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Meaningful Volunteer Engagement

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  • How many people in the room are here primarily because you are staff for your institution? How many are here in the capacity of being a volunteer on an alumni board? By a show of fingers (5=nearly perfect and 1=you cringe at the thought of a board meeting) how would you rate the current health of your alumni board?
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    • 1. Meaningful Volunteer Engagement June 17, 2008 Paul Hanscom, CAE [email_address]
    • 2. Overview
      • Leverage value from the Board structure
      • Be an organization where people want to volunteer
      • Support the volunteers who support you
    • 3. Function of the Board
      • Specify ends to be achieved
      • Communicate & maintain the board-executive relationship
      • Develop ‘board processes’
      • Liaison to the community
    • 4. Attributes of Effective Boards
      • Support for the organization’s mission
      • Understand role of board and staff
      • Stay strategic and out of the day-to-day
      • Respect each other and hold each other accountable
    • 5. Leveraging Value from the Board Structure
      • Diversify representation
      • Expand your expertise
      • Think with an “and” mentality
    • 6. Be an Organization where People want to Volunteer
      • Define and brand the volunteer experience
      • Recruit early and often
      • Identify your volunteers’ motivations
      • Demonstrate value
    • 7. Realities of the Business Environment
      • Time – Busy people, multiple priorities
      • Attention economy – rapid expansion of information, scarcity of attention
      • Technology – Smart phones, wikis, Facebook, IM, LinkedIn…What’s next?
    • 8. Realities of Volunteer Commitment
      • Most volunteer programs have:
      • Small cadre of long-term committed volunteers (10-20%)
      • Revolving quick turnover pool (20-40%)
      • Intermediate, still making up their mind, group – sometimes involved, sometimes not
      * McCurley, Steve. Keeping Volunteers Engaged: The Keys to Retention. The Corporation for … National and Community Service. April 19, 2007.
    • 9.
      • The federal Corporation for National and Community Service used
      • Census Bureau data to determine the percentage of people age 18
      • or over who had volunteered their time in the previous year.
      • The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of volunteers:
      • Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota – over 40%
      • Salt Lake City, Utah
      • Austin, Texas
      • Omaha, Nebraska
      • Seattle, Washington
      • Metropolitan areas with the lowest volunteer rate:
      • Riverside, California
      • Virginia Beach, Virginia
      • New York City
      • Miami, Florida
      • Las Vegas, Nevada – 14.4%
      *Los Angeles Times’ Associated Press article published July 9, 2007
    • 10. Given these realities, staff leaders need to…
      • Make purpose paramount
      • Plan effectively and efficiently
      • Empower volunteers
    • 11. What is the purpose of your board? Make Purpose Paramount
    • 12. Plan Effectively and Efficiently
      • Build an atmosphere that encourages new ideas
      • Make volunteers feel like part of a team.
      • Use people's talents, not just their time.
      • Check in with volunteers – make personal contact
      • Share your successes
      • When you have a new volunteer, have an experienced volunteer work with him/her
        • * Craig Bystrynski, PTO Today. 25 Ways to Catch and Keep Volunteers.
    • 13. Empower volunteers
      • Orientation & Training
      • Share responsibility
      • Put your money where your mouth is
      • Develop future leaders through mentorship
    • 14. Effectiveness of Volunteer Mentors – 4H, Florida, 1999
      • “ Drop-out rates for the Master Gardener basic training programs for three years prior to the mentor program were 26%, 17%, and 27% in 1995, 1996, and 1997.”
      • The trainee drop-out rate for 1998 was 2%, following the creation of a mentor program.
      * McCurley, Steve. Keeping Volunteers Engaged: The Keys to Retention. The Corporation for … National and Community Service. April 19, 2007.
    • 15. Support the Volunteers who Support You
      • Expectations & Feedback
      • Keep Volunteers Informed
      • Recognize and Reward
    • 16. McCurley's Rule
      • “ Nobody volunteers to fail.”
      • - Steve McCurley, Volunteer Management
    • 17. Questions
    • 18. Additional Resources
      • Association for Volunteer Administrators
      • www. avaintl .org
      • BoardSource (assorted volunteer and board management resources) www.boardsource.org
      • Free Management Library
      • www. managementhelp .org
      • Corporation for National and Community Service
      • (assorted volunteer and board management resources) www. volunteerweek .org
      • Resource Center (tools & training for volunteer programs) www. nationalserviceresources .org
      • Service Leader (electronic volunteering guidebook) www.serviceleader.org/new/documents/vvguide.pdf