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Creating Virtual Opportunities & Engaging Remote Volunteers - Part 1

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Creating Virtual Opportunities & Engaging Remote Volunteers - Part 1

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Beginning to incorporate virtual volunteer opportunities into your volunteer engagement program can be tricky. But, by thinking creatively, embracing technology, and creating screening, training and retention plans built specifically for remote volunteers, you can engage volunteers with the talents you need even if they're on the other side of the state, the country or the world! Join Jennifer Bennett and Deanna Cole as they discuss best practices for creating successful virtual opportunities, and building and managing relationships with remote volunteers. Part II will build on these concepts and discuss in more detail managing remote volunteers. Sample position descriptions and recruitment messages will be provided. While it is strongly encouraged and extremely beneficial to attend both Part I and Part II of this series, attending both is not required.

Beginning to incorporate virtual volunteer opportunities into your volunteer engagement program can be tricky. But, by thinking creatively, embracing technology, and creating screening, training and retention plans built specifically for remote volunteers, you can engage volunteers with the talents you need even if they're on the other side of the state, the country or the world! Join Jennifer Bennett and Deanna Cole as they discuss best practices for creating successful virtual opportunities, and building and managing relationships with remote volunteers. Part II will build on these concepts and discuss in more detail managing remote volunteers. Sample position descriptions and recruitment messages will be provided. While it is strongly encouraged and extremely beneficial to attend both Part I and Part II of this series, attending both is not required.

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Creating Virtual Opportunities & Engaging Remote Volunteers - Part 1

  1. 1. Page 1
  2. 2. Page 2 Jennifer Bennett @JenBennettCVA CVA, Senior Manager, Education & Training Deanna Cole @ivolunteerU CVA, CEO-Founder, iVolunteerUniversity
  3. 3. What are we talking about? • What are virtual opportunities? • How can virtual opportunities/remote volunteers work in your program? • Think creatively, build a strong foundation. • Tools and steps for making it happen. • What’s next?
  4. 4. What are virtual opportunities? Virtual opportunities and remote volunteers can expand your program – Think about the work now. What could be different? • Remote and offsite, not necessarily computer based, or far geographically. • What can be done offsite? What has to be done onsite? • What can be expanded?
  5. 5. Building a Foundation • Clear position descriptions. • Roles, responsibilities and expectations • Don’t get paralyzed by fear of letting go. What’s holding you back? •Is this you, your organization, your existing volunteers? • Look at the big picture – how do things fit together • Are all of your stakeholders on the same page?
  6. 6. Don’t abandon what works! • Processes and policies are in place for a reason • Still want to screen and interview. Orient and train. • Create an authority continuum •What can volunteers decide on their own, decide with consultation, never decide? • Needs assessment for the role/work • Make sure you include evaluation and close the loop!
  7. 7. Talk about it! • Communication with existing volunteers • Volunteers have ownership or control over programs • Who in your organization is invested in the volunteer engagement program? • Organization leadership, program managers or directors, patrons, existing volunteers • Discuss stop, start, continue • What’s working, what’s not working?
  8. 8. Talk about it! • Create a plan for communicating with remote volunteers • Don’t “set it and forget it” – keep in contact, address issues • Use channels that are already working • Be clear on what the volunteer prefers – work to their strengths • Create community and duplicate success • Online groups, hangouts, try and evaluate
  9. 9. What’s available to help make it work? • Look for free resources • VolunteerMatch, LinkedIn, Skype/Hangouts, chat/IM • Sister organizations & like minded groups • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – who else is doing something similar? • What can you learn from others inside/outside the field • Conferences, training events, DOVIA/Volunteer Manager’s group –– no rocks unturned
  10. 10. What’s available to help make it work? • Review and reflect • What are you currently doing? How can virtual opportunities support or expand the mission? • Do you have the room to grow? • Can you rethink what it means to be a volunteer to save money/time/program? • Can you start to identify organizations/chapters who are leading the way? • Look for success stories and build from there.
  11. 11. 11 Resources Learning Center Find upcoming webinar dates, how-to videos and more http://learn.volunteermatch.org Volunteer Engagement Blog Visit Engaging Volunteers, our nonprofit blog blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/ Upcoming Related Webinar Topics: • Where do I go from here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways • Developing a Strategic Plan for Volunteer Engagement • Build Staff Buy-In for Volunteer Engagement
  12. 12. 12 Thanks for attending! Join us online: Like us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VolunteerMatch Follow us on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch For any questions contact: Jennifer Bennett (415) 321-3639 @JenBennettCVA jbennett@volunteermatch.org

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