VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

~ September 2001 ~
  • Brainstorming at Its Best
  • Looking for Ideas ­Available on CD
    The Best of Non-Profit Nuts & Bolts
  • Graphics for Training and Meetings

There is grief throughout the world for those lost and injured by terrorist attacks. But, there are also thanks for outpourings of love, condolence, sympathy, and encouragement from family, friends and neighbors from Sri Lanka to Sydney to Sacramento, and Sweden.

"Now let us thank the Eternal Power: convinced
That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction.
That oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
Serves but to brighten all our future days."
John Brown 1715-1766

Brainstorming at Its Best

Brainstorming ideas is used in committee meetings, training sessions, and staff meetings. Collecting lots of good ideas is the goal. The rules for brainstorming are well known-no ideas are wrong, be patient, no judgements, record exactly as the person has stated (unless you have permission to do otherwise), and remain neutral. Here is a new wrinkle on an old tool.

1. Solicit ideas
~ Encourage everyone to participate, treating each suggestion equally.
2. STOP!
~ Yes, stop. Give the group a break for no less than 15 minutes. Send them out for coffee or bathroom break. Find something different to do for that time.
3. Reconvene the group
~ Return to the brainstorming topic and request more ideas. The more encouragement to think creatively, the more likely it will happen. It is surprising the ideas surfaced in the second round of the brainstorm.
4. Be quiet
~ Discipline yourself to be quiet while people are struggling to express their ideas. The facilitators or trainers patience allows for clarity of thinking. Brainstormed ideas are not a contest to who can get there first.


Looking for Ideas ­Available on CD
The Best of Non-Profit Nuts & Bolts

Non-Profit Nuts & Bolts is a paper newsletter with practical tips and suggestions on such things as fundraising, volunteer management, special events, committees, public relations, meetings, budget stretching, technology, team work, member relations, and much, much more. You can have 2000 articles, from the last four years of this publication on a new CD from Nuts and Bolts Publishing.

Check out a free sample of the newsletter at http://ww.nutsbolts.com/samplenewsletter.htm. To order the CD go to http://ww.nutsbolts.com/non-Profit subscriptions.htm or call Oviedo, FL 407-677-6564. The cost is $49.

Graphics for Training and Meetings

PowerPoint on everyone's computer has turned normally sane people into graphics fanatics. Watch your step. Overdoing the fonts and colors can make people in the audience dizzy with sensory overload. Stick to some basic graphics rules.


Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.

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