Skilled Volunteers -Investment to Opportunity


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  • Skill based volunteer programs provide increased opportunities to nonprofits, but also to individuals. I really believe skilled volunteer programs represent a win-win as both the volunteer and the organization benefit. Much of the original skill based research originates from the movement to engage the baby boomer population, but skilled volunteers can come from any age groups from teens to seniors.
  • Again—Why Skilled Volunteers? Volunteer Match Survey statistics. Desire to use skills actually increases with age. Desire to develop skills continues to be a motivation across age groups. Skilled volunteer programs offer incentives to those individuals to become involved in and connected to your organization.
  • Statistics from 2009 Nonprofit Employment Rends Survey & Corporation-function John Hopkins nationwide survey. However, only a small percentage of opportunities actually provide opportunities for this type of engagement.
  • One way to begin the process is to first, introduce the benefits and then involve staff in the identification of valuable, meaningful opportunities. Poll or brainstorm with staff. Poll questions: Where could your organization use more time or skills? (1) technology (2) evaluation (3) marketing (4) other
  • As you dreamscape or implement some other sort of the organizational self-assessment; it’s going to be important to have process for taking the assessment process to implementation. While serving as a VISTA leader with Volunteer Centers of Michigan, I worked with the parent organization—Michigan Nonprofit Association—to implement a skilled volunteer pilot program. It began with an educational process. First with administration then total staff. The initial needs assessment was done as a survey. The results of the survey went to a focus group who then did some more discussion and analysis to set some priorities. 4 possible positions were identified. Only 3 were deemed viable for an immediate pilot. Throughout this process; continued communication with the staff was an important part of the process.
  • It’s important to identify and deal with any potential issues or roadblocks before implementing the process. Who will be the supervisor is an important question. But, also identifying who must support the program is a necessary first step. HR’s involvement will be important for several reasons—1. These staffers bring valuable expertise. 2. They may represent significant concerns such as access to organizational resources such as the share drive, even copy equipment.
  • Position Vs People approach Must move to a more collaborative, engaged approach
  • Identified specific skills, Flexible, time limited, project based, implies ability to be self-directed. Did not identify impact.
  • Sounds like a job. Uses jargon, which may be okay—acts as a screening tool. “full range of activities”. Better to focus on one grant or one function such as how to measure impact and report. Or research and identify
  • Rather than the usual evaluation form or survey; workplans are used to establish clear expectations, timelines, and checkpoints. Table form provided in resources.
  • Internal—look at current volunteers. Ask how they might use their skills. Ask who do they know? Ask that they market the needs. External/targeted. Whom do you need? Where can they be found? In example—mentors—teachers, social workers, retirees.
  • The final phase of volunteer management is retention and recognition. Recognizing the volunteers contributions and providing benefits whether it’s a thank you note, an addition to their resume, a recommendation, or an opportunity to report progress in a staff meeting will be an important step to retaining that volunteer and recruiting others.
  • VCM in partnership with MNA will be launching a new series in Sept.
  • The final phase of volunteer management is retention and recognition. Recognizing the volunteers contributions and providing benefits whether it’s a thank you note, an addition to their resume, a recommendation, or an opportunity to report progress in a staff meeting will be an important step to retaining that volunteer and recruiting others.
