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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 96
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
  1. Featured Article: 21st Century High-Tech Meeting Or the 20th Century Convention - Getting the New Breed of Volunteers Together
  2. Check this Out: Volunteer Power Makes Susan Ellis' EnergizeInc Weekly Volunteer Management News
Featured Article: 21st Century High-Tech Meeting Or 20th Century Convention
Getting the New Breed of Volunteers Together

How often do you get your volunteers together? Is it even possible to gather all of your volunteers in one place in today's high-tech, over-extended and social network culture? Or is meeting together just old-school, 20st century idealism that isn't possible in the 21st century?

In the past few months I have experienced two totally different types of meetings with volunteer leaders.

Experience One: The high-tech off-site meeting. I was recently in Colorado where I taught a leaders-of-volunteers workshop for church leaders. Half of the people attending were participating off-site watching in their offices or conference rooms through live on-line video and chat stream. A couple of the advantages of such a meeting were that the attendance of 30 people in the room was matched by another 30 people off-site, and the group was pretty excited to be able to offer this resource for people in many of the rural areas of Colorado.

Experience Two: Over 40,000 members gather for fun, education and motivation. Last February I spoke at a conference where over 40,000 turkey hunters gathered in Opryland, Tennessee, for their annual convention and sports show. The energy and enthusiasm was wild. I had an experience that I will never forget and was reminded of another very important part of leading volunteers-we are not alone in our mission.

I taught a three-hour leadership workshop for the state leaders. A representative from the National Rifle Association (NRA) spoke just before my workshop. As we were back stage getting ready for our presentations, an executive from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) said to the speaker from the NRA, "I want you to tell our members that they are not alone. Remind them that there are many influential people who support our cause and have passion for hunting." I jokingly responded as we were talking, "There are over 40,000 of you here-how can you feel alone?" He turned to me and reminded me that one of the main purposes of the convention and sports show was to keep on mission-to keep the faith in wildlife habitat conservation and preserving a hunting heritage in North America. He pointed out that many of their members come from very rural areas. They feel so alone and isolated and often feel that the mainstream of America is against them. And then he reminded me that the reason that I was invited was to train their state leaders how to recruit and mobilize the collective power volunteers. He said, "We could not accomplish our mission without our volunteers."

His words spoke volumes to me as a few minutes before I was walking around the room meeting some of the participants who were attending the leadership workshop. A young couple from Wisconsin was sitting in the front row (I love front-row people). While visiting with them, I discovered that they had just arrived and had driven all night to get there. Their flight was cancelled from their small town because of fog, so they got in the car and drove to this meeting. They did not want to miss this convention or this leadership meeting on the essential of recruiting and leading the New Breed of Volunteers. They were typical of the folks gathered in that room. It was a speaker's dream. I didn't have to keep them awake-they were so passionate they were running on adrenaline.

So of the two experiences, which one was most effective? Which one accomplished the goal? Both of them.

Meeting as a whole group is essential. I was challenged by the leader from NWTF-to keep on mission, or to keep the faith. Meeting together is an important part of motivation, inspiration and affirming our values. Learning new methods of expressing those values is an important part of group leadership. Gathering together is crucial. I favor the 20th century, convention meeting-getting everyone in the same room in the same place for the 21st century volunteer. After all, we still have airlines and can be across the country in a few hours (unless you get fogged out).

However, let's not ignore modern technology and the advantage of social media. In the past ten years we have new tools for regular communication and encouraging each other. In the meeting in Colorado, although many of the people meeting off-site were individuals, one church staff of about eight people gathered in their conference room for the session. If I had been the leader of that church staff, I would have used the group exercises for important discussions and planning for our volunteer involvement. NWTF also uses technology to get their message out to their members and has a whole media department that produces two hunting television programs about turkey hunts and wildlife habitat management strategies: Turkey Call and Get in the Game on the pursuit channel.

Bottom line-the high-tech meeting is a great tool, but let's not throw out the old-fashioned "pep-rally" type of meeting to help our volunteers learn, meet each other and keep on mission. I'm sure that is one of the many reasons that although my minister has a pod-cast of our Sunday services on the church website, he encourages me to be at our church serves each Sunday.There is something about meeting together that is part of the experience of keeping the faith which cannot be caught on-line.

Check This Out: Volunteer Power Makes Susan Ellis' EnergizeInc. Weekly Volunteer News

We were excited to be mentioned in the below article by Susan Ellis in her weekly Volunteer News.

17 April: Colleague Thomas McKee of Volunteer Power (www.volunteerpower.com) writes the free "Volunteer Power News" e-zine which is always interesting. The newest issue, #95, is particularly provocative, with two articles, "Speed - A Tectonic Shift That Is Changing Volunteerism" and "Welcome to the Age of the New Normal," that are worth your time. Here's the opening:

How quickly do you respond to a shift in culture? Are you even aware of the changes in culture? How quickly do you make decisions? How long does it take for you to respond to your volunteers' requests? These are huge questions because one of the most significant tectonic shifts that have changed volunteerism in the first ten years of the 21st century is "speed."

Tom also asks us what Lady Gaga can teach us about speed and introduces Marc Prensky's concept of "twitch speed." He also points out that resistance to the new way of doing things is less about age than about losing control.

You can sign up for this e-zine on the Volunteer Power site and Tom gives you permission to redistribute his articles for further discussion with your own network.

And while we're giving credit to the work of colleagues we like a lot, it seems pertinent to welcome Rob Jackson to the consulting trade and blogosphere. Rob has moved on from his position at Volunteering England to found Rob Jackson Consulting, Ltd. (www.robjacksonconsulting.com), through which he will continue to strengthen the volunteer management field by "engaging and inspiring people to bring about change." He has also started his own blog, where his most recent post, "Are we a cult now?" examines organizational values.

We all need to support colleagues who write because they are the thought leaders of our field and have the courage to say publicly what they believe.

Thank you Susan for your endorsement. Tom McKee

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

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.

Volunteer Power

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