using 21st Century Coaching Methods to Lead Your VolunteersI just read the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) follow-up study to their 2009 report on the status of volunteerism and volunteer programs during challenging economic times. (See article below - News You Can Use for a summary of the report).
What struck me as I read the strategies that MAVA is suggesting for hard economic times is that the coaching methods are not just for an economic down turn. They are the leadership essentials that are vital if we are going to mobilize the collective power of a whole New Breed of volunteers. As you read this list, check a yes or no by each one and use it as an evaluation of your volunteer strategies.
MAVA Strategies during Challenging Economic Times
Faced with fiscal stress and rapid changes in volunteer availability and organizational needs for vol-unteer services, many volunteer managers developed creative strategies to respond to the shifting environment. MAVA lists the following strategies:
Let's evaluate the first two strategies and see how to make them work.
One of the topics we cover in our training sessions is how to transition the short-term "first date" project-driven volunteers into exciting regular, long-term volunteers. We you would like to help you make this happen with a volunteer power workshop for your organization. Or, if you have not picked up a copy of The New Breed, which explains how to these 21st century leadership principles, order yours today and receive free shipping. You can purchase one copy for $14.44, or buy six copies for your staff to read and discuss for $76.46 (all shipping is free and you save $10). This can be a great resource to bring your staff up to date on recruiting and leading the 21st century volunteer.
News You Can Use: The Status of Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment-from the Minnesota Association for volunteer Administration 2011 survey reportThe Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA), "The Status of Minnesota's Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment" is just out. I think that we can learn lot from this study about the impact of volunteerism during these past few years and what we can do in the future. I have copied a section from the Executive summary below. The Full Report, and the original 2009 Survey are available at www.MAVANetwork.org/ShiftingEnv.
Minnesota, like the rest of the country, is beginning to come out of the recession. MAVA conducted a survey on the status of volunteerism and volunteer programs during tough economic times. In late 2010, 350 leaders of volunteers and nonprofit managers across the state responded to a survey. Six themes emerged
Volunteers have a real impact in tough times
Organizations are updating their practices to engage volunteers; a higher level of volunteer involvement is part of how many organizations will emerge from the recession. There is increased reliance on volunteers and dramatic shifts in how organizations involve volunteers. Volunteers are having a real impact on organizations during tough economic times and are part of how organizations are transforming to succeed in a changed economic landscape.
Be ready for further changes in who is volunteering. Analysis of comments found 11 changing trends in who is volunteering. It is likely that volunteers' expectations will continue to change and organizations will benefit by being alert to the changes and ready to adapt to them.
It is unrealistic to increase reliance on volunteers without investing more resources. Throughout the report there was documentation that cutting staff for volunteer programs resulted in fewer volunteers and less service. Only 7% of respondents saw an increase in their volunteer program budget in 2010, however, 55% are projecting greater reliance on volunteers in the coming year. It is unrealistic to expect continued growth through volunteers without increased investment in resources.
Volunteer managers should be recognized for the new and more complex role they play. Survey results showed how today's volunteer managers need the skills to market, delegate, inspire and sustain the organization's mission. The expectations on these professionals are greater than ever before. They need support and recognition from their agencies that reflects their increased level of responsibility.
Volunteers have a deep impact in Minnesota communities and have promising potential to further address key problems in the state. The demographic data of survey respondents highlights how widespread volunteerism is in Minnesota. Given the trend this study found in growth of reliance on volunteers, citizen volunteers provide promising potential to address key problems in Minnesota, if we invest to move volunteerism forward.
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