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?
  • Meaningful Volunteer Engagement

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