  • Skilled Volunteers -Investment to Opportunity

    1. 1. SKILLED VOLUNTEERS Opportunity & InvestmentIf using the phone for audio. Please dial the number providedand enter the pin number followed by #We will begin the webinar shortlyPresenter—Sandra 1
    2. 2. Connect With Us Michigan Community Volunteer Centers of Michigan Service CommissionProvides resources to The state’s lead agency on volunteer centers across volunteerism working to the state in their efforts build a culture of service to address key by providing vision and community issues. resources to strength communities 2
    3. 3. What is Skill-based?• An innovative approach that utilizes the skills, experiences, and talents of volunteers matching them to nonprofit’s needs.• Goes beyond traditional consulting services.(HandsOn “Skilled Volunteer Workshop”) 3
    4. 4. OPPORTUNITIES• Community Members – Young Professionals – Empty Nesters – Job Seekers – Students, Interns• Professional Organizations• Corporate Engagement• Experienced, Enthusiastic Individuals & Groups 4
    5. 5. TARGETED RECRUITMENT HandsOn Connect Volunteer Match 5
    6. 6. ―. . .building capacity for social good‖ 6
    7. 7. PROFESSIONAL 7
    8. 8. Corporate Programs 8
    9. 9. WHY Skill-based 9
    10. 10. VOLUNTEERS—Seeking Opportunities 10
    11. 11. Increased Need Community DemandNonprofit Funding 11
    12. 12. There’s a disconnectIndividuals Offer Skills Untapped Skills• 34% of nonprofits did not inquire about their • Nearly one-third (29 workplace skills. percent) of volunteers believe their workplace• 32% were not structured skills are what nonprofit to use their skills. organizations need from them most 12
    13. 13. HOW TO. . .Making The Investment 13
    14. 14. What Could Your Organization Do. . .With more TIME?More SKILLS?POLL 14
    15. 15. ASSESSOrganizational External Weaknesses Opportunities Organizational Mission 15
    16. 16. Next Steps: Identify A Focus Group Communicate Educate Analyze Assessments Set Priorities 16
    17. 17. Identify Program GoalsEnhance services and connect to the mission.Support paid staff so they can be more effective in theirworkBuild new relationships—skills, advocates, donorsProvide new opportunities to current volunteers 17
    18. 18. Determine the Starting Point Tasks Supervision• Where’s the Need? • Who’s Interested and• Area(s) of Greatest Excited? Impact, Greatest Chance • Who has experience? of Success.• Identify Resources & Opportunities• Develop Leadership 18
    19. 19. IDENTIFYWho reviews and signs off on the process? – Tip: Involve human resources from the startWho are the project decision makers? – Tip: Involve prospective supervisor(s) 19
    20. 20. START SMALLPilot The Process 20
    22. 22. RETHINKWORK ROLES 22
    23. 23. Volunteer Position Descriptions Time Limited Project Based Ideal Opportunity Flexible ClearHours/Location Objectives/Outcome 23
    24. 24. Managing Engaging• Top-down approach • Volunteers as planners• Supervision and Managers • Support/Collaboration• Staff person as ―boss‖ • Equal Partnership• Recognitions as big event – Leadership• One Volunteer/One – Input Position/One schedule • Flexibility – Virtual, Teaming, Short- Term/Project Based 24
    25. 25. Virtual Volunteers WantedPress Releases and Public Service Announcements WriterVolunteer Opportunity Details:• May not require in office presence, but should be willing to meet periodically with staff or committee members to help develop publicity pieces. Comfort with and access to email if working from home. Distribution of announcements to appropriate media outlets. Maintain, or coordinate with staff or other volunteers to maintain, accurate data base of print, TV, and radio contacts. Minimum 1 – 2 times per month.• Knowledge and skill at writing media releases, experience preferred.This opportunity is sponsored by: Michigan Audubon Society 25
    26. 26. How would you improve this? 3 In 1 26
    27. 27. COLLABORATIVE WORK PLANS Goals & Timeline • Clear Expectations • Volunteer Input Checkpoints • Collaboration • Method of Evaluation • CommunicationBoomer Volunteer Engagement: Facilitator’s Handbook 27
    28. 28. INTERNAL Professionals RetireesMarketing UniversitiesTheOpportunity 28
    30. 30. A Volunteer’s Perspective: “today many people are looking atvolunteering as a way of gaining experience by using their own skills. . .Speaking from experience, being given menial tasks and little responsibility was the quickest way tosend me looking for a new organization. . .”Alyson Woloshyn, Kitchener Parks and Recreation, Ontario, ―Staff Resistance and the Highly Skilled Volunteer‖ blog response, 30
    31. 31. COMING in SEPTEMBER--ENGAGE Mnaonline.org31
    32. 32. Questions? Comments?Please complete the evaluation that will be sent to your email account following this presentation.Thank you for your participation. 32