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Columbus Community Connection Day Presentation


Published on

Wednesday February 266th …

Wednesday February 266th
We’ve designed a day of workshops specifically for nonprofits looking to strengthen their volunteer engagement programs. Join us for this opportunity to develop your skills as a volunteer program manager as well as create some important connections in your community!

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  • 1. Welcome to the Nonprofit Volunteer Program Manager Training Day! Jennifer Bennett, CVA Senior Manager, Education & Training VolunteerMatch Page
  • 2. What Does Volunteer Engagement Mean? 2
  • 3. What does Volunteer Engagement mean? Volunteer engagement describes a cooperative and collaborative relationship between a volunteer and an organization. • Volunteers contribute to outlining or defining the work they want to do. • Volunteer management is the foundation or structure on which volunteer engagement can happen. • New model for collaboration with volunteers – not a traditional model, not your mother’s volunteering. 3
  • 4. Keys to Creating Volunteer Engagement • Develop work that is meaningful to the volunteer and important to the organization. • Create a connection between volunteers, clients and your mission • Establish the foundation necessary to support a diverse program of volunteer engagement • Know and share the impact of the work volunteers do
  • 5. Engage the Volunteer of the Future! 5
  • 6. What are we talking about? • Moving beyond “Volunteers Needed” • How do volunteers find you? How can you find them? • Finding the right volunteers • Create Connection • Building a culture of involvement, flexibility and understanding • What next?
  • 7. “Volunteers Needed” What does your volunteer program look like to a volunteer? • Cul-de-sac • Nowhere to go when you get there • Country Road • If you hang in there it goes somewhere, eventually • Highway • It’s a direct route to impact and engagement Volunteers have a choice!
  • 8. This is not your mother’s volunteering Shifts in generations create a new model • Volunteers hope to make an impact • Volunteer task lists replaced by meaningful, targeted work, skills based • Meaningful to the volunteer, important to the organization • Volunteers need flexibility • Does not imply that they can’t be dependable, reliable, accountable • Volunteers want to understand • Answer the question “Why?”
  • 9. How do volunteers find you? 80% of Volunteer Coordinators tell us the “Word of Mouth” is their #1 recruitment method What are your volunteers saying about your organization? What can you do about it?
  • 10. Pros and Cons of “WoM” • You can create a positive experience • Meaningful and important • The right volunteer in the right job • Saying no politely and professionally • Make it easier for volunteers to share • Arm them with information • Social media • Don’t keep them in a silo
  • 11. Pros and Cons of “WoM” • Passive • You can’t make your volunteers tell their friends, but you can encourage them • Depends on earned marketing/media • Easier now than ever – but can be negative • Doesn’t bring in volunteers who don’t have a connection or know who you are
  • 12. What we know about volunteers VolunteerMatch by the numbers: 81,861 Active opportunities nationwide 7,623,625 Connections since 1998 2,500 Average referrals a day Around 130 during peak hours 2-3 Referrals for each visitor Lots of volunteers don’t have a strong idea about where or how they want to volunteer. They are looking for a opportunity to make an impact and find a cause they care about. (79% and 82% Hart 2010)
  • 13. Find the right volunteers! When inviting volunteers to participate in your organization finding the right fit becomes even more important • Know who you want • Comprehensive position descriptions: skills, experience, traits or characteristics • Create a strong foundation and manage expectations • No bait and switch • Policies and procedures manual, NDA, Letter of agreement
  • 14. Create more Involvement • Training and experience pathways • Do volunteers know what they need to do to be able to fill each role in your program? • Is it clear how that happens, or is it mysterious or based on longevity? • Do you offer those classes or have on the job experience checklists? •Bring more positions into your volunteer engagement program • Let volunteers help you! • Volunteers know the work that volunteers do - empower them to document or create the foundation and flexibility you need.
  • 15. Create more Flexibility • Are there different types of opportunities or different levels of involvement available? • One size doesn’t fit all • Doesn’t allow for growth or retraction as a volunteer’s life changes • Do you offer project based opportunities, virtual opportunities, micro volunteering •Where does the rigidity come from? You, organization leadership, the past, or perceived ideas about volunteers?
  • 16. Create more Understanding • Keep volunteers informed • New ideas or theories in your impact area • New policies, practices or projects in your program • Milestones in your organization • Incorporate impact into recognition • Don’t just say thank you - share the work the volunteer has done • Include clients in the thank you message • Spread the thank you outside of your volunteer program •Social media, internal and external communications
  • 17. Create the Connection Turn your volunteers into Advocates! • Do volunteers know your mission? •Major accomplishments, funders • Do they know about other programs? • Areas and impacts besides their own • Empower them to spread the word • Keep them up to date • Use social media • Do you know which of your volunteers are also donors?
  • 18. Tools for Evolving your Program • Think strategically! • Do you have a 3 or 5 year plan for your program? • Get off the hamster wheel • What type of program do you have now? • What type of program do you want to have? • Start with the easy (easier?) stuff • Create or document the structure that exists now • Identify volunteer position descriptions, how they fit together, what volunteers need to know to do them. •Don’t do this alone!
  • 19. Tools for Evolving your Program •Where and why do volunteers drop out? • Ask them! • Survey past and current volunteers about what they like, are proud of, don’t understand about your program • Create more flexibility • What did your volunteers tell you they wanted to do, but couldn’t - so they left? • Where does the rigidity come from? You, organization leadership, the past, or perceived ideas about volunteers? • Create a communication plan to turn volunteers in to advocates
  • 20. Things to Think About • You don’t have to change everything right now • Putting pathways in is an easier first step • Identify the priorities or critical positions • Invite volunteers to take on leadership roles • Volunteers want to tell you what they like (and don’t like) about your program • Invite your superstar volunteers to take the lead • Share your milestones and successes with the organization • Manager, leadership, co-workers and, of course, the volunteers!
  • 21. Engaging Skilled and Pro Bono Volunteers 21
  • 22. Introduction • Defining Pro Bono Consulting & Skilled Volunteering • Getting Started • Building Support • Developing Projects • Finding the Talent • Managing for Success • Working with Corporations 22
  • 23. Who are Skilled Volunteers? • All volunteers have skills • Skilled volunteers and Pro bono consultants bring their professional-level skills • Traditionally associated with attorneys • Now also being applied to other professions • Marketing/PR • Graphic/Web Design • IT • Accounting 23
  • 24. Getting Started: Building Support • Identify Stakeholders • Board, Exec. Management, Program Managers, Paid Staff, Volunteer Staff • Communicate to create buy-in • How could the impact of staff members, programs, the organization be expanded by engaging pro bono and skilled volunteers? • Reach out to your champions 24
  • 25. Getting Started: Developing Projects What could your organization accomplish if not limited by available skills and time? Successful projects include: • • • • Measurable deliverables or outcomes Accountabilities Timeline Evaluation 25
  • 26. Getting Started: Finding the Talent • Communication Plan • Internal and external • Research Existing Volunteer Pool • Applications, Resumes • Recruit from Outside • VolunteerMatch, Corporations, Colleges, Professional Groups • Screening the Candidates • Approach as if you would be paying for service • Say “No” and Hear “No” 26
  • 27. Getting Started: Managing for Success • Define the Project • Who, What, When, Where, How. • MOU, Letter of Agreement • Include key evaluation or check in points. • Delegate • The outcome is more important than the process. • Let go without checking out • Manage Expectations • Does everyone have the same definition of success? 27
  • 28. Working with Corporations • Identify skills areas needed • May be primary or support functions • Match corporate structure to organization • Grassroots nonprofits consider small businesses • Work towards creating long-term relationship • Single day, ongoing, leadership roles 28
  • 29. Things to Think About • • • • • Start Small Work with your Champions Tout Successes Don’t Force It Exit Plan • Don’t give up, return to the phase where the project went awry. 29
  • 30. Contact Me: Jennifer Bennett, CVA Senior Manager, Education & Training VolunteerMatch @JenBennettCVA